Which developers are a safe bet for longevity.

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
KVRist
493 posts since 13 May, 2015

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:57 am

I’m still smarting from FXpansion pulling the the plug on some of my favourites. Now IL is pulling its VSTs.
Who can we trust to stick around for the long term?

KVRist
289 posts since 26 Mar, 2014

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:11 am

U-He
Win 10, Bitwig 3.2.2, too many plugins, Novation Circuit Mono Station and now a lovely Waldorf Blofeld.

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KVRian
507 posts since 31 May, 2015 from the Iberian Peninsula

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:27 am

U-he because they do things right, Valhalla too. iZotope because they probably have a large market share, Surge Synth Team because it's Open Source. Spectrasonics. Probably a good rule of thumb for this is, think of companies that develop only a few products, and that are popular. Check also update frequency and how big the updates are, that's probably going to be a good indicator.

KVRAF
5072 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:48 am

None.

KVRian
1247 posts since 28 Dec, 2007

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:01 am

Define longevity.

For example, Sylenth1 and Massive were released 15 years ago and are still not discontinued. I think that's amazing.

Most of the Image-Line plugins are quite old as well. Sytrus was released in 2004, Harmor in 2011. Probably an unpopular opinion, but given the progress that technology makes within a decade, 10 years of support for a plugin are good enough.

KVRian
1156 posts since 11 Jun, 2019

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:02 am

Eventide. They are mature already and really stand out :|

KVRian
577 posts since 29 Oct, 2015 from Jupiter 8

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:11 am

What Cinebient and Chapelle said.

Most Image Line stuff has been around for quite a while.
Plus most developers are pretty small, if not just one single person.
If he looses interest, or can't put time into maintaining his plugins anymore for whatever reason, the products are pretty much abandoned.

Larger companies like Steinberg are a safer bet, but even then you never know for sure.
In the end: enjoy your stuff, but nothing lasts forever.
Most old stuff (though of course still not all) runs pretty well on Windows though, so your biggest fear should be if OG Massive is still visible on your then 16K screens
“People pay good money for old stuff because they mistakenly think that the gear has more to do with the products than it actually did. And because it makes them feel good to own it.“ wise man on GS

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KVRist
429 posts since 3 Jul, 2016

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:15 am

Steinberg
Arturia
NI
Bitwig (may become a TOP daw in 5y (iho)
U he
Waves
UVI
...and many more
( no transfer fee or a small fee - encourages circulating - hence longevity ;-) )
frequent free or ( pay little for ) updates - a good sign -

...hope there will be a Blofeld 2 - such a great little synth
also
I wish companies would in one way or another SAY what they're working on...
surely omnisphere 3 will come at some point.

...maybe we need another topic - whats new in 2021-2 FOR SURE ( :D ) - synth wise...

KVRAF
5072 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:17 am

If there is one most safe (for me personally) its Apple. No one wants to hear it but it is like it is. Logic is a safe bet for me and it offer about all I ever need without third party stuff these days (beside some of the better sample libraries).
Well, maybe Apple should have bought N.I. for Logic v11 👹

KVRian
577 posts since 29 Oct, 2015 from Jupiter 8

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:20 am

I originally wanted to mention NI too, but somehow have a bad feeling about it for some reason, that it might end up as a sample library provider at one point.
I don't think this is bound to happen and at the moment the signs are good that they are heading into a different direction, but i definetly don't see this as too unlikely either.
“People pay good money for old stuff because they mistakenly think that the gear has more to do with the products than it actually did. And because it makes them feel good to own it.“ wise man on GS

KVRAF
1575 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:37 am

It's an interesting question! I think there are three main aspects to consider:

Technical debt and dependencies
If a project has its roots in some experimental and/or amateurish code, this can create a chaotic "spaghetti" that makes change more difficult. Another issue for audio plugins is the use of frameworks; it easy to choose something that is not cross-platform, or a product that becomes unmaintained. An example is the continuing 32-bit Windows-only state of the Variety of Sound plugins, which were based on synthmaker with hot loops written in 32-bit assembly code. By comparison Waves continually update their custom framework which is uniform over all their plugins. In principle this means they can make compatibility updates in just a few places to fix their whole product range. (For some reason their update pricing structure does not reflect this.)

Bus factor
Many of KVR's favourite developers are very small companies. If anything were to happen to Sean Costello (Valhalla), Jeroen Breebaart (Toneboosters), Tony Frenzel (Klanghelm), Andy Simper (Cytomic) it is unlikely we will be seeing substantial further updates to their work. If on the other hand Chris from Airwindows were to retire to a monastry, we will still have public access to the source code of many plugins and it is reasonable to believe that the community will find ways to build them for newer systems.

A related problem occurs if work is contracted and a support relationship is not maintained. For example, I very much like the Stacker plugin that was marketed by Sample Magic but it has couple of small bugs and an absurdly slow load time. After some online talk of possible upgrades, it was announced that this product is no longer being sold and will no longer be updated. It seems that Sample Magic lacked the development ability (and possibly the source code?) to maintain this product after a contract expired. See also: AIR

Ethics and goodwill
The above two categories would suggest that the best bet is to go with a large company which builds frameworks and employs multiple developers. The trouble is that these companies tend to be a bit more sales/marketing oriented... There is always the risk that your expensive purchase will be dropped in favour of the next big thing. KORE, anyone?

Small developers can be flaky too, of course. I wouldn't rely on a certain vocal Italian developer (who claims to have departed KVR) to deliver announced improvements on a predictable timescale.


So, uh, U-He. Modern cross-platform framework, multiple developers, good community relations. :clap:
Last edited by imrae on Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

KVRAF
1575 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:38 am

Cinebient wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:17 am
If there is one most safe (for me personally) its Apple. No one wants to hear it but it is like it is.
Owners of Firewire hardware may disagree

KVRAF
5072 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:44 am

imrae wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:38 am
Cinebient wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:17 am
If there is one most safe (for me personally) its Apple. No one wants to hear it but it is like it is.
Owners of Firewire hardware may disagree
I said "for me personally". I am no Apple fan but I must say that the new M1 machine is the best thing I ever had for music and I bought Logic years ago and get still lots of free updates and finally some of these nice iOS apps coming to my Mac as well.
I never ever used firewire so i will not miss it. I even do not use any audio interface since I do not need it.
But we are at developers here for software and here I still say Apple is the best bet for a long future.

KVRAF
1575 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:47 am

Cinebient wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:44 am
I never ever used firewire so i will not miss it. I even do not use any audio interface since I do not need it.
But we are at developers here for software and here I still say Apple is the best bet for a long future.
Right, those were other music creators they messed around in the past, clearly you are special and can count on better treatment :tu:

KVRAF
5072 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:51 am

imrae wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:47 am
Cinebient wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:44 am
I never ever used firewire so i will not miss it. I even do not use any audio interface since I do not need it.
But we are at developers here for software and here I still say Apple is the best bet for a long future.
Right, those were other music creators they messed around in the past, clearly you are special and can count on better treatment :tu:
This is about the future, not the past :D

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