Which developers are a safe bet for longevity.

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
514 posts since 19 Oct, 2020

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:50 am

mladi wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:42 am
I don't care that much about their longevity as the only longevity which really matters in the end will be my own. :hihi:
Interesting comment from someone who is mladý :)

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7556 posts since 11 Jun, 2006

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:54 am

Jorgeelalto wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 10:08 am
just build a machine specifically for audio, do not ever update. With easy to find components, so you can repair it in the future. The software you put there will stay there for as long as you can keep the computer running.

i found the environnment for making music using EnergyXT2, a selection of plugins under good o'l WinXP. no updates, nothing stops working, just a stable system i've enjoyed for many years. yeah, i cant run the new stuff coming out, but honestly, to me its just more complicated, same ol recycled stuff already done except with resizable gui's to keep up with screen rez's that your OS upgrade pushed you into.

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15075 posts since 16 Sep, 2001 from Las Vegas,USA

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:04 pm

Wait until your motherboard craps out. I've got an i7 3770K system sitting idle because a replacement MB would cost more than the system is worth since they don't make those Motherboards anymore.

If you're happy being stuck in the past that's fine. Some of us would actually like to evolve. That's why I no longer use an Atari 520ST..... :wink:
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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4161 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:16 pm

Responding to OP, my opinion is that no developer/software company is a safe bet for longevity. It would helpe to have specific requirements around what "longevity" actually is for you. But generally speaking, buying any software is a risk - as the underlying OS changes so will the software that runs on it. There will also be economic issues that can affect "longevity" - for example LinPlug, which up to the time the pulled the plug, many would have considered them a good "longevity" candidate. Even Waves has shut out any customers that don't have Metal video capability from further software upgrades or ability to run new products.

Software is inherently "throw-away".


Topic Starter

493 posts since 13 May, 2015

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:37 pm

Glad I started this thread. Lots to chew on. Think I will use “potential” longevity (guesswork I know) to guide future purchases/keep GAS under control. Or at least avoid the first releases from new developers with no track record. Maybe I’ll slim down may plugin folder to the big boys. Arturia, NI, U-he, Rob Papen, Eventide, Softube? Maybe!

382 posts since 4 Jan, 2007

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:50 pm

Jorgeelalto wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 10:08 am

Edit: Or just build a machine specifically for audio, do not ever update. With easy to find components, so you can repair it in the future. The software you put there will stay there for as long as you can keep the computer running.
Or for people good with computers just build a Linux machine with lots of cpu (ryzen 12+ cores) and make a Win10 QEMU virtual machine for audio with audio card passthrough (either USB or PCI) and no network.

Almost native performance, plugins always authorized, no (plugin) reinstalls when moving to a new machine, ability to update with rollback, etc.

1575 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:54 pm

This is why Linux support is a big plus for longevity; it's open code and not license-encumbered when it comes to containerisation/virtualisation. So even as libraries and supporting layers become deprecated, it will be feasible to wrap things up and have them work. As long as the copy protection plays ball...

203 posts since 11 May, 2010

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:05 pm

I'm hoping u-he keeps chugging along, as I use the heck out of Diva, Repro and I just bought Zebra mostly to get a big discount on Zebra 3 when it's done.

But who knows. I'm not all that worried about it, because there are so many good products out there for us to use, and almost none of them require a major investment that you'd really worry about. I have NI Komplete and that's the closest thing to a worry I have, but as I can't predict the future nor change what these companies do...use what you have today, and let tomorrow bring what may :)

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75 posts since 3 Jan, 2021

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:47 pm

plexuss wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:16 pm
Software is inherently "throw-away".
Well, how is Open Source Software "throw-away"?

The whole construct is based on avoiding a dependency on the original supplier and seamlessly continuing if they go away or lose interest.

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5596 posts since 18 Jul, 2008 from New York

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:55 pm

Most of my favorite companies (u-he, Tone2, Cytomic) have key person risk. If the main dude quits for whatever reason, the show is over.

Even though I am less keen on Arturia, as far as I can see, they are more like a corporation where people can come and go and the company can carry on. So companies structured like Arturia might be safer if that is your #1 priority.
Last edited by Frantz on Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

577 posts since 29 Oct, 2015 from Jupiter 8

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:02 pm

It's only “throw away“ if you through it away.

If you treat your computer like the closed system a hardware synth is, it can live on too for decades without issues. Of course it could be more difficult to find a certain motherboard than one capacitor if it really should fail, but this only applies to old analog synths. With lots of digital hardware you're equally is as f**ked, if not more.
Also this is really a worse case scenario, as computer systems can live for very very long and actually don't break that often.
I still have computers from the early 80''s running without issues (some of the disks have though). Not sure if our TRS-80 from 1977 is still running though as it has been packed away in my brother's basement for decades now.
“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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11212 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:48 pm

revvy wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:48 am
I'd say Apple For Logic.
Why? They killed off Shake without batting an eyelid and turned Final Cut Pro into a consumer app because they felt like it. I know so many businesses that got screwed over in those deals that it's not funny. As I said yesterday, Apple is the last company I'd trust not to kill a product or an essential feature on a whim. e.g. When was the last time you tried to play a Quicktime movie that uses Apple's own Animation codec? One day they just decided to stop supporting it and stripped every trace of it out of an OS X update, which would have made 6TB of stock footage we rely on at work obsolete overnight if it wasn't for third parties picking up the slack. It's ironic that a movie format created by Apple, using a codec Apple developed, plays on any old Windows 10 machine but won't play on a Mac unless you install a third party product.
Ploki wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:04 am
Really? My M1 works with fireface400 and 800 (15y old)
Also my UFX+
Not with the cable it came with. OTOH, the MIDIMan (later M-Audio) MIDI interface I bought in 1999 still works with it's original USB cable.
NOVAkILL : Dell G7 Core i7, 32GB RAM, Win10, Zoom U24 | Studio One | Thorn, bx_oberhausen, ARP Odyssey, JP6K, Hexeract, Vacuum Pro, TRK-01, Knifonium, Equator, VG Carbon, VG Iron | Uno, Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket.

2516 posts since 15 Feb, 2020

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:54 pm

BONES wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:48 pm
Nothing lasts forever. Apple has served me well for audio for many years. If they stop, then I'll change too, and look for new tools.
FKA samsam. PMs from likely lecturers deleted without reading :party:

1003 posts since 20 Feb, 2003

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:56 pm

Big and small devs come with their own sets of issues. All you can really go on is track record. Even that doesn't tell the whole story. Though, I think, the transition to VST 3 and ARM platforms, over the next year or two, might offer some indicator of how likely companies are to weather out the next decade or so...

That said, there's a 50+ year history of software at this point. So this isn't an unknown, and nor is it complicated. To run into the long term (at least beyond the likely lifetime of anyone posting here) requires two things (beyond not blowing ourselves up etc).

1) Virtualization. That means virtual hardware, to run the OS, to run the software.
2) Not doing anything to muck that process up (typically copy protection or a specific hardware dependency)

Number 1 is only possible if the hardware can be made virtual. Where hardware uses proprietary designs, which incorporate increasingly complex encryption, this could render future emulation impossible (Apple Silicon?). Also, the more widespread the platform (EG IBM PC) the more likely future emulators will support those old standards on newer hardware, if only out of historical curiosity :)

So it really comes comes down to number 2 - copy protection. Unless the software uses none, or self-contained methods (IE no reliance on any future support , such as providing a keyfile which is not tied to hardware, or using a simple serial) then it WILL die.. IF.. no cracked version exists. This is what the last 50 years have shown.

Being open source is a very good thing. But it's not the guarantee people think it to be. Someone, with coding skills, must be interested in carrying it forward to the platform you use. That is far from certain. Most open source projects are dead. But it does mean the door will, to an extent, always remain open.

Of course, hardware synths have their own sets of longevity issues, and most are LESS of a safe long term bet than software. Parts wear out or degrade over time. So it comes down to availability of replacement parts. Anything, which goes anywhere near custom components, puts you into real difficulty. There is an irony that some synths, from the 1970's, remain more "repairable" than nearly everything produced in the last 30 years.. :)

3530 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Post Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:05 pm

Yeah i dont have a serial port for my dot matrix printer on my ultrathin laptop either.
You are completely missing the point of thunderbolt ports BONES.

I used to use the fireface400 daily before upgrading to UFX+ and i still use fireface800 live.

I dont want firewire on my laptop, its unecessary.

Final cut was a shift from niche to majority of content creators. They rushed it, but X is better than 7 was. And certainly much better than premiere and similar old cold base garbage power apps

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