Over the last week and half I have been on the Apple Logic Pro Community and have watched a number of posts that range from why doesn’t this work to why is there no upgrade and why do I have to pay for support.
There are quite a few DAWs out there. Ranging from PC only to Mac only and dual platform. Each manufacturer has there own schema for support and upgrade.
I’d like to address two of the issues that come up the most regardless of the forum. The first of these two is why do I have to pay for a new version? Why can’t I get it for free? Here is the deal the companies that develop recording software expend copious amounts of time in developing the software. There are three components that go into software development. They are:
- Resources (people & money)
If you skimp on any one of these items, something will suffer in the other two. So simply put, it costs money for quality programmers to output a quality product and it takes them a good deal of time to do it. Major releases take a lot of time to develop and put out. So there is an inherent cost to the upgrade. Some development companies will recoup that cost from their customer base more readily than others. It seems that each company has their own costing and profit model.
Did I say profit? Yes that is the end result as profits go to pay for overhead and allows companies to develop a better product.
Specifically I’d like to address the number of comments on no upgrade pricing for Apple’s Logic Pro to go from a previous version to version X. Apple does not have a upgrade path for Logic Pro (essentially a buy the next version model). Their purchase price for Logic Pro is so substantially lower than most other vendors upgrade price it does not make sense to bemoan the fact that there is no special pricing for upgrades.
The other issue I’ve been hearing a lot about is the Developers releasing product that is buggy in a major version release. There is something that most people don’t want to realize is that DAW software is extremely complex. I am not talking about hobbyist software like Garageband or Guitar Tracks Pro. I am talking about pro level software like Pro Tolls, Logic, Sonar PE and the like. This is pretty complex stuff.
With these packages there is usually more than one way to accomplish a task. They design it that way to allow for different workflows depending on how you build your songs. Example: A Hip-Hop composer is likely to have a much different approach to building a song than say a Metal composer. So the software is built to accommodate different users.This complexity along with time stretching tools, Tone and note correction tools, Scoring tools, and the like add such a complexity that there is no way that a software company that develops DAWs could possibly take into account all the myriad ways their tools could be used.
So guess what. You will find that a major version release will have problems. You can bet on it. That is why you never, ever delete and replace your existing version of your DAW when you upgrade to a new version. And for a while you may end up working in your old version while you discover new tools and possibly bugs in the upgrade version of the DAW.
So that being said this isn’t a perfect world and no DAW is flawless. Everyone of them have issues which require workarounds and you will also find that certain DAW software is better suited to the way you work than another.
So before you jump on a forum and start complaining, remember the best thing you can do is be objective, not the problem you are having, detail it and get a few screenshots and send these along to the support team at your DAW’s development company. You may be surprised at how quickly something could get fixed.
There is a third thing that hit me while I was writing this. That is the cost of support. Each develpment company has a different way of handling support. Some do not charge for support. Others use a per annum charge for support. Look if you like free support, chances are you are not making a living using your DAW. You can wait a day or two to resolve an issue.
If you are a pro or looking to go pro, having to pay for service is a business overhead expense that yo will need to consider. Why? because if you have a problem you do not have time to go to a forum and hope that someone knows the answer. You need to be able to dial a phone number and get support immediately as time is costing you and your customer money. So if you are buying a pro piece of software be prepared to pay for support. Pro = professional. Someone who makes their living from recording, composing, or mastering audio. Just because you are using the same software as a professional does not make you one (Sorry if that is a bit direct, but it is true). If you make your living from the utilization of the software and associated hardware that you need to go with it. Then you will need to ante up and pay for professional support.