Getting off the Upgrade Mill

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Getting off the Upgrade Mill

Post by Howdy Doody Time »

I record, mix and master music, I play the guitar and the keyboards, and there is not a scintilla of modesty to be taken into consideration when I say that in all these endeavours, I aspire to mediocrity. Nevertheless I do derive great pleasure from what I do and I have always tried to acquire the best software, and hardware I could afford, so for example I bought Steinberg Nuendo version 2 when a thousand quid plus was not comfortable, and I have purchased the upgrades up to version 11. Similarly with Arturia Instruments, with which I am now at version 8. Last year I commissioned a new house and studio in a rural area north west of Bangkok, and that has kept me very busy, to the extent that various software upgrades purchased last year were installed but not, or rarely used. My house and studio are complete now, and my equipment is installed. I now see that both Steinberg and Arturia have upgraded and I think now is a good time to reflect on whether I want to (I don't need to) continue on the upgrade mill. Laying out my equipment I have discovered that long since disused things have suddenly piqued my interest again, and are perfectly useful, serviceable and fun to use. My Digidesign 003 console for example, a Saffire pro interface, a TC electronics finaliser, a Korg Triton Rack - the list goes on. The temptation is to upgrade the Steinberg and Arturia stuff, but I think it is time to take stock.
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Re: Getting off the Upgrade Mill

Post by resistorman »

I used to upgrade every time, but now I don't until there's a compelling reason. Our tools are very mature at this point.
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Re: Getting off the Upgrade Mill

Post by Arpangel »

It’s not until you buy something, sometimes, that you realise, you really don’t need it.
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Re: Getting off the Upgrade Mill

Post by IAA »

I’ve reached this point too. I’ve not found a way forward though. But I’ve reduced my software to really 3 suppliers who I rate and am prepared to update regularly because I use their products in everything I do.

I still have a few other bits and pieces scattered around my computer but I don’t upgrade them.

Real instruments are where I’m struggling most. I’m keen on the new oberheim but don’t really need it. I have more than enough sounds from my other synths and I’m thinking maybe now is the time to live with what I have. I can’t conceive of a sound I could not create with what’s available to me in hardware and plugins. More stuff = more upgrade hassle and time not writing and playing. I am going to have be more hard nosed and work what I have harder. On saying that, I did upgrade v collection from Arturia yesterday (one of my 3 suppliers) and I like the augmented strings and vocals a lot. The new piano v3 was worth it too.

My computer is likely to be the next big upgrade but I see that as an essential item so have less trouble with upgrading that.

I look at my studio now and what I had when I started playing live and in our first studio EP back in the 80’s. It’s a miracle we managed to do anything that sounded remotely reasonable back then!
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Re: Getting off the Upgrade Mill

Post by RichardT »

Do you have what you need to make the music you want to make? If you do, then upgrading is a luxury you can live without (although it’s definitely fun).

For myself, I feel I now have all the instruments I need. I might buy something new if it’s genuinely different, but that doesn’t happen very often.

I do upgrade my DAW every year though. There’s usually some useful functionality added that makes my life easier.
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Re: Getting off the Upgrade Mill

Post by Mike Stranks »

My situation is far-removed from yours... I don't 'do' music - in fact these days I don't 'do' much! :lol: - and what I do 'do' is 'commissioned' (not for my own pleasure).

However, I do have some reasonably professional and proficient pieces of software which always get used when I have work to do. So your comments about upgrades resonated. What I have fulfils my needs admirably so I'm happy to continue to work with versions that are 2/3/4 years behind the curve.

This is one of the reasons I don't like the increasingly 'mandatory for upgrades' subscription model. It would mean additional and constant expenditure which, for me, is just not required.

I see Sam Inglis has written an editorial in this month's magazine - which I've only skimmed - in which I believe he writes in support of subscription-software. My apologies if I misrepresent.

One piece of software I 'bought' can now only be upgraded by subscription and the company now only offers subscription to new 'purchasers'. I suspect that before long it'll be the only show in town for those wanting to use "proper" software and not cut-down or cheap 'n' cheerful apps.
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Re: Getting off the Upgrade Mill

Post by Arpangel »

Mike Stranks wrote: Sun May 22, 2022 8:30 am I don't 'do' music - in fact these days I don't 'do' much! :lol:

I can somehow, identify with that.

:D
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Re: Getting off the Upgrade Mill

Post by Albatross »

I'm still on Reaper 2.58 on a WinXP 2.44 PentiumII with 4g ram. Lovely. solid as a rock. To be fair I only use it as a recorder and desk for around 24 tracks max and very few plug-ins. I gave up the upgrade lark years ago.
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Re: Getting off the Upgrade Mill

Post by blinddrew »

I recently had to do a complete wipe and reinstall of my computer and I was quite pleased that working through my plugin list showed none that I wasn't still using.
I did have to update a couple to the latest version but no upgrades were required.
Similarly with actual instruments, i have bought a couple of new ones in the last few years, but no upgrades.

I think the only thing that gets upgraded regularly is Reaper, but rarely as soon as a release comes out.
I will upgrade to v7.0 when it comes but mainly to pay another $60 and say thanks to the developers.
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Re: Getting off the Upgrade Mill

Post by blinddrew »

Mike Stranks wrote: Sun May 22, 2022 8:30 amThis is one of the reasons I don't like the increasingly 'mandatory for upgrades' subscription model. It would mean additional and constant expenditure which, for me, is just not required.

I see Sam Inglis has written an editorial in this month's magazine - which I've only skimmed - in which I believe he writes in support of subscription-software. My apologies if I misrepresent.

I'm in the process of drafting a 'rebuttal' to this piece, will pop it in the Feedback forum when it's done. :)
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Re: Getting off the Upgrade Mill

Post by ConcertinaChap »

blinddrew wrote: Sun May 22, 2022 10:25 am I'm in the process of drafting a 'rebuttal' to this piece, will pop it in the Feedback forum when it's done. :)

Good man! This might be a good topic for a poll once you've done that. I don't like subscriptions either. It all smacks of trying to convince the customer that what's good for the shareholders is good for the end users.

CC
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Re: Getting off the Upgrade Mill

Post by OneWorld »

Arpangel wrote: Sun May 22, 2022 7:55 am It’s not until you buy something, sometimes, that you realise, you really don’t need it.

LOL - Spot on, back of the net, you got it in one.

I suppose, logically thinking. If upgrades had a profound impact on our creativity, then in going from version 1 to version 12 (and beyond) of whatever, would mean we should all be rich and famous by now!
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