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Thanks Avid! Free Thinkers! Well Ahead of The Game!

I went to an Avid presentation for Pro Tools 11 last week. Wow. They have finally come into the 21st century. Slowly they are releasing the reigns so that the standard users can have a functional DAW. I will admit some of the new features are really nice. Multiple, simultaneous export options. Cool. Finally they've got full multicore CPU support. Awesome!

The kicker? Of course all of the best options are only in HDX. So, we are talking a $600 minimum investment if you already have Pro Tools 10 with Complete Production Tool Kit or an HDX system with Pro Tools 10, $1000 from Pro Tools HD 9, $6000 for an HD Native system if you don't have HD 10 already.

Whatever. The investment is necessary if you want to have those "cool tools".

A week later I get this email from Avid:

Get a complimentary upgrade. If you’re currently not a Pro Tools user, or using Pro Tools 9 or an earlier version, we’ll give you a complimentary upgrade to Pro Tools 11 (once available) when you buy, upgrade, or crossgrade to Pro Tools 10 at xxxxxx or other
local reseller.

Really? So if I buy Pro Tools 10 now I will get Pro Tools 11 for free? Wait a minute. That was part of the deal way before I went to the presentation and If you buy Pro Tools 11, you get a Pro Tools 10 license along with it anyway. So where's the "bonus" here? There is none.

What offends me about this is not that they made an "offer" which is essentially what they have already had on the table. What offends me is that they think I'm too stupid to realize that this deal is no different than the one that they've been offering all along.

Only an accountant(or a banker) could think of such a condescending angle to follow up their promotion.

No. I won't be upgrading any time soon. I think I'd be better off investing in Fruity Loops or Reason and I don't even use or like those programs.


hueseph Sat, 06/15/2013 - 10:58

Frustrating. They made it clear at the presentation that Pro Tools 10 was a bridge release(a year after the fact). So why did they charge full price for the software when they knew that it was an end of the line for support of HD Accel systems and only a bridge to this major release? Essentially they were saying, "Here. Pay full price for this. It's your last chance to stay in the loop. Oh and in a year it will be obsolete." or more bluntly ...well, I don't want to post what I'm thinking. It would be obscene. Accurate but obscene.

kmetal Sat, 06/15/2013 - 12:11

Only an accountant(or a banker) could think of such a condescending angle to follow up their promotion.

this kind of stuff really seems to be turning off average recordists. i don't know anyone personally who raves about how much they love pro tools. either nothing is said at all, or it's complaints, about functionality, or dirty buisness, or price.

waves is a brutal pocket hound too, w/ the ilok (when you need one) you had to buy 'their' special ZDT plan, and it involves calling periodically to renew the licenses you own on your lost ilok or you lose everything... nice. or giving a single friggin license when someone pays over 3k for efx! what kinda person has that cash to drop on plug-insand only one computer. you can't even buy your license 'again' for use on another machine you own at a discounted rate! i don't condone it, but no wonder people pirate stuff. not only is it grossly overpriced, but the people who are keeping them in business are treated like it's a privilege to give them money. at least waves offers the masses a quality high end product that works the majority of the time, as white collar as their business ethics may be. The upgrade curve is ridiculous in digital audio all around. musicians are like one of the poorest overall demographics, yet it's one of the most expensive fields. pay 25 dollars for a nice estwing hammer and that thing will last a lifetime of bashing things.

so....the real question is, are you gonna upgrade???

anonymous Mon, 06/17/2013 - 05:36

What offends me about this is not that they made an "offer" which is essentially what they have already had on the table. What offends me is that they think I'm too stupid to realize that this deal is no different than the one that they've been offering all along.

All the Avid users I know... and not just some, but All of them, are very frustrated right now with the company's practices regarding PT.

The general consensus is that they are feeling as if Avid's attitude is one of "you should be lucky that we even make a recording program that we let you purchase, how dare you question our pricing or policy..."

From a business model, here's what gets me: this elitist attitude of theirs that pushes the "clicki-ness" of the PT "club"....that you have to deserve the right to use their product, that you have to believe that they are the only real DAW platform, that you have to "drink the PT Kool Aide", that you have to earn your black satin gang jacket.

Everyone starts at the beginning, at some point.

So, why wouldn't you want to cultivate those beginners - who have full intent on going pro at some point?

If you work with the "middle caliber" studios, are supportive and cultivate a relationship with these people, which includes reasonably priced upgrades and such - instead of finding new and exciting ways to screw them six ways from Sunday - they are going to spend big money on your top of the line product when they can. At the very least... they will stick with your company over the years, instead of bailing out like rats from a sinking ship. The average pseudo-pro user will stay loyal to your company ....if you give them a reason to.

There was a time when PT was the only real game in town. This, above all, is what made them the de facto standard in recording facilities around the world. But, this isn't the case now. They are NOT the only kid on the block anymore with a football.

Samplitude/Sequoia, Sonar, and several others are giving this company a run for their money, and an affordable one too, especially now that users are becoming more educated in the area of higher caliber pres and converters, and that when coupled with nice OB equipment like this, you can indeed make pro caliber recordings on platforms other than PT.

And, for more than just a few studios, the recent interest and resurgence back to analog or hybrid is another thorn that they will eventually have to contend with.... so they'd better be starting to play nice.

If I was running Avid, I would be making sure that the company's policy was as inviting to as many new users as possible, and with a strong focus on keeping the clientele base that they already have.

Stop pissing people off, and start treating your customers better - thru affordable and reasonable upgrades, support, etc., and stop making people feel as if they have to have a Grammy on their shelf in order to deserve to use your product.

I'm not inferring that they should start "giving" stuff away... as Kurt has mentioned before several times, there is an upside to having some of this gear and software to be a bit on the pricey side, for it weeds out those that really have no business being in the recording arena. But have got to make it inviting and affordable enough to those people that are planning on a life time career in the craft, and you absolutely have to take care of those customers who have stayed loyal to your company and product over the years.

As of right now, I'm not seeing this company doing either of these things.

IMHO of course.


kmetal Mon, 06/17/2013 - 06:42

it's really funny cuz their stuff designed for best buy purchasers, don't work that well, is unreliable for common man machines. they're flagship stuff is uber sensitive if you breathe on your cpu the wrong way. my boss teaches pro audio at a college, and constantly has problems w/ their 'qualified' mac based pro tools systems. settings, ect, just seem to get reset from simple things like shutting down a computer.

the people/studios who are paying huge money for these systems are huge studios who can afford a 'tech', and big money engineers/mixers who have their assistants do most of the DAW stuff.

all programs have quirks. what really at this point makes protools any better, than any other fully functional program? low latency dsp, video incorporation, editing, the playing field has leveled. avid will do okay i think for a long time because they hooked the 'important customers' ie, Hollywood, big commercial studios, early, and i don't picture a new 'unified' choice of DAW happening anytime soon.

as for the rest of us, there are too many options that work better and are more affordable. when i bought my entry pro tools system a few years ago i thought 'it's just me, it's just my computer', cuz that's what all the tech support said. you need this approved drive. bought it, no better, you need to optimize, did it, no better, hundreds of unnecessary dollars, and hours of install uninstall games later. new ram. nope. so i tried multiple prgrams, after about a year and a half of unreliable performance. miraculously my computer performed like a dual core cpu, just what i expected, reasonable recording power, instead of the 566mhz 2gb hard drive PT made my computer perform like. no thanks i'm done, unless they change. they don't want a little guys money? they ain't getting mine.