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Topic: To heck with new product...

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  1. #1

    To heck with new product...

    ...Spectrasonics need to offer what they have on modern platforms! It has been some while since you could buy an Apple product that would run Trilogy, Atmosphere...well yes, RMX is in beta.

    But Trilogy and Atmosphere aren't to be released for, uh..."a long time!?" Pardon the sarcasm, but there has been a bit of ball-dropping here. The deal for UVI fell through late in the game, or they bit off more than anticipated developing their own engine, or...whatever, at this point an indefinite "some time in the distant future" isn't really keeping the faith with folks who have dropped a thousand bucks on three (admittedly great!) products.

    Playing close to the vest on new products is good business practice. Being obtuse to the existing customer base about a platform port of this significance is something entirely different. I was looking for something...even a date for when a schedule could be released (never mind the release date itself). Some way to at least plan when I could plan!

    This would never fly in the business world. Imagine an IT manager asking a vendor when a platform would be supported. And the vendor responds "We've no idea!" Or "It's a secret!" Nonsense. And guess what, for many music IS a business. Get a software engineering manager in, make a schedule, and share it with your customers. Sure, you will miss the date (which your customers expect and allow for). But this stake in the ground is useful, for both the customer AND the developer.

    Tired of waiting, I've had to set Spectrasonics on the shelf. With the massive processing power and ability to hold a half dozen PC's worth of samples in RAM on a single machine, the Mac Pro trumps even Trilogy and Atmosphere. You wouldn't believe how lazy my CPU meters look these days.

    Cheers!

    P.S. How's that for sounding like an arrogant jerk? No offense to Eric and company. Remind me not to post fresh off my first cup of joe in the morning.

  2. #2

    Re: To heck with new product...

    Quote Originally Posted by cleartrueblue
    ...Spectrasonics need to offer what they have on modern platforms! It has been some while since you could buy an Apple product that would run Trilogy, Atmosphere...well yes, RMX is in beta.
    We know how important this is. We are working very hard on solutions.

    Couple of things to note though:

    The RMX Public Beta is only "Beta" in name....it's status is that it is as stable as any other plug-in on the Intel Mac platform for sure. It will be released shortly as an official version, but there's very little difference between the official one and the beta that's been posted for months.

    So RMX is Intel Native and very stable.

    But Trilogy and Atmosphere aren't to be released for, uh..."a long time!?" Pardon the sarcasm, but there has been a bit of ball-dropping here. The deal for UVI fell through late in the game, or they bit off more than anticipated developing their own engine, or...whatever, at this point an indefinite "some time in the distant future" isn't really keeping the faith with folks who have dropped a thousand bucks on three (admittedly great!) products.
    We hear you. I know it's frustrating. The importance of this issue for Atmosphere/Trilogy Intel Mac solutions is an extremely high priority here.

    It's also very important to us to not make false promises. We want to be realistic with our customers about the time involved. It's not going to happen overnight.

    Playing close to the vest on new products is good business practice. Being obtuse to the existing customer base about a platform port of this significance is something entirely different. I was looking for something...even a date for when a schedule could be released (never mind the release date itself). Some way to at least plan when I could plan!
    We understand. We'll give as much of a heads up for our users as we can.

    To release a schedule at this point would be a big mistake.

    Our customers are #1 for us. Your patience with this issue will be extremely well rewarded.

    This would never fly in the business world. Imagine an IT manager asking a vendor when a platform would be supported. And the vendor responds "We've no idea!" Or "It's a secret!" Nonsense. And guess what, for many music IS a business. Get a software engineering manager in, make a schedule, and share it with your customers. Sure, you will miss the date (which your customers expect and allow for). But this stake in the ground is useful, for both the customer AND the developer.
    Sorry, but it's much more complicated than that. I realize that you want more information than we are willing to release and that can be frustrating. But there are some very, very important reasons for why are doing it this way.

    Tired of waiting, I've had to set Spectrasonics on the shelf. With the massive processing power and ability to hold a half dozen PC's worth of samples in RAM on a single machine, the Mac Pro trumps even Trilogy and Atmosphere. You wouldn't believe how lazy my CPU meters look these days.
    Here's some very good news for you:

    We've found a workaround to use the existing Atmosphere and Trilogy plug-ins in another host that can be triggered from your primary DAW host. It's not as cool as native plugs of course, but it does work and it's not too difficult to set up.

    We'll be posting videos and documentation about how to do it in the next weeks on our site...stay tuned....

    So it's not impossible to continue working with the instruments on your new Intel Mac. :-)

    P.S. How's that for sounding like an arrogant jerk? No offense to Eric and company. Remind me not to post fresh off my first cup of joe in the morning.
    It's cool. I know how frustrating the situation is. Please understand that we are working very hard on this issue for our users.

    Best,

    spectrum

  3. #3

    Re: To heck with new product...

    Eric,

    Thank you for your patient (and careful!) reply. Hey, you know that guy who speaks to the press for the President, the press secretary I think it is...you could NAIL that job!

    Your reply was encouraging. A workable workaround would be splendid, and looking forward to that.

    All the best.

    Mark

  4. #4
    Senior Member Patthoven's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: To heck with new product...

    Wow, Spectrum...eloquently stated!!
    With no sarcasm, I am (as usual) awe inspired not only by your ability state your position with genuine concern and conviction, but to have done so under very tough scrutiny.... which remains the number one reason that I trumpet my love and allegiance for this company's products.

    Unrivaled musical quality, presence in the public eye,,... even when the waters get choppy, and a reasonably forward yet subtly stated commitment to never leave their customers "hanging in a lurch". I guess that's why Spectrasonics has such an entrenched and devoted client base.

    So again, well done Eric..... my hat is off to you.

    At the same time, I can absolutely empathize with Mark's pain.

    I also realize that the constant push by OS developers(Windows and Mac) to have the latest of the greatest stuff out there presents a daunting challenge for companies like Spectrasonics to try to please all facets of every platform while continuing to try to develop new revenue streams with new products.

    I had a catastrophic fire a few years ago that wiped out my whole house. When making the decision as to how to most stategically re-equip my studio with the insurance reimbursement, I had to make the difficult decision to say goodbye to my beloved Macs.

    I did this because, for me, there were too many changes occurring in OSX ( I was still using mostly OS 9.2.2 at the time) for me to gamble with making a decision that I might later regret because of OS updates that were changing too quickly for software developers to feel comfortable digging into. It appeared to be happenning in more than a few companies because of the fear that what might come out again in the next 4 months that could obsolete all of the work that they'd just put into getting a release stable on the OS Rev that came out 5 months prior.

    In my own experience, it appeared to me that this is what was happening at Apple. And at the same time, as I watched all of the bulletin boards on the net, I didn't seem to hear the PC users expressing the same kind of "deep in the system" concerns that us Mac guys were having. Of course, there were still issues, and some of them significant, but there seemed to be a marked difference in the qualitative aspect of how significantly Mac users were being stopped in their tracks at times, where in large part, the PC guys seemed to be able to keep trudging along pretty good. And at the time, the gap was closing at a remarkable pace when it came to what the PC guys couldn't do that the Mac guys could.

    So I said a prayer,..... and jumped off into PC land...... I've never looked back. Sure, I miss my Macs and all of the comraderie with my Mac buddies. But so far, the only software that I really miss that hasn't gone cross platform is BIAS' PEAK. I really miss that one.

    But so far, I am awfully glad that I did what I did. I don't think I could handle all of the changes that the Mac guys have had to put up with over the last several years. And a situation like Mark's would absolutely suck the life right out of any creativity that I might hope to be able to put into my music.

    Personally, I don't know how Spectrasonics, ( or any other company that's even half as dedicated to the market) keeps up with it. I amazes me that sometimes they don't just throw up their hands and say good grief!!!

    But they carry on, and they do so with tremendous grace and with few gripes.

    For me, the slower pace of development of the Windows platform, which plods along more like a big ole stegasaurus, seems to be a more agreeable pace for my own technical advancement aspirations, and seems to give developers a little(or in some cases a lot) more room to breathe and refine their applications and plugins without worrying that "Gates and company" is going shake up the world with a new major change under the hood from quarter to quarter.

    Again, for me, there is something to be said for this "second place" platform (Windows) that is more inviting from the standpoint of , "one step at a time".

    All things said, I admire all of the Mac guys and respect their zeal for the OS and the product. When faced with the "either" "or", I just don't think I could turn back again.... but that's just me

  5. #5

    Re: To heck with new product...

    Quote Originally Posted by Patthoven
    ...But so far, I am awfully glad that I did what I did. I don't think I could handle all of the changes that the Mac guys have had to put up with over the last several years. And a situation like Mark's would absolutely suck the life right out of any creativity that I might hope to be able to put into my music.

    Personally, I don't know how Spectrasonics, ( or any other company that's even half as dedicated to the market) keeps up with it. I amazes me that sometimes they don't just throw up their hands and say good grief!!!....
    It is very tricky indeed, especially as we are making our own transitions to new technologies and product strategies too.

    It's a key time in the development of our company, and it's super-important to get everything "right"....and the Mac Intel issue is just one of numerous issues that are essential to do very carefully - so that our solutions are long-term for our users (and for us too!) :-)

    spectrum

  6. #6

    Re: To heck with new product...

    Hey Patthoven,

    I must have passed you going the other way!

    I was on PC's for...ever, until a year ago and I bought a G5. I've no particular affinity for the Mac culture thing, but I do like things to work.

    Before I bought a Mac, I didn't know computers could work! I'd spent several months of my life (over the years...add it up, you'll be shocked!) getting Windows and PC's to work. I didn't blame Microsoft, didn't blame anyone. I just figured "all those lines of code, such a complex beast, of course something's bound to go wrong with regularity."

    So I get home, plug the G5 in, and settle in for some driver and configuration work to get my printer and network going. I happen to click on the Safari icon and...what? There's Apple's home page! And the printer?...set to go!

    Mind you, I'd spent many hours myself and on the phone to my ISV trying to keep the net up using this very same MICROSOFT branded router...which did NOT self configure when I bought it. Ditto the HP printer; hours trying to get the thing working, keep it working, downloading drivers (how about a 150MB printer driver...go HP!), etc.

    And for a year now the G5 (and now Mac Pro) have been rock solid. None of that PC chasing your tail burning up the hours crap where you finally resort to combing through message board archives desperately hoping to find another sucker who has had the same problem. I've had to restart maybe 5 times this year. And with the Mac, the restart does it and you move on.

    Look at a PC and you're looking at 65 different vendors, none of whom take responsibility for the system working as a whole. Apple gets it right because they can (everything' under one roof) and must (the customer comes straight back if the thing doesn't work, and Apple can't shunt them off...no place else to send them).

    In this way, Macs are more like a "device." PCs are like, heck I don't know...but the image of a middle eastern bazaar comes to mind. Forget all the cutesy-pie Mac cult crap. It's just a better business model and a better product.

    This is just my experience. But I do believe there are far more people with this story to tell than those going the other way. First time I run into somebody who says "Wow, I love Windows PC's...they just work!" I'm calling the paramedics.

    Cheers!

  7. #7

    Re: To heck with new product...

    Actually your Mac doesn't just "work". It can't run some of the software you bought. If you're heavily invested in 3rd plugins software like most composers...until recently it couldn't run half of the software you bought. I wouldn't call that "working". And the exact same thing happened just a few short years ago with OSX.

    But for some reason it's the hardworking small independent developers who keep getting blamed for the consequences of Steve Job's capricious business moves.
    Meantime Apple gets to run their smug little tv commercials about how everything "just works".

    "This would never fly in the business world."

    matto

  8. #8
    Senior Member Patthoven's Avatar
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    Wink Re: To heck with new product...

    Hi Mark,

    I appreciated your comment about how we must have passed each other in our dismissal of the opposing operating systems!

    Yeah, its a tough world out there figuring out who's doing what!

    I was a born and bred Mac advocate! A Mac Bible thumper through and through from the beginning.

    Truth is, before 1999, I'd never touched a PC! Talk about entrenched! I did everything on a Mac,... and I told everyone else they should too!... they didn't know what they were missing!!!

    Well, I suppose in the early to mid 90's that was undisputably true. The thought of referring to things with "slashes and colons" and a "registry"(what the hell was that all about!)..was abhorent to me!

    Anyone who didn't agree was simply to be considered "obtuse". I imagine in the mid 90's, most anyone who knew the difference agreed overwhelmingly.

    But with the advent of Windows 98 and then XP the Apple GUI monopoly seemed to come to a rather abrupt end. And with Microsoft's money, no law suit about the GUI was going to stand a chance. (That's a political topic).

    At that point Apple chose to raise the stakes and turn on the afterburners with the introduction of OSX.

    But for me, that's where all hell broke loose. That's where Apple started to take me for the ride they had to endure rather than the ride that I'd enjoyed being part of for almost 10 years. Things accelerated way too fast,.... all of my, then current software, became obsoleted overnight, and the new great "Gig in the Sky"(OSX) couldn't stay stable to save its life.

    I was aghast!

    I was like ,... Holy Sh**, what the heck is going on here!? I am no longer master of my universe!,... but rather a subject of Stevo's warring faction!!

    Then my house burned down!

    Like I said, I'd never touched a PC before,... and it really ticked me off that my PC pals could go down the street to Joe's computer joint and get a new MOBO, all kinds of video cards and this thing called "Sound Blaster"( how obnoxious!!) not to mention memory, power supplies, drives, etc. It really ticked me off. And then Pro Tools crossed the line. It was time for a pregnant pause......

    Well eventually, I surrendered.

    It wan't a graceful surrender,.... believe me. I kicked and screamed all the way,........ right up to the point that I had built my first machine from scratch and started running music applications on it.

    I didn't turn to the bleeding edge...... I just got the current versions of Cubase, Sound Forge etc. etc. (having gotten my head handed to me with Opcode's full line,.. upgraded ten times)....and to my absolute amazement........ they ran reasonably well!!! Again I was Aghast!!!!

    Of course I didn't admit this to anyone for over a year. I told everyone I was barely getting along,... and "those damn PC's" were still crap! But after a long stretch of none of my former Mac problems, I almost crapped in my pants!!

    So, I hear ya Mark. I Know the Macs feel like an all in one solution, (which they definitely were in the early to mid 90's), but that "model" fell apart for me around the turn of the millenium.

    Though I appreciate your analogy that PC parts vendors and manufacturers seem like a "flee market in Baghdad", there's one important concept to remember that governs the entire market..... If their parts don't work,.... they don't eat.

    This is a pretty compelling argument for the "PC renegades" to develop components that the masses can actually use,.....and use with relative ease.

    As you have clearly illustrated,... no-one wants to deal with a headache.

    And PC users are pretty brutal on their suppliers as well. If something doesn't work..... people bury the supplier... especially in today's information rich society.
    .....Stick it to em today and you can pretty much forget about tomorrow.

    This is a great equalizing factor in the market. With Apple, I don't have that luxury. If they get stuck, I get stuck. I didn't like the odds on that equation at the turn of the millenium.

    So,...... I still love Apple and I still love Steve Jobs, but my little studio runs independantly of both based on market momentum and experience with each contender( But man that IPod is something isn't it?).

    Its funny how we American's work....

    Its like democrats and Republicans..... Each blames the other for the world's problems and yet each has proven time and time again, that when either has a wave of majority power, they all feed at the trough and corrupt with equal ferocity!

    So I gues I consider myself an independent!!!.. in both politics and the world of operating systems!!!

    But poor Spectrum! That sorry son of a gun has to please both!!!! Ugh!!!!

  9. #9

    Re: To heck with new product...

    The main points in this thread sound rather elitist to me - I wonder to
    how many Spectrasonics´ users these things are in the top of their agenda
    concerning the development of these products. Its interesting that
    Spectrum gave one of the longest answer for a long time in this forum
    particularly to this question. Harry
    P.s. Earlier the Northern Sounds was one of the main forums for the
    Spectrasonis, the discussion was vivid and rewarding - I hope the present
    situation is just a sign of calmness before the storm, not the sign of the
    slow death of the forum.

  10. #10

    Re: To heck with new product...

    Hi Patthoven,

    Lovely post, thanks.

    Apple has gone through this period of "creative destruction" which has been (and still is, though I think we're on the tail end of it) painful and costly to long-time users (and developers). Not having been part of it, I'd not given this much thought previous to your posts.

    I'm guessing some of the "Mac faithful" felt things could have been handled differently, better, in the transition (and perhaps so, I'm unaware of the details and no doubt they're up for debate). And out of disgust or frustration, or just the "hope for a better computing future" , decided to go to the dark side (insert irony icon here), as you have.

    I guess companies gulp and make these disruptive changes knowing there'll be people like me on the other side: fresh-faced, tail-wagging new customers without the painful history! I can see now I'm fortunate to have come in to Macs now and not three years ago.

    Apple manning UNIX on Intel seems a solid platform going forward, and I'm pleased it's available to me. Now I just need to arrange that second mortgage so I can fill the Mac Pro with memory...

    Cheers.

    P.S. To those itchin' for a fight: won't find it here. PC's can work, Mac's can work. Life is good.

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