Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Native Instruments, Komplete 7 and lousy customer service

Stand back, I'm going to go ballistic.
Just a few short months ago I spent over $600 hard earned Canadian Dollars on what I thought to be was cutting edge in a sampled technology collection called Komplete 6 by Native Instruments.
Native Instruments is German based company that sells musical instrument digital software and programs to a largely independent music and production type producer clientele. Their marketing is very good and for the most part so are their products. Where they fall down is in their customer support.

As I mentioned, I recently purchased their top of line collection of production software called Komplete 6. Which consists of 6 or their most usable programs including over 90 gigs of sampled sounds and instruments.
It's a huge package and takes about a half day to fully install and then the other half of the day to download the updates and test the various software. It's also very expensive, over $600 canuck bucks and that's on sale.

Here's where I spurt.
I haven't had even time to do but one test recording using samples from Komplete 6 (see June posting) and BAM!
Native Instruments releases Komplete 7.
It's got all sorts of new sound packs and software for Drums and Vintage Organs, and, and and etc. These additions are all stuff that I crave and had considered possibly purchasing sometime in the distant future. There was absolutely no indication from Native Instruments that Komplete 7 was going to be released and they aren't offering recent purchasers of Komplete 6 any kind of (as they all it) grace period for free updates to new software. So even if had bought it the day before the release of Komplete 7 or even the day after, that's just to freekin' bad for me

I complained to Native Instruments that I had only a short time before purchased Komplete 6 and that had I known of the impending release of Komplete 7, I would have waited and purchased Komplete 7 instead.
I mentioned that I was feeling kind of ripped off and that I hoped they would at least free of charge extend the new sound packs to recent purchasers of Komplete 6.
I also cited by way of example when I had also recently purchased the older version of Pro Tools, Digidesign the company that owns ProTools, offered free updates to all recent (6 months) purchasers of Pro Tools. This seems like fair, decent and well thought out smart business decision to me.

This was Native Instruments' response.

We are unfortunately not offering grace period updates or a discount other then the standard update to Komplete 7. Komplete 7 did not invalidate or replace any of the instruments from Komplete 6 this time, rather we added more sample content that was previously available just as soundpacks."

In other words: 
'Yeah we've added a bunch of new sounds and stuff that you want. But we have your money and if you want this new shit you're just going to have to pay for it'. 'SSSUCKAAA!!!'.

Not a very wise business decision in my humble opinion.
Will I be buying any more Native Instruments products?
Not likely. There are plenty of other digital music software providers out there that will work just fine with my DAW softwares and I'm sure they're hungry to have my business.

So I say, FUCK YOU TOO to Native Instruments and Haste La Vista Baby.

What do you think? Am I fucked in the head or totally righteous in my attitude?
Leave me comment and let me know

Friday, July 16, 2010

We're a WEB-SITE. WOW!!!

HANDWRITTEN DIGITAL is now it's own website.
I finally broke down, entered the 21st century and bought myself a couple of web domains.
Spending the money was fun and easy. Getting the technology to work afterwards was a little more difficult. 
I decided was the place to pick up fast domains plus they offer a bunch of free stuff to go with that simple purchase. So I picked up the domain and the domain which is still not up and working. 

It's been a world of discovery. There are all sorts of things you have to know to get even a simple web-site up and running. There's domain sites and hosting (which is kind of scary). The costs can mount up quickly if you're not careful.
I'm of Scottish decent so that means that I'm a frugal individual. I've been using Blogger blogspots for all of my 5 web-sites because blogger is
1. free and
2. simple to use. Blogger is made for dummies like me that can't tell their ass from an HTML in the ground

Well it turns out that Blogger will also host your old blogspot under your new domain name for free. Cool huh? 
Blogger can also sell you a domain name at a very competitive price, which I didn't know but that's ok because GoDaddy is very cool and has great service. Mark from GoDaddy even phoned me the following day and told me to call if I needed any help at all. Now that's great service I mean who does that these days.

The nice thing is that I can still use Blogger as my design tool which means I don't have to learn a bunch of new stuff just to let you know that
Not that it's any big deal as it's just nothing type blog.
Anyway I just thought I'd share that  with you.
I'll be back soon with some actual Studio B recording type news as things continue to develop.
Ciao for now.

COMMENTS:  Don't forget to leave one (or two).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Setting up your Digital Audio Workstation or DAW

Despite the blog title this not a step by step instructional on how to set up your own DAW. It's just me whining about my trials and tribulations while setting up my DAW, when all I really want to do is be creative and produce wonderful melodic music for movies and CDs and blah, blah, blah. Hang out anyway, maybe you got some handy tips to pass along...huh?...huh?

SETTING UP a recording studio, even a little Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is an expensive and time consuming affair.
Especially if you're doing it alone and as an "as time permits" project.
Sometime a purchased piece of software or equipment will sit in the box on the shelf for weeks before I get time to install it or set it up. Even after it's installed, software could sit in the computer for months before I have time to open it and test it out.
Not all software is setup in an intuitive manner which means a learning curve that could make it a week or more before you get a sound out of it or get it to do what it's supposed to do.
Then there's compatibility issues and believe me those can set you back months.i.e. ProTools and IE8 (but that's a story for another time).

As I see it there are series of limitations involved in building a DAW..
Space is limited. Time is limited. Money is limited.
Technical support is limited and occasionally my patience have been extremely limited. Thus from time to time one might pass the studio and hear a long streak of blue words which describe an oral event of a sexual nature performed by a person of a certain profession with an Oedipal complex. The streak is usually spoken in a loud, rude and aggressive manner. Possibly flying objects are involved, scaring people and animals of all sorts.
Regardless, Studio B is slowly coming into focus. The preliminary software is mostly all installed and functioning as it should. The hardware is talking to the software and I am actually learning again at the age of 56. Keep in mind that I come from a mechanical, analogue, old school, recording background so working in a software environment while not totally foreign is bit like swatting at a wasp, you might get lucky and hit it before it stings you.  While the DAW is still a mess with piles of crap (some proper studio furniture is on the list) it is semi-workable and on the last long weekend I was able to do a test recording of a small, tiny, little project.

So Ladies and Gentlemen may I present to you, Jazz Dicks. So entitled because it's jazzy, and written by me, Richard (but don't call me Dick). The first item recorded and mixed, blah, blah, blah in Handwritten Digital Production's Studio B
 Jazz Dicks.mp3
double click to listen or right click and "save link as" to download to your computer

The tune (such as it is) is written by me and is copyright (© 2010 Handwritten Digital) but you can download it and listen to it multiple times at your leisure.
Just don't play it out loud in public or try to sell it or post it on the internet etc, etc, yada, yada, yada.
Or I'll sue you like it's 2012. (I got that from a Library Voices song, cute huh?)

One more item to mention.
COMMENTS: We likes them. So you leaves them. 
simply look down and find the word "comment" click on that bastard and then unleash the inner you in type form. 
We loves it.