Not renewing Pro Tools "subscription"

OP
JohnG

JohnG

Senior Member
Rob, I haven't at all ignored you; on the contrary, I acknowledged what you said and I think you make good points.

Personally, if I ran Avid, I would try to narrow the gap between pricing of PT and alternatives, so that there is somewhat less incentive for larger facilities to change to something else. I reason that, given that your biggest customers (Sony etc.) are also run as businesses, at some point they might get fed up if someone else offers a large-scale, zero/low latency alternative that is reliable even for huge sessions.

In the mean time, I don't think I need every upgrade so that's why I didn't renew.
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
I love how this whole discussion has shifted to the argument that software used in professional-level studios should be priced to be affordable to students... even high-school students. o_O
You want the upcoming next generation to be learning and using your tools - so when they graduate to professional status, they take your tools with them. That’s why companies such as Autodesk have really serious discount student packages available to them for things like Maya & 3D Studio Max.

I know younger filmmakers who have been doing some great work with the free version of Da Vinci Resolve. When they need to put their hands in their pockets for more capable solutions, who do you think is more likely to benefit from that ?

When you could get an MBox 2 and a lower protools license for around £400 (IIRC) it was such a smart move on their behalf. Now they are pricing themselves out of this market.

Doesn’t have to be the full fat Pro Tools ultimate you’d find in a high end studio, which I can see would be quite understandably more expensive. But a capable package for a reasonable price for student and hobbyists makes a great deal of sense in the long term.

Don’t see what is so controversial about that as a discussion point.
 
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MauroPantin

New Member
As someone not located in the US or Europe (I'm in Argentina): I can tell you guys that even though a PT subscription or license is part of the cost of business, at that price the amount of goods and services you can procure here makes it absolutely crazy to go for it. This is due to the exchange rate. You go for Reaper, it is what I've done and most mid-size studios do here. It is highly customizable, very reasonably priced and gets the job done. Few people here care about the 3-4ms diff in latency when you are talking about an overhead of around $1500 over a 5-year period that you can cover with just $225 and entitles you to two full version upgrades. I've used PT and I've used other daws... It is the standard now but it will change over the next few years. There's nothing to miss.
 

Quasar

Senior Member
I'm not really sure what the issue is. I have an inexpensive Behringer UMC202HD and I can get zero latency for my live playing by simply using the direct monitor. It really has nothing to do with the software—although latency is very, very low on my Kontakt instruments as well.
I don't care about literal "zero latency" monitoring. When playing VIs that generate MIDI and run through an audio interface and a computer and perform DA/AD conversion, it seems that the laws of physics will mandate some latency. What I care about is the RTL being = or >10ms, which is enough to both play and monitor in de facto real time IMHO. Even with live musicians, you're going to have a certain amount of latency due to the positioning of the players in the room, so mathematical zero is neither attainable nor desirable in either physical space or virtual space... My simplistic way of looking at it anyway...

...I agree that the fanboi DAW stuff obviously gets ridiculous when comparing workflow, features etc., but when comparing pricing and marketing it's perfectly appropriate to advocate for a product that is fairly priced and has righteous CP as opposed to a product that costs a gazillion dollars per year and requires Big Brother dongle/cloud oversight. Reaper, besides being a wonderful, deep and full-featured DAW, is also a shining light in terms of how software should be presented and sold. I've never seen or used Pro Tools, but everything I've read about Avid's business model leads me to believe that they're on the diametric opposite end of this spectrum.
 
OP
JohnG

JohnG

Senior Member
so...it's a Reaper thread now?

If you've "never seen or used Pro Tools," I don't think that's the ideal position from which to comment, even though I sort of agree with you.

It's a cost/value proposition that absolutely does not work for everyone. That said, the first round of PT stuff was over $10k, over 10 years ago, so it's much more affordable than that now.

...except for the subscription.
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
Well, I guess we can only complain for so long before the subject gets changed.
 

MauroPantin

New Member
To me more than the cost of the subscription it is the added uncertainty of the whole deal, when looking at this in dynamic terms rather than static.

The numbers might look good right now to get the subscription, and all of the compatible gear, and the plugins, and the training, and all of the other associated costs of using it. Then, two years from now, imagine the subscription cost changes again... Something like "In an effort for AVID to continue to provide professional audio software of the highest quality we will be re-focusing our business on major clients and leading studios. This is a big move for us and we hope you'll be joining us in this new era..." yada yada "oh BTW it is now $700 a year". You don't own a PT rig you can just choose not to update. Does the cost/value work out now?

You have this entire capital already invested around using PT, Avid takes advantage of that with this price hike, and there's no guarantee that it will not happen again. Everything changes and every company out there could do this, but they usually don't. And Avid's track record isn't stellar in the "treatment of their customers" department. In the end this means you are:

A) slightly less competitive
or
B) losing a bit of revenue due to the increased overhead
or
C) changing your entire workflow and losing the invested capital in plugins and training (and also, time learning to work in some other DAW).

Really think about this: They get to influence a major aspect of your business at any given time based on the needs of their shareholders. I'm not quite comfortable with that, nor do I think it is the best choice for the small studio or lone-wolf composer. Remember Entertainment720: Keeping a low overhead and running a lean business is a major factor if a dry spell hits (or if you have absolutely positively no customers, as was their case).
 

robgb

I was young once
Re: the whole subscription model. This, to me, is a lose-lose for any creator. What seems like a minor amount of money every month turns into hundreds and then thousands over an extended period of time with no hope of ever owning the software. I had this problem with with Adobe Creative Cloud, which is why I switched from a twenty year user of Photoshop to a very happy user of Affinity Photo. Subscription models are designed to benefit the software developer, not the end user. Anytime a company goes subscription, it's time to run in the opposite direction.

You could argue that a subscription model allows you to try out the software at a reasonable price, but that short term gain could wind up costing you plenty in the long run.
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
Re: the whole subscription model. This, to me, is a lose-lose for any creator. What seems like a minor amount of money every month turns into hundreds and then thousands over an extended period of time with no hope of ever owning the software. I had this problem with with Adobe Creative Cloud, which is why I switched from a twenty year user of Photoshop to a very happy user of Affinity Photo. Subscription models are designed to benefit the software developer, not the end user. Anytime a company goes subscription, it's time to run in the opposite direction.

You could argue that a subscription model allows you to try out the software at a reasonable price, but that short term gain could wind up costing you plenty in the long run.
They only one I've seen that I like is EW Composer Cloud. You can own the products. And if you need something once, pay for a month. No requirements for extended subscriptions. No penalties if you want it only 2 months in a year. And if you like something, you can buy it.

I quit using Adobe Photoshop for the same reason. It is just too expensive and there are other options.
 

Quasar

Senior Member
so...it's a Reaper thread now?

If you've "never seen or used Pro Tools," I don't think that's the ideal position from which to comment, even though I sort of agree with you.

It's a cost/value proposition that absolutely does not work for everyone. That said, the first round of PT stuff was over $10k, over 10 years ago, so it's much more affordable than that now.

...except for the subscription.
In fairness, I made no comment regarding the Pro Tools DAW per se, because you are quite right that I am not qualified to have an opinion. I only commented on Avid's business practices regarding cost, licensing and copy protection, which I have acquainted myself with. You don't need to own the product to familiarize yourself with their marketing and the sort of deal they offer.

Since I've never used PT, I can't competently assert that it's not worth the cost, however expensive. But the fact that you and many other PT and ex-PT users "sort of agree" with me indicates that I'm not too far off-base in believing it to be absurdly, even surrealistically overpriced, exploiting culturally-ingrained notions people tend to have about "professionalism" and all of that... I'll never know first-hand, and I'm 100% fine with that.
 

Daryl

Senior Member
By using Reaper's take system.
So how are you going to open the Pro Tools session in Reaper to load Pro Tools' Playlists into Reaper? Have you tried it?

Look, I'm no evangelist for Pro Tools, but for anyone recording in a Pro Tools based studio, unless the editing is done on the session, and consolidated files bounced out, there is no easy way to transfer the information to another format. Even OMF or AAF are not going to work very efficiently. It's far better just to stump up the money, edit in Pro Tools, and then transfer everything over, if you don't want to mix in Pro Tools.
 

Daryl

Senior Member
Since I've never used PT, I can't competently assert that it's not worth the cost...
Whether or not it's worth it is entirely in the eye of the beholder. For someone who uses samples and works in their home studio, I doubt it. For someone who is recording at large, orchestral studios once a year, it is worth it. In those terms, the cost is tiny.
 

Guy Rowland

Senior Member
Just to reiterate for those affected - Avid have yet to confirm what reinstatement options there are after July 1st, with the distinct possibility that there will be no option to reinstate to a permanent license after that point. This is in 4 days time.

Customer service have apparently told someone who has enquired initially that "Based on the price change that will take place on July 1, unfortunately, there will be no upgrade reinstatement plan available anymore. The only options to get to the latest version of Pro Tools, if you have an expired annual update and support plan, are to purchase either an annual or monthly subscription". But then subsequently that "I just received word from my team, that upgrades are still being evaluated. Rest assured that we are going to update further you regarding this".

4 days time.
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
So how are you going to open the Pro Tools session in Reaper to load Pro Tools' Playlists into Reaper? Have you tried it?

Look, I'm no evangelist for Pro Tools, but for anyone recording in a Pro Tools based studio, unless the editing is done on the session, and consolidated files bounced out, there is no easy way to transfer the information to another format. Even OMF or AAF are not going to work very efficiently. It's far better just to stump up the money, edit in Pro Tools, and then transfer everything over, if you don't want to mix in Pro Tools.
The audio files are still there. Switching a session from a Mac to PC without properly saving first, I lost the session and had to import it all into my version for a school assignment. Fortunately, other than the vocals, it wasn't a complicated session. All the takes are there. If they are labeled well, it can be done. Not that I would recommend it.
 

Daryl

Senior Member
The audio files are still there. Switching a session from a Mac to PC without properly saving first, I lost the session and had to import it all into my version for a school assignment. Fortunately, other than the vocals, it wasn't a complicated session. All the takes are there. If they are labeled well, it can be done. Not that I would recommend it.
Of course they are there. However, it would be an absolute nightmare to deal with all of that, simply because one was too mean to shell out for a subscription. Even one full orchestra project per year would pay for itself many times over.
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
Of course they are there. However, it would be an absolute nightmare to deal with all of that, simply because one was too mean to shell out for a subscription. Even one full orchestra project per year would pay for itself many times over.
If I was recording orchestras, you can bet I would be using Pro Tools or maybe Nuendo. For me, most of my recording is vocals. Everything else is usually virtual instruments. And? I bought 3 more years at $99. My current update plan runs out in September. By that time, I'm hoping they will either have changed policy again or I will have figured out how to use one of my other DAWs well enough to replace it.
 

gamma-ut

Active Member
Remember Entertainment720: Keeping a low overhead and running a lean business is a major factor if a dry spell hits (or if you have absolutely positively no customers, as was their case).
This is a key point. Right now, things are probably as good as they are going to be for a while, especially for Avid. Post-production and media composing are doing well simply because of the sheer volume of stuff being made to service a sudden expansion in streaming channels and games/VR-type entertainment. This is not going to last. Sooner or later, Amazon and Netflix are going to stop thinking "land grab" but "where do we start cutting and rely on our back catalogue?"

A subscription that demands you keep paying is very uncomfortable, especially if you can't get work to support it or the amount you do gets pulled disproportionately into servicing it. And businesses stop thinking about the short-term tax advantages of service payments vs capex.

Plus, Avid has demonstrated that the pricing trend is going one way: up. They've done it once and when the exec bonus calculations are made and come up short, they'll do it again.(Until they have a change of management again that decides what they really need to do is capture hobbyists).