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3 Best/Worst Plugin Companies To You - 2014 Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 13th March 2014
  #31
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
1 of each:

- Voxengo. The stuff just works and sounds great. Never needed any support and I doubt I ever will.

- Nobody mentioned Crysonic yet? I made the mistake of buying one of their "discounted" (Ha!) plugs, and since then they've been spamming my inbox like there's no tomorrow.
Old 13th March 2014
  #32
Lives for gear
 
M2E's Avatar
 

Please, if you can, give why you like or don't like a specific plugin company.
The reason is as important as the name of the company.
That way, a company has a way to answer back and see how they can be more personable or helpful after this.

Thanks Guys, let's keep it going.

I'll give 3 more when I get home.

Marc
Old 13th March 2014
  #33
Lives for gear
 
Peter - IK's Avatar
 

I'm also available via PM (as I've always offered - especially to those that are vehemently against or angry with the company for which I work) and I can assure everybody - both positive and negative or anywhere between - that we're discussing specific customer-centric changes and we've even rolled out a couple of them already (more details coming, I'd like to see them ironed out and tested for a short bit). I can't lay out the whole roadmap for these changes right now, but we've definitely had some positive motion and discussions and many of the suggestions, comments, complaints, concerns, etc have been heard loud and clear. I'm not in charge of these efforts directly, but the suggestions and input I give based on what you've all been saying online is given weight and is appreciated. Especially since I could only guess at what you wanted without it and even though I was an IK user for a long time before I worked here I still need the context and view of our users directly for the best possible outcome.
Old 13th March 2014
  #34
Gear Addict
 
WasserSpitzer's Avatar
 

My top pick at the moment : Kush , Slate , Relab , Eventide , Soundtoys , Softube..i just can`t deside
Should be on top aswell : PSP , Valhalla , Brainworks ...the list goes on..

ROCK BOTTOM : DUY , I love the tape and tube but the customer service does not exist in real life . The guy just totally ignore most of his customer base .

Waves is like Avid to me , equaly good in the audio and money drain departments .
Old 13th March 2014
  #35
Lives for gear
 

Best: Slate, Slate and Slate.

Worst: Slate, Slate and Slate.

Why?

Cuz...

Seriously, I think it's a lot about your personal criteria and experience.

That's not to say this isn't interesting, though.
Old 14th March 2014
  #36
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Quantum7's Avatar
Best:

Slate, Steinberg, & NI.

Worst:

Since I demo everything first these days and now try to do a lot of research before I ever spend my hard-earned money on music software, I use nothing anymore that sucks..... therefore I thankfully have little experience lately with the "worst".
Old 14th March 2014
  #37
Gear Head
 

Dirtbird I don't understand your comment can you try to re-state? Btw I own lots of UAD plugs and I bet 10 different people who use the same UAD plugin probably paid 10 different prices.
Old 14th March 2014
  #38
Lives for gear
 

Ok, i should have taken into consideration that English may not be your first language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baronluigi View Post
Dirtbird I don't understand your comment can you try to re-state? Btw I own lots of UAD plugs and I bet 10 different people who use the same UAD plugin probably paid 10 different prices.
But this is my point exactly. UAD plugins probably WERE 10 different prices at some point....and when do you buy them? When they are at their highest or lowest price?

Quote:
Worst - UAD the price they charge for plugins changes more than Bitcoin.
This means their prices are high

Quote:
They have the most unstable prices in the business.
This means their prices fluctuate....and dramatically from your point of view...and i agree. They often ARE very low priced as well. Its called having a sale. This why i said you were contradicting.

So you choose to see only the high prices, and refer to their sales as "unstable".

UA has plenty of sales, coupons, and give aways to where their plugins can be had for very competitive prices. Maybe its not the plugins you want anytime you want, but that doesnt make them worse than anyone else..

Almost everyone does it. Go look at the Waves site. theyre no different. I paid $250 for the gold bundle. It says $800 on the Waves site. CLA signature series - $500 @ Waves, I paid $75. MuseEQ - $249 at Plugin Alliance. My price $75.

How is this any different than what UAD is doing?
Old 14th March 2014
  #39
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma View Post
The best - kush audio,
acoustica (personal reasons- they really helped me out with a few things - actually same with kush - outstanding),
Andy from cytomic - incredible plugins and great presence with his customers.
Hopefully spectra sonics as I've damaged my installer DVDs (well one) and apparently they replace them for free - if so they're in my top!
Worst - ableton (not sure if they count - their dev cycle is crap)
fxpansion - they charge you to sell a plugin - dint update their plugins but create another and then charge a cross grade - I bought dcam - not one update, guru the same thing then I got Geist - now the same with Geist, etch - no further developement. Thing is I loooove their stuff just hate their business model and how they treat customers
Slate - their marketing is stickingly overblown and their plugins are hit and miss. Plus this virtual mic thing - c'mon....

geist is an amazing plugin for chopping samples but it freezes too much. the bit reduction effect in it should be sold as its own plugin
Old 14th March 2014
  #40
Gear Addict
 
James Wilsey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter - IK View Post
We just made changes to Custom Shop based on user input. The 7x increase in trial time and ability to purchase single models with currency were definitely things that were asked for. I hope you might give it another chance some time. I know things aren't perfect with it for everybody yet but we can get as close as possible with continued input and moving forward. Look for more improvements in general coming soon (some may already notice some but I'll post more in a more appropriate thread in due time) and I am thankful that we have this open forum to hear you all and I apologize for sidetracking the thread a bit.

I also appreciate the kind words about me specifically and IK in general in the original post.
I personally do not like having to download install your 1GB application in order to make a simple purchase. And it seems that every time I went to use it (every month or so) it required me to download that entire mess again, as an update. Not a great customer experience experience, especially after the third or forth time you have to endure it.

That's why you lost this ex customer.
Old 14th March 2014
  #41
Lives for gear
 

Honestly the only one that I really think is unbelievably bad is - DUY.
Avid does some screwy stuff and I think their products are overpriced but I still prefer PT and have had very few issues with it over the years. I'm not crazy about waves wup and probably won't add any other plugins beyond what is in the Horizon and SSL bundle I have. But in waves defense it's pretty awesome that I can still open up the first session I ever used a waves plugin on (started with the renaissance bundle way back) and it still opens with it's correct settings. Sadly I can't say that for McDsp anymore which at one time were my go to plugins.
Old 14th March 2014
  #42
Here for the gear
 
careyletendre's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter - IK View Post
I'm also available via PM (as I've always offered - especially to those that are vehemently against or angry with the company for which I work) and I can assure everybody - both positive and negative or anywhere between - that we're discussing specific customer-centric changes and we've even rolled out a couple of them already (more details coming, I'd like to see them ironed out and tested for a short bit). I can't lay out the whole roadmap for these changes right now, but we've definitely had some positive motion and discussions and many of the suggestions, comments, complaints, concerns, etc have been heard loud and clear. I'm not in charge of these efforts directly, but the suggestions and input I give based on what you've all been saying online is given weight and is appreciated. Especially since I could only guess at what you wanted without it and even though I was an IK user for a long time before I worked here I still need the context and view of our users directly for the best possible outcome.
Keep up the great work Peter. Your community involvement is remarkable!

Most Favourite: Fabfilter, IK Multimedia, iZotope, Nomad Factory, Sugar Bytes, Camel Audio, Native Instruments, Sonic Charge, Linplug, AIR Music Tech, Spectrasonics, Toontrack, Waves.

Least Favourite: Vengeance/Keilwerth - Poor Customer Support, Crysonic - For Obvious Reasons.

Carey
Old 14th March 2014
  #43
Gear Addict
 

Best -
fxpansion for raising the bar for drum vsts with bfd3
Steinberg - love Cubase and Halion
Hornet plugins , great little utilities at awesome prices

Worst
IK , awful existing customer unfriendliness in every way. The broken record lack of real information responses are almost worse than saying nothing at all. If you are a new customer being wooed they are great. If you have invested a lot before the fire sale of the month sales strategy you are always left out to dry. This can be simply fixed by either one of two thing which IK thus far has refused to do 1) put gear not in existing bundles that many existing customers paid full price for before the 5 for 1 deals, flat out on sale for real currency or 2) create a new bundle of everything not in a bundle and have the fire sale on that.

URS for abandoning its plugins without a word
Old 14th March 2014
  #44
Lives for gear
 
skyshaver's Avatar
 

I had some issues with FXspansion and BFD but they eventually issued a refund even though it took a fair bit of fight. The experience soured me on their products permanently though.

I also had a major battle with UAD over redundant software/hardware bundles that eventually was settled to my satisfaction. Their products have been very stable for me though. But if I could do it all over again I would chose native plugs and different i/o. Mostly because I don't want to shell out for more hardware to use software I already own on my laptop.

Klanghelm, Cytomic and Valhalla are all great. They are very liberal with information and create great sounding products. I'm also very fond of the TAL audio virtual instruments.
Old 14th March 2014
  #45
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
1 of each:

- Voxengo. The stuff just works and sounds great. Never needed any support and I doubt I ever will.
+1

Voxengo makes really handy stuff for very reasonable money. Elephant is my go-to limiter.
Old 14th March 2014
  #46
Gear Maniac
 
58Roadrunner's Avatar
 

Some faves of mine, in no particular order...
Klanghelm: Tony's comp and saturation plugs... big bang for the buck. Stupid cheap prices for the quality offered.

PSP: Great EQ's, I love their tape echo plug. Excellent value, plugs are updated consistantly, very reasonable prices.

Valhalla: Killer reverbs, I use VintageVerb and Room most often. Again, lots of
bang for the buck.

Slate Digital: VTM, VCC and FG-X.

Soundtoys: EchoBoy, Radiator, Decapitator and now Microshift. Everything Soundtoys makes is just killer.

Kush: UBK-1... Man, what a fun compressor to use, most musical thing out there for ITB. I love Clariphonic as well. GREAT stuff!



Some Non Faves...
Abbey Road... because they gave up :(
Waves: Wish they would give up.
Old 14th March 2014
  #47
Winners:

1. Kush - Originality and sound. Gregory's video's are awesome!
2. Slate - Brings analogue sound to the box (please stop calling your products 'Virtual', Steven - they are REAL)
3. PSP - SOUND SOUND SOUND is all that matters to them

Loosers:
1. Slate - a great product does not make a great brand. Make your promises come true in time Steven. (or do not make any promises about release dates...)
2. Waves - the Waves Update scheme is a scam...

Boy what a great age we live in! More winners than loosers! :D
Old 14th March 2014
  #48
Lives for gear
 
timtoonz's Avatar
I'll play!

Best:

1. UAD - so many great sounding plugins, excellent customer support and responsiveness, and prices that are - in my opinion - more than fair.

2. Waves - much hated by many, but they keep churning out solid plugins, they keep updating and supporting the older ones, and 'Mercury' owners get enough new 'freebies' to make the WUP seem worth it… (Still unhappy about the Abbey Road exclusions though).

3. Tie - Valhalla/PSP - top quality plugs, quick support, and unbeatable value.

WORST

Antares - very few updates, confusing re-issues and repackaging of the same half-dozen plugins with new names, different prices, and very few maintenance updates.

IK Multimedia - They do try hard to be likeable, but the bottom line for me is that the plugs aren't supported well enough. CSR reverb, Sampletank… how many years have they waited for updates? If they put half the effort into updating their products that they do into promoting new widgets and 'buy 1 get 5' sales, I might see something worth paying for. And the whole CustomShop process is, for me, just a P.I.T.A.

Abbey Road - still sore about the way they dropped the wonderful compressor plugins after months and months of "please be patient". Then they release a steady stream of new plugs, showing that software development is still very much on their agenda, just not supporting the products they've already sold. Very disappointing.

Dishonorable Mention: Lexicon -- the PCM native reverbs are great. But support and development has slowed to virtual crawl ever since. Hard to tell if anyone at that company gives a damn (after MC left…).
Old 14th March 2014
  #49
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Peter - IK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Wilsey View Post
I personally do not like having to download install your 1GB application in order to make a simple purchase. And it seems that every time I went to use it (every month or so) it required me to download that entire mess again, as an update. Not a great customer experience experience, especially after the third or forth time you have to endure it.

That's why you lost this ex customer.
That doesn't sound right (about needing to update every month or so upon use) so I hope you contacted our support team about this as they are first happy to help where there are any issues and second happy to make sure feature/change requests get officially noted and this holds more weight when coming from our trackable support system (though I also do relay many requests myself on a daily basis, of course). Regardless, I'll relay your concern directly myself in this case too.
Old 14th March 2014
  #50
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Peter - IK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timtoonz View Post
IK Multimedia - They do try hard to be likeable, but the bottom line for me is that the plugs aren't supported well enough. CSR reverb, Sampletank… how many years have they waited for updates? If they put half the effort into updating their products that they do into promoting new widgets and 'buy 1 get 5' sales, I might see something worth paying for. And the whole CustomShop process is, for me, just a P.I.T.A.
Just a small note, CSR has been migrated to the T-RackS platform which brought it into the 64-bit compatibility realm, but the sound remains the same because we do stand by the continuing quality of those specific reverb algorithms. However, we do plan to bring more T-RackS gear going forward and I too hope for more reverbs so I understand where you are coming from. SampleTank has been taking much longer than expected and as stated above I (and many here) really do wish that was out by now, we certainly would be better off if we could and would have if it were possible right now.

Also, any promotions (and most mobile hardware/apps) do not take any effort away from our desktop plugin line, and in fact the mobile part of our business actually helps the desktop side in multiple ways, not to mention we do use code derived directly from our desktop line quite a bit so there's quite a lot of benefit from our work on the Mac/Windows versions of flagship products like T-RackS and AmpliTube on the mobile side vs the appearance of major effort and resources being spent on mobile products as many may think is the case.

Also, we have been making changes the Custom Shop - most recently on the T-RackS side - and plan to keep moving forward so I hope in the future you reconsider. Anyway, I've derailed a bit here again and I apologize - I am available directly via PM for more detailed discussion on any of these points or whatever you'd like to discuss.
Old 14th March 2014
  #51
Gear Maniac
 
Lojik's Avatar
 

Favourites
Camel Audio - always amazing communication, plus everything they sell is great

IK Multimedia - I don't care about Custom Shop as long as everything is available as individual plugins and through group buys I've got their entire Compressor & Amplitube lines for about £130!

Least Favourite
Cakewalk - not interested in supporting Mac users and completely dropped support for products they charged for. Also Z3ta+ 2 is really buggy and they don't seem too keen to fix them...
Old 14th March 2014
  #52
Lives for gear
 

I'm not using many plugins outside of the included Logic ones anymore, but I used to have alot.

My favorites are:

PSP- great sound, great customer service, fair and unintrusive copy protection, good prices.
Voxengo- great sound, great service, fair and unintrusive copy protection, good prices.
Camel- great sound, great service, fair and unintrusive copy protection, good prices.

Then there are companies whose plugins are great, but the customer service wasn't so- Rob Papen, FabFilter, Audio Damage.

The companies I won't buy from:

IK Multimedia- Some good sounding plugins but never worth all the troubles.
Toontrack- I had some problems with a Superior upgrade and got absolutely no help, it was a mess, and for all the grief, in the end I don't think the results are great with that software. The drum tracks are kind of anemic and over processed. I got myself a nice kick and snare and a handful of mics, and it's a world of good difference. So, I guess, thanks Toontrack, you inadvertently put me on the right track.
Melda- They burst onto the scene at KvR with a pretty bad drum machine product and a lot of rudeness. They invaded threads by competitors, trashed other products in forums, acted like total jerks. Off my radar.
Old 14th March 2014
  #53
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M2E's Avatar
 

Thanks guys for being respectful and honest.

Thanks to Peter for jumping in here and trying to give the IK side of things. That takes a lot of balls and I appreciate it.
I'm sure most here do to as well.

GS is a hard crowd to please but, when you do, you see the fruits of your labor.

Thanks,

Keep it up...

Marc
Old 14th March 2014
  #54
Lives for gear
 
lestermagneto's Avatar
just sped read this thread, and perhaps it is meant more for FX plugs, but no one has mentioned Arturia in the worse column? Try dealing with them and your licenses…. I know many people who paid for their products and reverted to cracks for stability for christ's sake… was tempted myself, but was worried about making the delicate system they have working worse then it was already…
Old 14th March 2014
  #55
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HamHat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter - IK View Post
We just made changes to Custom Shop based on user input. The 7x increase in trial time and ability to purchase single models with currency were definitely things that were asked for. I hope you might give it another chance some time. I know things aren't perfect with it for everybody yet but we can get as close as possible with continued input and moving forward. Look for more improvements in general coming soon (some may already notice some but I'll post more in a more appropriate thread in due time) and I am thankful that we have this open forum to hear you all and I apologize for sidetracking the thread a bit.

I also appreciate the kind words about me specifically and IK in general in the original post.
I have IK plug ins which I enjoy. But every time I have to reinstall it's a nightmare (which was just recently) Keep CS online only, no app which takes up space on my computer, have the ability to download the plug ins seperatly. I don't want the whole line of IK on my computer every time I want to try a demo or reinstall one of my plugs. I see people complain about these problems all the time. Fix these problems and I think you will see a lot less complaining.
Old 14th March 2014
  #56
Lives for gear
 
HamHat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lestermagneto View Post
just sped read this thread, and perhaps it is meant more for FX plugs, but no one has mentioned Arturia in the worse column? Try dealing with them and your licenses…. I know many people who paid for their products and reverted to cracks for stability for christ's sake… was tempted myself, but was worried about making the delicate system they have working worse then it was already…
+1000 worse customer service ever. I just happen to really like my key lab since it finally got fixed.
Old 14th March 2014
  #57
Lives for gear
 
lestermagneto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamHat View Post
+1000 worse customer service ever. I just happen to really like my key lab since it finally got fixed.
yeah, I read those had some poor build quality despite the fact they looked really nice…. and yeah, sending Arturia a tech support ticket is akin to peeing in the wind….

also surprised no one mentioned Audio Damage in the BEST column. If you buy something from them and don't like it, they will refund you no questions asked, you can get Adam or Chris via email or AudioDamage blog, and they update most of even their oldest products to current specs and demands for either nothing or a pittance. Niche stuff, but a really good niche.
Old 14th March 2014
  #58
Lives for gear
 

Can't believe I left out arturia - the labratory is a great physical controller - aftertouch, nice keybed. The software is unusable both the 5000 sounds plugin (rrrrr) and the control centre software - criminal.
Old 14th March 2014
  #59
Lives for gear
 
JAZJETSON's Avatar
 

best UAD - there plugz are really good!

Worst UAD - They basically charge you for updates. They just call it revision
Old 15th March 2014
  #60
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAZJETSON View Post
best UAD - there plugz are really good!

Worst UAD - They basically charge you for updates. They just call it revision
Updates would be like AAX support or making it work with the latest version of OS X / Windows. UAD doesn't charge for that. The revisions are completely new plugins (and 3 plugins instead of 1) built from the ground up and completely new algorithms. Tell me another developer that does that.
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