View Full Version : Worrisome Waves/NI Alliance?

Lee Blaske
05-14-2005, 03:16 PM
Just got this in an email from Waves the other day...

Waves has teamed up with Native Instruments to bring you a very special deal. If you own a Waves Gold, Platinum or Diamond Bundle you can buy Native Instrument's Komplete 2 instrument and effects bundle for 30% off the regular price! But donít wait Ė this offer is only good until June 30, 2005.

I don't know about the rest of you, but this sent a shiver up my spine. I really hope that Native Instruments is not considering forming any partnership or alliance with Waves.

I've been a Waves user from the very beginning. I've enjoyed using their products over the years, and spent lots of money with them, upgrading to their Diamond bundle for TDM. These days, however, I'm seriously considering discontinuing using Waves plug-ins. Like an enormous number of other users, I'm really upset about the WUP "Waves Upgrade Protection" plan. This ill conceived plan forces users to pay a fee each and every year to keep their Waves software upgraded and useable as computer hardware, operating systems, and host applications change. Currently checking my status on their site, my recently expired WUP apparently will cost me $800 to renew. THAT's @#$%^* TOO MUCH!!! Even scarier is the fact that the meter keeps running. So, if I hold off a year before renewing, it'll cost me twice as much, and on and on. I don't know about the rest of you, but to me, the WUP plan seems obscenely expensive, especially considering that the software was expensive to begin with. Waves is definitely marching to a different drummer than the rest of the music software industry, which largely offers value and new features at reasonable upgrade fees. Waves software must now be considered essentially a rental plan, with a stiff down payment. The thought of sending Waves close to a thousand bucks a year to keep my software operating makes me very angry.

Fortunately, those who have yet to buy Waves can decide if they want to get involved in this money pit or not. Thankfully, there are a lot of excellent non-Waves options out there they days. Those of us who eased into it over the years have harder decisions to make.

The thought of NI and Waves teaming up, however, is frightful. How far will this go? Are there any rumors of NI being taken over by Waves? I now have a heavy investment in NI plug-ins, and especially in NI based sound libraries from EW. If a Waves-style WUP plan were extended to all these products, I'm sure it would cost me a fortune to keep all my stuff updated.

No joke, this is serious business. Please, for any NI or EW people are monitoring this, we need an assurance that there will be no alliance between Waves and NI. In fact, given the full blown rage that many are currently expressing over Waves' usurious update policies, I think it would be best if NI distanced itself as much as possible from Waves. Waves will not be around long if they continue to mistreat their customers as they are now doing.

I'm going to hold off on buying any additional Kontakt based libraries until I get some assurance that there will be no Waves/NI merger. I don't mind paying reasonable upgrade fees, but I expect to get something in return. I am not interested in paying a huge yearly use tax to Waves, whether they do anything for me or not.

If Waves were to acquire NI and initiate WUP charges on all our NI plug-ins and libraries, it would be a huge blow to those of us who have invested in these products.

I know I might be coming off like Chicken Little on this, but if there is any movement towards integrating Waves and NI, it needs to be nipped in the bud ASAP.

Lee Blaske

05-14-2005, 07:09 PM
My question is: what happens if you DON'T pay the fee? Do the products stop working? Because when you buy any NI product, the license agreement grants to you unlimited usage of the product as long as you don't reproduce it, and so to add any WUP-style charge to keep the software running would be direct violation of user contract, and the legal implications of spinning an already-unpopular paymet plan on current users who have a written contract are NOT something any powerful company is going to risk getting involved with.

Lee Blaske
05-14-2005, 08:00 PM
My question is: what happens if you DON'T pay the fee? Do the products stop working?

They very well could stop working if an OS, hardware or host application upgrade breaks them (and that often happens with Waves).

You can't sell your Waves package if you're not paid up. You cannot get support for iLok issues with Waves if you're no paid up. Finally, it's important to remember that the longer you wait to pay up, the more it will cost. A LOT more.

Lee Blaske

05-15-2005, 07:37 AM
Isn't this the same pricing scheme used by Avid?

05-15-2005, 08:09 AM
With Waves, I agree that the policy stinks, but you don't have to pay it and keep upgrading. I have Waves Reneisance collection version 3.6. I have had it for a few years. I am happy with it and see no need to upgrade or join the subscription. A couple of months ago I built a new music PC and Waves provided a new authorisation without hesitation, and without pestering me to join WUP!

But I agree with you that a merger between Waves and NI would be a bad idea. Waves copy protection is a bit OTT - and a bit flakey by all accounts (though I have never had any problems with PACE personally).


Doug Rogers
05-15-2005, 10:50 AM
Please, for any NI or EW people are monitoring this, we need an assurance that there will be no alliance between Waves and NI.


You have to understand the relationship between NI and EW to know "we" can't provide any assurances about NI's relationships with other companies. EW simply licenses software from NI to include with our products under terms that can never change, except with the agreement of both parties. Our relationship ends there. The resulting products are EW products and therefore are not impacted by any third party relationships, policies or decisions. If anything adverse occured that put our customers at risk, we would simply reissue the products with a different audio engine.

I can assure you we have no plans to implement such a maintenance policy at EW.

I hope you also appreciate we do our best to maintain the confidence of our customers on an ongoing basis. I'm one of a few heads of major music software companies that talks to customers online everyday. That's how much we value and try to improve that relationship, plus the feedback we get is invaluable in shaping future product development.

- Doug

05-15-2005, 04:23 PM
Yeah, you and JMC. But still, it's nice to know that EW won't ever head down that road.

Doug Rogers
05-16-2005, 11:02 AM
Yeah, you and JMC. But still, it's nice to know that EW won't ever head down that road.

Who's JMC?

- Doug

05-16-2005, 11:07 AM
Joey MacDonald Carter

05-16-2005, 11:34 AM

JMC is the CEO of ImageLine. He and Gol (FL Studio's cheif programmer) and all the rest of the staff post regularly. It's one of the reasons I like the software so much; there's a direct connection to the people who make the software, so you can offer input (or at least make requests :) )