Monday, May 11, 2009

This is So Stupid It Makes My Brain Hurt

Apparently the wonderful Synthtopia blog got an e-mail from Propellerheads to ask them to stop calling the company's new Record software a 'DAW'. You can read all the face-palmingly dumb details here. (Have a look at the comments section to and see if you can pick out the comment that was almost certainly written by a Propellerheads marketing person...)

Make no mistake, this is solely about marketing. Propellerheads know they can't compete with the likes of Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, Apple Logic, etc., so they want to pretend that this is somehow something different than just a DAW with a feature set that doesn't measure up to the competition.

Let me be clear that I have nothing against Propellerheads. I have fond memories of playing with Rebirth back in the day, I still use Recycle a lot, and although I didn't find Reason to be to my liking, I can understand why others do like it. I'd love to see Record develop into something exciting if for no other reason than that it will push the other DAW makers to innovate further, and that benefits us all. But I think they've got a long way to go before they achieve that and most of the chatter I've seen around the net today suggest a lot of other people do as well. I would hope the company would have a bit more respect for the intelligence of their potential customers and realize that if it walks like a DAW, and quacks like DAW, people are going to call it a DAW.


Anonymous said...

I don't know what kind of email Synthtopia got but I got one saying "It is NOT a DAW and we’d appreciate it if you didn’t refer to Record as a DAW."

Alright, not a big deal to me as I think DAW is a bit of a confusing thing anyway. To me Sound Forge is a DAW as well, even though it doesn't have a sequencer... it hosts plug-ins ^_^

Anyway, I think it was a general email to indeed make sure Record will not be compared to the established DAWs.

Digital Audio Workstation... Record fits the bill if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

It records audio. Wow! Audacity does the same and it's... you know... free. Can't see what all of the fuss isabout anyway.

Tom said...

I agree, Ronnie. Honestly, if they were worried about this, I think they could've saved themselves a lot of trouble by simply adding audio tracks and the new effects to Reason. If they want people to use it to record independent of Reason, then they should've expected people to call it what it is... a DAW.

Fixate said...

I don't think they were expecting such a mixed and possibly mostly negative response, so they're doing what they can to separate it from the big boys.

I'm curious on what Presonus' upcoming program will bring to the table. Even with the generic name of Studio One.

Anu said...

I think Propellerheads are doing this because:

1) It's free marketing hype.
2) It's not really a DAW.

You have certain...expectations of a DAW. Like MIDI support, and VST support.

Record doesn't have these things. So judging it as a DAW, it is miserable. But if they create their own subcategory for it, it suffers less.

DAWs have a reputation for being complex and confusing, and most musicians (especially the young ones) don't, won't, or can't figure out how to work them. Something conceptually simpler like "Record" might sell gangbusters.

I agree the faux-hardware UI is dopey. I also think it's somewhat less relevant to the young people these days, as most teenage-20-something musicians will never have used any sort of tape machine at this point.

But hardware has a mystical, magical aura and Record can leverage that.