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Goodbye, Avid


Last week I let my Pro Tools Ultimate "perpetual" subscription expire.

I've decided to stay with my existing and working Pro Tools HD version, without updating it over the next year or more. Going forward I will be thinking about making a switch to Nuendo, or only sponsoring Avid when I actually require some new feature of Ultimate that I don't already have. Of which there currently are very few.

Much of this is in response to Avid ending their Reinstatement programme, so once an Annual subscription like the one I had expires, it can't be renewed. I call that a corporate dick move, and an organisation that resorts to that shouldn't get my money.

The "perpetual" license really isn't, other than your software keeps working for a while after the license has expired, but not beyond some next OS update that kills it. But I won't be updating my trusted studio machine to a newer version of macOS any time soon, I'd rather update the machine itself. And I seem to have specialised in mixes that are primarily stereo, or tracklays that are role-based (i.e. dialogue - mono/LCR, or backgrounds - stereo pairs, etc). So for me an "everything" version doesn't make the same sense, and I'm out of patience waiting for Avid to add features I really need - simple things like track folders, multiple marker tracks, or more important stuff like track auto-alignment or built-in reconforming tools (as most video nowadays needs).

There has been very little focus on audio post over the last few years. Above that, Pro Tools 2019.12 being an "initial release" towards macOS Catalina is basically an admission that they didn't have a proper 64-bit codebase, despite a decade of macOS moving to 64 bit only. What was I sponsoring?

In short, it's not worth holding on to a £400/year license. This kind of license makes sense in an organisation that doesn't mind pain bundled with their purchase. I'm quite sure, if I'm to migrate to Nuendo, my clients getting film mixes done couldn't care less about the actual DAW I use, and for work that goes to a dubbing stage, I doubt they'd mind a 2019.10 session, or that asking them for Nuendo these days counts as unreasonable.

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