Re: Contact the Plugin Manufacturer

I know this topic has been discussed several times on this forum, but please bear with me for a moment.

Firstly, let me qualify my critique by pointing out that I am actually a music professional coming up on 20 years experience working on soundtracks and audio design projects for television, film, the web, and the videogame industry. Since the late 90’s, I have been using various Steinberg products in my projects, and have generally been very satisfied with their features and performance; these include Virtual Guitar 1 and 2, Groove Agent, WarpVST, Attack, and of course WaveLab 4, 5, 6, and now 7.

With regards to WaveLab, it has always been my preferred audio editor, even DESPITE that fact that I was (at one time) contacted by Sonic Foundry’s Artist Relations team as an unofficial endorser for Sound Forge (back around version 5, as I recall).

Now, the issue at hand: As many are aware (including Phillipe), many plugin GUI displays are not working properly in Wavelab 7. (I’m on a Mac now.) Specifically, I’ve had issues with PSP Audioware, Waldorf D-Pole, and most importantly, Izotope Ozone 4. As I navigate through my files in WaveLab (or if I render processed audio), the Ozone interface randomly disappears, requiring additional clicks to bring it back. I have seen several posts regarding this and similar issues, along with troubleshooting tips that minimize the issue, but PG’s response has generally been the same. To paraphrase: “Not my problem. Contact the plugin manufacturer.”

Based on the responses I’ve read to that sentiment, I’m sure that many of you share with me a certain level of frustration. As a matter of fact, it is beginning to sour me towards Steinberg software as a whole. First and foremost amongst my frustration is the idea that I have to spend what should be production time solving some sort of software development issue (or posting long messages in the WaveLab forum). Regardless of who’s to blame for this particular issue, I am a musician and sound designer, not an application developer. Contacting the plugin manufacturer is meaningless to me, because I don’t even know what questions to ask them or advice to give. “Dear Izotope: Ozone has displayed correctly in every other Mac and Windows host I’ve used over the past 10 years: SONAR, Logic, Sound Forge, Kore 2, DSP-Quattro, GarageBand, Chainer, Live, and WaveLab 5 and 6, but DOES NOT work correctly in WaveLab 7. Please change your plugin!” I’m sure they’ll get right on that.

Now generally, I’m a pretty agreeable fellow, and I hate to pester and nitpick, but frankly, I’m at my wit’s end. I completely understand that any software development is going to involve certain issues and I highly respect what developers and engineers like Phillipe do. But as an end user, I simply expect the software I paid good money to use to do what it needs to in the manner to which I’ve become accustomed. I don’t care what goes on behind the scenes or in the code as long as the application works properly. WaveLab 7 doesn’t do that yet. The stock reply to “contact the plugin manufacturer” puts the end user in the middle of a conversation between developers about things we either don’t understand or hell, need to even care about, truth be told. If this is the official response from Steinberg regarding issues such as these, I have to tell you… it’s cavalier, and frankly, rude. I’ve invested thousands of dollars. You should treat me better.

So how about this instead? YOU draft a short stock message about this mythical plugin framework that developers are using that isn’t fully compatible with WaveLab 7, using language that those developers will understand and pointing them towards the appropriate corrective action and then post it in this thread; i.e. " is currently not working with the current version of WaveLab 7, due to <reason 1>, <reason 2>, <etc.>"

There, I got you started. Now, YOU fill in the s and s and explain the changes their code requires, speaking developer-to-developer. I will do you the courtesy of filling in the with the name of the plugin that requires the corrective action, and sending the message on your behalf to the appropriate technical support contact at each company whose plugins go haywire in WaveLab.

Let’s see where that gets us.

As I understand it, PG contacted a considerable number of plugin manufacturers to warn them that their code might need revising because WaveLab 7 happened to expose a pre-existing fault in a commonly used framework. Some manufacturers dealt with the problem in good time and others did not.

If the plugins are where the errors exist, why is it PG’s responsibility to do more?

Paul

There, I got you started. Now, YOU fill in the s and s and explain the changes their code requires, speaking developer-to-developer. I will do you the courtesy of filling in the with the name of the plugin that requires the corrective action, and sending the message on your behalf to the appropriate technical support contact at each company whose plugins go haywire in WaveLab.

ditto: http://www.steinberg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=7499

Jean

I understand your concern… but the fact is, that most plugin developers test plugins with most hosts. And often, they do adjustments (ask them, you will see). But WaveLab 7 is new to many, and many don’t have done tests with it. WaveLab 6/5/4 were very much alike, but 7 is a new application, and they need to test their plugin with it.

Because the error only happens in WaveLab 7, not all the other hosts I mentioned. Why is it MY responsibility to do more?

Sigh. Your reply is pretty much what I expected.

Ok… I’ll do it your way and send a note to Izotope, and see what kind of response I get. You know, WaveLab and VG2 are the last remaining pieces of software on my system that require a dongle. I’m suspecting I’m going to be freeing up a USB slot pretty soon.

I really sympathize with Tagpass, and if I relied on WL7 for more than an educational tool, I would be at least as frustrated. I thank him for putting the frustrations of at least some new users to WL7 into very clear and generally positive words.

His basic point, expressed a couple posts above is objectively true: Things that work elsewhere, don’t in WL7 for whatever reason. But realistically it’s in Steinberg’s self-interest to make WL7 a reliable tool that works equally well with the same hardware/software as competitors.

PG’s equally and understandably frustrated for reasons Tagpass considers beside the point, and again he has a point from a business perspective. But in the social realm, it’s important to understand that the customers of PSP and Izotope have a lot more pull than he does - we’re the targets/customers, not Steinberg or Apple or Sony or Sadie or SonicS.

When plug-maker’s stuff doesn’t work on our rigs, we bitch, and for the most part, they really do listen. I know this to be true of Izotope, so I don’t know what’s up with that. OTOH I use a lot of PSP stuff, and while I love the sound of a number of their tools, especially for specific jobs, they are buggy and twitchy on EVERY host on my mac. Logic hates them, GB hates them, so does soundBlade. Various sundry issues, specific to each host to keep track of with all their stuff. Look - I find them indispensible too, and I bitch about this stuff all the time. I usually find a workaround (e.g. drag the WL7 preset bar to the top, and, turn off the “enhanced” title bar for VSTs in display controls preferences to make PSP plugs happy in WL7). Anyway, more voices there helps. Bottom line here: don’t throw out the WL7 baby for the PSP bathwater. :wink:

Finally to join Jean, ditto to Tag’s very constructive solution that makes everyone happy:

There, I got you started. Now, YOU fill in the s and s and explain the changes their code requires, speaking developer-to-developer. I will do you the courtesy of filling in the with the name of the plugin that requires the corrective action, and sending the message on your behalf to the appropriate technical support contact at each company whose plugins go haywire in WaveLab.

If you know what the problem is, most users here would be happy to forward the message, along with any other boiler plate invitation Steinberg might provide, in order to improve their product and open lines of communication to avoid problems in the future.

-d-

Hi all …

Another way of looking at this is to regard plugins in the same way as hardware inserts, since that’s essentially what they are: emulations or substitutions for hardware.

I’d expect the designer and builder of my transfer console to at least consider elementary stuff like the fact that a piece of hardware may only like to be connected to balanced sources or inputs and that I might need to monitor from a number of different sources.

But really, when I buy a piece of equipment as an insert I need to be sure it will happily fit into the chain and it’s up to the manufacturer of that gear to let me know if the box has any special requirements for care and feeding when I ask them.

Similarly, it’s the responsibility of the guy selling me a plugin to let me know if it won’t work or hasn’t been tested for use with WL if I ask him. There’s actually a couple of plugin things I wouldn’t mind using but I’m pretty sure they won’t work satisfactorily … not only within WL but also another commonly used application. So, I just don’t buy them. Very occasionally, I’m disappointed by what amounts to misrepresentation … but this isn’t the responsibility of the DAW provider.

I am not an apologist for Steinberg. However, WL does exactly what I want it to do and has taken into account the basic, foreseeable stuff that’s required for it to integrate usefully with other things. I expect the same from plugin manufacturers when I pay for their plugins but the sad reality is that all purveyors of plugins are not created equal. And, I question if it’s Steinberg’s responsibility to compensate for this and allocate precious resources that could otherwise be directed toward development of the core DAW.