To Amp, or not to Amp…

Give a man an Amp…

“Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach the man how to fish and you’re a life saver”. This is a comment I picked up when I started to nose around on several technical forums and it came to people who answered the same kind of questions over and over again on the support forums. Some people simply don’t wish to bother with reading a FAQ or an introduction but just want to start doing stuff. Nothing wrong there, but it can get annoying if they run into problems and start asking the same kind of questions on a forum which dozens of others have already done before them.

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the same kind of logic can be applied to non-technical support forums as well.

However, when I look back at the past 2 months I have to wonder if a new analogy shouldn’t be introduced here; at least when it comes to the world of DAW’s. Namely: “Give a man an Amp, and he demands another!“.  Whatever happened to not looking a given horse in the mouth ?

I think its a sad development indeed that as soon as it comes to buying and using software people somehow seem to be under the impression that just because its software they are somewhat entitled to receive “freebies”, cheaper upgrades, hands on support and stuff I can’t even imagine. Imagine buying a license for Ableton Suite 8 and one month later Ableton dares throwing in a free online training for anyone who purchases or upgrades an eligible Live product (between September 1 and the 31st of October 2010). The nerve of some companies….

Now, you maybe wondering what triggered this sudden rant on a site which is meant to be about synths and such….

Well, this:

Ableton Live 8.2

When Ableton Live 8 came out many people experienced and complained about crashes and bugs. Just like many others complained about the complainers because they didn’t experience any instabilities. But truth of the matter is that there were issues with Live 8; it eventually even came to a public statement by Gerhard Behles and Bernd Roggendorf (the directors of Ableton) in which they announced that development on new features would be put on hold and that all efforts would be focused on fixing bugs. A bold statement indeed!

I’ve witnessed Live 8.0.3 (or close enough) go up to 8.1.5 and now the latest version 8.2 is out. One of the key features in 8.2, besides many fixed bugs, is the addition of the Amp audio effect. Amp is an amplifier which is normally used on electric guitars. It provides the classic distortion sounds known and loved by many metal fans. Amp is fully available as a free enhancement for Suite 8 users and comes in usable effect racks for Live 8 users (meaning: Live 8 users can use instrument racks which feature this plugin, but they cannot apply the plugin on stuff of their own).

Everybody happy you’d think…  bzzzt, wrong.  From people who feel left out because they “had to deal with the bugs” from people who felt “mistreated” because the Amp module isn’t fully available in Live 8 (only after being purchased separately; like any other Live device) right to people who now question Ableton’s efforts on bug fixing since “they did seem to have time for this addition”. Of course; the fact that this plugin was designed in a cooperative manner by Softube is obviously of no importance here.

Can you imagine that; a company trying to make money…

Of course this doesn’t stand in comparison with the insults the Propellerheads got thrown at them when they released Record 1.5 as a free upgrade. The fact that it depended on Reason 5, just like Record 1.0 depends on Reason 4, was of course totally outrageous. People who owned the combination of Reason/Record who couldn’t use their free Record upgrade because they had to upgrade to Reason 5?  The nerve of some companies!

There just is no pleasing certain people…  Me, myself and I and the rest doesn’t matter.

When you think about it its almost amazing that we’re experiencing a period of peace in Europe which has already lasted 65 years…



  1. Just curious if you think those who don’t own suite should buy amp instead of guitar rig 4 or something else similar for close to the same price.

    I was shocked to hear that it cost as much as it did

  2. Sorry for the late response; I somewhat overlooked this comment.

    To be quite honest I really cannot answer your question since I have no experience with products like Guitar Rig 4 or any other effect which produces amplified effects.

    Having said that.. I am biased here, but in the end I think it depends on yourself. Personally I wouldn’t spend money on an audio effect since there are many free VST plugins around.

    Having said that I do think that the Amp plugin, also in combination with the Cabinet, provides for a very solid effect within Live.

    In the overall I think is worth the money. Amp/Cabinet is no doubt not some “simple” sound effect; you can clearly experience that work was put into this.

    But… I cannot comment on Amp in comparison with other stuff out there.

    What I would suggest is grabbing a demo of Live Suite 8 and simply try for yourself how much your like Amp.

    Again; sorry for the late response…

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