Careless product management and lack of legacy support drives me away as a long-time customer
I have owned licenses for various Native Instruments products for many years e.g. Komplete 13 Ultimate, Traktor, Maschine, Kontakt etc. Of course, I also used them in my productions. After these many years, however, I had to learn (painfully) that Native Instruments has no interest in sustainable product maintenance, which has really fatal consequences. It doesn’t matter whether you invest in updates or simply continue to use products that you have purchased at some point.
While it is often still possible to use Native Instruments products for a long time with many tricks on the Windows platform, this is not possible under macOS. The consequence is that you either have to pray that your own old Apple computer never breaks down and missing security updates for old macOS versions don’t become a problem, or that you can no longer use your old productions – or not without considerable effort . At best, you still have exported stems that you can continue to use to a limited extent.
It’s not even really bad that at some point old products will simply be replaced by new products, but that Native Instruments doesn’t make sure that the old sound libraries are still available (example: Battery 3 -> Battery 4) or that simply update old projects to the new plugin versions. And that regardless of the fact that (major) upgrades are paid for with Native Instruments and that as a paying customer you can expect adequate product maintenance.
Even drivers for old controllers – such as the machine MK1 – are simply no longer maintained, although there is no technical reason for this and the principle of sustainability – also in the interest of our environment and resources – is quite relevant. As a customer, I would also be willing to pay for updated drivers – but I am not willing to throw away a technically fully functional controller because the manufacturer does not update its drivers.
If you also consider that with each new iteration at Native Instruments countless new products are created (the current Komplete 13 contains an insane 188 products – at the same time the quality and ergonomics have been decreasing for years (example: Massive X and its incredibly lousy preset browser, the most diverse (e.g. partly grotesque) implementations of price browsers and presets, which are only suitable for showcases but hardly for productions) – I’m now getting to the point of maximum frustration and refusal to invest even one more cent in Native Instruments products in the future.
Consider this: I have productions that are 5 years old and can no longer open them on a current MacBook with m2 processor and macOS 12 – although I have paid for “upgrades” and do not want to use my 5 or 10 year old licenses . Instead, I have to switch to my now 11-year-old computer with Windows 10, which will soon reach the end of its life – and then it only works without the Internet because the necessary security updates are simply missing.
I can no longer use productions that use Battery 3 or Reactor 5 because there is no reasonable product maintenance and apparently nobody at Native Instruments thinks about such situations. And even if I exchange the instruments manually for the new versions: the old libraries with sounds are missing.
What kind of product management is this? Does the responsible person even know what it means for artists when their own works can no longer be edited without restrictions or sometimes no longer work at all because the sounds used are no longer included? What drives those responsible not to provide legacy packs? Are you so obsessed with developing more and more new products to win new customers that you simply ignore the needs of existing customers? What is this?
Now the question arises for the future: Am I throwing good money after bad money? Or do I take the opportunity when I have to invest a lot of time in reworking my productions anyway in order to migrate away from Native Instruments altogether?
What do you think about Native? That I want more and more products that are less and less useful and less well thought out and developed with less and less love? If so, your foundation is wrong. I don’t need 20 new, half-baked products, but reliable product maintenance and expansion of the existing products – at least that’s my priority. If there is an occasional new, innovative product: Great! But all the “glass beads” and all this “bloating” is useless if I can no longer use my productions because Native Instruments either doesn’t have the will, the understanding or the ability to carry out reliable product maintenance.
Because that’s the way it is, I’m done with Native Instruments for the time being and won’t invest any more money in products from this company for the foreseeable future. It’s obviously not worth it, and in some cases you’re better advised to rely on manufacturers and products with good care – a prime example of this is e.g. Apple with Logic or Presonus with Studio One or even Propellerheads with Reason.
It’s a shame that Native Instruments places more value on “Bling Bling” than on good product maintenance, which I would gladly pay for. For example through separate legacy support. But no: I am left with no choice and in the end I am expelled. congratulations
And sorry: I had to get rid of that! I’m really frustrated and upset with this poor product maintenance.