Inspiration/Customer killer

For discussion of the Voltage Modular synthesis ecosystem.
skyt
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Inspiration/Customer killer

Post by skyt » Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:28 pm

Noticed there was some sales on Cherry Audio products today and thought about buying some more modules. Haven't used Voltage in a couple of months so started it up and oila, no modules. I had a previous issue where none of the module images showed up unless I logged in and restored everything from the store. Was advised to, set "Ask Before Downloading Updated Modules in Settings. Seemed to work, for a time.

Bottom line is this. I have purchased Voltage and a some modules from Cherry Audio. Unless I intend to update, upgrade or purchase new modules I expect my purchases to be there when I start Voltage Modular up, and not check in with Cherry Audio to have everything restored. I expect that even if Cherry Audio goes teats up, my purchases will remain available to me. There was no warning when I purchased my products that Cherry Audio would demand an internet connection whenever I decided to use the products (or time them out as the case seems to be).

Imagine you go out to your garage and have to call Volvo to get your car back. By the time they return it, you're late for your appointment, and so annoyed you don't even feel like driving the darn, tethered car.

Is this how Cherry Audio treats it's customers? Keeping a grip on the products they buy after they leave the store, snatching them back now and then and making us ask for them back? Or is there a real solution that won't just kick the can down the road to kill another good mood?

Unless this is solved, I will not bother with a product that interrupts my inspiration with a demand to restore everything from the internet, will not purchase another Cherry Audio product.
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cherryaudio Greg
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Re: Inspiration/Customer killer

Post by cherryaudio Greg » Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:06 pm

Hi,

That shouldn't normally happen. You're using an old version. Try installing the latest version of Voltage Modular.

Greg

skyt
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Re: Inspiration/Customer killer

Post by skyt » Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:19 pm

Thank you for responding. I agree, it shouldn't happen, on any version. I have downloaded the latest version and all the modules yet again. I sincerely hope I'm not getting my wazoo smoked, since there was nothing in the version history that suggested a fix for this issue. Curiously, my password didn't work to log on to the forum today. Is that an irrelevant fact?

The Log appears to show Voltage deleting modules, maybe? This is repeated for every one of them.
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13:33:50.689 Loading Module: com/cherryaudio/minilfo/MiniLFO
13:33:50.689 Cabinet::LoadModuleFromPresetTree: Could not find module in catalog -> com/cherryaudio/minilfo/MiniLFO
13:33:50.689 Missing module - but preset has missing info...showing missing module.
13:33:50.689 Missing module info was bad -> deleting.
13:33:50.689 FAILED To load module :com/cherryaudio/minilfo/MiniLFO ID:72b56693f4304687ac430b3f15382747
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Since this is not the first time I have had to re-download modules, it would be helpful to identify the problem rather than kick the can down the road again. I can send you logs if you are interested in finding out why this is occurring. I am not sure how much identifying information they contain so I would prefer to private message them.

Is Cherry Audio an honest company? Right now, I am feeling that I have paid into a hassle business model.
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ColinP
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Re: Inspiration/Customer killer

Post by ColinP » Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:00 pm

I've been very reluctant to step in here but feel I need to put in a good word for Cherry Audio.

They are a tiny old fashioned cottage industry company who are working at the cutting edge of music technology yet managing to build a solid reputation based on Dan Goldstein's genius and the hard work of his colleagues.

I'm sympathetic to your problems and understand your frustration but these are technical issues. Cherry Audio are a small bunch of hard working people trying to make an honest living.

You have been unlucky to have suffered technical problems with their client-server business model but many people see the upside. No longer having to worry about backing up countless modules, effortless upgrading and new software like the piano roll editor being made available for no cost at all automatically. Do Volvo do free oil changes and upgrades to your engine? And is it really such a big deal to get online?

Also, from my perspective as a veteran software developer, I had given up on developing due to widespread piracy. It wasn't worth spending six months designing and implementing some new music technology only to end up thousands out of pocket. Cherry Audio's business model persuaded me to come out of retirement as I could see that I could make a modest income from my creative endeavours rather than being taken for a ride by people who have no conception of intellectual property rights.

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honki-bobo
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Re: Inspiration/Customer killer

Post by honki-bobo » Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:00 pm

ColinP wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:00 pm
I've been very reluctant to step in here but feel I need to put in a good word for Cherry Audio.

They are a tiny old fashioned cottage industry company who are working at the cutting edge of music technology yet managing to build a solid reputation based on Dan Goldstein's genius and the hard work of his colleagues.

I'm sympathetic to your problems and understand your frustration but these are technical issues. Cherry Audio are a small bunch of hard working people trying to make an honest living.

You have been unlucky to have suffered technical problems with their client-server business model but many people see the upside. No longer having to worry about backing up countless modules, effortless upgrading and new software like the piano roll editor being made available for no cost at all automatically. Do Volvo do free oil changes and upgrades to your engine? And is it really such a big deal to get online?

Also, from my perspective as a veteran software developer, I had given up on developing due to widespread piracy. It wasn't worth spending six months designing and implementing some new music technology only to end up thousands out of pocket. Cherry Audio's business model persuaded me to come out of retirement as I could see that I could make a modest income from my creative endeavours rather than being taken for a ride by people who have no conception of intellectual property rights.
Well said. Very well said!
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skyt
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Re: Inspiration/Customer killer

Post by skyt » Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:07 pm

No longer having to worry about backing up countless modules, effortless upgrading and new software like the piano roll editor being made available for no cost at all automatically.

Or even having modules apparently. I do my own back-ups regularly. I don't need it taken out of my hands and nobody is forcing them to make their product attractive by offering deals. That’s just good business.

Do Volvo do free oil changes and upgrades to your engine?

Nobody is expecting anything for free. We are talking about deleting purchases and making customers come and get them again. You really can't see the difference?

And is it really such a big deal to get online?

Yes, it is in fact a hassle to have paid products disappear. I don’t work oniine. That you like being inconvenienced is curious.

Also, from my perspective as a veteran software developer, I had given up on developing due to widespread piracy. It wasn't worth spending six months designing and implementing some new music technology only to end up thousands out of pocket. Cherry Audio's business model persuaded me to come out of retirement as I could see that I could make a modest income from my creative endeavours rather than being taken for a ride by people who have no conception of intellectual property rights.

Many companies deal with product protection just fine without deleting the products from customer's computers. This is a cop out. I have no problem with iLok, or eLicenser or any of the other companies' methods I deal with. None of them delete paid products from my computer. Not one.

-----------

What it sounds like you are saying, is that this is normal for Cherry Audio. And you don't mind it at all. I do. It was not stated when I purchased the product that I would have to redownload it over and over, for any reason, or I wouldn't have bought it. As well, it only makes Cherry Audio look worse that instead of admitting this is what they do, they smoke me with "It's an old version. Download it again." Really? They can't even come clean that this is their practice? What does that smack of? I’ll tell you. Deception. Repeatedly in my case. I even offered to help get to the bottom of it with logs.

You have answered my question. Is Cherry Audio an honest company? Well, it took you, not them, to tell the truth.

Cherry Audio should refund my purchase. Clearly they will know that I'm not using it, since I can't without coming back to ask them for my purchases. Why would I risk archiving work with a product that may or may not be there in the future if I revisit it down the road? What happens to my work if I come back to it later and Cherry Audio has gone the way of Camel Audio (a company I had enourmous respect for. Who gave customers months of notice to insure they retrieved all of their products and stored them).

Having fanboy stakeholders try to diminish customer concerns with praise for a hidden business practice that benefits them, instead of dealing directly and honestly with me has changed my view to disgust. I am a fanboy too of companies I have no business interest in - because they treat customers right and have great products. I look forward to checking what new products they develop. That is how they draw me back to their store. I’ve helped those ones sell to my associates by word of mouth. I leave glowing reviews when warranted. My word in this case will first be to go back to the store I bought this vanishing product from and inform them of Cherry Audio’s practices of deleting purchases and being dishonest about it.

I wonder how Cherry Audio would appreciate me if my money acted the same way. Intermittently disappearing from their bank account and forcing them to ask for it again.

There is so much wrong with this.
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ColinP
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Re: Inspiration/Customer killer

Post by ColinP » Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:08 pm

I'm sorry if it seemed I was trying to diminish your concerns. That was not my intention at all.

Have you emailed Cherry Audio support? If they can't sort out your problems, then personally I think they should definitely offer you a refund.

If I had been suffering these problems with modules disappearing then I would expect Cherry Audio to deal with it quickly or offer me a refund if they couldn't deliver the service that anyone might reasonably expect.

My concern here is that you are accusing Cherry Audio of dishonesty and deliberately deleting your modules. And now that I have, on my own volition, chosen to say that I think they are a small group of well-intentioned people trying to make an honest living and these issues are a non-typical technical problem rather than some devious scheme to rob you of your modules, you are having a go at me.

On internet access. Sorry if it's a big hassle for you. It's just that everyone I know spends hours everyday online. I live on a boat completely off grid. The electricity I'm using to send this message is from solar power. I have no phone line and am often moored in the middle of nowhere. Yet I still manage somehow to get online easily.

Finally if Cherry Audio can't fix your problem and refuse to refund you then tell me and I will arrange to refund the money myself as an act of goodwill.

ColinP
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Re: Inspiration/Customer killer

Post by ColinP » Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:38 pm

One thing I forgot to ask. If you do back-ups regularly then when your modules disappeared did a restore not work? Not that you should be expected to do a restore but it's just a technical question - did Voltage Modular still delete the modules after a restoration?

robgray
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Re: Inspiration/Customer killer

Post by robgray » Fri Jun 18, 2021 6:48 am

Since the original post was framed in terms of killing inspiration, I’d just like to say I think the client-server model is a huge boon to creativity. I was away from my computer and got some inspiration for a patch. Did I need to download and install all the modules on my desktop? No, I just logged in and they synchronized.

tgrey
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Re: Inspiration/Customer killer

Post by tgrey » Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:36 am

Let's look at that car analogy... forget the idea of an oil change, if you just let your volvo sit in the garage for a few months untouched without even putting a single mile on it, when you go to drive it you'll more than likely discover a dead battery. Wait a few more months for some separated gas, and maybe rotting coolant hoses if you put it away wet. Eventually even the tires will go bad if not regularly spun. Maintenance is a real issue that has to be considered, for both hardware *AND* software...

Personally, when I find myself feeling uninspired I tend to a lot of these upkeep tasks in the studio... Updating DAWs, updating my favorite plugins, cleaning gear surfaces and tape heads, file system organization and cleanup, etc... that way when I *DO* feel inspired, I know I won't have to waste time literally blowing the digital dust off. It's not a Cherry Audio thing, it's an everything thing. I'll wager even your operating system butts in from time to time unexpectedly, demanding a little time and attention.

Aside from a few rather minor hiccups with the store, I've found Cherry Audio to be pretty responsive and engaging with the community, and quick to respond to problems. Hell, the most recent PS-20 update introduced a new bug, and within a day a new patch was out fixing it... so I'm not quite sure what has you so convinced that something horrible has been done to you or other customers. It really sucks that an update from Cherry caused a hiccup for you, but you're literally the first reporting this problem that I'd heard of. And the flip side of this scenario would be "Look at Cherry Audio, those bugs have been in the software for a year and they still haven't fixed it". Or maybe "Look at lazy Cherry Audio, they sold me this software and then didn't improve it at all... I mean, wouldn't it be great if we could plug more than 6 cables into an outlet?"
I expect that even if Cherry Audio goes teats up, my purchases will remain available to me.
I will say, this is a very real concern to me too, and I would love a direct and honest answer from Cherry Audio about what this scenario might look like for customers who have spent hundreds if not thousands into the system. Including the idea that a new device might need to be "activated" in the future, after they're gone... not simply continuing to run an existing installation that hasn't "dialed home". And if it does continue to work, will that include third party modules too, or do they require authentication to "decrypt" them to a new system? This is a pretty nuanced question, and I really hope CA can give it a thorough and honest answer (even if it is an answer we might not like).

Either way, hopefully by now you're reached out to CA support, and hopefully they've also had the time to reach back out to you and get it all sorted out. I'm certain there was no ill intent from them, I've had nothing but positive experiences since I joined up here.

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