Busted red handed using cracked plug-ins.

I personally don’t use any cracked software. I like a really stable system and if I buy something I know I will learn all it’s features and get the most out of it. I also like having new updates available to me. There’s no doubt I have been tempted especially when it comes to things like Adobe CS which costs as much as my laptop.

Another good reason not to use warez is if you get caught by the public it’s totally embarrassing! In the February 2006 issue of German Keyboards magazine they printed an article on producing William Orbit style Filter Delays. They used Ohm Force’s amazing OhmBoyZ plug-in and as you can see in the screenshot it clearly shows a hacker groups name “Team ArCTIC” displayed on the interface.

To read Keyboards official response and some comments head over to the Digital Music Mag blog’s post: click here

A more recent case was outed over at the KVR Forums. A jungle/breaks act named Aquasky did a video interview for the DVD that comes with Future Music Magazine (Issue 201). In the video it shows they are also using an Ohm Force’s crack, this time for distortion plug-in Predatohm. Remember I mentioned how you can use Predatohm as a widener in: this post?

For more info on warez and cracks and a list of alternative freeware stuff you can download check out dontcrack.com

photo credit: Kaptain Krispy Kreme

22 Comments

  1. i totally understand what you mean, however the industry runs into problems when things get too pricey. do you think any of these amazing plugins would be struggling if anyone could buy them for a reasonable price? i dont think they would. i would actually be able to support ableton, korg, arturia if they were so bloody expensive. i buy lots of physical music. records and cd’s. i have no problem buying a physical copy, however when a company thinks they have something amazing and put a price on it that warrants it being a full rackmount unit that makes you toast in the morning, they are being silly. m-tron: totally worth 99 dollars. thats reasonable. adobe cs3: 2400. (!!!!!!!!!) they might say “well, pirating forces us to be more expensive….” remember when the music industry said the same thing?

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  2. Hi Andras! I agree that CS3 is priced so out of reach for individuals. Luckily in the past few years cheaper alternatives have come up like Pixelmator and Vectordesigner. But really Aquasky and Keyboards should have shelled out the 79 euros for OhmBoyZ & Predatohm.

    Remember… “Character is what you do when no one is looking.” :)

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  3. totally agree. famous artists/press/rich people should pay through the ear for this stuff. maybe a radiohead “pay what you like” format would work well for these companies. i know i would pay ableton a lot for how i use their program, however shelling out half of a check at once isnt feasible. if you make any money off of the programs you should pay, or you should want to… as i would if people were buy my stuff.

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  4. admit it Chesler, you only don’t have cracks cause you use a Mac and no one bothers cracking stuff for em’ ;)

    *emm joke n stuff* :p

    no in all seriousness I’m not gonna pretend that I’ve never d/led an .ISO, .rar, .mp3 or .nfo in my life, but when it comes to music software I am extremely vigilant and own everything I use, and also use a lot of freeware. In the case of audio plugins, it is particularly bad imo as there usually are very few (or even just 1) persons making them. Ive found that also in the case of smaller plugin makers they appreciate you donating or buying stuff and often give you access to beta stuff or even just stuff they’re testing for fun, which is cool I think.

    Yeh I’ve been eternally hoping for a cheaper vector app that it is as good as Illustrator (for me). Im on the beta for that Avian thing, but so far it isnt quite there for me.
    As for raster editing, the GIMP is pretty good and there is Paintshop Pro and the like, but Photoshop still has the edge IMO.

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  5. Hi baphomet_irl. I’m actually offered a ton of cracked Mac stuff… I admit it’s tempting but since everything on my computer is legit why spoil it? I’m paranoid to a fault… I just assume if I installed a crack I let some hacker or script on my machine. I know it’s probably not true esp on a Mac but it would live in the back of my mind.

    Did you try Vector Designer? Im not a graphic designer but it’s got a lot of buzz: link

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  6. yeh I understand your paranoia

    that looks very nice and simple – I might get that :)

    actually hang on – no I can’t – its for Mac’s :’(

    maybe that and Logic Pro are just about enough to finally tip me over to getting one :o

    I have an old G3 but im not gonna run anything on that at a decent rate (been thinking of using it to run a KORG Oasys PCI (if I’m ever lucky enough to find one :s))

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  7. hey guys,

    making and maintaining software like Photoshop costs millions every year. Those people need to make a living and feed their families. They employ huge teams of developers to ensure the quality that makes the software stand out. These costs need to be coped by all paying users.

    It’s as simple as that.

    If you don’t want to support them, then use another software.

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  8. Hi Andre. Thanks for posting. For those who don’t know I will “out” you… Andre makes some software I love called Harmony Navigator: link. I agree Photoshop is worth it for professionals and if your not one or cant afford it there are good options finally, as I listed above… heck even the new photoshop express online version is good for 90% of what people need: link

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  9. yeh Express is surprisingly good but Im still gonna get Photoshop CS (and eventually Illustrator) I think, it’ll be my next ‘big purchase’… (wife is not going to be happy :o )

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  10. Hm, possibly my post sounded a bit harsh.

    I know most of us musicians can’t afford some of the higher end products and that can be tempting. If by accident you get your fingers on a crack and start thinking “should I, or should I not?” … that decision mostly depends on how good your understanding is of the software scene (I would rather not call it “industry”, because in our market, most of them are tiny shops with 1-10 people, struggling to survive).

    Those who attempt a crack might consider it a challenging hobby. It would probably not hurt anyone, if they kept the crack for themselves. The destructive impact comes when they chose to /publish/ the crack. This makes the income of us developers drop by 80% and more in almost no time.

    That’s because everybody thinks “it won’t hurt anyone, it’s just a bunch of bytes on the wire”.
    Unfortunately, this is not quite true. It’s a bunch of bytes that continues to tempt thousands of users to /not/ contribute their part to cover the costs of making and improving the software. And in a world of limited resources, that’s fatal.

    Myths about software companies:
    http://www.imsta.org/imsta_myths.html

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  11. i dont think adobe is suffering. if they are, they have a great poker face. they are overpriced and the reason they are is because they are the industry leader, a standard for the professional environment. if GM or a university needs 1000 copies, do you think they dont love the idea of charging 2 grand for that? if they weren’t the #1, they would be a few hundred. all businesses need to pay their employees. that’s kind of defending what im saying. profit margins usually exceed total sum of wages like 5 fold.
    the cost of manufacturing is not expensive, so what makes it so much? lets all start defending monster cables why dont we?
    software is a racket. most software devs would probably agree. remember, adobe is a business, they exist to make more and more and more money, not to be an artistic, creative staple to the planet.
    getting back to the music software, most of its reasonable. its not all like the hartmann, 999 dollar insanity. for a hundred dollars you can get something really good.

    (all of this coming from someone who bought 4 copies of CS3 at his company)

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  12. I’ve never downloaded pirate software – but I have been offered warez DVDs on so many occasions over the last 10+ years. I have many friends all over the planet offer to burn me new software. We meet up for coffee and they bring little presents for me. I go around to their houses and they offer to burn the latest this and that. When I’m at a club, some people will offer me a small packet of powder while others will offer me a disc. I even sit at home and they post little presents to me!
    Then the next time I see them they demand to know what I thought of that new soft they recommended so enthusiastically. It’s peer pressure, I tells ya! :)

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  13. Hi Pete. Thanks for the honesty. It’s definitely part of our culture. With more of our universe becoming digital new methods of compensation will have to be thought out. Blame the rich and elites for raising prices on life so much no one can afford anything! One way I could see this all heading is cloud computing where no one owns any software apps… you just have to rent to use them off a server each time. Of course that thought makes me worry but just like dongles it may end up our future.

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  14. That is indeed an interesting solution re the Cloud Computing.
    Another point from a Devil’s Advocate, however, is that if someone has an extensive hardware collection and is endebted to the bank for this gear, when they have analogue synths that must be recorded in software, and when they have MIDI controllers that do nothing but control software, then how can it be said that they are unsupportive of the music industry?
    The biggest illegal movie+music downloaders I know also have the biggest DVD, CD and Collectables collection of anyone I know – are they unsupportive? As I said, I don’t necessarily believe that, just playing devil’s advocate.
    As for compensation, there was a web comic somewhere to the effect of: “Real World Business: sell the coffee and give away the sugar & cream. Internet Business: give away the coffee and charge for the sugar & cream”. As musicians, if you can combine enough “sugar & cream”, such as paid production+remixing+mastering work, paid live performances+DJ slots, guesting for other bands live + in the studio, even having a sponsored blog, then that could compensate.

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  15. all i can say is the discussion about this seems way more constructive than the ideas the actual companies are having. they are loosing because they dont want to think outside the box. (or maybe they do but dont act on it)
    hopefully more discussions like this will accelerate change.

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  16. I got tired of paying outrageous loads of money for music software too. Hell, I can’t even afford to upgrade Windows to Vista much less buy a Mac. My solution? Switched to Linux, got some open-source stuff, bought some non-open source stuff that’s not outrageously priced. ( http://www.renoise.com if you’re interested. ) Never been happier.

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  17. The one really nice thing about purchasing your software is that you get some individualized attention from the dev’s. So far, whenever I have a question about any of the software that I use, Ive just emailed the dev and they have gotten back to me. That makes the price of admission worth it for me.

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  18. beautiful! – “got some open-source stuff, bought some non-open source stuff that’s not outrageously priced. ( http://www.renoise.com if you’re interested. ) Never been happier.”

    Definitely agree, there’s plenty of free VST’s and low cost options…Reaper is finally available on OSX!!!!

    trying before you buy is ok but most people refuse to buy and that’s when developers lose.

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  19. I generally agree on pirating, but there’s a select few companies out there that have it coming due to the totally shitty manner in which they treat their customers. Things like not allowing license transfers and hiding that fact in fine print, charging exhorbitant fees for license transfer, and offering no upgrade price after only two or three versions, as well as ridiculous gate-keeper registration methods. There’s one in particular that burned me so bad that I would actually encourage people to not reward them with their business, if not rip their stuff off “Kompletely”. Not naming any names :)

    I’ve learned my lesson, and don’t spend anymore on software now than I’m willing to lose.

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  20. Hi Lee. You can name names if a company did your wrong. Then again I don’t think your hiding anything heh.

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  21. yah i am now dealing with a virus infected computer because i finally gave in to the friend who has been trying to get me Komplete forever. not worth it. i dont even like NI stuff that much anyway.

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  22. The problem is that people think it is their god given right to own any piece of software or music they want. But if the creator/copyright owner decides to charge for it and you can’t afford the price they put on it, then you can’t have it.

    And if the company charges too much for it and sells none, then they will soon learn to charge a lower price.

    I’m sorry if comes over as a bit of an ‘old man’ comment (I am 33), but that is how I see it.

    And if people actually saved for a piece of software and bought (for example) something every 6-8 weeks then they would have more time learning the features and how to get unique sounds from it.

    People installing 10 programmes a week onto their machines and just using the first few presets that sound good has had a terrible effect on electronic music.

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