It’s a sobering time looking at the product development talent that has been bleeding out of Avid in the last month or so. How any company, let alone a company wanting to be the leader in technological design, can sustain this kind of hemorrhage defies belief.
Just to put it in context, here are the ones known to us, if you know more then do let us know.
- Max Gutnik was Senior Director of Product Management - one of the Pro Tools and audio hardware team. Now at Line 6
- David Gould was Product Manager, Audio Post Production - one of the Pro Tools and audio hardware team, lead on Pro Tools 10. Now at Dolby Labs
- Taiho Yamada was Product Manager at M Audio and responsible for Venom and other key developments. Destination unknown.
- Hiro Shimozato was Product Manager, Instruments & Controllers - one of the people behind Eleven Rack. Now at inMusic
- Samara Winterfeld was Principal Product Manager, Creative Enthusiasts. Now Principal Product Manager at inMusic with the AIR team.
- The entire AIR team. Now at inMusic and about the take the music world by storm.
- The entire Sibelius team. Destination unknown.
Losing just one or two of these talented people would have been difficult for Avid product development, but this is a serious state of affairs. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some Über talented people like Bobby Lombardi and Ray Tantzen still with Avid, so all is not lost - but this kind of talent bleed doesn’t look good from any angle.
I thought it might be helpful for those who want to know more about the role of a Product Manager to point you to some posts and articles.
Here are the two great sites to learn about product management best practices:
I was pointed towards this pretty cool interview with George Massenburg Yesterday,
Aside from it being a generally informative lowdown on what he is doing at the moment, At 3:14 there was a cool little nugget of information confirming the development of his plugins for AAX Native and DSP.
Russ takes a look at the new Nomad Factory Magma effects - 65 plug-ins in one!
Imagine for a moment that your arsenal of plug-ins was your spice rack in your kitchen, or if the idea of cooking sends you out in a cold sweat, then the spice rack of a restaurant. Now think about how much you apply to a mix and then think about eating a meal with that spice combo in it.
Plug-ins are not bad, but the over or under use of plug-ins can ruin a good song, just like the misuse of spices can ruin a good meal.
I once went to a restaurant owned by a top celebrity chef, I won’t say who he is, but he does spend his time telling both schools and Americans how to eat. I was so looking forward to the meal but when it arrived it was disappointing, it was bland and had no flavour. Conversely, there is a Indian restaurant in the North of England that serves the ‘Chicken Bastard’, it is supposed to be the hottest curry around and anyone who finishes it doesn’t have to pay.
Spices in the wrong hands are worse than not bothering to cook with them, plug-ins are the same. I actually have a spice bible that explains to me what each spice does and how it works with other spices. Fantastic food is made by those who know what to add and what to leave out.
Processing a mix can be just the same, using plug-ins with skill is what makes a great mix. Sometimes the track may be an amazingly fresh piece of steak or fish, then all it needs is a dash of salt and pepper. Another time a mix may need a complex blend of compression, reverb, eq, distortion, filters, just like creating an amazing and complex curry.
There may be times when your mix needs ten green chillies, but not all the time and you know what, some people could improve their mixes by turning all their plug-ins off!
Just posted on the Save Sibelius Facebook page is this statement from the founders of Sibelius, it makes sobering reading. The Facebook page has risen from 1304 members yesterday to nearly 2500 today… I think Avid’s hopes of stonewalling this story away may not work.
“Avid & Sibelius”
Posted by Ben Finn - 20 Jul 17:06
We were very concerned to hear earlier this month that Avid is terminating the jobs of the Sibelius development team in London and handing the software over to other programmers, apparently to cut costs. As far as we know, Sibelius continues to be extremely successful, so this cost-cutting is a response to financial problems elsewhere in Avid, not with Sibelius itself.
Ever since then we have been quietly trying to do everything we can to change this situation, including twice offering to buy Sibelius back from Avid. However, Avid has declined. While they haven’t given a reason, we assume that Sibelius is a substantial source of profits to them, so they don’t want to sell it to anyone.
We naturally feel very sad about this treatment of our friends and colleagues who have been key to making Sibelius a success, and who have become the world experts in this specialized field. We are also very grateful to the many Sibelius users who have expressed their concern and support; though at this point, it seems unlikely that any protests will change Avid’s mind.
We hope Sibelius nonetheless continues to be the world’s most successful music notation software.
Ben & Jonathan Finn
I’ve just come off a conference call with the new owners of AIR, all I can say is wow - what a difference an owner can make!
I explained that over the last few years it’s been a tough journey for everyone, the user included, with us wondering if our investment in AIR instruments had been wasted, or if we would ever see anything from them again.
They want to work closer than ever with us and the community to make sure you are more informed, more consulted and more engaged with them and their products.
What does this look like? Well off the bat we’ll be hosting a Town Hall meeting online for you to be part of. We’ll have managers and developers wanting to hear you thoughts, ideas and answer your questions - by the way, they are not a public company, so that old chesnut won’t be rearing it’s ugly head.
Stay tuned, for what looks to be an amazing come back!
Lots of free love going around at the moment, the latest from Universal Audio.
The Pultec Pro EQ adds the Pultec MEQ-5 Midrange Equalizer module to the Pultec EQP-1A, combining two of the most sought-after hardware EQs into a single plug-in. The warmth and tone this plug-in delivers is incredible, especially on vocals and guitars.
You need to be on their mailing list and of course a UAD owner, but with a $79 value, it’s a great bit of love from them. So check your mail for this cool email with the coupon code in it and if you’re not on the list, then you’re missing out.
Sometimes considered to be a dark art, often misunderstood, dithering is one thing that most of us could do with more information on. Our friends over at iZotope have created a FREE dithering guide to download in PDF format - even better you can also download some audio examples to use with the guide.
So stop dithering and head over to here and get it. (see what we did there)