With the introduction of the new SONAR last January, we also introduced a new delivery model we call Rolling Updates. Essentially, when you purchase an upgrade to SONAR Artist/Professional/Platinum, you receive 12 months of SONAR updates free. Each month, you receive an update (or sometimes more) which can include anything from fixes to new features and tools, add-ons, additional content, tutorials, and more. Once the initial 12 month period is up, you can renew for an additional 12 months and continue to receive updates, or keep everything you own up to this point. Lots of folks were skeptical at first about these Rolling Updates, but since their introduction, they’ve proven their worth. Here’s how:
5) Faster Learning Curves
When we were releasing a version every year or so, you’d receive a whole boatload of new features all at once – which was pretty cool, except you suddenly had tons of totally new features you had to learn to use. These game-changing new features were often designed to speed up your workflow and make your life a little easier, but investing the time to learn how all the new things worked could be overwhelming.
With Rolling Updates, you can now ease into all these new features. Instead of piling on 10-20 new tools, we’re introducing them in bite-sized pieces so you can take them in one or two at a time. This allows you to get a real feel for how they work before diving into something new, and has less impact on your workflow.
4) Quicker Fixes
To date, we’ve released 9 major updates for SONAR: Allston, Braintree, Cambridge, Dorchester, Everett, Foxboro, Gloucester, Hopkinton, and most recently, Ipswich (I’m sensing a pattern here). Believe it or not, our software, like all other software, is written by humans. Inherently, this means that our software, like all other software, is subject to imperfections. Luckily, our human software developers and testers are pretty sharp folks (this is a shout-out to you, too, Beta Team!) and in addition to the major updates, we’ve also released a few “Hotfixes” for our updates, such as Foxboro Update 1 – Shark Week Edition.
Why is this such an improvement? SONAR X3, over its 15-month-or-so life cycle, had 5 updates released for it, meaning a single batch of bug fixes was issued every 3 months on average. I’m no math whiz, but I’m pretty sure 5 updates over the course of 15 months is significantly less valuable than 10+ updates over the course of 9 months. Not only are problems addressed much quicker, they’re also addressed more frequently, so you can work with more efficiency and confidence.
3) Current OS Support
Earlier this year there was a mass hysteria sweeping my inbox — is SONAR going to be supported on Windows 10?!
Because of our Rolling Updates, I was happily able to tell people, “yes, we’ve been testing on beta versions, and SONAR will be officially supported on Windows 10.” Since we were already doing monthly updates at this point, our developers were able to release an update for SONAR that was Windows 10-Ready the moment the new OS made its entry into the world – no waiting and wondering, and “it just worked.”
2) Payment Options
I’m a fan of options. Options are the basis of autonomy, and autonomy makes us happy. The very fiber of the Rolling Updates model allows us to give you the option to pay for your updates one at a time so that you’re not forced to drop as large a sum of money at once. Of course, you can still pay for your upgrade/annual updates just like before. Like I said, choices – and that’s the beauty of this system. You can even choose when and how you want to update, and roll back to an earlier version if you want.
1) More Stuff!
Who doesn’t love stuff? I know I do. With the Rolling Updates, our goal is to make sure we reward our loyal users with something new and exciting each and every month. In my totally biased opinion, I would say we’re doing a pretty excellent job. Here are some of my personal favorites from each update up to this point:
Allston: VocalSync Region FX Plugin
Braintree: Boz Digital “Bark Of Dog” ProChannel Module
Cambridge: Virtual Onscreen Controller
Dorchester: Anderton Synthetic Impulse Responses for REmatrix Solo (Platinum only)
Everett: Drum Replacer
Foxboro: Strum Session 2
Gloucester: Windows 10 Compatibility
Hopkinton: New Start Screen
Ipswich: Real-Time Synth Audio Recording
And there’s lots more to come! Click here to see some of the SONAR features you’ll see in future updates.