Bitwig apologises for paid Spectral Suite add-on, makes it free to all Upgrade Plan users
“Moving forward, all of our Bitwig Studio feature development, including devices, will be covered by the 12-month Upgrade Plan”
Following backlash from its user base over the new Spectral Suite paid add-on, Bitwig has apologised and included the product in Bitwig Studio 4.4. The new version, along with Spectral Suite, is available for anyone with the 12-month Upgrade Plan subscription – and Bitwig pledges that this will always be the case.
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Today (11 October), Bitwig has chosen to include Spectral Suite in Bitwig Studio 4.4, an update available to all owners of the 12-month Upgrade Plan.
“We will contact everyone who purchased Spectral Suite to offer a choice of a refund or an extension of their Upgrade Plan,” Bitwig wrote in a statement.
On 5 October, Bitwig unveiled the Spectral Suite, a collection of audio effects plugins designed for taming loudness, harmonics, transients, and frequencies. Each device – Loud Split, Harmonic Split, Transient Split and Freq Split – provides parameters for deep tweaking of its respective domain.
However, Bitwig made the Spectral Suite plugins only available as a paid extension – a practice many users have compared to that of DLCs (downloadable content) in gaming.
Users that signed up for the 12-month Upgrade Plan – which promised that “any new version released within 12 months of your registration will be available to you, free of charge” – expressed frustration in the decision to make Spectral Suite a paid add-on for all users.
Responding to its customers’ complaints on Twitter, the company shared a link that supposedly explains “Why add-ons on top of the 12-month upgrade plan?” – but users responded negatively, calling the move of charging customers with a subscription as having “zero integrity.”
this move to charge customers who are already on a subscription for updates has zero integrity.
— Bill Carroll (@billcarroll) October 5, 2022
We pay a yearly subscription for updates and now @Bitwig is splitting new content into hefty priced DLCs? I love your DAW, I love this new feature. But I do not like where this is going. Splitting the "playerbase" is bad. People on the same version are maybe not compatible now.
— Kris Tias (@KrisTiasMusic) October 5, 2022
In addition, following criticism from their audience after attempting to defend Bitwig in a now-deleted stream, prominent content creators Benn Jordan and Venus Theory said they will no longer use Bitwig.
Jordan tweeted that he would “cease using Bitwig in my streams until the company corrects this. Ignoring it has conveniently led to misdirected anger. Their move now.”
For the last 5 days I've been asked to comment on, to say it lightly, a severe miscommunication between a software company and a large portion of their users.
I didn't understand why, because I've never been paid by Bitwig, nor have formally endorsed them.
— Benn Jordan (@bennjordan) October 9, 2022
Alongside the decision to make its Spectral Suite now available to users subscribed to the 12-month upgrade plan, the company clarified its position and outlook in its statement.
“We’ve had time to reflect on last week’s Spectral Suite announcement and the responses from our community,” Bitwig stated. “We apologise for how we handled this and want to make this right.”
Users online have responded positively to Bitwig including Spectral Suite in the new update. “It’s hard to listen to criticism sometimes, but you have reflected, and done the right thing,” said one person. Another said: “Thank you very much. You have listened to your community and made things right again. This is very rare but so very welcomed. Good on you Bitwig team and thank you again.”
@Bitwig – thank you. It's hard to listen to criticism sometimes, but you have reflected, and done the right thing. Nice one 👍
— Andrew Delicata (@Delie) October 11, 2022
Bitwig’s Upgrade Plan is available for $134, giving you Bitwig Studio 4.4 and 12 months of updates. Learn more at bitwig.com.
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