Minimal Audio’s Current is a powerful soft synth – but producers bemoan subscription-only option
“A subscription-based synth is a hard pass,” one user on the KVRAudio forum writes.
Minimal Audio has been met with disappointment from users over the release of its new flagship subscription-based synth.
The new Current synth has been billed as a “unified sound design ecosystem”, featuring five “powerful sound engines”, numerous modulation options, expressive MIDI effects, FM synthesis and innovative filtering. It also boasts a freely loadable and re-arrangeable effects rack containing all of the company’s standard presets.
There’s also a granular sample, “capable of completely reshaping samples into endless clouds, undulating grain sequences, dense textures, and everything in between”.
Despite its attractive feature set, however, the decision to make the new product available for a subscription costing $15 a month – or $10 a month if you pay upfront for a year – has been widely maligned on social media and on forums.
“It was going to be an instant buy, as I’ve loved everything else they’ve put out, but a subscription-based synth is a hard pass,” one user on the KVRAudio forum. “There is way too much competition for that route.”
“I have no interest in a sub service for a synth – the content update stuff that seems to drive the subscription is of no interest to me,” another agreed.
A third added: “Really hoping Minimal Audio rethinks the subscription or offers some kind of alternative permanent license that gives you less samples or something but gives you the full featured synth. Otherwise I’m not interested.”
Meanwhile, on X/Twitter, one popular comment read: “Looks great, but… $15/month? I really do not care for the presets at all, and I would much rather purchase a perpetual licence with few to no presets than pay for something I will not use. I’m sure a lot of people would agree”.
looks great, but… $15/month? I really do not care for the presets at all, and I would much rather purchase a perpetual licence with few to no presets than pay for something I will not use. I'm sure a lot of people would agree
— voltra (@voltra) October 11, 2023
Another user points out that a subscription-only model renders long-term users paying far above what would be a fair price for a plugin. “If I had rented Serum for $15/mo for as long as I’ve owned Serum i would have spent $1,410 on Serum,” they write.
if i had rented serum for $15/mo for as long as i've owned serum i would have spent $1,410 on serum
— gater (@gater) October 12, 2023
It’s not the first time the use of subscription models in the music tech world has been looked upon unfavourably. Earlier this year, Waves put a stop to plugin sales in a move to a subscription-only model but U-turned just days later following poor customer feedback.
“We understand that our move was sudden and disruptive, and did not sufficiently take into consideration your needs, wishes, and preferences. We are genuinely sorry for the distress it has caused,” they said in a statement.
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