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Misha

Yet another Cakewalk Demo mode / Authorization question.

Question

I have read this thread, which goes into some specifics on topic of:

"Can someone explain me why "free" DAW can revert itself to Demo Mode?"

 

I might be getting old, or this is just my workflow, not sure, which one of two :) Having used Cakewalk for over decade and a half, I think it has pretty much everything I need. My workflow for the most part as far as DAW part goes remained mostly unchanged in over 5 years.  What I am worried about is that if Bandlab changes something, it seems there is no easy way to go to prior version and keep it that way for "x" number of month or years, until either adopt to changes or have time  to find and learn suitable replacement.  So  a thought about having over 200 projects in Cakewalk makes me a little worried.  I understand that nobody has a crystal ball to see the future....

Here is my actual and straight forward question. I use Macrium  full HD  backups.  Assume I backup everything now with current release of Cakewalk and  in 2023 I decide that I no longer like where Cakewalk is heading, will I be able to authorize that 2021 version, without updating Cakewalk  for at least  6 month? 

P.S. I understand that Windows can have updates that can impact  functioning, but lets assume it does not.

 

Thank you.

 

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Thanks Scook.

Not clear at all:

"Additionally, back end changes to the BandLab cloud may periodically require the software to be updated to remain compatible." 

Compatible with what (what?)? My computer?  I think this statement is very "foggy". I can still install my Sonar X1 from ages ago without any "clouds" or "requirements". And have it same way as I bought it . 

While I am a fanboy of Cakewalk, this forced "authorization" -> "required update" part  does sit well with me.  This authorization/demo thing had been specifically mentioned by a few prominent reviewers outside Cakewalk forum . 

Judging by the statement in the link provided, I am assuming, a previous HD image might not authorize older version and it might happen that I will be forced to use "brand new" version with whatever items or "features" I will not be comfortable with in order to have access to my projects?  Correct? That is my concern.

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Well this is the life of all software users. I’m still using MS Office 2010. I also have a license for 2014 but it only allows 1 computer? 2010 doesn’t seem to care so I have it on everything else. 
I’m oblivious to any issues I might be suffering because it’s old ??Outdated? I can’t tell . 


I-have a nice collection of Sonar with 8.5 , X3 and Splat. I won’t count X1 as it’s a POS.  If all goes south I can go back to X3 because as you say it is cloud proof. It would suck big time but I’m sure my recordings would still come out  just fine.  

The good news is that Cakewalk is growing at a fast rate with a bigger user base than ever. Google search stats show literally 1,000’s of searches per day for certain keywords.  How to use Cakewalk by Bandlab being one of the top search phrases. So I sort of doubt we’re gunna die a sudden death 💀. I personally think it’s just going to get better.  We can stop waiting for the other shoe to drop 

If you are paranoid, Just back your projects up in different formats like midi and save your audio tracks as complete stems starting at zero. There’s always a way to use midi and Wave files in any DAW. 

Edited by John Vere

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I'm still opening Cakewalk WRK files from back in the 90s in the current release of CbB, so I think we're going to be fairly safe going forward that no backwards compatibility will be removed arbitrarily. And largely, you're able to open current projects in previous versions of SONAR too, so there's a pretty strong compatibility going that way as well. As for moving forward, DAWs need to evolve over time to accommodate different operating systems, best practices, user trends, etc. as well as squashing bugs too, so obviously things will change and evolve as it goes on.

Things really have been iterative rather than paradigm shifting since Bandlab bought the IP, in fact things are largely the same since X1 dropped, although *much* better. Just in the last year or so alone, getting Arranger and Articulation tracks, Tempo tracks, huge amounts of long-standing bugs fixed, the new Export dialogue... it's real-world stuff that I know saves me HEAPS of time each session. 

But the Bakers are just a small team doing all of this work. They don't have the resources to chase after some bug that may have been fixed months ago, which is why they would rather everyone use a new or recent version of the software. You only need to look in the release threads (or even the Early Access threads) to see how hands-on they are about it all, and how many bugs are getting taken care of.

Every new version automatically reactivates the software, and activation is normally required about every 6 months. Considering we get a new version every other month or so usually, even if you skip some updates or hold off to see if they're stable (and they have rollback installers anyway in case there's something that's a showstopper for you) then you'd still never run into the activation issue so long as you're online (or using an offline installer) or reasonably up to date.

Ultimately there's no guarantee ANY DAW will be around in 3 years time, or that any older version won't break with a new version of Windows that you may be forced to use if your hardware isn't supported. If you're that worried, John is on the money there  - archive off the track exports and MIDI tracks and you'll be able to import them into pretty much any DAW after that.

Edited by Lord Tim

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Maybe some don't understand fully...

An offline computer is frozen in time. It doesn't change in any way and it doesn't update.

The version of the operative system doesn't matter because when you first put it all together with daw and periferals and it works, then it's always a working daw computer as long as it's offline.

An image of that computer makes it live for ever because it allows you to replace faulty hardware and start it up again. (As long as the motherboard works. Having a second mb of the same model fixes that problem.)

The unanswered question is: Are the development team considering this. Will the authorization set aside what version Cakewalk has and make it activated no matter how old the version is?

If the authorization is used for statistics only, as suggested in other posts, it could be done with a nag screen a la Reaper to mail a zipfile. Cakewalk make that file with statistics it need and give a link to it in the nag screen. This way it no longer needs to deactivate saving or anything else.

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And if the computer hardware fails (as it all eventually does) and you have to upgrade, and that new hardware has big issues with certain OS or working with other plugins, etc. you're still back to square one. There's no such thing as forever with either hardware or software.

Edited by Lord Tim
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I am not worried about Cakewalk shutting down.  Actually I think Bakers are doing fantastic job...

However, I am worried about... if I feel the progress is too "fantastic" - way beyond my humble needs and some particular features & workflow that I use get demolished or changed to something   that I completely dislike, it would be a time constrain and in a way a lottery to backup projects and switch to something else if the update to Cakewalk will be "required" to run with any other reason than significant OS changes .   

No other music software that I have would "require" me to update in order to run.  Authorization / protection-yes, but I do not believe the requirement of updating the actual software to run is enforced... Not that I can recall.  

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Since there is a link to my post in OP...

In fact Cakewalk has improved the authorization schema since that time. There is no need to re-authorize throw Assistant (which rarely manage to update itself and refuse to work till updated) and there are "warnings" when the authorization expire soon. I think Cakewalk went as far as they could (assuming they want time limited authorization).

I personally don't like authorizations. But they are almost impossible to avoid these days. Windows software is known for long time compatibility, but at some point Microsoft can consider to break it. Will software X authorize and work correctly in Y years? No one knows. For myself I prefer to have an option for "disaster" case. It can be not "perfect", but I like when it exists.
For Cakewalk there are options: X2-X3 with offline authorization (WINE compatible, so available forever since x86 platform can be emulated) and converter to another DAW (which requires no authorization and work on any system). I mean nothing can completely "brick" Cakewalk projects, not even instant shutdown. In the modern world that is "sufficiently safe" for me.

 

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I believe updating is not currently a requirement for authorization. If true, I would think it should never be. I hope we are safe to use the current version today forever without updating.

Biggest fear is down the road there being no one "home" to re-authorize it should the need come up again.

Edited by sjoens

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sjoens, +1

I had a version on my second setup that "required" updating.  So that is that. But I acknowledge there are many variables.  My best "preferred" way would be to archive a version that I think does everything I want, and be able to install and  re-authorize without updating , in case things go south and keep it that way until either a compromise solution is found or OS makes it impossible to launch. 

Edited by Misha

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bdickens,

I am sorry, I feel it  is a poor answer to this topic. With another question I asked, you suggested  as an ultimate solution to the problem is "tweaking" PC, where question specifically mentioned that I do not want to "tweak" the PC, beyond what was already "tweaked".  BTW, after extensive testing with other DAWs, the issue was using VST3 versions of plugins I used in Cakewalk.  Problem went away after I switched to VST2 :)   No tweaking. I am more into having fun with music, instead of digging down in technical issues.

The sole purpose of "preserving" Cakewalk version that is stable and does everything what I use it for, is to have enough time to either adopt to Cakewalk  or look for something else, but so it is not time constrained, if some adopted - pushed updates  will interfere with my workflow significantly. I think that is reasonable.

   

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Suit yourself.

I find that the more I can live in the world of what is instead of the world of what if, the happier I am. Not a reply to this topic so much specifically but to life in general.

The problem with trying to remain frozen in time comes, as Lord Tim points out,  when - not if, but WHEN - your old,  obsolete hardware fails. You think its bothersome trying to keep up to date? Just wait until you have no choice because your decade or more old system is nothing more than a doorstop.

SONAR HS6 did " everything I needed." Would I ever want to go back? Hell no!

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Sure, that is a valid philosophy. However, in this particular case, I am talking about a simple backup that would allow me to retain same workflow for a couple of years if something that is "pushed" will break that workflow. 

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That makes a lot more sense.

I guess I got so used to seeing all the posts from people who seem to think , for instance, that W10 is some kind of conspiracy that it is easy to make unwarranted assumptions....

 

Edited by bdickens

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21 hours ago, bdickens said:

SONAR HS6 did " everything I needed."

😁 Still using it on an old XP system, but because of incompetent, modern computer for CbB. This one is a slow, off-the-shelf box bought about a decade ago.

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