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Jun 4

Written by: masterblogger
6/4/2013 11:27 AM  RssIcon

After working out bugs and compatibility issues, I finally have my DAW at a point where everything is running smoothly. When a big, new version upgrade is announced, I'm torn between cool new features and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” How do I know it's the right time to take the leap and upgrade?

 

Sandra Jonas

Walnut Creek, CA

via email

 

Much depends on how mission-critical your DAW is, especially if it relates to your livelihood. There will be bugs—they’re unavoidable. Sure, there may be some tempting new feature; but you may also find tangential issues, like a third-party plug-in that doesn’t work properly after upgrading the host. Regardless, if there’s a feature that looks like it will dramatically improve your workflow or capabilities, wait a few weeks to see if there are any issues, then take the plunge.

Before doing a major upgrade, ask the manufacturer if you can do a “dual install” alongside a previous version. “Point” upgrades (e.g., 1.2. 1.3) generally modify the existing program, but a major upgrade, like V3 to V4, usually requires a new install. Just remember that projects saved in the new version will almost certainly not load in the older version. Create some heavy-duty test projects that really exercise the new version, and if all is well, start moving your projects over.

Monitor forums for show-stoppers, but take what’s said with a grain of salt—a lot of issues involve pilot error, or system issues that may not relate to you. Finally, there’s no law against skipping a version. Often you’ll be able to upgrade when the next version comes out for the same price as upgrading to the current version, but then you’ll be two versions ahead.
—The Editors

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