6/4/2013 11:27 AM
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?
Walnut Creek, CA
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.
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.