U-HEaring what I’m hearing?

U-HE are one of my favourite audio plugin developers. I’ve had their freebies for years, which are surprisingly competent. Their Repro-1 and Repro-5 synths were in beta late last year, same for the Colour Copy delay effect this month. I’d love to add full range to my collection at some point in the future. Why? Well, sound quality, first and foremost, but also, because they offer Linux versions of pretty much all their plugins (albeit in beta status at the current time). It’s important to me that I support U-HE and certain other developers as I made a decision a little while ago that, wherever possible, I was only going to buy audio applications which offer (or plan to offer) Linux versions. 

With Apple making moves that suggest they will stop making Macs, and Microsoft planning to release the next version of Windows in ‘Desktop as a Service’ format at some point in the future, Linux seems like the only option likely to cater to those creatives who still want a fully upgradeable box, with an operating system they can tweak, under their control with the ability to update when it suits their workflow.

For a composer working all hours to complete and deliver a three month project, losing two hours, two days, or even two weeks could have a serious impact on their ability to deliver by the deadline if a forced update screws up one of the applications that’s critical to workflow. Of course, that’s always a possibility with any OS, but at least Linux gives me the option to decide whether to update. It doesn’t sound like that will be an option on Windows for much longer.

A tweakable and upgradeable OS and hardware platform is quite important to me, which is one of the reasons I’ve long avoided the switch to Mac and OSX. If I want to add an extra couple of hard drives or another stick of RAM, I should be able to do that myself without incurring the wrath of the company I bought it from. Furthermore, if I want to (and can afford to) build a rackmount monster studio PC with a 16 core CPU, 20 or 30 terabytes of SSD storage and 512 Gb of RAM (I can dream), that’s not really a realistic proposition in Mac world. Plus, the stability and performance gains I see with Linux should be appealing to creatives, who tend to push the capabilities of their computers.

Anyway, I digress… as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I would very much like to move my audio work to Linux in its entirety, and plugins like the U-HE collection go a long way towards making that possible. I can’t recommend them highly enough – the ones I’ve tried are all absolutely brilliant, and I look forward to adding more of them to my collection.