Shout-out to Music Software Companies that Don’t Hate Musicians

Though I play most of the instruments featured on my recordings, I like to use a MIDI sequencer or DAW to “scratchpad” arrangements before I commit to recording audio tracks (which always winds up being more complicated than it “should be”). Plus, when the cello comes in on the second verse, that’s not me. 🙂

I’m currently nearing the end of a very long process transferring software and libraries to an upgraded computer, and I want to give a shoutout to companies like Makemusic (Finale) who make it simple to decommission one computer and commission another right on their web page. No dongle required. No hoops. If you buy their software once, you own that version forever, no matter where you port it. Yes, you can upgrade later as they add more features, but you don’t HAVE to like you do with some other vendors.

At the low end of the scale, missing some of the sounds of my old Roland Sound Canvas series, I recently bought the Roland SC library for $125. I was suspicious at first, since Roland’s support for this product is basically zilch, and their web page is kludgey. But it turns out that it’s easy to transfer that license online, too. (Plus, three computers, not two, like a lot of licenses.)

Cakewalk Sonar is even easier, since they went out of business, and the new owner (Bandlab) is giving the ridiculously powerful software away for free.

I realized that through decades of having to use fully “juiced” computers for my day jobs, I’ve become a tech-head of sorts, and most folks don’t have multiple PCs that they’re always tweaking. To most of my musician friends, their Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is represented by one piece of hardware, and if they’re really “advanced” they’ll remember to back up their files.

But when you need to migrate, it’s nice to have software that doesn’t force you to jump through hoops when you do. Except for time – the wonderful sound libraries take a very long time to download or even just copy over.

Just sayin’. Thanks to software providers who trust their users to do the right thing.


About Paul

Paul Race has been writing and playing all kinds of music since the 1960s, though he tends to favor acoustic and traditional songs. He has created resources like,, and to help other musicians get a good start on their own journeys.

One Comment

  1. Update: Roland Sound Canvas has basically stopped working. Roland stopped supporting it effectively, and instead of just letting it go into public domain or some such, it goes out to the Roland Cloud every day, can’t find the link it’s supposed to find and decides I’m trying to cheat Roland out of $120. Of course they cheated me out hundreds when they dropped support for MESA, the first sequencer I bought. . . . . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.