I know this decreases my gangster cred, but I can’t bring myself to install cracked music software. Among the home studio nerds, audio plugins provide the greatest temptation, and it would seem every single one of them has been cracked.

Part of it is the creepiness factor. The installers for these things invariably include some 80’s style hacker avatar with a stupid tagline like “Team XYX: All Your iLoks Are Belong to Us” [sic].  I visualize a pack of loner Euro kids cranking on Red Bull wishing they were named Neo. God knows what else is getting deposited on my machine.

And part of it is genuine ethics. I write software for a living. It’s a time consuming, expensive process. The more this stuff gets cracked and shared, the more likely these companies are to fail, the more likely consumer prices are to rise. I look at these applications as tax deductions, not freebies. And I feel good buying them. I don’t have to worry about losing the hacked version or what it might be doing to my machine. I’m also supporting a rather cool side of the software world too, one for which I’d love to work. And more generally, we live in a world where everything digital gets stolen. The long-term effects are simple: entire industries are getting destroyed, industries we should try to protect.

That being said, my audio plugin wish list remains large — Lexicon, Waves, Abbey Road. Yes, I want it all. In time…

Thus ends another one of my sanctimonious tech posts. Thank you for the fish.

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