Should Vital be sold?

With all respect to Tytel for creating an awesome synth - given we haven’t seen even a single bugfix update in like a year or so, do you think Vital development would be better handled by a company that would have resources for it, from user’s perspective?

We’ve been told that there’s a lot on Vital’s roadmap, but given Matt’s apparent ability to allocate resources to Vital, it doesn’t seem like those will come to being any time soon.

One developer is only one human being who only can do what that one human being can do.

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I guess if someone likes it and wants to show appreciation, why not? It’s a monumental job for one guy to make an instrument like Vital, it must have taken a lot out of him. He’s made it to a high level in terms of the synthesizer world, best we can do now is wait till he gets his second wind. It would be nice to see the occasional proof-of-life though.

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I’d love for Vital to be sold to a developer who has the time and willpower to continue its development.

Right now I classify Vital as abandonware due to the total lack of engagement by Matt. It doesn’t take more than two minutes to periodically post here “still working on Vital”.

There are other one or two person development teams that have a much larger catalog of plugins so it’s not impossible for one person to maintain a single plugin.

I will always be of the opinion that the free version of Vital was a huge mistake and ultimately served to kill the project altogether.

Trying to maintain Windows, Mac, Linux and CLAP versions was obviously more than Matt could handle.

At any rate, with Vital still available for purchase with no support or bug fixes going on a year now is not a good look and quite frankly it’s hard to respect Matt as a businessman at this point.

So either sell Vital to another developer, stop selling it and officially abandon it, or get back to work and fix the issues introduced in 1.5.5

Anything else is simply unacceptable behavior for any developer.

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It’d be awesome if Vital would join hands with GPU Audio and develop a proof-of-concept first ever GPU accelerated synth. Wishful thinking.

Surely, it would not take much effort to update the changelog and announce roadmap progress every now and then - Tytel must update the logs anyway for himself to track the development.

Total silence and leaving 1.5.5 to early access for a year does signal vital dismission (pun intended).

I hope the best for Tytel and wish that he would pay even the slightest attention to their loyal and supportive fanbase.

what’s holding back the GPU Audio project from downloading the Vital source code and trying a proof of concept? They don’t need Matt’s permission at all, but the burden of proof for this idea is on GPU Audio.

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True. This would ve a win-win arrangement though, so optimally Tytel would be involved to make it into Vital official release eventually. Then again, it’s purely imaginary for now, and I believe Tytel, and GPU Audio, have their hands full already. At least Tytel, given Vital’s update cycle.

I wish the best for Vital’s future, it could provide good business with preset marketplace, hopefully allowing expansion of development team. They could even integrate the marketplace straight to preset browser, allowing anyone to release their presets, and separate those from designed preset packs from registered preset developers, and take a commission from the sales.

Whatever Tytel’s gonna do, I hope they will get the development going. There’s some room for improvement even within the synth itself. That’s another discussion, and I’ll be posting some of my views one day when I’ll have time. If those won’t get into Vital, maybe some other synth devs find them useful.

Okay I’m fed up with waiting and cancelled my sub. If there’s nothing else we can do as user community to get the message across I guess I have no choice.

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i’ve subscribed, cancelled, resubscribed, and cancelled my subscription already, and this is depending on what i can afford. i’m not really that great at sound design but i try to use it as much as possible. i’m always seeing new tutorials that surprise and inspire me. Vital is a hit, there’s no two ways about it. I’m thinking Tytel may have gotten a lot more success from it than he expected and possibly got a little rock-star-itis. Well deserved if you ask me. Or maybe there’s some personal life normality going on. It’s that real life thing that can get in the way of running a company, and all too often people sacrifice their personal relationships for the sake of financial success and then there’s the folks who don’t, and it hurts their climb up the list of the richest guys in the world. Whether it’s rock-star-itis or family matters, at least we know his priorities are somewhere else at the moment. But I trust Tytel because he made Vital, which is more than a proof of concept, and proof that he knows how to prioritize things. Proof of life would be cool, but maybe the best we fans can do is trust Tytel to make the best decisions he can.

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Or less than he expected because so many people are using the free version. I’ve seen all over the internet where people are calling Vital freeware. Yes there is a free version but it is a commercial product.

Every day that passes with nothing but silence from Matt is just another shovel of dirt on Vital’s coffin. Soon it will be dead and buried.

Shame as it’s a great synth but obviously Matt can no longer handle its development for whatever reason.

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i like to give the benefit of the doubt. he’s obviously still paying for this website and it’s probably not cheap for whoever owns the server. I think he might have blown a gasket making Vital, it’s quite an effort. who else has made and coded a synth of this caliber by themselves and run the entire show? the big devs have coders slaving away. the small devs usually don’t make anything on this scale. this synth more or less stands alone in terms of accomplishment, so maybe that’s why he got tuckered out.

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Well Tytel referred to a personal issue in another thread.

Obviously, as Vital is a commercial product, where paying for it produces a certain kind of relationship between the customer and the provider, that’s the point where you scale up and hire people to do things that meet the expectations of a commercial product instead of ghosting your customers.

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agree. or at least get some volunteer help, which might be challenging to vet those people, but entirely possible. he just needs some buddies to help out!

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Vital is open-source. Anybody can take the reigns and bug-fix or create something new with it.

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mind ye, i’m not cryin about support, just offering my shoulder to support the vital siblings who need to water it.

I wish that was the latest version though, that code doesn’t have all the 1.5.X improvements.

No I don’t think Vital should be sold, in part because; there’s a questionable implicit assumption that monetizing/commodifying somethings solve some real, apparent or perceived problem(s); doing so may create foreseen and unforeseen problems; and because it is doubtful that the ‘superset’ crony-capitalist plutarchy and its money-- how it ‘works’-- is/are fundamentally-viable (in the long or medium run).

(Incidentally, as an aside, many countries currently appear to be in the process of de-dollarization or breaking free of the US Petrodollar stranglehold.)

In any case, if you want to throw money at Vital or much of anything else for that matter, how about forming a ‘FLOSS/p2p’ group of investors from Vital’s interested users and creating a Kickstarter/GoFundMe-type campaign to raise funds? I’m unsure it’s necessarily a solution/response, but at the very least, it might prove a worthy experiment that, even if it fails, could be a success insofar as gaining insights and whatnot.

In today’s day and age, and the way the pseudoeconomy seems to work, we’re often put in a kind of expectation, even bind or stress, that things have to be constantly upgraded to have some semblance of worth.

“The important thing to understand about collapse is that it’s brought on by overreach and overstretch, and people being zealots and trying too hard. It’s not brought on by people being laid back and doing the absolute minimum. Americans could very easily feed themselves and clothe themselves and have a place to live, working maybe 100 days a year. You know, it’s a rich country in terms of resources. There’s really no reason to work more than maybe a third of your time. And that’s sort of a standard pattern in the world. But if you want to build a huge empire and have endless economic growth, and have the largest number of billionaires on the planet, then you have to work over 40 hours a week all the time, and if you don’t, then you’re in danger of going bankrupt. So that’s the predicament that people have ended up in. Now, the cure of course is not to do the same thing even harder… what people have to get used to is the idea that most things aren’t worth doing anyway…” ~ Dmitry Orlov

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I get where you’re coming from. I just don’t think that regarding Vital as a free synth that should not seek for monetary compensation for it’s developer’s work on an ideological anti-capitalist basis will reform the dominant western economy. I’d just like to see Vital improving, even the slightest to optimize its workflow and usability of the features it currently has.

Additionally, I don’t see money as communicator of value and optimal resource usage as destructive feature of capitalist economy. That’s a different question from what values the economy is based on, how it should be regulated, and where it is taking our world. But that’s a completely different issue.

I’m happy with whatever solution there could be to keep Vital developing even the slightest and provide its users and hopefully the developer a fair value, now and in the future.

If Vital would be completely free and open source I probably wouldn’t think aloud here about how monetizing could encourage its development, even though most complex FOSS projects seem to lose to commercial products in stability and usability. However, it’s a commercial product that I’ve been paying for, and as a customer I need to make choices about how to distribute my scarce monetary resources. It’s an awesome synth as it is, but as we know some users are facing some bugs, and there are multiple even minor tweaks that would make its use even more streamlined. Plus, I’d be happy for Tytel if he could make some good money out of it for the value his work has given us, but that requires communicating that the development is there, at least when needed to address possible issues the minimum.

A fundraiser isn’t even a bad idea. Even if Vital would go fully FOSS and gather some tech savvy users to aid in its development would do. However, given Tytel seems to be almost completely off the hook regarding Vital I don’t see how any fundraiser would change anything .

As a user the business part of it isn’t really my concern as long as it provides the value I’m paying for. In the end, I just wish Vital would keep on improving, as it is an awesome and unique synth that I respect as a sound aficionado, a customer and a user.

But as said, I believe I understand where you’re coming from - for you this seems to be an ideological issue, and that would probably require a whole different conversation in a whole different thread. That said, even though I completely recon the destructive nature of market capitalist economy that’s not sufficiently steered and regulated, I still stand for money as communicator for optimizing resource use. There’s of course a question how that logic should be applied, what should be commodified, and how that all fits to an idea of providing a good life to the largest populace possible should that matter. But that’s another thread then. Meanwhile reforming our economy I wish Vital can keep on improving and utilizing the features of the economy to provide the best value possible to everyone involved. :thinking:

Yes it is. Vital’s old source code is open. Vital as business though is completely proprietary, and nobody seems to be interested in grabbing the code and taking it further as an open source alternative to Vital.

If that’s where it’s going to go, then why not. Every day not improving on Vital as business is a day lost to the opportunity it provides, as people can’t monetize their preset packs efficiently through the preset store, supporting Vital while doing so, and customers could lose faith in dev and consider the investment too risky. It doesn’t take much to communicate that the dev is there to fix any glaring issues the minimum, should those arise. The latter isn’t that much of a problem I guess given that plugins rarely break due to updates, but people buy on feel, not cold hard facts.

As said, I wish the best for Tytel, and I hope they can monetize the value their work gives to Vital’s users to a fair extent, to warrant the work done and hopefully encourage taking the synth further. If that’s not where their interest lies now, then that’s how it is. In the end it’s not my business. I just wish Vital lives on and hopefully improves, as it has an enormous potential due to its design.

That’s a good point. I’m not sure what way somebody else could keep Vital going, apart from copying the source code, potentially modifying certain aspects, and branding it as something else. But as somebody pointed out, the latest code isn’t on Github.

I didn’t think about it much until now, but I’m starting to get cold feet about continuing to build my sound design business and youtube channel around such an unpredictable product. I was originally very excited to have such a competent “free” synthesizer to provide a universal way of distributing presets. It was also a great way to introduce people to synthesis because of the low barrier of entry.

Maintaining Vital is a huge undertaking, and it’s unrealistic to expect one person to do it. I hope it’s financially viable enough to hire a small team to work on it since he doesn’t accept pull requests to the source code and there’s no branch for the latest version. Regardless, I don’t want to be a picky beggar since Vital is potentially free. I’m very grateful for what Matt made.

There has been a discussion about the work it requires, and apparently some single person enterprises have successfully maintained and provided support to very popular plugins. Then again in another thread a person stated that they’re not putting their money on Vital due to past experiences of losing tools to single person enterprises whose that single person lost their interest in the development.

So it all depends. Vital is still an awesome synth, and will continue to be that to the foreseeable future. Things evolve, and stagnant tech will get outdated at some point. But I’m still using Synth1, and it still actually sounds quite dope if you know your way around analog synths - they’re capable of much more than they’re usually regarded for. And when did it get the last update again?

(Had to check - current PC beta was released 10th of June, 2014. Little did I know that Daichi released a new mac version in 2021)

This is to say that what was great back then will probably continue to be great in the future as well, although the cultural context changes the status of old tech. Surely in some years someone has built an AI synth that can just listen to Vital and make anything it can, provided it has a capable enough synth engine. But people will probably still be using Vital for sound design and exploration purposes, or at least just for fun. Or maybe someone teaches Max/MSP AI to tweak it, since that’s surely going to become reality. Who knows.

And what do we know, maybe Tytel resurrects some day with a brand new Vital version. Then I can continue to pay for it until Tytel’s gone again.

I don’t see a real reason to give up on Vital as a sound design tool any time soon if you can live with its weird envelopes, unless AI replaces it completely. It really does things in a different way. I feel like I’ve only scratched its surface yet. Just take it as it is and don’t put all your eggs to the same basket, as you shouldn’t do in any case.