Time to set Absynth 5 free

Kymeia Member Posts: 3,464 Expert
edited May 2023 in Massive X & Synths

I have just installed Absynth on an old iMac (running Mohave) I have freed up for the purpose of maintaining older software that no longer runs (or is deprecated) on my Mac Studio M1 Max. This includes Absynth 5, which is a classic, indeed seminal, synth in plugin history and one that I use a huge amount still and have many cherished sounds for, and of course, the fantastic Kore 2 (best plugin NI created other than Reaktor).

It installed fine using NA1 but it occurs to me that might not be possible at some point in the future, and NA does not make it easy to backup the installer. I checked the legacy downloads section:

but it appears to only have Absynth 5.3.1, not the latest version (5.3.4) so please at the very least add the latest installer to the legacy downloads section.

Even better make it possible for people to keep activating it even when the servers no longer allow that by providing ether an offline activation key or making it not need one at all. I don't see how this is any loss to NI since they no longer sell it and would enable preservation of this iconic synth.

Absynth may be 'dead' as a commercial product but long live Absynth!




  • Philippe
    Philippe Member Posts: 55 Helper

    Totally agree. May be by providing a same unique single licence key to every Absynth owner...Or everyone...This would be a decent EOL

  • ozon
    ozon Member Posts: 1,230 Expert

    Not much of an Absynth user myself, but I appreciate this motion. It’s certainly one of the most famous software synths and deserves some kind of immortality.


  • Lowkus
    Lowkus Member Posts: 26 Member
    edited May 2023

    Absynth was the first VST I used on a computer back in the 90's and was the reason I started buying Native Instruments products. I got Reaktor shortly after then they began the Komplete system and I was a regular customer from then on. At least, until they dropped a bunch of products and refused to support the activation process. It's a shame NI drops good products like Absynth and Kore2 (among many others). A caring company would support continued installation of the product into the future. Unfortunately the current owners of Native Instruments don't seem to care about users. Since they repeatedly refuse to address the problem it seems the only solution is for users to learn how to hack the executable to bypass activation calls; basically the community is going to have to do the work NI refuses to do, and of course it'll be a million times more difficult for us since we won't have access to the source code, unlike NI. Hopefully in the future a new company will come along with a synth that can load and play Absynth presets (and Pro-53, B4ii, Spektral Delay, etc) but until then we're going to have to find alternative solutions. I'm still boycotting NI products until they fix the activation issues with older software, though my boycott is soft since I do occasionally buy their products, but I spend far less on their stuff now - I've skipped Komplete upgrades for several versions where I used to upgrade every year. I also used to tell people to buy NI products and bought Komplete for each of my brothers, but now I won't recommend it to anyone. I'll gladly recommend NI in the future though, just as soon as they start supporting the older software again.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 3,984 Expert
    edited May 2023

    The problem is NI doesn’t think like “we don’t sell it anymore so we have no loss in doing the correct thing and give users who paid for it a way to install it”

    The way they think is more like “if we allow them to continue using it, we can’t sell them the new things we do”

    But people will continue to think that this is modern economic world, “you can’t hope something will work forever”, “you can’t pretend they’ll update it forever” (which is not what we are talking about here…no updates, just allow people to install their products if they still have machines on were they work), “you are tied to an ancient thinking, like this things won’t progress” (but I would be very happy to buy new shiny things in which they put some effort to innovate. I will use MY Absynth AND the new shiny synth).

    Well…let’s see if they’ll still think what they think about software economy when car producers will start to stop their cars engines to even turning on cause they made a new shiny model they want to sell…

    Sad but true

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,743 Expert


    I'm still boycotting NI products until they fix the activation issues with older software, ....

    It seems to me NI considers to bring back offline activation to NA. In case, it would happen, NI there is certain chance that it will be possible to authorise EOL products.

  • defyosef
    defyosef Member Posts: 34 Member

    While this will not sound uplifting, I kind of get why NI would not want to publicly offer Absynth.

    With so many products they need to support and so many grievances that people have for the slow tempo of development for each of them, every plugin that behaves like a different platform comes with a multitude of work involved in keeping it going for years to come.

    It is understandable they had to let something go, because even if they offered it on the down-low and prefaced with a disclaimer that this product is no longer supported, still there are going to be people coming to forums and potentially scaring away customers with posts about Absynth problems and the lack of development thereof.

    Kinda damned if they do and damned if they don't.

    Perhaps the silver lining is that by cutting it loose they will have more brainpower for development of their other products. One at least would hope so.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 3,984 Expert

    I really hope you are right, but I don’t get from where you have this feeling. Literally EVERYTHING they said lately (even in the last DevTalks) point in the opposite direction

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,743 Expert

    It was in DevTalk concerning Native Access. They did not talk about EOL plugins, just about offline authorisation.

    But it has a small catch. Older plugins work on older OSes. And NA2 works only on newer OSes. So, if there is any hope, it would be doable probably only on Win.

  • ozon
    ozon Member Posts: 1,230 Expert

    @defyosef wrote:

    still there are going to be people coming to forums and potentially scaring away customers with posts about Absynth problems and the lack of development thereof.

    Which also happens if manufacturers completely remove products without a (equivalent) successor. Just look at how many posts mentioning Kore 2 (2008 - 2011) you still find on this new forum (started in 2022).

  • defyosef
    defyosef Member Posts: 34 Member

    Fair point, though Kore came with hardware, didn't it? One that is not possible to buy first-hand?

    I would argue it is still a better look for them to say "this is no longer available and we do not support it, look at our store, you won't find it" than "it is not supported, but still people stumble on it and you kinda can download it from our page". In the first case it is pretty self-explanatory, in the second they need to say something each time a problem occurs to paint a better light.

    It sounds like I am apologetic towards NI, I am not - I just hope it is indeed for the best regarding their other products.

    It may also stem from the fact that I never really got the appeal of Absynth though I would never disregard the impact it has on other users - it just isn't for me, at least yet. Hope others can still utilize it as much as they need moving forward.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 3,984 Expert
    edited May 2023

    I think people still confuse “not supported”.

    I have no problem with a company not supporting an older products anymore. In my opinion is a different case not allowing people who already own it to install it, if they still can.

    “Not supported” should mean “We don’t develop it anymore, we are not gonna help you if it has residual bugs or any other problem, we don’t assure it is gonna work with newest OS”. But not allowing to install it as it is is a completely different thing.

    You want to remove installation files from your site? (Which in my opinion isn’t completely correct anyway…). Ok…so you send an installation file without the need of registration to all the users that paid for it…then, what they do with it is their business. I have plenty of things I bought that I don’t use, but it’s MY CHOICE

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,743 Expert

    NI could go on with offline authorisation using Service Center..... If they were willing so. It is sad that they have closed even this path.

  • Paule
    Paule Member Posts: 1,328 Expert

    … and in the end there is hardware only.

    Yes I miss some discontinued products also. As my win7pro machine crashed last year in summer.

  • Kaldosh
    Kaldosh Member Posts: 265 Advisor

    What I find ridiculous in all this is I can still emulate super Mario but not a 32 bit delay that did sound awesome . Customer like new things and deprive customer from old things that works well and sound good is like saying them you can’t use black or blue color anymore . There is no valid argument to any of this . But hey that is only my opinion

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn Member Posts: 2,144 Expert
    edited May 2023

    Good software MUST be as the good old analog synths, as a Harley Davidson motorcycle, as a hand made acoustic guitar, as a precious ruby ring from the grandfather... means, to last for a life time! Otherwise it is just businesses, capitalism, money "über alles". If such thing is not possible (and on many cases it is not, because of the incompatibilities due to the constant evolving of software development) then the right thing to do is to give it for free to the people. You will give a good reason to very young and very poor people (especially in the so called "third" world) to start involved in music. We can not allow art to become a hobby for the rich only.

    +1 for Free Absynth!

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