Camel Audio, maker of Alchemy, CamelSpace & CamelPhat, has announced that it is closing shop.
In a statement they say, “We would like to thank you for the support we’ve received over the years in our efforts to create instruments and effects plug-ins and sound libraries.”
Their home page is now blank and customers that log in get this message:
January 8, 2015
We would like to thank you for the support we’ve received over the years in our efforts to create instruments and effects plug-ins and sound libraries.
Camel Audio’s plug-ins, Alchemy Mobile IAPs and sound libraries are no longer available for purchase. We will continue to provide downloads of your previous purchases and email support until July 7, 2015. We recommend you download all of your purchases and back them up so that you can continue to use them.
Instructions for downloading and backing up Camel’s products are available to customers at the site.
via Richard Devine, Aymat, CDM
112 thoughts on “Camel Audio Closes Shop”
Very sad news. Alchemy is still Top 5 plugin synths in existence for me. Maybe it has something to do with the new VAT laws? A shame that somebody as dedicated as them couldn’t continue to make a dollar. Big loss.
In general, these socialist tax laws which sacrifice the good hearted working people to worthless parasites who don’t work are bad for all companies everywhere, bad for economies and will closed down every decent VST and modular company. End the sacrifice of one man for another man’s need and we are better off.
Thank you for your rant, Ayn Rand…
It’s pure speculation that VAT had anything to do with their demise. I can think of a lot of other more likely reasons.
That’s why I said “maybe”, Einstein. Thanks for sharing.
How is VAT killing a great company getting down votes?
Because there is no firm evidence that that is the case.
VAT has applied to EU software for over 10 years.
The new thing is that it also applies to download music, perhaps also sample libraries.
Took shareware donations via Kagi around 2001, they add VAT automatically per country and topped it on the price. No problem, and no change there.
You haven’t heard the industry gossip that Apple poached all their developers for Logic Pro X, then?
Market forces, not taxation nor piracy.
Very sad. What happened? Alchemy is one of the best soft synths out there.
It doesnt sell just as the best music around…
this is a direct consequence from the fact that people dont buy music, and the fact the industry
today is made by rullers, who exploit statuts and money earn from gig’s who is not based on music selling sucess, but on markting strategies and proper management…
This is the cruel reality of the music industry today, where decent artists, who are dedicated cant buy plugins from the sales of their music, because their music doesnt sell…
So what happens either they are crazy and expend money they dont have buying expensive plugins just to help developers and for the pleasing time using them, or they must not buy plugins and rely on other options…
this is what is happening more and more… there are more options, free stuff is becoming better and better… many plugins out there, just like music, and very few people actualy can afford to buy them…
even if it worths to buy, even if the quality is great… music is doomed to amateurism, and so plugin developers are too…
lets see till when i will live in this lie, and till when the stores will keep selling numbers of releases that no one buys, eventualy everything will colapse some day.
What are you even talking about.
Lots of new stuff made and lots of people buying it.
Ever read the letters SJW?
ah what a shame love Alchemy
What a pity. I love Alchemy and CamelSpace.
This is very sad news… 🙁
The EU VAT laws on digital sales are brutal, zero threshold means even if you sell one thing at one Euro to one person in one year in France you have to do a VAT return 4 times a year and pay your 20 cents VAT. Extended to all member states this places an absurd burden on small businesses and the closure of Camel Audio is (possibly?) the reality of these new laws.
The most ridiculous thing about all this is that it will cost governments tens, if not hundreds of times more cash to administer this then they will ever make from these small businesses. An unfortunate consequence of bringing the larger companies the likes of Amazon, Apple (notice the change in terms and conditions on the 1st January?), etc… into line and stop them from riding on the 3% VAT in Luxembourg.
All this achieves is higher prices for consumers and more cash (~20%) in the bank for these large companies while killing off small entrepreneurial businesses who can’t handle the additional workload.
I sent this in as a story to Synthtopia a month or two ago but it was never reported. Now I guess it might get a bit more attention?
WARNING: If you think you got away with this because you sell physical products, I can’t imagine it will be that long before these new laws apply there too. Then we will see even more small businesses fail. For example – imagine half of the small EuroRack modular companies closing 😐
There is a petition at change.org for those who wish to speak out against the retarded aspect of this legislation.
This is only a recent change, I would imagine if they closed down due to financial problems that this would have been going on for some time. Most companies go bust over years of struggle not in a couple of months. And besides your reading a lot into a short statement that doesn’t indicate any reason for shutting up shop, financial or other reason for that matter.
Erm… that’s why I used the word ‘possibly’…
You’re right there could be other reasons, but the timing is canny!
what about piracy, what about having to keep up with OS and DAW upgrades, what about competition from other soft syns, analogue revival, and IOS. may be the guy running it took his skills else where, coz lets face it am sure they could be transferred in to other avenues that are more lucrative than creating soft syns. may be he retired or made enough money and is now some where hot and sunny. TIMING? i think is more about the bee you have in your bonnet over these regulation which is a fair comment and well presented but i very much doubt that is the primary cause.
Or maybe Camel Audio just wasn’t making enough money for it to be worth their while?
A sudden increase in VAT can significantly alter a company’s bottom line. Even a %10 percent DECREASE in profits due to a 10% INCREASE in taxes can kill a company, especially if they are just barely paying the bills.
No idea what Camel’s financial situation was, but this could have been the straw that broke the (ahem) camel’s back.
All it takes is a couple of their top engineers to leave, coupled with the sudden burden of new taxes, and a barely profitable company turns into a money losing company. Happens all the time, unfortunately.
The VAT changes don’t have anything to do with taxes that companies owe – it’s like sales tax in the US, which varies from state to state and county to county. Companies have to collect it and pass it on to the government.
These tax changes aren’t going to directly put anyone out of business, because it’s not tax that companies have to pay – it’s taxes that they have to collect and give to the government(s).
What companies object to is the complexity of collecting taxes at different rates for all the different countries of Europe. It used to be that they would tax at the rate of their home country.
It’s pretty funny how many people have such strong, but uninformed, opinions about this topic!
Sure, definitely that too!!
I am sad that Camel Audio have gone, genuinely.
I’m even more sad that many small businesses are closing because of this legislation, if my presentation of this argument as a _possible_ (that’s three times I’ve said possible now!!!!) reason for their closure and it raises awareness of this problem, then great 🙂
Does anyone actually know of any music software companies that are going to close because of the tax law changes?
Sure, there’s lots. Not all are actively blogging about it, but here’s one http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=427578
If there’s ‘lots’, why is the only known example a self-described hobby developer?
Are there any real ‘going concern’ music app companies that this is going to put out of business?
Or is the main concern that the new VAT laws will just be too complicated for part-time/hobbiest type developers?
Waah waah waah.
Thanks for playing, but per standard protocol, no further responses are warranted after it is established you are trolling.
Your response confirms that you can’t name any real music software companies that this is putting out of business and that you’d prefer to spout nonsense. Point taken!
This EU tax law is basically unenforceable. It’s the EU attempting to impose law on countries outside the EU. It’s also primarily aimed at large companies like Amazon. There has been a similar VAT tax law around since 2003 that everyone just ignored.
Maybe the Camel Audio business model couldn’t compete in a market where most demand free or low cost apps without regard to the quality.
I was reading up on this new law yesterday. Apparently it’s been around in a different form since 2003 and nobody paid attention to it. It also seems the EU has no way to enforce it. It’s the equivalent of one country making a law for another country to follow. Unless you have tanks there, it usually doesn’t work too well.
Who knows why Camel Audio has gone out of business but it’s probably not because of this new law. Like electronic music itself, the synthesizer world has been overrun with people out to make a quick buck during the upswing. And along with that, a lot of trendy fans who don’t understand good design or the time it takes to create a quality musical instrument. Alchemy was never a personal favorite, but I respected the company and could see they were the real deal. I wouldn’t be surprised if more software companies like them go out of business in the next few years.
Nowadays everyone seems to demand free or $1.99. Constantly hearing “that lemur app is too expensive for $25.” or “Tr-6×6 upgrade should be free. Roland is greedy”. I’d imagine it’s hard to be passionate about creating products that have to compete with this mentality in the marketplace. And the demandfor free/cheap only seems to be increasing. Maybe one day all music software will be free and the companies will make their profits selling T-shirts at NAMM.
Well finally someone who nailed it at every point, the world has gone mad about FREE and nagging and FREE and nagging. Start buying, it’s the only way to keep quality in this world!
We do have the VAT changes on our radar. Thank you for your suggestion, too.
The EU tax law changes impact any companies selling digital goods. Music app developers may hate the new tax laws, but no differently than they would hate the new tax laws if they were indie game developers, web developers or ebook publishers.
We’d be interested to know if you or other readers see a ‘synth-specific’ impact to these tax law changes, beyond the fact that music app developers are a subset of the companies that have to deal with these tax changes.
If you do, let us know via the feedback page (https://www.synthtopia.com/feedback/).
EU businesses don’t have to pay more taxes, they have to collect more or less taxes, depending on where the customer is, and pass that on to the government.
It’s not the taxes that are painful to businesses, it’s the fact that they have to update their processes to handle taxes for all the different countries. Pain in the ass, but is it really a show-stopper? Companies in the US have to deal with both origin-based and destination-based taxation for 50 different states, so why can’t companies adapt to this?
All good points! I don’t particularly disagree with any of this 🙂
Personally speaking (just to be clear, this is an aside and just because you asked, it is my personal situation and has nothing to do with synths) it is because I would rather be doing work to help other people than help governments collect taxes. I run a healthcare website that is dedicated to helping older people lead a better quality of life. Every minute I spend filling out EU VAT forms is a minute stolen from the real work. I earn very little from this work, certainly not enough to even pay income tax on, yet I am looking at 26 VAT returns 4 times a year for a few cents each.
This is insanity!
they should, if they can and depending on what libraries they are using, open source their software.
Alchemy is very underrated and i think a free open source version of it would be amazing.
There is a chance that maybe they were / could be absorbed by a larger company. Wouldn’t make sense to give away your life’s work.
When Redmatica folded, Apple bought AutoSampler and the company’s other apps, which I see as a great move. AS has allowed me to preserve the bulk of my old hardware and regular favorites from newer things. Its utility is solid. I hate seeing innovative houses fold, but if Apple took up Alchemy, Logic would come even closer to being an all-in-on solution for a lot of practical musical needs. I’m not any wilder about monolithic companies and their increasingly raw behaviors than anyone else, but Apple made Logic a powerhouse. Its a nice dream to think of an Alchemy II from Apple. It’d be a small but nice consolation to see the Camel Audio team make one last payday in that manner. Superior code shouldn’t be wasted. Just a little pipe dream to one side of this sad event.
Apple hasn’t done anything with the Redmatica products. They are dead. Its sad that such awesome products are no longer available, except perhaps to Apples audio app team.
>> Apple hasn’t done anything with the Redmatica products. They are dead.
I doubt Apple would buy their assets with no further plan in mind. Logic was a potent but too-Germanic mess until Apple humanized it. Redmatica made a point of serving the EXS24 sampler and its overdue for a facelift, so while I’m not sweating over it, I expect to see the apps appear in a more Apple-ish form. Writing code takes a LOT of time and debugging. There’s “dead” and then there’s “Being re-tooled for showtime.”
Also, pirating plays a real part in the misfortunes of the software world. If Anonymous wanted to do more than make loud political splashes, they’d start taking down torrent sites. Theft of other people’s work not only stinks, but many a pirate can afford the goods, never mind the real damage done to Business, which trickles down on everyone. I take Alchemy’s loss a bit personally as a result. The new VAT mess can’t be the sole culprit. I commit to what I BUY for a long time, so I can really engage it in my noodlings. If someone grabbed your car keys from your hand, you’d immediately and rightfully kick their balls, so what makes you think the other guy has no right to the benefits of his/her work, the same as you? Its a shame that there seems to be so little way to help the manufacturers and honest customers by gutting those sites. You hate iLoks? Well guess what, monkey boy…. it probably feels like a last line of defense for MOTU. Its bad enough when someone kracks a major DAW, but when its a synth that retails at $300 or less (often much less), that calls for a serious beating. Grow some ethics and stop pissing sideways over the imagined lacks in your First World riches. Hang out in Darfur for a week and then bitch, if you dare.
In self-defense, I keep sampling everything from all of my synths so that as long as the WAV standard holds, I at least have good snapshots, but I’m sure this crowd understands how much better a full/”real” synth is than a freeze-dried chunk. Its ironic that I’d like to buy more music gear, but I hold back because of the rampant thievery and its crap results. Add political abuse to the mix and get ready for a decreasing number of good software instruments. Yeah, I want to see Apple re-release Redmatica’s EXS24 Manager. Its one of the last places where the product is generally unlikely to disappear overnight.
The bought Redmatica to get the developers. That’s common with Apple, Google and other companies that need world-class software developers.
Strongly disagree. That was the result of years of hard work. There is no reason to suddenly devalue it by making it open source–the freeloader’s dream. Sell the code or products to another company, or analyze what you did wrong and start a new company and continue to have an asset that can be utilized.
Open source a “devaluation”? I’d rather call it an enrichment.
Btw why does everybody assume the company quit for financial reasons? Maybe those guys just want to do something new.
People dont’ really decide to flit away from a profitable years-long ongoing concern to “do something different” and abandon both customers and a business built up all those years. Be serious. Even if owners wanted to get out of the business there’s always a sale price to someone who’d want to continue the business.
Sounds instead like the business wasn’t profitable and sales just weren’t sufficient to continue. Maybe in the next few months they’ll sell out to another company but I’d suspect that their competition doesn’t need their intellectual property (and doesn’t want to pay for incompatible libraries esp if they’ve got their own) and any potential buyer will find (a) the cost of revamping, supporting and marketing Camel products (b) in the face of existing competition to be pretty daunting.
But I’ve got to say I love reading incoherent business postings on music websites. “Make it open source!” “They just wanted to work on their model train collection!” “Someone else will buy them fur suuuure!”
>People dont’ really decide to flit away from a profitable years-long ongoing concern to
>“do something different” and abandon both customers and a business built up all those
>years. Be serious
If you truly believe this, you know nothing at all about business investment and venture capital. From day one it’s all about the exit strategy. The “customer” is never a real concern.
That being said, I don’t believe that’s what happened at CamelAudio. And I doubt it’s the VAT changes either, since you can hire out multiple services and products to help you deal with that. I would rather think it’s a series of unfortunate events that added up.
What I meant with “enrichment” is, it’d be a gesture of altruism and a possibility for a community of enthusiasts to form and to continue development on these products. Not everything is about cashing in. It’s nice to let a product you worked on for years go with such a “happy ending”.
But, some people just don’t understand this kind of concept, I guess. Luckily, there are many others who do work on all those open source products you mock (and yet probably use every day).
I wasn’t dissing open source. I think that’s great stuff, and has been changing software development for the better for a long time. What I was directly commenting on was your view the people “don’t walk away from a successful business”. Yes they do. All the time, for many reasons.
Xtopher I was commenting on Sung, not on you :). I totally agree with you. Nothing needs to go on forever, I can totally imagine getting tired of working on the same thing for years on end, at some point you want to move on to to different (maybe greener) pastures. If a friend comes to you with a great new business idea that you want to be part of… Especially if you’re a small company, there may not be anyone to take over if the owner or the core team departs.
Myself, I’ve done web development, currently I’m doing games development, who knows maybe in the future I’ll be able to do audio development if the opportunity presents itself, it’s certainly got my interest… I’m not a business owner, so I suppose I have a little more freedom in that regard, but in the end we’re all people and once you get bored with something… why keep doing it?
I like Alchemy and only started using it in the last year. Yet another reason why to keep the hardware around and not dispense with because of the convenience of software..
If you’re willing to keep a bunch of hardware around then whats wrong adding a cheap extra computer that runs old plugins?
Camelaudio was a great developer and good people and Alchemy was a very deep sample-playing synthesizer.
Fingers crossed that the Alchemy aesthetic has legs with both legacy users and maybe with a transfer of its IP.
If you think this isn’t a direct result of the rampant piracy in the music software world, you don’t get it.
If you think any version of Alchemy VST released in the past few years, or any of the expansions in that same time period, have been cracked, then you don’t know much about copy protection or piracy.
lol @Zymos… as I’m staring at a cracked copy of Alchemy
When was it released? How many versions ago? Can you use a recent CA sound library with it?
Don’t bother answering cause I already know the answers to those questions…
>> lol @Zymos… as I’m staring at a cracked copy of Alchemy
And there’s a lot of the problem in one sentence.
Sadly, cracks and keygens are rampant.
if you think that anyone who downloads a pirated copy of a (let’s say) VST synth, would otherwise buy it (if it wouldn’t be available as a pirated version) you’re wrong and you live in a false belief that people have much more money than they really have 😀
let’s be serious for a minute here,… most of the pirated downloads don’t subtract from the total capital gain of the company, because most of the people who download pirated software wouldn’t have bought it in the first place,… what I want to say is that I still believe (and I might be an optimist here) that anyone who can afford to buy a product that in turn makes him earn money, will do it (yeah, I still believe that people are fair). but there’s a bunch of bedroom-kiddie-producers from all over the world, who just don’t have the financial means to buy such stuff.
what I want to say is that I can hardly believe that piracy would be the case for a company to fail. anyone who I know, who has some cash available buys the software, it’s just so much more stable than pirated copies, you get support,… I don’t know,…. maybe it’s just me who lives in a bubble (and don’t get me wrong, I’ve downloaded pirated software too, but also bought some(at least what I could))
or am I missing something?
All this talk of taxes and piracy causing the death of Camel Audio is speculation – but I do think these issues are some of the reasons that app developers are focusing so much energy on iOS and Android.
If a developer makes a Mac or Windows app, they either have to assume it’s going to get pirated 10 times for every time they sell it, or they have to use heinous copy protection that everybody will hate. They also have to deal with all the tax law crap that baddcr mentions.
With iOS, developers know that most users aren’t going to hack their devices, so the developers aren’t going to lose significant sales to piracy. And they don’t have to worry about international tax law, because they just get a check from Apple.
This is true of Android, too, but to a lesser degree because of side loading of apps.
I’m not arguing that the iOS/Android app store approach isn’t without its own problems, but it clearly appeals to a lot of developers.
this is too bad. i hope the people involved are able to find good work that they enjoy.
too soon? but tbh i didn’t find the interface of alchemy did it any favors to the synthesis potential. it certainly wasn’t bad sounding or a terrible interface, but while i owned it i never felt excited to play in it or felt rewarded or surprised by the time i put in working on sounds. i only say this because i hope they are able to come back in some form (if they want to) because the interface and synth itself did have plenty of good about it too.
I feel waylaid at this news. Alchemy has been one of the very best synths I’ve ever played. I chose to retain it when I discarded others. It covered so many great bases, they became superfluous. I guess I’d better sample the hell out of what I have against the day I upgrade to a new Mac. It was a great company who treated the customers very well, unlike some. What a shame. I can’t immediately think of anything as musically comprehensive. Triple bummer.
It saddens me deeply. Especially because I was about to buy it.
I missed it on Black Friday because I gave precedence to some other software that was in the wish list since 1 year.
I only hope that they didn’t shut down so abruptly for non income (derived from piracy).
They should have seen the WARNING signs befor hand in left the country to continual to do business
in another country were those type of laws dont exist.
These new EU VAT laws apply worldwide.
Strange and totally unenforceable (at the moment) … but true!
Ugh, now how many OS updates until all of the time and money invested in Alchemy is worthless? I know it’s not their fault, but it is a major downside to software in general. I wish they would think about some way of at least extending development to be compatible with newer operating systems and do bug fixes, even if there is a cost for it.
This news saddens me too. I’ve enjoyed their mobile version of Alchemy and the integration it had with the desktop version. Not many other companies have done that kind of work with their products. I sent a question to their support asking how to backup mobile IAPs, since when you remove it or move to another phone/tablet, one loses those and needs to re-install. It’s not clear from their site how to backup those, if you even can. I’ve noticed that iFunBox doesn’t work on iOS 8 right now, so backing up those kind of document directories is not an option right now.
Hopefully some news comes out about why they’re closing. My guess is either the taxes thing as mentioned above or possibly a buyout. If they’re just closing due to mismanagement or financial that they’d probably have one final blowout sale before they close shop – not just shut down without notice. But if they were being bought-out, that would be more reason to shut down abruptly, so the new owner could make-out when/if they re-release some of these products.
I hope Alchemy lives on in some form, it is one of the truly great software instruments. Also I hope that piracy wasn’t a major factor in this decision, especially since they very generously gave away a free Alchemy Player version with 200 presets which was a pretty spectacular instrument even by itself.
Cant imagine someone like Cakewalk, Ableton, etc to not try and buy their assets ..
They had some great stuff.
I think the most obvious reason has been missed. Taxes prevent NEW innovations, they don’t close the door on existing products. If things weren’t making money, they wouldn’t REMOVE the ability to purchase, they would simply abandon new development. After all, even if the sales weren’t paying salaries, it costs very little to let whatever sales happen to continue to happen.
No, the most obvious reason is that they have been purchased by another company. That agreement essentially required a complete freeze out until fully announced and the technology converted to match the new owner’s other offerings.
In other words, I expect Alchemy will be back very soon, but on someone else’s line card.
This is indeed an imediate consequence of piracy…
I think you will find they (Ben) have been aquired or offered a position at Apple making far more than would be possible selling plug ins…..it was reported before that Apple tried to buy Camel previously (may be good news for logic users, bad news for everyone else)
As the original alchemy is free and the full version is a now non existent in app purchase that requires restoring after e.g. an ipad reset . I think we have all been fleeced here . So who are the criminals who have potentially robbed us of a legally purchased product
The original Alchemy is a 400 dollar VST. There’s more to life than iOS you know…
Hoping they are going to remedy this. I just purchased a new iPhone yesterday and went to install Alchemy soundpacks (bought the full IAP set) and yes nothing shows up as purchased or available. Possible Camel Audio’s dev acct with Apple is over.
Sad all round ..Surprised no one has mentioned the third party soundpack providers : this will be a disappointing loss of income after they invested their time & talents in the platform also.
The only words I can think of are “Fu*k” and “This is such fracking bad news… so sad, Ben has been at it for so long… there are plenty of companies who I wouldn’t care about this happening too, Camel Audio was not one of them”….
Not fair, not good…
George Leger III
For some reason I just never wanted to buy any of their synths. They seem to get good reviews and whatnot, but there was always something that made me not want to buy them. If they are going out of business then maybe I wasn’t the only person who felt this way. I think I got this “stale” vibe, like the stuff wasn’t well maintained, just old code being milked by the devs. After seeing all the poor saps stuck using 32bit for the rest of their lives because all their brostep presets are for Sylenth, lazy maintainers are radioactive to me. I guess my instinct was right!
At this point, we have no info about the underlying reasons.
Who knows, maybe CA will resurrect under a different name, with a financial structure allowing them to release their Alchemy 2 product – and it may not be called Alchemy anymore at this point.
Let’s wait and see – we can’t do anything else, anyway.
In case some are/were curious, CA was recruiting just one year ago, in January 2014. Here was the ad’:
Senior C++ Software Engineer – Music Software
Camel Audio – Southside/Newington EH9
We create software for musicians; our products have won numerous awards and are used by well known producers in most genres of electronic music as well as in many Hollywood film soundtracks.
We’re looking for a full time C++ software engineer to join us in our Edinburgh, UK office to help us create software for musicians. Your responsibilities will include the technical design, time estimation and implementation of software modules including GUI, data storage and audio engine. You’ll work closely with our other developers and QA engineer.
Our developers are well compensated, but it’s important that the primary reward is the work itself and the pride taken in products you create. We tend to be the sort of developers who started programming when we were young, though that’s not a requirement. The position is in a small, highly-motivated team in which you are encouraged to express your talents and offer your opinion on a wide range of issues.
Excellent C++ skills with a minimum of three years experience
Extensive experience in the design and realisation of object-oriented software
Excellent team and communication skills
Visual Studio and/or Xcode experience
Excellent debugging skills
Highly self motivated
Desirable Additional Skills
Experience implementing graphical user interfaces
Experience in the development of multi-threaded software applications
Ability to write code that is both efficient and easily maintainable
Experience of agile development
Experience in developing audio applications
An interest in music production
Application by CV and covering email including examples of relevant projects where possible and a sample of your C++ code. No agencies.
…Sorry but we are experiencing a very high load on our web server at the moment. We’re really sorry for the inconvenience and would ask you to check back in a few hours…
That’s the message I am getting right now (3:45 PM CST)…this is crappy news. I hope those posters are right in reckoning that Camel Audio might have been acquired by someone (Apple would be nice for me, would LOVE to see Alchemy integrated directly in Logic, WOW)
Alchemy has been an underrated synth and it even was not even on my radar until I did some research on reviews of it. I always heard good things about their stuff and decided, after getting the killer iOS alchemy, to jump in and get the AU. I must admit that Alchemy has a depth to it that has kept me from dedicating too much time to learning thoroughly, but the sounds I do get out of it are Effing Awesome (both iOS and AU)
And Camel Audio, to me and my experience, has been an axe play of incredible, personal customer service and end-user willingness to connect. I think it was Andy who was always at the helm ready to answer questions I had on a few occasions…excellent impression indeed!
That IS the scary thing about software (synth) companies, they go away and then where the heck is the support down the road? I really hope that their stellar products are acquired, supported, and continue to evolve in the hands of dedicated individuals.
As for piracy…don’t do it…if so, maybe everything in the world should be for free and hey, what the hell is the incentive to lift a finger for anything then, right?
That VAT tax whatever-the-fuck impositions sound pretty intimidating as well.
Good Luck and Bless Them, they will be missed (and hopefully reincarnated…remember how ardevark hardware became some other kinda animal named hardware…or something like that?) anyway, let’s keep our heads up on these developments!
The new VAT laws may be more of a culprit than we think. Hollow Sun has posted a statement on their website concerning their own allegedly temporary shut-down at the site. Its probably going to have a bad domino effect on everything digitally downloadable. I smell the greed and idiocy of vampire bankers….
Don’t you mean vampire socialist politicians?
Probably one more argument for the hardware vs software dialogue…
Very unfortunate to see them go…
(*sigh*) … guess I need to download all my stuff again for safe keeping. ALCHEMY is one of the great software synths for which there is no direct competitor, nor hardware equivalent (and I own $50K worth of hardware gear). It’s a unique and powerful sound design tool that does awesome things, even though it’s father was something of a replacement for a Kawai K5000 … it grew to be so much more than a one trick pony… er camel.
So, looks like the warez peeps killed another company because they’re too cheap to pay for good software, and complain if a complex iPad app is more than $5.
Guess what? The free economy doesn’t work if companies can’t pay the bills for staff, lights, power, web servers, packaging, tech support.
Support companies where you can, if you like what they do.
Only the end users who don’t steal software can keep the good developers happy and in snacks so we all have cool stuff to play with.
The Camel will be missed. No more hump days for Alchemy fans, or …. will there be some future humping of the gear at another company, offshoot, or if somebody acquires the I.P. — one can only hope. I will sorely miss the great products and great support.
Good luck camel heads on whatever your next step is!
yep, good to read stuff. that’s how i feel many times about all the whiners of “expensive” ipad apps. thats funny, the times i DID feel violated was when i went head first into expensive apps (fairlight app, unity app to name a few where i gave them the benefit of the doubt and didn’t demand a refund, and those where like $50 a pop) whereas i got Korg Gadget, and yeah they have IAP, but man, does that beast deliver! but the bottom line is this…quality products and support DO deserve our purchasing support…hard work SHOULD pay! i feel confident knowing that my hard earned money (what little i actually make…i aint rich, people) goes to the products i like and the companies that produce killer stuff. sometimes i feel like there should actually be higher price points on apps we purchase. and just like the software equivalents, they should be as solidly coded, feature rich, and fully intergrated by standard protocol (MIDI, AU, VST, AUDIOBUS) from the get go.
It’s easy to blame piracy, but I’ve observed that unlicensed software tends to be used by people who have lots of time but little money – kids, students, starving musicians – while people who have the money but lack time are more likely to be pay for the software that they use and enjoy.
One reason why piracy is tolerated is that its direct effect on profits is minimal and it still enables people (sometimes called “users”) to get hooked on the software, media, or whatever, so they will end up buying more of it once they are able to do so. One of the best things a vendor of expensive software can do for its cheaper competitors is to make its product extremely difficult to pirate, thus forcing users who can’t afford it to consider alternatives.
I’m usually happy to support the developers of my favorite programs, and fortunately I have the money to do so. I’ve paid the Reason/Live tax for years, but I’m a lot more excited about iPad developers who deliver ridiculous value for the price.
Slightly OT: As a Mac user, I am greatly annoyed by software that includes annoying DRM above and beyond what the Mac App store already implements – dongles are a particularly egregious offender. Beside the extremely regrettable exception of Reason (which now has irritating internet verification as a lame alternative) I am proud to say that I have never used any piece of dongle-enabled software. However exciting and tempting your software may be, I will not use it if it requires me to carry around some idiotic hardware dongle. And has anyone noticed that Gadget is basically what Reason used to be anyway – maybe better?
Sorry, but coding up a softsynth isn’t a license to print money. The market is oversaturated and not everyone is going to buy your stuff. Developers of every other kind of app know this, but music app people for some reason think they are entitled to automatic sales from every person who ever twiddled a nob or pushed a fader. Blaming piracy feels one step away from blaming people who just didn’t buy the synth. With Camel stuff I didn’t pirate it, I didn’t buy it, in fact I didn’t want to use it at all! Deal with it.
it’s easy to put the blame on others. But as a matter of fact, I (being a Camel Phat owner) can tell you:
1) within the last years, no new products came up;
2) I almost never received discount offers from the company, despite being an existing customer; and
3) I hardly used Camel Phat anymore in my productions, because new effects / filter / distortion plugins evolved with a superior sound quality and easier handling.
And finally, I don’t like companies who try to sell me a basic sampler and then want to make money selling me sound sets. I never bought Alchemy because it was too expensive and I got the impression that without the extra sounds, it isn’t a compelling offer (by the way, I think the same about NI’s sampler).
A wavetable synthesizer is a BIT different from a sampler.
I’m curious about the new effects and plugins you use that sound better?
I’m using Sugar Bytes WOW a lot these days, not just for the effects, but also as a sound enhancer (if you put it in the effects chain, even without selecting a preset, you will notice an immediate increase in volume and (perceived) fatness.
For filtering, I use Cabeguys Filter Shaper, an incredibly tool that offers a lot of extra modulation and many ways to carve a pattern into a sound.
For distortion, my favourite is Brainworx BX Saturator V2 (or even Rockrack Pro, if you are looking for outright guitar amp settings, the Saturator is more subtle and works better on synths).
If you’re looking for an all in one solution, I can also recommend D16 Group Silver Line and U-He Uhbik, but the former doesn’t provide a filter and the later is somewhat outdated too.
To be clear, I don`t meant to attack Camel Audio, and I really never used Alchemy, I merely wanted to offer a possible explanation if they went bust indeed.
A company needs an active marketing, with at least one big sale each year (and I’m not talking about laughable 15% on sound sets, I will only “wake up” if something has got 50%+ discount). Second, a company needs to keep people aware of its existence, which is being done by newly developed products (with an inrtoductory offer to existing customers of course) and FREE maintenance updates of the current products.
>>> 1) within the last years, no new products came up;
For me, Alchemy is so complete that I didn’t feel the need for any. That may go against the grain for some, but as with the Prophet-12, it feels fully matured. That doesn’t sit well in a field where New is always this week’s Jesus.
>>> 2) I almost never received discount offers from the company, despite being an existing customer
I got 4 or 5 over the last few years and made use of them. I thought they were right in line with reality and comparable to other makers, even better than most.
3) I hardly used Camel Phat anymore in my productions, because new effects / filter / distortion plugins evolved with a superior sound quality and easier handling.
FX plugs are like guitar pedals; too many is just enough. Been there! Still, “superior” is relative to the quality of the results and the feel-factor. Its fine if you seek a lot of novelty, but I prefer familiarity. Its up to me to make the tool sound good, not the software’s job to make ME sound good. 😛
>>>And finally, I don’t like companies who try to sell me a basic sampler and then want to make money selling me sound sets.
Why not? Camel Audio applied patches from numerous contributors like Junkie XL and it showed. The variety is immense, even within just one set. $59 per set was very reasonable and they knocked 15% off several times, so I’d call that a well-expanded sound palette, not a rip-off. Great loops/arps, pads and really rich soloing voices are a regular feature. They offered a few “dance” sets, but also very different things I find inspiring. That lush Steamworx set has no real peers. Calling Alchemy a sampler is inaccurate. It can apply samples in several ways, but its a synth at heart, with several sources of oscillator food. I like the collaboration with all of those great sound designers and it was far less expensive to buy a quality set than another entire synth.
I take your points flat-footed; there are a lot of potential aggravations in what should be enjoyable. Been THERE, too. Just don’t get so critical that you lose sight of the fun involved. I still heart my synths themselves, as opposed to crack, kracks and VAT madness.
Bummer – I guess this means they’ll never update their iOS app to allow you to create/edit/save your own patches and sounds the way nearly every other synth app allows you to?
yep, that was the ONE thing that i found totally crappy about in their iOS Alchemy app…no saving custom patches.
If you are like me and have a number of libraries for the iOS version, the folks at Camel Audio have provided me with the instructions on how to back up your libraries so they won’t be lost in case of a crash or buying a new iDevice:
“We are currently working on a few ways to back up iOS libraries so that you’ll be able to reinstall them in the future. For now, you can use a free desktop app called ‘iFunbox.
Note: Song files will need to be backed up separately via iCloud or Dropbox.
Backing up using iFunbox (http://www.i-funbox.com):
1) Connect your device to your computer
2) In iFunbox, expand ‘User Applications’ using the disclosure arrow (circled below)
3) Go to Alchemy / Library and drag and drop the ‘Private Documents’ folder to the backup location on your computer (in our example above, we’ve created a folder called ‘iFunbox Backup’. This could take a few minutes depending on how many libraries you have saved on your iOS device
4) Next, highlight ‘User Applications’, to see a grid of your installed application icons.
5) Right click Alchemy and select ‘Backup to .ipa package’ -> ‘Without Personal Data’
6) It makes sense to save it to the same place as the Private Documents folder.
Restoring Alchemy Mobile + Libraries From Backup Using iFunbox:
1) Connect your device to your computer
2) In iFunbox, select ‘Install App’ from the menu bar at the top of the window
3) Locate the .ipa file that iFunbox created when backing up the app
4) Double-click the .ipa file to install Alchemy to your device
5) Next, expand User Applications as above, and go to Alchemy/Library
6) Drag and drop the ‘Private Documents’ file across. If given the option to Replace or Merge, select ‘Merge’.
Hope this helps – thanks for your kind words, it’s really appreciated.”
Good service to the very last. Classy.
It helps to approach people with empathy and friendliness. Something pretty much missing on the internet these days!
The comments on this post are the first time I heard about any problematic VAT EU directives. And I keep up with the news constantly. I live in NL, maybe it’s only a topic in the UK. It’s popular there to rant about the EU I guess.
Odd that this VAT thing that’s so unimportant that I’ve never heard of it keeps coming up over and over in these comments, while there is NO indication whatsoever that this had anything to do with the Camel Audio closure. Please present proof before spreading UKIP FUD.
Hehe… so because you are such a massive news guru and you haven’t heard of it it doesn’t exist?
What a joker!
My sources were Rachel Andrew at first, as a blog post from a blog I occasionally read, and then straight to the UK Government website and the EC Website – so stuff your UKIP FUD where the sun don’t shine!
To be 100% clear – despite the idiotic accusations I have no affiliation with, and do not support or promote the ideas or values of the UKIP party.
I don’t think you keep up on the news as well as you proclaim. I have a job that requires me to read economics news everyday and I was aware of this issue for a month or two – and I live in the US. The fact is it is almost impossible for small companies to exist in europes model but that is exactly what the big companies and the politicians that own them want. I agree this is speculation as to why the company shut its doors. There probably were many reasons, but it would seem to me that the timing suggests the vat likely had something to do with it given the fact that if they didn’t develop anything new they could sell an existing product for a long time with low overhead.
I’m not saying it wasn’t news at all. However I spend quite a decent portion of my day reading mainstream Dutch news sites as well as watching the news and political programs, and it certainly hasn’t been a topic I’ve run in to. If this was a topic of any kind of significance here in the Netherlands, I can’t imagine all those “omg all small businesses are going down” stories would have escaped my attention, so hence my conclusion.
I’ve just searched for it just to confirm I’m not crazy, and the few results discussing the additional administrative burden I’ve found so far none of them are from mainstream newspapers, just one small article in the Financieel Dagblad and a few smaller websites.
So, it seems I was correct in my observation. As said, this may be mostly a topic in the UK, where I suppose things coming from Europe are generally regarded more sceptically, and the rest of Europe (or at least NL) don’t care.
I’m saying FUD because you can not assume Camel Audio closing has anything to do with the VAT change unless you have some basis of proof. I’m saying UKIP just because attributing this closure to the EU seems totally random and anti-EU by default, I’m sorry if I horrendously offended you by mentioning that party which as an outsider I know barely anything about.
And there we go, Apple bought them, is the reason for closing.
CA are indeed a classy company. Alchemy is excellent & I paticularly liked the way the iOS version integrated with the OSX version. Perhaps Apple thought the same. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if they did buy CA. Better than no CA.
I know that they were working on Alchemy 2 & can only hope that it may resurface in another name.
Classy company? I wouldn’t call a company that just closes shop with no explanation classy. I am sure they are great with the support but pulling this stunt is pretty rotten. A couple of days later and still no one knows the real reason behind their closure.
I only spent a little bit on their iOS app. I am getting a new iPad from work next week and was looking forward to installing it. Not sure if I can unlock the pro features again now. Feel sorry for those that have dropped a lot of money on the add on sound packs. Does anyone know for sure if the in app restore pro features will continue to work if installed on a new iPad? ( I haven’t found a definitive answer yet).
If the restoring of in-app purchases is something that evaporates with the company it brings into real question whether one should spend significant dollars on an app from an app store that could just vanish function wise. Losing a 99cent app is one thing, but losing something more costly is another, and there are plenty of expensive specialty apps on the app store.
Before you pass judgement on the whole ‘classy vs. non-classy’ thing you should consider the idea that if the company has in fact entered into an agreement to be purchased by another, that there is a ‘quiet period’ where the company cannot comment while the legal wranglings take place.
In other words, the company is ‘quiet’ because they are legally required to be…..
because it can be hard to take all that whining to support, host program developers implementing all sort of stuff that conflicts your software vst. all that ungrateful attitude and never ending i want i want rants. all for your crummy $50 bill or two.
gotta quit, get a real job, meet real people, start a family or spend time with your family.
one of the best soft synth developers out there quitting. blame the pirates too. Camel audio gave the free player, no charge, free presets to use. what else do customers need? something more than their 4 week full version demo. everyone should consider who are the ones acting all strange and weird?
That’s sad, I use Alchemy everyday and love it. The best Soft synth I have come across by far. the reason I originally bought it was because it was the only extensive soft synth I could find for a reasonable price ($250).
I suppose the big companies in the game like Native Instruments are the only ones who can keep afloat by offering insanely extensive packages.
Apple bought Alchemy. It’s going to be add-on for Logic Pro in the near future…
Camel Audio demos are still available for download via the Wayback Machine at archive.org, except for Alchemy which required registration to be emailed a download link.
does anyone know of any other way of getting the Alchemy???