Dave Smith has announced, via the DSI forum, that they have no plans for further updates to their Tempest analog drum machine:
First, and most importantly, I’d like to thank you for being a loyal Tempest user. We appreciate all of your support, feedback, and especially your creative use of the Tempest over the course of its 6-year development. It is now a mature product that has undergone many changes and improvements.
When the Tempest was first conceived, we never imagined the many ways you would ultimately put it to use. As such, over time, we’ve done our best to add as many features as we deemed implementable within the Tempest’s technical framework. We’ve listened to your requests and have enhanced its operation, editing, and performance capabilities. While there are still some minor bugs remaining, we’ve addressed the bugs affecting the Tempest’s essential operation and feel that it is stable, reliable, has abundant functionality, and is very fun to play.
Though some of you continue to request new features and offer useful suggestions for improvement, we’ve reached what we consider the limits of the instrument’s available memory and processing ability. For these reasons, we consider this release (OS 18.104.22.168) to be our final Tempest OS release.
Again, we deeply appreciate your enthusiasm for the Tempest. As we move forward, we are committed to creating still more ground-breaking instruments in the future.
The Tempest has been a unusually polarizing instrument – with some owners loving it and others frustrated by remaining bugs and outstanding feature requests. The drum machine’s last update, in June of 2016, addressed a variety of issues, but was also described as a ‘beta release’, and left many user requests untouched.
Co-designer Roger Linn has weighed in on DSI’s announcement, noting that, while he’d like to see further development on the Tempest, it’s already ‘pretty amazing’ and that he understands the decision:
I’d like to add a few words to Dave’s statement above. Though I may have chosen differently, I understand Dave’s decision to finish Tempest development with this update. He’s devoted far more effort and resources to Tempest than any of his other products, and I feel that even with some remaining minor bugs, Tempest is incredibly deep and remarkably functional, and in my opinion has no competition for what it does.
The interesting thing about a a product that stores your music is that it’s an invitation to an infinite number of feature requests, because everyone’s needs for music creation are unique. I actually would have preferred a simpler Tempest with less features, but I admire Dave and his team for working so hard to implement so many of your requests, and those efforts have probably made it a better product than I originally envisioned.
On balance, if you look at the totality of things Tempest can do and its vast internal complexity, I think it’s pretty amazing and may never be equalled. I certainly couldn’t have made Tempest on my own and appreciate that Dave was willing to devote so many of his resources to this collaboration of ideas.
Note that the DSI Tempest analog drum machine is still available and no announcement has been made about its future – just that its firmware is no longer being developed.