Damon Krukowski’s essay Against Innovation is a sobering story for folks who make software. As a musician Krukowski relies on his software to keep working and to stay relatively constant. Every time it changes or breaks he has to learn something new. A few months ago, after going down a rabbit hole of dependencies following a supposedly standard upgrade, he had enough and took his studio offline. Krukowski values stability over everything else and the software can’t break if it doesn’t update, right? And of course, he was by no means the first to do this.
It seemed a clever solution to my small-scale, personal studio problem. But I was taken aback when some of the professionals who offered this advice said it is what they do, too. Even with their very extensive skillsets. Could it be that some of the most sophisticated audio technicians I know - mastering engineers in particular, those tasked in our industry with maintaining and constantly improving audio standards - choose to ignore innovation for the sake of stability?