Starting with version 2.32 we are removing a significant number of features from Fathom Mono.
Fathom Mono will now include the basic waveforms oscillator, analog saw, additive, impulse and frequency pulse oscillators, basic low pass, band pass and high pass filters, two chorus units and the easy reverb unit. All other units including the wave draw and wave table oscillators have been removed from Fathom Mono and will only be available in Fathom Pro.
We realize this decision will be unpopular in the community so we will provide an explanation here.
Our original decision to provide an advanced mono freeware synth was based on trust and respect toward the music community and our hope was that we would be rewarded. We were happy to provide Fathom Mono to musicians around the world under the assumption that a reasonable percentage the Mono users would decide to support our project.
Unfortunately this turned out not to be the case.
Each month we provide over 1500 mono downloads and less than one percent of these users decide to purchase our product. Fathom has been very fortunate to attract a faithful cult following of serious users and sound designers who purchase our product as well as regular upgrades, but their support alone is not enough to bring our development to the next level.
At the very least our conversion rate needs to be 10 percent and preferably 25 percent in order to move ahead in making Fathom the best software synthesizer ever developed.
Because of the overwhelming praise we get for Fathom Mono it seems obvious that the cause is unlikely to be any dissatisfaction with its performance. In fact the reason is quite the opposite. Fathom Mono provides so many features that there may be little incentive for people to buy the full product.
In addition the only complaint we ever get about Fathom Mono is that it is too complex. This is further evidence that the current features are if anything too much for first time users.
Our only recourse is to cut features to the point that a good portion of our mono users will either decide to contribute to Fathom’s future or use another freeware option.
Fathom was never intended to be an exclusively free instrument. The purpose of Fathom Mono was to provide users with an easy way to judge the quality of our superior audio engine without the harassment of time limits or pop-ups.
It was not our intention to provide such an advanced free synth that we put ourselves out of business.
Fathom Mono will still have five oscillators, three effects and three sets of filters. In addition it will still have modular signal flow as well as the exact same audio engine as Fathom Pro.
Given that the basic features behind a good mono lead are still in place we think the new configuration more reasonably matches the function of a freeware synth.
We understand that people might be tempted to simply distribute the mono version 2.31.
Be aware, however, that significant improvements to our audio engine were made in version 2.32. These changes virtually eliminate all audio glitches during waveform and envelope edits, so fortunately for us this makes any off-the-grid distribution of version 2.31 severely antiquated.
This is not a decision we made lightly, in fact it was not one we wanted to make at all. Our discussion of this subject on the KVR Audio forum stretched for almost a month while we read the opinions of over a hundred users.
If you feel strongly about this issue please post your opinion to our KVR Audio development thread so it can be openly discussed, rather than using our support email which we would like to reserve for bugs.
Feel free to be honest, but please also be reasonably polite since we don’t want the hosting site to remove your post. We read our KVR Audio Forum every day.
The plugin market is one of the most saturated markets in all of computer software. No company survives in this space for long without a superior product and overwhelming support from their user base.
Indeed many of the best software synthesizer currently in use are no longer in active development.
Fathom, on the other hand, has been on the market two years now and our development is as intense as the day it was released.
This is rare for a software instrument.
We are musicians ourselves and we understand that the cost of plugins can easily accumulate, which is why our full product is priced at $45, approximately one quarter of what our competitors are charging for the same feature set.
Our users also enjoy the option of email support directly from our developers and we are one of the few companies in music software (or anywhere for that matter) which provide this.
Most of our user emails are answered within minutes. Compare this to most support options where you are lucky to get a response at all, let alone the same day.
We are happy that people use our free product, especially if they are using it to test-drive our synthesizer before a sincere purchase, or even if they use it occasionally for isolated tasks.
However, if you are using Fathom Mono as one of your primary synths please understand that the features you are using require resources to create. Fathom is not an experiment. We are serious about making it the best software synthesizer ever created.
We stand behind our product and we hope more of our Mono users will do the same.