Chris Johnson

is creating AU/VST Plugins

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12$ a year
$1
per month
This is for folks who want to support and can barely do it: take care of yourself first, but if it matters that much to you then I am deeply honored :)
One $20 plugin a year
$1.66
per month
If I was selling plugins at $20 each and you bought one a year, this is how much that would be.
Two $20 plugins a year
$3.33
per month
If I was selling plugins at $20 each and you bought two a year, this is how much that would be.

602

patrons

$1,675

per month

About


I'm Chris from Airwindows, a leading company in professional audio DSP plugins since 2007. (Plugins are used in computer music applications like Logic, Cubase and many others.) Airwindows is all me, and I'm allowed to do this: I own all the rights to my code.


As of Monday, August 1st 2016, I began rereleasing my Audio Unit plugins for free as Mac AU, and Mac and Windows VST2, beginning with the newest version of the most popular one I ever wrote, Console. From now on, each new plugin and each port to VST/Windows will be free to the community. They are built in such a way that they're very backward compatible and run on older machines very well. My full catalog with all 'classic versions' includes over 250 plugins. As you read this, I've already released over 180 plugins under the Patreon.
Yes, really.

Why did you switch your entire business model to Patreon?

I sold close to a quarter million dollars worth of plugins over the decade I've been in business and want to do something that feels more honest to me. I will be doing my development work to benefit working musicians, DJs and producers. The evolution of the music business has left these folks with no money and a host of predators trying to drain their wallets in various ways, and that's why I will be supplying sound engineering tools (the best and most reliable in the business) and asking only a dollar a month, or whatever they can afford, or nothing. Musicians get an impossibly raw deal and I can no longer justify charging them for my tools at $50 a pop—even with no DRM or anything, which was always true for Airwindows stuff. This is me putting the tools in the hands of people who might just be getting started, and people who might have all the talent and literally no money. These days people like that will never make money off their work, unless they can pay to get into a situation that pays them back..
I want them to have tools so we can hear what they can do.
What's next?

Now that I've got nearly everything released as open source and patreon-supported free software, it's time to continue doing what I did all along: developing audio tools. I'm doing this in several ways: I experiment with hardware and Eurorack systems, and I continue to make plugins (sometimes, at a rate of a plugin a week, which is far beyond other commercial developers). I'm looking into adding my own version of a GUI layer if I can do one to my satisfaction, and I'm working on developing 'kits' to make a better introduction to Airwindows: currently, the range of stuff I give people for free is so vast that it's overwhelming and impossible to grasp. Nice problem to have, but it is something I'm working on.

Though I move very fast, the stuff I need to do is impossibly grand. So, in supporting my Patreon enough that I can keep the lights on (which has been true for a while), you're paying in advance for anything I do, and I'll be sharing it all with patrons (and often, with everybody). So thank you: with enough people working together you can keep me 'plugging' away for months and years on end, without straining anybody's resources unreasonably. I don't have corporate sponsors or partnerships. For me it's just people, and it turns out if I'm frugal and don't live too large, that is enough.
Goals
$1,675 of $2,000 per month
At $2000 a month, I begin to put hardware hacking in peoples' hands (having already done all the software): anything above this, I spend on chips and parts etc. and sell to patrons at cost (MY cost, as in 'bulk purchases', but you buy little tinkerer's kits for much cheaper). I will fulfil these hardware orders smallest-first and newest-first: newbies over 'would be manufacturers getting parts for cheap through me', and I'll always tell you where I'm getting stuff so you can get access on your own. I'll be starting with a CMOS synth-chip kit: stuff that makes basic little oscillators and logic elements. Also, I favor giving people parts that can be used for synths I like, such as Music Thing Modular DIY kits.
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