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Why are software developers killing our industry?

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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby J_J_Breeze » Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:52 am

Zukan wrote:

Your argument that everyone has plugins in their daw etc is a valid point, but it doesn't stop people still purchasing more plugins. The same thinking behind the hardware we buy again and again and.....and try to emulate via software.

This true, I love treating myself to a new plug in. That said the Waves CLA-2A Compressor that I recently purchased was heavily discounted! Which is evidence of you plight...

Zukan wrote:
J_J_Breeze wrote:Who are the main heavy discounters that directly compete with your 'Stretch that note' (hip hop / electronic style) product line?


None. I am not concerned with the STN products as that will all be changed to accommodate the new plugin. My concerns are on pricing the new vsti but there are no comparables in the marketplace to gauge the best price for the product.

Mmmm in that case you might be solving a problem that does not need solving. by this I mean do hip hop producers want this library or are they happy with ripping samples themselves and sticking them in Logic's sampler?

It might be worth focusing on a more affluent/professional clients that need sample libraries because they are so busy and therefore willing to pay for them. I hear lots of loops from Heavyocity products in HBO / Netflicks shows

http://www.heavyocity.com/#home-3

Of course that's no indication of the companies profits... but generally marketing towards higher income / professional producers would be what I would do if I was in your line and determined to continue making plug ins.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby johnny h » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:38 am

Zukan wrote:
Prepare for poorer quality products saturating a market that is already saturated. However, what you fail to realise are the costs involved. The price points charged today barely recoup R&D.
The costs are unrelated to the sale price in the short term. It doesn't matter if took you 3 years or 3 hours to make something, if the demand is there people will pay for it. Obviously in the long term businesses will fail if they can't at least break even, but it appears that for some reason there's always new developers looking to jump in, despite the declining market.

Your argument that everyone has plugins in their daw etc is a valid point, but it doesn't stop people still purchasing more plugins. The same thinking behind the hardware we buy again and again and.....and try to emulate via software.
The problem with investing in plugins is the very sharp depreciation value. 3k invested in plugins 10 years ago would be close to worthless today. The same amount invested in hardware, particularly analogue hardware would retain the majority of its value. 3k on vintage synths could have given you 6k+ in assets today.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby Zukan » Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:48 pm

Good insights, thanks guys.

JJ for the ...arrrrrghhhhh...last time, it has nothing to do with sample libraries. I served my time creating sounds for the manufacturers in 'dem days'.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby CS70 » Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:57 pm

Zukan wrote:I respect your points Andy but still have no idea how to combat both the piracy aspect and the extreme and desperate cost cutting.

You can't. That's why the wiser move is to move to a different market.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby CS70 » Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:03 pm

Barry Garlow wrote:So i don't know how anyone can make a living out of developing software unless its something totally new like the software to facilitate streaming live performances to walk-round tabletop holographics or something.

Its starting to look like an old business and far from growing and taking in new users it seems to me to be shrinking.

Yep, that's the gist of it. Just for the consumer market, tough. Enterprise-oriented software is still quite healthy, shift more money than a dozen music businesses and even if the move to the cloud is happening, it's still very much the same actors.

And that's because any company with a size that matters _does not pirate_. Unlike consumers.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby Zukan » Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:37 am

Looks like it's back to the pole dancing gigs then........
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby R_A » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:55 pm

Zukan really has a point. Brand new plugs by Waves at 50% off:

http://www.pluginboutique.com/product/4-Synth/1218-Codex-Wavetable-Synth
http://www.pluginboutique.com/product/21-Channel-Strip/1227-EMI-TG12345-Channel-Strip

This kind of marketing devalues a brand / sector.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby Issy » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:47 pm

I've checked Soniccouture Limited and I've got this: http://www.bizdb.co.uk/company/soniccouture-limited-06048455...
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby The Red Bladder » Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:35 pm

You guys really don't get it, do you!?

We are entering an age of zero marginal cost. We are looking at printable solar panels, music and films are now free or very close to free. Software is so rapidly approaching free status that it has become a PR and marketing tool, instead of a product.

BlackMagic's 'Resolve' package includes Da Vinci colour correction and is a free download. Yes, free - and that was a product, that when it was launched, cost $200,000!!! You get the complete package with very advanced restoration tools free with their cameras!

Physical product is being replaced by intellectual product. And IP will always drift downwards in price, as it has no marginal costs.

A complete OB unit with graphics fly-in and virtual studio SW, with instant slo-mo replay from any/all cameras and with instant and automatic feed to YouTube/Twitter/Facebook costs £20k and fits in a suitcase. What used to take a room full of people and an entire 40-foot OB truck costing at least £1m, is now just a couple of very small boxes and a keyboard.

One day, it too will be free!

You can sell a constantly evolving service, such as SOS magazine, but that too is free after six months. You can ask people to pay on their honour (e.g. Reaper) or you can bundle your IP with a physical product like BlackMagic.

But the cost of physical product is diving at a ridiculous rate. 15 years ago, a decent studio camera in SD cost about £30,000. Today, a good 4K studio camera costs between £1k and £5k.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby Dynamic Mike » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:01 am

The Red Bladder wrote: ....films are now free or very close to free.


15 years ago, a decent studio camera in SD cost about £30,000. Today, a good 4K studio camera costs between £1k and £5k.
Effect and cause?
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby Zukan » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:09 am

Andy, all good points but I am not too concerned on value in the sense of comparison to an earlier time. I am more interested at the desperate measures taken by s/ware developers to undercut each other and attain 'some' sales. Melda have now been on their stupid sale for the best part of 8 months.This negates the concept of 'a sale' and not only devalues their brand but also sets a threshold for us. The simple mathematics of this scenario is that we simply cannot make plugins at those prices and yet expect to build a quality brand. Yes, I can find shitty coders but I build quality products (I hope) and require decent coders, and they ain't cheap.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby dmills » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:28 am

The Red Bladder wrote:
A complete OB unit with graphics fly-in and virtual studio SW, with instant slo-mo replay from any/all cameras and with instant and automatic feed to YouTube/Twitter/Facebook costs £20k and fits in a suitcase. What used to take a room full of people and an entire 40-foot OB truck costing at least £1m, is now just a couple of very small boxes and a keyboard.
And yet, strangely, there is STILL a market for those £1M+ trucks....

Mainly this comes down to the fact that you still need most of those people to actually do the job, and they need somewhere to sit (And the comms & tally infrastructure to coordinate, and the monitors to see and hear, and the redundancy to keep the golf on air when an engineering casualty takes out an uplink).

And a million is small beer when you are providing broadcast services to the NFL/PGA/Whoever, the cost of a critical systems failure is orders of magnitude larger then the cost of the good stuff.

But the cost of physical product is diving at a ridiculous rate. 15 years ago, a decent studio camera in SD cost about £30,000. Today, a good 4K studio camera costs between £1k and £5k.
Let you in on a dirty little secret, a good box lens STILL costs, and a RED or similar camera system is still proper money, and a camera pedestal is still kind of expensive.... Sure the low end has gotten MUCH better then it once was (And by implication is now good enough for many things that it did not used to be), but there is still very much a market for the high end kit.

That 4K black magic camera, does not have the optical system quality to actually pull off anything like 4K lines of resolution, if you are a wedding video type then it is a cheap way to be able to advertise a 4K service, and that is fine, but do not confuse it with a RED or similar.

The audio equivalent would be the advent of the £50 Chinese condenser mic, cheap, works, and has a surprisingly good spec, but its existence is not worrying B&K/DPA overmuch.

In the software domain the zero marginal cost ONLY applies of you do not provide support, development is expensive, but in the right market, while the support folks are expensive, the support contracts can actually be a profit centre.
Now for the most part, the audio tools do not really have the level of complexity to really warrant the sort of £4,000 per seat per year that something like support and maintenance on a decent CAD system costs, but that is mainly a reflection on the fact that most audio plugins are just not really that complex.

Regards, Dan.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby damoore » Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:13 pm

dmills wrote:

A code to locate impulse noise sources given an arbitrarily located set of microphones is something you could probably sell

This one, at least, has been done. Or at least certain towns in the US have such systems in place to detect gun fire; I don't know how special case the software is or how much time is spent calibrating it.

It is actually a pretty easy problem except for the situation where only reflected paths reach the detectors.

On the other hand, I expect there is still lots of interesting work that can be done in the wavelet domain.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby MarkOne » Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:45 pm

dmills wrote:
That 4K black magic camera, does not have the optical system quality to actually pull off anything like 4K lines of resolution, if you are a wedding video type then it is a cheap way to be able to advertise a 4K service, and that is fine, but do not confuse it with a RED or similar.

I dunno... The Blackmagic 4K has 3 lens mount options Passive MFT, EF or PL. And the PL option opens the way for you to pair it with the same Panavision, ARRI or Zeiss glass you'd be putting on a RED or an ARRI. There's nothing between the sensor and the glass, so I don't really see where the 'optical system' quality is compromised. And you can google comparisons of sensor quality between the Red Scarlett and the Blackmagic 4K. There really isn't much in it. OK the new RED Dragon has 16 (SIXTEEN!) stops of dynamic range, and is probably worth the $15K for just the brain alone, but don't just dismiss the BM Cinema 4K as only being suitable for wedding videography :)

Some big hollywood productions are using BM cameras as part of their arsenal now. Mad Max Fury Road used the BM Cinema 4K for a number of scenes, and Avengers Age of Ultron used a whole bunch of it's baby brother for action shots.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby The Red Bladder » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:12 pm

dmills wrote:And a million is small beer when you are providing broadcast services to the NFL/PGA/Whoever, the cost of a critical systems failure is orders of magnitude larger then the cost of the good stuff.


The sad fact is, Dan, that those armed with sharpened pencils will look at the rental fee and draw a red line through it. I am not claiming that this development is good, I'm just saying that it is happening.

In a film for dmills00m, there is no budget for the composer to doodle in some get-away-from-it-all studio for a week or two (I should know!!!) Reds and better Sonys and all the other 4K toys are being used because they don't use 35mm film. Film costs money, so the sharpened pencils have ripped that one off the table.

Is film better? Yes. So do we get to use it? Do we hell!

Does music sound better when recorded to tape? Yes of course it does, just as it sounded better when mastered to 1/2-inch. Mixes sound better when fed through the desk and Neve EQ and a plate or Lexicon reverb. So, do we get one week mix budgets? Do we hell! ITB and hurry up!

dmills wrote:Let you in on a dirty little secret, a good box lens STILL costs, and a RED or similar camera system is still proper money, and a camera pedestal is still kind of expensive.... Sure the low end has gotten MUCH better then it once was (And by implication is now good enough for many things that it did not used to be), but there is still very much a market for the high end kit.

That 4K black magic camera, does not have the optical system quality to actually pull off anything like 4K lines of resolution, if you are a wedding video type then it is a cheap way to be able to advertise a 4K service, and that is fine, but do not confuse it with a RED or similar.


Like the man said, there ain't no optics, that's all the lens's job and most people buy lenses once. Good lenses are the cinematographer's secret weapon, just as good mics are a sound guy's secret weapons. Also good grips are vital, but the jib I bought 20 years ago and the dollies I bought 15 years ago are good for whatever sits on them, just as the Satchlers and Vintens. If you are a film maker, you should have a collection of EF and/or PL mount primary lenses, just as you will have all the other stuff.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby themarqueeyears » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:39 pm

I honestly feel for the OP.

Since the "Black Friday" sale thing started with developers like Slate Digital, UA, NI, Plugin Alliance etc etc I just find myself saving up all year and then getting three times as much for my money just by waiting for this big once a year sale.

I have thought it's a bit crazy because it in effect de-values their software - but I have limited resources to spend and I can't resist the deals on offer over the black friday weekend.

I agree not a good situation for smaller developers - who I do support also with my purchases.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby 4TrackMadman » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:05 pm

Personally I've shifted my focus from buying software and interfaces into buying instruments and amps.

The reason - every 2 years I am forced by the developers to buy their product again and I am sick of it. So now I just buy a DAW, and use the stock plugins, for the most part they cover everything and I don't need to supplement them anymore.

I still do have some other software purchases sitting in DVDs, hard drives uninstalled because I don't care dealing with the validation schemes.

Now I wouldn't even bother dealing with buying the new hardware offerings that are locked into software as I've seen developers abandon quite a few of these expensive platforms after a few years.

So, I've cut down to the bare bones, and couldn't be bothered to deal with more software developers and even some of these huge sale deals. Every once in a while I'll bite and then it won't make it back on my DAW after a system reload as I'd have to kill a whole day of productivity having to deal with software validation schemes, etc.

Am I pissed off at my current audio interface company? You betcha! They don't have forward going drivers and there's nothing wrong with the unit but I'll have to ditch it when I make the next move up in OS.
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby Zukan » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:43 am

btw, i put you down for the SOS meet. it's not a discussion btw
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:58 am

4TrackMadman wrote:...there's nothing wrong with the unit but I'll have to ditch it when I make the next move up in OS.

And that's the mistake right there. In the vast majority of cases there is no *need* to update the OS. As you say, there's nothing wrong with the original system so why break it with an unnecessary change of OS?

;)

H
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Re: Why are software developers killing our industry?

Postby J_J_Breeze » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:31 am

Zukan wrote:Do you guys realise that by offering these ridiculous deals on a daily basis means we can never raise our prices to extend beyond the 'plateau' now regarded as the norm.

Can we please, please, stop this damn madness. You guys are killing us smaller developers and doing yourselves absolutely no favours in the process. It has now got to the point that almost everyone says 'I'll wait until they do a sale'. Madness!

Maybe consider trying a pricing system similar to Klanghelm and Valhalla? No sales but consistently low pricing so that you become the go to for your niche.

The discounters are typically larger well organised companies that have been larger and well organised for a decade. They can afford to discount their technology.

Also if you are struggling to pay a computer programmer, consider forming a LTD company with a 50/50 shareholding with a talented coder. The best way to incentivize real talent is equity in the company.

Market the company by being very responsive on forums such as KVR (you probably are already) and getting the taste-makers on there (and other prominent artists / engineers with social media presence) invested in the product through late stage beta testing and free licences.

Anyway good luck with the new product.
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