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View Full Version : "Why is [insert virtual instrument] so expensive???"


big giant circles
07-31-2009, 04:16 AM
This is just an FYI thing I thought was interesting enough to share.

http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/showthread.php?t=22696

Too lazy to click? TL:DR? Some newbie to sample libraries thinks Symphonic Orchestra is too expensive and then tries to estimate the cost to produce it. He undershoots, and it's pathetically laughable. Doug Rogers (one of the producers) responds with a bit of an eye-opening explanation.

Alright, why is it that SO Platinum Plus is $1,000!?

I'm guessing to hire the musicians to record was probably about $1,500 an hour, and they worked on it for probably a total of 15-20 hours, which would cost them about $30,000 to develop the program.

At the same time they are recieving incoming finance from Stormdrum 2, and other famous programs, so EW is not on a shortage of money...

Is it because of the fact that it is amazing quality (and it is)?
Is it the portable convenience?

If I am being rude by talking about EW's finances, tell me, and I will understand.

-Phillip L.

Phillip,

Try over $750,000 - recording an entire orchestra all day every day for two months! The cost of the concert hall, the addition of Prof. Keith O. Johnson and his truckload of equipment in another state, airfares, hotels and meals (including the players), over 9 months of editing and programming by a large team (including purchasing multiple computers), software development and OEM costs, manual, artwork, packaging, advertising and marketing costs.

You can also thank the early purchasers that paid nearly $3,000 for Platinum when it was first released, they enabled you to get it for less than one-third of the price today.

Then, of course, there is no guarantee the project will be a success, so you can add that risk also. Fortunately we selected a team that eliminated much of that gamble and it paid off.

Cheers,

- DR

I guess it just goes to show you why some instruments cost as much as they do, and honestly, we're all EXTREMELY lucky that instruments are as affordable as they are these days.

But still, quality doesn't always come cheap. Sometimes you just have to accept that something good is going to cost more than you'd like to pay for it.

big giant circles
07-31-2009, 04:19 AM
Also, it's not evil for a company/business to make money off a quality product, even (and especially) if it's popular.

avaris
07-31-2009, 04:25 AM
Also, it's not evil for a company/business to make money off a quality product, even (and especially) if it's popular.

Agreed. Someone is never in the wrong trying to compensate off of their hardwork and intellectual property. Compared to the options and prices 20 years ago getting quality sounds nowadays is laughable.

Anywho Synth1 is free. :shock:

big giant circles
07-31-2009, 04:38 AM
Anywho Synth1 is free. :shock:

Which is why I said that quality doesn't always come cheap. On some rare occasions, it can ;)

Meteo Xavier
07-31-2009, 05:15 AM
Crap isn't cheap either.

Nothing is.

Hence the problem.

DusK
07-31-2009, 09:26 AM
Piracy also has a habit of driving prices up.

lazygecko
07-31-2009, 10:36 AM
Also I don't think they make these things with bedroom producers in mind.

Yoozer
07-31-2009, 05:03 PM
Making music has never been cheaper. The curve is different, however - a guitar can be had for cheap, but electronic music production has a high initial (set of) bump(s). Thing is, the computer is not factored in.

Of course orchestral libraries cost a lot - they're something you just can't do by yourself if you have a deadline. As for the cost - Nexus with all expansions is pretty pricey, too.

dannthr
08-01-2009, 01:15 PM
Yeah, I looked into doing a very low key chamber style string library with a friend of mine that had competitive functionality/quality--we couldn't get the estimate to be under $250k--or about $50k per section.

Doing a solo instrument with competitive functionality/quality was a little more attainable--but still looking at like $10k.

DZComposer
08-08-2009, 06:58 PM
While I understand why libraries can be expensive, it doesn't explain the need to force users to purchase additional hardware for the sole purpose of copy protection.

If you must have dongles, include one in the damn box. If Steinberg can do it, why can't EastWest? Sticking it to your customers like that does nothing to deter piracy. Or better, use Software encryption like Garritan does.

I know $50 is nothing compared to the $1000 library, but there are things I would rather do with $50 than buy dongles...

Moseph
08-08-2009, 07:22 PM
While I understand why libraries can be expensive, it doesn't explain the need to force users to purchase additional hardware for the sole purpose of copy protection.

If you must have dongles, include one in the damn box. If Steinberg can do it, why can't EastWest? Sticking it to your customers like that does nothing to deter piracy. Or better, use Software encryption like Garritan does.

I know $50 is nothing compared to the $1000 library, but there are things I would rather do with $50 than buy dongles...
If they included the dongle, then it would be a $1050 library, and people who already had a compatible dongle would complain that they didn't want to pay for another one. But, yeah, I hate hardware protection, too. It's one of the reasons I use Sonar instead of Cubase.

dannthr
08-08-2009, 07:35 PM
While I understand why libraries can be expensive, it doesn't explain the need to force users to purchase additional hardware for the sole purpose of copy protection.

If you must have dongles, include one in the damn box. If Steinberg can do it, why can't EastWest? Sticking it to your customers like that does nothing to deter piracy. Or better, use Software encryption like Garritan does.

I know $50 is nothing compared to the $1000 library, but there are things I would rather do with $50 than buy dongles...

Probably because you only need one dongle.

big giant circles
08-08-2009, 09:26 PM
I do agree that iLok/dongle management is kind of ridiculous. For example, Autotune will cost you $320, but no iLok is included. However, the $99 version (Autotune EFX) does include one, how silly is that? And I actually have extra iLoks because MOTU instruments do come with them, I believe with the auth data already loaded in the iLok.

Me, I'm not a fan of iLoks simply because I hate tying my ownership of a product to a small piece of hardware that could be lost, broken, or stolen. Yes, I know can get "downtime coverage" or whatever it's called, but I'm annoyed by the idea of paying a fee to make sure that my ownership does not get compromised.

Also, you should NEVER pay more than $25-30 for a Steinberg key and $40 for an iLok. If you're paying more, you are buying them from the wrong place.

DZComposer
08-08-2009, 10:55 PM
If they included the dongle, then it would be a $1050 library, and people who already had a compatible dongle would complain that they didn't want to pay for another one. But, yeah, I hate hardware protection, too. It's one of the reasons I use Sonar instead of Cubase.

Not necessarily. If they were smart, they'd get a bulk deal and get them for like half of what would be paid retail. Unless they decided they wanted to profit off of them, which I believe is not a nice thing to do to your customers.

big giant circles
08-09-2009, 11:58 PM
...profit off of ...customers.

Well, that's the idea, isnt it? :<

:tomatoface:

I know, I know, I know, you were talking about the iLok :P

tweex
08-10-2009, 01:34 AM
Also I don't think they make these things with bedroom producers in mind.

I couldn't disagree more! Never before has a person been able to sit down in front of their personal computer and written/produced a piece of music that, for many people, will sound identical to a real orchestra!

Sure, $1000 may seem expensive, but compare it to actually using a 40 piece (smaller) orchestra for a non union gig (much less expensive):

-$15,000-$30,000 for 3-5 hours in a day for the orchestra, engineer, studio space, equipment rental, arrangers, composers, transcribers, etc. Add on additional costs for post production mixing, mastering, editing and more.

-$1000 for a piece of software (or less if you go for the lower packages) that you will have permantly to use any time, any where, for any project.

If that's not catering to the "bedroom producers" and home studios, I don't know what is.

Moseph
08-10-2009, 02:09 AM
I couldn't disagree more! Never before has a person been able to sit down in front of their personal computer and written/produced a piece of music that, for many people, will sound identical to a real orchestra!

Sure, $1000 may seem expensive, but compare it to actually using a 40 piece (smaller) orchestra for a non union gig (much less expensive):

-$15,000-$30,000 for 3-5 hours in a day for the orchestra, engineer, studio space, equipment rental, arrangers, composers, transcribers, etc. Add on additional costs for post production mixing, mastering, editing and more.

-$1000 for a piece of software (or less if you go for the lower packages) that you will have permantly to use any time, any where, for any project.

If that's not catering to the "bedroom producers" and home studios, I don't know what is.
The thing is, for the kind of people who complain about the price, it's now just cheap enough to be too expensive, if that makes any sense. Before, a guy with no money wouldn't even consider a $30k recording session since it would be so far out of his league, whereas now he's in a position where a couple paychecks will get him something comparable. He still maybe can't afford it, but now it's just out of his reach rather than being the stuff of lottery fantasies.

But it's like that with everything. People always want what they can almost afford, and they like to complain about it. When orchestral libraries come down in price, they'll latch onto something else that's "too expensive."

dannthr
08-10-2009, 05:15 AM
I couldn't disagree more! Never before has a person been able to sit down in front of their personal computer and written/produced a piece of music that, for many people, will sound identical to a real orchestra!

Sure, $1000 may seem expensive, but compare it to actually using a 40 piece (smaller) orchestra for a non union gig (much less expensive):

-$15,000-$30,000 for 3-5 hours in a day for the orchestra, engineer, studio space, equipment rental, arrangers, composers, transcribers, etc. Add on additional costs for post production mixing, mastering, editing and more.

-$1000 for a piece of software (or less if you go for the lower packages) that you will have permantly to use any time, any where, for any project.

If that's not catering to the "bedroom producers" and home studios, I don't know what is.

More like $8,000-$15,000, musicians in Prague go for about $20/hr. ;)

tweex
08-10-2009, 01:39 PM
More like $8,000-$15,000, musicians in Prague go for about $20/hr. ;)

Maybe in Prague, but not here. I coordinated a session here in Nashville about a week ago and we paid 32k for 5 hours and two 30 second music spots. Keep in mind, Nashville is significantly cheaper than doing it in NY or LA.