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SC price is justified and the VIP program more than fair!
Last post Sat, Dec 24 2005 by dunk187, 40 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 18:23
by hendrkf
Joined on Wed, Nov 30 2005, Posts 12
The discussion (and sometimes angry response) over the cost of the SC and VIP pricing is somewhat similar to the reaction to the new $8,500 Korg Oasys synth. Many loyal Korg customers were very angry about the extremely high pricing of the new synth, in that it was so expensive and loyal Korg customers had already invested so much in Korg products. I sold two of my other Korg synths (that I had paid $5,000 new) for and still had to come up with $5,000 to buy the Oasys. So I guess that I ended up paying $10,000 for what others could buy for $8,500 new. Anyway, Korg offered no VIP pricing.

However, the Oasys is far beyond any other synth available and, although the market for it will be more limited than for other Korg synths, its pricing is worth it (IMO)

I think that same will likely prove to be true for the SC VI. There will be nothing available to compare to what it can do.

The VSL VIP pricing program is based on the philosophy of not having to pay for the same samples twice. It seems to me that there is nothing in the new expanded SC that was in previous VSL offerings (24 bit vs 16 bit, VI with incredible intelligence built in, new articulations). Previous VSL customers can buy the expanded SC at a considerable savings compared to new customers. Yes, it is still expensive; yes many will not be able to afford it all at once (or at all), but I don't know what more VSL customers expect.

The new SC is not an incremental upgrade to existing technology. It appears to be a state-of-the-art application of sample-based technology with absolutely no compromise made in its design. The R&D investment for these products must have been tremendous. The work to develop this had to have been a labor of love for the VSL team, but that notwithstanding, they are still entitled to receive remuneration for that effort.

Even if you can't afford the SC (I am in that group, at least for now), how lucky the music world is to have a group of people with the passion and the ability to create a product like this.
Keith F Hendricks
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 18:51
by dbudde
Joined on Sun, Mar 02 2003, Seattle,WA USA, Posts 447
hendrkf wrote:
The discussion (and sometimes angry response) over the cost of the SC and VIP pricing is somewhat similar to the reaction to the new $8,500 Korg Oasys synth. Many loyal Korg customers were very angry about the extremely high pricing of the new synth, in that it was so expensive and loyal Korg customers had already invested so much in Korg products. I sold two of my other Korg synths (that I had paid $5,000 new) for and still had to come up with $5,000 to buy the Oasys. So I guess that I ended up paying $10,000 for what others could buy for $8,500 new. Anyway, Korg offered no VIP pricing.



Yes, but at least you have the opportunity to sell your existing Korg equipment. With VSL, the license agreement does not allow you to do that. I suspect that a change in VSL's license policy in this regard would help to alleviate much of the bad feelings many of the original users have over this issue. I don't expect this to happen as it's been discussed to death in the past and nothing happened. But I'll politely suggest it again anyway.

If there were a secondary market for VSL products, the marketplace would determine the real value of these products. Then people would be much more inclined to deal with upgrade pricing in a rational manner.
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 19:06
by hendrkf
Joined on Wed, Nov 30 2005, Posts 12
I think you are not understanding the logic of the VIP program.

The VIP discount is essentially the same as being able to sell your old samples. I believe that if you had purchased the Pro Orchestra for $6,000 new you would now get a $4,500 discount on purchasing the extended SC. That represents getting 75% of your original purchase price credited towards the purchase of the SC.

I only got about 70% of my original purchase price when I sold my synths.
Keith F Hendricks
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 19:28
by dbudde
Joined on Sun, Mar 02 2003, Seattle,WA USA, Posts 447
I do understand the VIP issue. But as has been stated many times by many people, the feeling is that the VIP policy is not being followed for SC. If you could sell your samples, this would obviate the need for the VIP program. It would also set expectations for real value for the samples as there would be a secondary market.

The only reason to not allow one to resell a product is if you don't think the secondary markets will hold up the value. So in a sense, one could view that VSL is admitting their product is severely overpriced by not allowing transfer of ownsership.
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 19:51
by hendrkf
Joined on Wed, Nov 30 2005, Posts 12
That VSL doesn't allow their product to be sold in a secondary market doesn't reflect that they think it is overpriced. It reflects that there is no way to police that they original owner would actually not continue to use the product once they "sold" it. Most sample companies follow this practice.

The fact that so many people don't "feel" that the VIP policy is being followed, while perhaps true, seems to reflect to me an emotional rather than a reasoned, logical response. Whatever the arguments about the VIP program, the fact is that a considerable discount for previous VSL owners is being offered when purchasing the extended SC. In fact, as much as 75% of the original purchase price can be applied as a discount to buy the extended SC.

It is unfortunate that some VSL customers don't seem to appreciate this point or think that VSL is not being fair. I guess some will just want to be negative or nit-pick, regardless of any logical counterpoint.
Keith F Hendricks
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 20:02
by dbudde
Joined on Sun, Mar 02 2003, Seattle,WA USA, Posts 447
Well, now that SC is dongle based, maybe this policy could be revisited, if in fact what you say is true.

Other sample companies do in fact allow transfer. Here is a prime case in point from the Garritan forum at Northern sounds:

"I am certainly all for the transferability of sample libraries. Everyone who asked was allowed to transfer GOS. GPO is a different story because it is not only a sample library being transfered, but a sample player owned by Native Instruments. Not being able to speak for Native Instruments, I included the aforementioned language in fine print. If Native Instruments permits the transfer then I am ok with it.

Gary Garritan"

Native Instruments does allow the transfer of it's players.
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 20:27
by hendrkf
Joined on Wed, Nov 30 2005, Posts 12
Perhaps the resale policy will be revisited with the dongle.

However, if there is resale allowed but no VIP, it is possible that the secondary resale market will not be as good for the VSL customer wanting to upgrade as the current VIP program.

What if the resale market for the Pro Edition is only 50% of the original purchase price, or around $3,000, versus the 75% credit that the VIP program allows ($4,500)? This is not unrealistic in that the current Pro Edition is selling new at a 30% discount. In that case you would be getting a lower price in the secondary market than with the VIP. Granted, you could use the money from the sale to offset the cost of the basic SC, versus only being able to apply the VIP rebate to the purchase of the extended SC.

The VIP program gives the VSL customer a very large rebate on previous purchase of VSL samples, although only if the extended SC is purchased. Applying the VIP rebate to the purchase of only the basic SC would probably not have given VSL the necessary revenue to offset their huge R&D investment for overall SC.

In my view, VSL's VIP rebate program, while not perfect, is very generous.
Keith F Hendricks
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 20:36
by dbudde
Joined on Sun, Mar 02 2003, Seattle,WA USA, Posts 447
Don't you think a lower resale value would tend to force VSL to lower their prices in general? They would have to compete with their own products after all. I can't imagine a scenario where free markets create a bad pricing problem for the customer.

Admitedly, there could be an initial short term problem because of the change in policy, but in the long run prices will stabilize to the benefit of the users. But this short term spike would only occur if the prices are artificially elevated in the first place.

Markets are very efficient in determining value. The VIP program places all control of pricing with VSL to the detriment of the users.
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 20:44
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
dbudde wrote:
Don't you think a lower resale value would tend to force VSL to lower their prices in general? They would have to compete with their own products after all. I can't imagine a scenario where free markets create a bad pricing problem for the customer.

Admitedly, there could be an initial short term problem because of the change in policy, but in the long run prices will stabilize to the benefit of the users. But this short term spike would only occur if the prices are artificially elevated in the first place.

Markets are very efficient in determining value. The VIP program places all control of pricing with VSL to the detriment of the users.


I think that there should be a re-sale policy, not with the existing instruments, but with the new VI. As it is dongle protected there would be no question of people being able to sell an "old" version and still keep a working version. I can't see that this would hurt sales, as the only people who would sell would be people who no longer wanted to use VSL products.

DG
Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 20:50
by Lee Blaske
Joined on Tue, Nov 05 2002, Excelsior, MN, Posts 218
hendrkf wrote:
Even if you can't afford the SC (I am in that group, at least for now), how lucky the music world is to have a group of people with the passion and the ability to create a product like this.


I'm sure that the VSL folks appreciate praise like that. At the end of the day, however, they're going to want to move product (hopefully, a LOT of it).

At the very least, this will be an extremely interesting test of the market. As far as the cost of high end orchestral sample packages goes, VSL is now in a very different league from any of its competitors. Certainly, they will sell some copies, but how many? You can make the same amount of profit (possibly more) by selling more copies at a lower price. Now that this software will be copy protected, I think there's a greater chance that more copies could actually be sold before piracy and "sharing" cuts into profits.

One thing I do appreciate about VSL is that they maintain the value of the product better than some of the competitors. Sure, I think we all expect sales down the line, but VSL doesn't blow things out the way other manufacturers do. If you're an early adopter, it's distressing to see big fire sales on products not all that long after you paid top dollar (or top euro). I don't expect VSL to be doing any dramatic price cuts once this product is released. If they did, it would REALLY anger the people that already spent the money. At this point, I think the price structure on these new products is locked in, so no sense in quibbling about it or demanding a change in the price structure. It is what it is.

Initially, I was pretty gung-ho about this new product and was seriously considering picking it up. At this point, I have to admit that I'm waffling a bit. No doubt about it, the new VI is brilliant. I'm concerned though, that I'd be making a big investment, and sonically not be all that far from where I'm at right now in terms of meat and potatoes things that I use every day. In other words, I'd be able to use the library much better, but it would sound essentially the same. In the past, whenever I've spent a large amount of money, I expected to be knocked out with a stunning, brand new sound.

If I do do the upgrade, I'm in for the whole thing. With the VSL content I already own, it wouldn't make sense to just stop at the basic product. So, I'm personally looking at $6,055. I've never spent that much on a high end library before, much less spent that much on an upgrade to a very expensive library that I already own.

Since we are talking about the same sonics as the previous versions, I already know that in many situations, I prefer samples from other libraries I own (I'm fortunate to have a lot of libraries). Regardless of the improvements that the new VI will make, I most likely will continue to use a lot of those other samples. It's not that there's anything wrong with the VSL content. In a lot of situations, other samples just seem to work better for me. I also feel like I'm overloaded (and I'll bet there are others in the same boat). I've got a LOT of stuff now, and I don't feel as if I've adequately used what I already have. Heck, I've got the box of disks for the new upgrade to EWQLSO Platinum sitting right here, and I haven't gotten around to installing them yet. Buying all this stuff is one thing. Getting a handle on it and really making use out of it is another.

Another drawback of the new VI, for me, would be that it would put a crimp in how I'd really like to use it. I have two modes of operation in my studio. For a lot of simpler projects, I just stick with all the stuff in my GS (with Logic as the front end of a PT HD Accel system). When requirements are greater, I'll fire up my additional four PCs. Ideally, if I did the VSL VI update, I'd like to have everything on my G5, but then also have it split between the other PCs. It doesn't seem like I'll be able to do this.

Considering all the above, I'm grappling with whether I would really get $6,000+ worth of value out of this update. Would there be other ways for me to spend that much money that would bring a more marked improvement to my end product? The early bird organ offer is nice, but not everybody needs organ all that often (I bought the Notre Dame de Budapest library some time back, and have yet to have an opportunity to use it).

The VSL SC VI would be wonderful to have, but with every passing day, I seem to be growing cooler on the idea that I really need it (especially at that price). Time will tell. I know that at least for me, enticing special offers are a big motivator to buy. Otherwise, I often drag my feet. I'll bet that's true for a lot of us.

I know that I could just acquire part of it, but that doesn't seem as appealing. I believe that a lot of the folks who were in for the original edition and the Pro version of VSL would feel the same way. Psychologically, there's something appealing about buying the whole enchilada (it's what I've always done in the past for other big libraries). It's too bad that this time, we're looking at such an expensive enchilada upgrade during a period in the history of sampling where so many other companies are bringing out some very cost-effective enchiladas (and our stomaches are already quite full). Big Smile

So at the moment, I'm torn about this. I wish that the SC upgrade was a more obvious slam dunk for me.

It would have been interesting to have been a bug on the wall of the VSL boardroom when discussions were taking place on how to package and market these products. I'll be they explored and toyed with a lot of alternate possibilities.

Lee Blaske
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 21:04
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
Lee Blaske wrote:

Initially, I was pretty gung-ho about this new product and was seriously considering picking it up. At this point, I have to admit that I'm waffling a bit. No doubt about it, the new VI is brilliant. I'm concerned though, that I'd be making a big investment, and sonically not be all that far from where I'm at right now in terms of meat and potatoes things that I use every day. In other words, I'd be able to use the library much better, but it would sound essentially the same. In the past, whenever I've spent a large amount of money, I expected to be knocked out with a stunning, brand new sound.


For me the big thing is the repeated notes + release sample thingy. I worked on a track recently where I had many tracks of repetitions, together with keyswitches By the end I was totally fed up with all the copying and pasting and eventually didn't bother half as much as I should have done. In my case, even if the potential sound of the library (leaving aside new features like extra articulations and velocity crossfading) is the same, my work will sound much better, as I (hopefully) won't have to spend so much time programming.

Lee Blaske wrote:
Another drawback of the new VI, for me, would be that it would put a crimp in how I'd really like to use it. I have two modes of operation in my studio. For a lot of simpler projects, I just stick with all the stuff in my GS (with Logic as the front end of a PT HD Accel system). When requirements are greater, I'll fire up my additional four PCs. Ideally, if I did the VSL VI update, I'd like to have everything on my G5, but then also have it split between the other PCs. It doesn't seem like I'll be able to do this.
Lee Blaske


If you install all the samples on your G5 as well as the PCs then all you will have to transfer is the dongle. If you want to split up sections (not instruments) then just get another dongle.

DG
Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 21:05
by dbudde
Joined on Sun, Mar 02 2003, Seattle,WA USA, Posts 447
Quote:
I don't expect VSL to be doing any dramatic price cuts once this product is released. If they did, it would REALLY anger the people that already spent the money.


This kind of thinking always amazes me. If there are dramatic price cuts, that means prices are coming down for features I have or am about to get. No two ways about it. The bar has been raised yet again. Those who need to be on the bleeding edge and buy products when they are first announced will pay through the nose to get them. But if you can be patient for 6 months to a year, then you get all the benefits of lower prices.

Once you buy into a product like this, presumably you are in it for the long haul and lowered prices is only a good thing. Blowout prices are even better. You can pick up those extra samples you wavered on for so long because they now cost next to nothing.

If you pulled the trigger too soon and missed a big sale, well that's the price of progress. But to get upset over lowered or blowout prices makes no sense whatsoever.
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 21:11
by Lee Blaske
Joined on Tue, Nov 05 2002, Excelsior, MN, Posts 218
dbudde wrote:
f you pulled the trigger too soon and missed a big sale, well that's the price of progress. But to get upset over lowered or blowout prices makes no sense whatsoever.


That's not exactly what I was thinking about. I was thinking about a scenario where after the January 6 introductory deal deadline, VSL was concerned about how sales were going, and dropped the price significantly.

Lee Blaske
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 21:13
by dbudde
Joined on Sun, Mar 02 2003, Seattle,WA USA, Posts 447
That's why you should never order in the first six months of a new product intro ... unless you are spending someone else's money.
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 21:16
by clarkcontrol
Joined on Mon, May 03 2004, The Pagan Underground, Posts 315
I hesitate to get on these threads, but...

I think that if you do the math the upgrade is reasonable. This upgrade is not an apples to apples upgrade, and that affects the numbers.

The biggest issue I believe is VSL's wording of the new upgrade paths on this website. Tremendous misunderstandings could have been avoided if the language was cleaner, explaining the VIP path to the extended or full or whatever the heck they call it now. I mean, come on, the wording was "upgrade to the solo strings extended for only EU35!" Nothing was said that one had to purchase the standard set at that time. Or if it did it wasn't part of the tag line at Ilio or on the splash page of the VI here. One had to search further to find out that there was an extra purchasing step to the process. VERY misleading. If you don't believe me, just reread your forums.

What the advert SHOULD have said was "new VSL customers get the extended cube for 11,000 grand but VIP PE members get it for only 6,500!!"

Don't break the upgrade path in half like you have (standard full price THEN the extended upgrade). It's bull. I'll tell you why:

There isn't a PE owner out there that wants to upgrade to the standard VI cube. They would LOSE money. Especially when they pay pennies for the extended upgrade after that. All you had to do was say that PE VIP members were not eligible for a standard VI cube.

Of course people are going to be pissed. I was.

Clark
Clark
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 21:17
by Lee Blaske
Joined on Tue, Nov 05 2002, Excelsior, MN, Posts 218
DG wrote:
If you install all the samples on your G5 as well as the PCs then all you will have to transfer is the dongle. If you want to split up sections (not instruments) then just get another dongle.


It would end up being a lot of dongle juggling for me. If I bought the library, I'd split it between four dongles. If I wanted to work on my G5 alone, I'd have to move all four dongles from the PCs to the G5. Then, if I started a project small on the G5 and wanted to expand it, I'd have to print all those tracks if I wanted to fire up my four PCs.

I also like to leave my dongles in place, for stability's sake. Moving them around increases the chance of frying one or damaging the connector.

Lee Blaske
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 21:26
by dbudde
Joined on Sun, Mar 02 2003, Seattle,WA USA, Posts 447
Too bad someone hasn't invented a dongle that is nework-based and could somehow validate that it is only used by a single user (e.g., authenticate machines that can use the dongle). This would alleviate many dongle headaches. As it is, I am very reluctant to go to any dongle based system. I finally got away from Logic and am completely dongleless at the moment.
Posted on Tue, Dec 13 2005 22:24
by jc5
Joined on Wed, Jan 26 2005, Posts 180
And then there is the issue of those who are not at all excited about the closed samples with dongle method that is now in play...
I was very saddened when I learned of this.

All I ever wanted was even more samples/articulations.. Confused
And my support has been with VSL all along since they are the only ones who do orchestral sampling in a really seriuos way.
When I chose to purchase a VSL library, it wasn't like other purchases (such as.. choosing a brand of toilet paper.. Big Smile ), it was more akin in feeling to making a contribution to an arts organization (local orchestra, or conservatory, etc.) because of the unique mentality behind this sampling project. It was (is!) something worth supporting, so that the project can continue and reach even new heights.

To date no one else is even trying in any seriously comparable way....
Posted on Wed, Dec 14 2005 00:38
by Chinablu
Joined on Tue, Jul 19 2005, Milano, Italy, Posts 147
Lee Blaske wrote:
At the end of the day, however, they're going to want to move product (hopefully, a LOT of it).


Speaking in general, I wouldn't be surprised seeing strong rebates on music software, next year.

Maybe I'm only wishfully thinking.

Time will tell.

[Wink]
Posted on Wed, Dec 14 2005 01:00
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9074
Quote:
Too bad someone hasn't invented a dongle that is nework-based
this is based on a license server software and exists since many years, it is used eg. by softimage and avid XSI. of course you have to purchase each network license seperately there and it is not always simple to get this stuff running, but if, it works actually cross-platform.
uinfortunately also it is cracked since years and therefore worthless to protect your investment ...
christian
and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
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