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Topic: Well, this is interesting

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  1. #1

    Well, this is interesting

    This was just posted today at the Make Music forum. And I was wondering why my email to Justin Phillips had gone unanswered regarding the new 2014 Garritan sounds on Soundcloud we talked about earlier. Maybe this explains it. This causes me to have some concern for the future of Garritan. Maybe I'm just jumping the gun, but I am still concerned.

    http://www.sibeliusblog.com/news/lay...-at-makemusic/

    Gary
    Serenity Musician Productions (Gary A.)

    Lenovo ThinksStation S30, Windows 10 Professional 64-bit, 20 gig ram, 2 terabyte hd., M-Audio Fast Track, Finale25, Sonar Professional

  2. #2
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    Re: Well, this is interesting

    That is interesting about Justin. I spent quite a bit of time at NAMM talking to Justin and his knowledge of both Finale and the Garritan products was excellent. I don't know who Erin Vork is but it looks like she is taking over what Justin did.

    Jim

  3. #3

    Re: Well, this is interesting

    Well now. This is quite a surprise. Sounds like Justin was surprised too. It's impossible to tell what has gone on behind the scenes, but the upbeat tone of the official statements quoted on that blog can be interpreted as sounding forced. But I have no idea what this will actually mean in terms of MM's stability, Garritan, this Forum and etc.

    Dang - Justin gone. The one person who ever came here to post from MM. He was always so positive and responsive.

    Randy

  4. #4

    Re: Well, this is interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Well now. This is quite a surprise. Sounds like Justin was surprised too. It's impossible to tell what has gone on behind the scenes, but the upbeat tone of the official statements quoted on that blog can be interpreted as sounding forced. But I have no idea what this will actually mean in terms of MM's stability, Garritan, this Forum and etc.

    Dang - Justin gone. The one person who ever came here to post from MM. He was always so positive and responsive.

    Randy
    [RANT]
    A sad day indeed. Corporate greed wins out over people, as usual.
    A talented, committed, personable individual is "released", no doubt in favour of a couple of know-nothing, low paid graduates.
    My thoughts are very much with Justin at this time, having been in the same situation some years back.
    It really hurts being kicked in the balls, when you've given many years of loyal service.

    There can be justice though if you set yourself up as a freelance and sell your services back to your previous employer at three to four times your original salary, when they find the new people can't do the things you did.
    If you're lucky you may get away with ten times your original daily rate for certain high profile events.
    It'll only last for a while so make sure you make hay whilst the sun shines and be prepared to move on when it suits you, not them. My advice, for what it's worth, bleed them for every penny or cent you can get out of them.

    What, me? Bitter?
    Nah. I made more in the last three years I did with them as a freelance than I did in the previous eight.

    [/RANT]

    Good fortune, Justin.
    May you succeed in whatever future venture you choose.
    Author of MIDI tutorials at http://midi-tutor.proboards.com/index.cgi

  5. #5
    Senior Member caher's Avatar
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    Re: Well, this is interesting

    Looking at MM's final annual report filed with the SEC before being taken private earlier in the year, no one, including the CEO, is paid an exorbitant salary. I suspect that this may be a factor in some of the technical issues that have plagued them over the years. I don't think that they have attracted top technical talent very consistently leading to what I have referred to as poor engineering discipline. The botched release of Finale 2014 is part of a long standing issue at MM, in my opinion.

    Also, looking at their final balance sheet, it is clear that the new owners, who previously held 28% of the stock, are not in this for any high profits. These are not to be found in the markets that MM serves. Those markets (notation, music practice, & virtual instruments) are niche markets that probably can not be grown very much. This means that they will need to fight to maintain and try to grow their share of a very limited pie. The company operated at a small loss last year due to staff expansion.

    This expansion was needed to take the products forward. The kernel code base of Finale is quite long in the tooth. It is very clear that maintenance is a nightmare. Longstanding bugs never seem to get fixed, some for decades. The latest release is quite bug ridden and clearly wasn't properly tested. This may be part of the reason for this restructuring which was not just laying off people. They promoted Michael Good, the inventor of MusicXML to VP of R&D. He is a pretty sharp guy and has taken the lead in the effort to introduce backward file compatibility, a very long standing issue in Finale, which made collaboration difficult.

    Interestingly, it looks as if the virtual instrument product line (Garritan!) may be their most profitable line, accounting for approximately 13%, $1M of revenue in their notation product line. Looking at the previous years report, it looks as if they paid about $4M for Garritan. It is not clear what the operating expenses are for that product, but I don't think they are extensive.

    At this point in time, Finale is the top dog in professional level notation. Avid laid off the entire Sibelius team last year. They are probably cutting their losses an I don't expect any significant investment in that product for the foreseeable future. The bad news for MM is that Steinberg(owned by Yamaha!) hired that team to develop a new pro level notation product from the ground up. It appears as if very significant resources are being put behind this effort. They are about a year or so out from the first release. MM had better get off the stick!

    i have a lot of time invested in Finale. I use it about 20 hours a week on average. I have been getting more and more frustrated with poor design decisions and inadequate bug fixes. The score manager, for instance, just gets my way. It has actually gotten harder, not easier to get high quality playback. Even though Finale, warts and all, is the best product on the market right now, that is not a sure thing going forward. If (a very big if!) the new competition delivers a superior product, customers may very well vote with their wallets.

    i suspect that this reorg is really about product direction and not about saving money.

    Regards,

    Chris



    Quote Originally Posted by SysExJohn View Post
    [RANT]
    A sad day indeed. Corporate greed wins out over people, as usual.
    A talented, committed, personable individual is "released", no doubt in favour of a couple of know-nothing, low paid graduates.
    My thoughts are very much with Justin at this time, having been in the same situation some years back.
    It really hurts being kicked in the balls, when you've given many years of loyal service.

    There can be justice though if you set yourself up as a freelance and sell your services back to your previous employer at three to four times your original salary, when they find the new people can't do the things you did.
    If you're lucky you may get away with ten times your original daily rate for certain high profile events.
    It'll only last for a while so make sure you make hay whilst the sun shines and be prepared to move on when it suits you, not them. My advice, for what it's worth, bleed them for every penny or cent you can get out of them.

    What, me? Bitter?
    Nah. I made more in the last three years I did with them as a freelance than I did in the previous eight.

    [/RANT]

    Good fortune, Justin.
    May you succeed in whatever future venture you choose.

  6. #6

    Re: Well, this is interesting

    Here's a post from the MM Forum from Erin Vork, the person we'll be getting to know better, since she's filling Justin's shoes.

    "I'll be around to answer questions and help out. I've been here for a while, but a little more 'behind the scenes' up till now. I don't pretend to be a replacement for Justin, but I'll do what I can for the people here!

    Erin Vork
    Notation Product Specialist
    MakeMusic, Inc."

    Here's the link to that conversation thread:

    MakeMusic Forum - "Interesting (Disturbing) Times at MM?"

    Randy

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