• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34

Topic: The Price is Right

  1. #1

    The Price is Right

    Just wanted to know peoples opinions on whether they think sample libraries are overpriced, underpriced, or priced right? In comparison to software developers which are pretty much priced in the same range, imagine Cubase SX3 to released for $5000, would you say that would be overpriced? I believe in life you get what you pay for but from a consumers perspective, do you you think VSL, EW/QL, Sam, KH. etc is overpriced, underpriced, or priced right? Nobody wants to be exploited or buy crap. Lets not forget that software developers also have loads of programers, licencing rights, production cost etc but are all pretty much in the same range. I would start by saying that SI Brass is overpriced. Sounds great but it is overpriced, While Sam offers quality for almost half of the price. What do you people think?

  2. #2

    Re: The Price is Right

    I think some developers price their libraries to target a certain "pro" or "elitist" market. Others want their library attainable to even the lowliest hobbyist. Not that that makes them any better, that's just the market they want to be associated with. Kind of like cars. Is a $120,000 car better than my lowly $23,000 Jetta TDI, no, not when you take into account the price difference. They're just targeted at different consumers. I mean they both get you from point A to B. That's all that really matters. It's all marketing if you ask me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: The Price is Right

    Most sample libraries, even the expensive ones, are almost dangerously underpriced. You have to weigh out the production costs, the size of the market, and the shelf life--and your company still needs to be making a good profit on top of that.

    Of course, you can go for a lower-cost, higher penetration model, but there is some risk in any plan. Fact is, to do a good library with good gear, good design, good mapping, world class instruments, and name-brand players, you are going to spend some money.

    If you compute the costs of producing the library yourself, vs. what you get for your money, sample libraries are a very good deal.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Santa Cruz California

    Re: The Price is Right

    The Best Way To Figure It Out For Yourself Is To Try And Produce Some GIGS of Your Own.. I have Several High Quality wav Samples, and Right Now I Am Working Quietly On Some Metal Guitar Samples, and I can Tell you, It's So Freakin Tedious! I can see Even When You Have A Big Crew, It's Still Relative... I have A Lot Of Patience But, I quite Often Want to Just Stop Working On It, So I Just Pace Myself, and It Will Be A While Before I am Done As I am The Only A One Man Crew..lol.. Anyways, I Truly Appreciate These Devs Work, and They Are Worth Every Penny!

  5. #5

    Re: The Price is Right

    I guess it also depends on quantity to be sold. There are video games that have high budgets but they retail for $50, though they do sell many thousands to cover production cost that is why the price is a lot lower. But since the digital age of piracy on the internet, record labels have been forced to lower CD prices because many have chosen to download for free instead of paying. I can see this also happening with high priced sample libaries as bandwidth increases on the internet. The only reason piracy for sample libraries isn't completely out of hand is because of the massive storage size and bandwidth rates. Once that increases you can bet sample libraries will drop prices in order to force the consumer to purchase.

  6. #6

    Re: The Price is Right

    I think it's personal opinion.
    For me, out of my budget means overpriced.
    You can't always judge quality by the amount of mbs. If that were the case then GPO would be considered crappy.

    I would think creating a sample library would be quite difficult. I'm sure in some cases you'd have to hire a musician to do such a thing. There's some cost there. I've often wondered what would be the starting costs just to have Doc Severinson or Maynard Ferguson help create a jazz trumpet library?
    This alone could be the reason why there isn't one.

  7. #7

    Re: The Price is Right

    Most sample libraries, even the expensive ones, are almost dangerously underpriced. You have to weigh out the production costs, the size of the market, and the shelf life--and your company still needs to be making a good profit on top of that.

    Oh geez....here we go again! If developers were not making a decent living at this they simply wouldn't do it. Aside from the really small guys that have very niche products, I assure you that companies like Ilio and EastWest do quite nicely with the current price model (piracy and all).

    Rumor has it that one of the big orchestral libraries has enough private financing available that profit is simply not an issue for them. While this might or might not be a fact, it is certainly pretty rare.

    In Orlando there is a particular theme park that I found to be one of the best businesses to be in. The particular organization that runs this place is not concerned with profits very much either. If they have a bad year, or if their costs outweight their profits, it's still worth it to them to keep the place open and keep things going. Once again, this is pretty rare, but it does happen!

    To answer the question posed in this thread, I feel that the majority of libraries is priced "ok" I would say about 10% of the libraries out there are priced way out of range for what they offer. And another 10% could probably raise their prices a bit and still be worth it.
    The weird thing about sample libraries is that in a weird way they are like clothes, sometime they go out of style very quickly and a year later you would never consider using them again. And sometime they are like that one jacket or shirt that still looks good after 5 years.

    One more point, price is a very relative thing. For a pro composer, $3000 is a small investment that can be recouped in one or two gigs. For a week-end warrior or someone just starting out it's a huge amount. I have long maintained that sample libraries should be priced according to intended usage, just like music libraries and other licenseable goods, I find it very strange that a student pays the same price for VSL as a seasoned pro at Media Ventures (actually the MV pro is more likely to get a free copy in exchange for a small endorsement). My suggestion has always fallen on deaf ears so I guess it's probably a dumb one!
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  8. #8

    Re: The Price is Right

    I guess prices are ok for what they offer in the whole.
    A thing that would be great though is instead of having to buy a "30 CD 300GB" or a "One cd with 20 different guitars" sample library , beeing able to chose what SINGLE instruments you like and adding them to your "basket" seperately . That way you can chose the best instruments from each company and make your own library . Cello from here, Strings from here, Choir from here Etc. Even if you make a bad choice one day, you won't feel bad 'cause it was only 20$ for that sound.

    Also , competition would raise it's standards and all companies would make better stuff in order to compete with the VS Cello for example. Better stuff, better prices and smaller development time/costs.

    It's like going into a grocery store and you only want tomatos . That's cool .
    Now imagine Tomatos beeing bundled with a hundred other things in order to get them . You don't get tomatos .
    Theo Krueger - Composer


    Kontakt 2 Scripts

  9. #9

    Re: The Price is Right

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodor
    Now imagine Tomatos beeing bundled with a hundred other things in order to get them . You don't get tomatos .
    Good Point!

    Arf, arf, arf...

  10. #10

    Re: The Price is Right

    Regarding the tomatoes analogy:

    I agree from a user perspective but from a developer perspective it's not quite that simple.

    Any time you produce a library you have to hire musicians. You also have to pay to rent out a recording space (hall, studio etc.). You then have to pay for engineers, gear, coordination etc. It very quickly adds up.

    You still haven't even got to the part where you're editing all of the audio, mixing down multi-mic versions, balancing relative levels, looping samples, naming, organizing etc. etc.

    Then you have to program for the intended applications. All of this takes time and expertise. If you want to release your library in a reasonable amount of time you have to hire help during the editing and programming phases.

    As with the rental of gear and recording space, it's much more cost effective to do all of this in one go for several instruments at once. It also means that you have the opportunity to balance all of the instruments from an eq and levels perspective in context with eachother.

    The other place that cost has to get factored in is packaging/shipping and marketing. It's a great deal easier to prepare and market a single package for an orchestral library than it is to prepare and market packages for every single instrument in the orchestra.

    I think the economies of scale dictate that the once the investment has been recouped on the entire library, then individual instruments can make sense. Then again, the SAM libraries were released in smaller collections so perhaps I'm wrong!


Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts