In Gary's post asking for suggestions for future Garritan products, I suggested the following...
I would like to see (soon) a Choir package that just contains the basic Aaahs, Ooohs, Mmmmms, in Boys, Mens, Womens, solo male, solo female and Full Choir. That would be great. The big, bad "we can sing anything" package can come later with full fanfare.
Gary then answered...
Perhaps we can make a lighter choir set but I am concerned many will be disappointed because it does not have all the full features. What do others feel about such a set?
So here is where we can discuss it a bit. What would you think about a less expensive Lite version of choir? Would such a package before the Larger version disappoint you? Would you want this package or would you wait for the full-on version? Do you think it would be a good idea? If so, what would you like to see in it? Me? It would be perfect since I am just a hobbyist with not much money.
I would like all of the following to contain "Ah", "Oo", and "Ee"...
Ensemble Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass
i think all the people in the forum would personally love a "lite" version to come out beforehand, because we understand that more is coming. everyone here would appreciate it, because we have all been craving this choir library for years, and even some scraps would be better than nothing.
BUT, with that being said - i don't think it would be a smart business decision for gary and company. i would say that the forum members constitute a negligible fraction of the people who use garritan products, and if one of them bought the starter edition they would probably be turned off - i know i would if it was my first impression of garritan stuff. even if i used garritan products and wasn't a member of the forum i still think i would be disappointed in a lite version. i would feel like, this is it? its hard to get the message across to people that there is a better version on the near horizon, especially in the software business. i would be hesitant on buying a starter version simply because a developer said that more was on its way. look at what happened with the strad and gofriller. i know tons of people bought those believing that the rest of the strings were coming shortly, and now they're dropped. i know gary is including them in the new gos - i have no doubt in that, but thats because i'm an active member in the forum so i'm keeping up.
anyway, before i go on any further i'd just like to say that i think i would personally love to have a starter version of all the garritan products as they come along, and get updates via the internet whenever they come out - but the vast majority of consumers just want the complete finished product. us forum members are sort of a fan base that is loyal and understanding. unfortunately, most people are not, and would probably be disappointed in an unfinished product.
That is a good start, Keith. However, I doubt that with a little bit of wording pricing upgrade path on the product site, that anyone would be offended. First, let them know what is coming so they will not be bummed for purchasing later. Second, remember the hobbyist demographic is huge. Not all of us have gobs of cash to throw at extreme packages. For example, I am happy with GPO because I am also a hobbyist. I would most-likely use only 3% of what the Stradivari Solo Violin package could do, so it would be a waste of money and hard drive space. So why limit me with only large packages, when all I really want or need is "Ooos" and "Aahs"?
And really, what is wrong with offering an upgrade path? Example: Say, $99 for a Lite version, then when the Full Choir releases, $299 or upgrade for $225? I could not think of anyone who would not be pleased with such a structure. (note: prices are for example only)
Now I must note that the future upgrade path should be posted so that those who want to start using the Choir samples don't feel hesitant about buying in advance of the full product. Such an assurance will also give rise to great suggestions and feedback regarding how it operates.
And BTW, I am not dictating anything to Gary. Gary will do what is best for his user base. I am merely throwing out possibilities as I always do.
I have already said this elsewhere, so at the risk of repeating myself:
I would not position it as a Choir Lite. I would position it as the Garritan Choir Engine. The various articulations can be sold as an add on package. I flippantly called the extension the Phenomenal Phonemator at the time.
The choir then becomes a separate product from its articulations. Think of it as a Barbie doll without Ken's campervan or all the Miss World costumes.
(Don't ask me where the Barbie analogy came from - I have no idea)
Or as a computer game without the expansion packs.
As long as it is clear that there is an articulator to come, there should be no negative first impressions.
I see no problem with that Alan. However, is not Aria that engine and the rest just samples?
But as I think about it, the idea of "fashion accessories" becomes quite appealing. But really, in order to go from Ooohs and Aaahs to "Dona nobis pacem" is quite a leap and cannot be gained bit by bit, but must be acquired as a whole. At least that is how I see it currently.
Perhaps the Choir member makeup can be the accessories?
Male Choir with full articulation library.
Female Choir with full articulation library.
Male Solist with full articulation library.
On the one hand, I would definitely like a basic choir sooner, especially if there would be a good upgrade path. As long as it is clearly labelled as a "lite" version, there shouldn't be any confusion or disappointment.
That being said, if creating the lite version will cause significant delays for the full choir or will increase development costs, then I would rather wait for the final product.
In the end, creating both versions sounds like a good business move, but it's a tough call on which one to make first...