May 6, 2018

And That's A Wrap...

by Chris Randall

Superbooth 18 ended yesterday, and tomorrow I'm off to TXL to begin my journey home. So today is (theoretically) a time for quiet reflection. Largely because everything in this damn country closes on Sunday, despite their professed atheism.

Obvs we had no Eurorack to show, as we're not making that format any more. We had already paid for the booth before we came to that decision, and there were no refunds available, so we decided to just go ahead and come anyhow, and show our new software. I've attended many trade shows, but never shown software, so I wasn't quite sure how to go about it. I decided on a small Windows machine running Bitwig to best show off Quanta in all its hi-resolution MPE-capable glory. (In retrospect, we should have nutted up and bought a Surface Studio like the Bitwig guys used; live and learn.) There was a Roli Seaboard Rise 25 attached to this. In addition, we had a 12.9" iPad Pro with my Linnstrument attached to it. This configuration turned out to be pretty good, since the controllers attracted as many people as the software.

One interesting thing to note: this is my third time showing at Superbooth, and at Superbooths '16 and '17, we had quite a few people come up and see the Eurorack-only display and note their sadness. At this show, we only had one or two people that saw the software-only display and be demonstrably sad. This leads me to believe we made the right decision with respect to deprecating the hardware.

In any case, Simon-Claudius did the vast majority of the customer-facing demonstrations, allowing me to mostly interface with other companies and do the various press interviews. This worked out very well, as I'm no longer really physically able to stand at the booth for an entire 10-hour session by myself. I mean, I can do it, but the people towards the end of the day would get some salty comments. "Yeah. It's a fucking plugin. Yay. Go away."

But all's well that ends well. We made some new friends, got to hang out with some old ones, and talked about Quanta a lot. All in all, a successful show. I will be very, very glad to be home with my wife and cats and garden and pool and driving in a city where bicyclists aren't on a suicide jag, though. Once I have my wits about me, expect some high-quality video demonstrations re: Quanta. I also did one of Sonic State's excellent "Meet The Makers" videos with Nick. Until then, here's a fun video from Bedroom Producers Blog. For extra credit, read the comments, then come back here and make fun of them.



May.06.2018 @ 8:48 AM
I'll bet Rishim $79 it sounds like a granular synthesizer.

May.06.2018 @ 6:42 PM
I read the comments. That vid where Steven Slate went HAM on the NAMM marching band came to mind.

May.07.2018 @ 10:52 AM
those LFOs are great.

May.07.2018 @ 11:32 AM
Chris Randall
@inteliko A classic of the genre. #neverforget


May.09.2018 @ 7:44 AM
I'm with boobs.

May.09.2018 @ 8:36 PM
Quanta looks amazeballs, definitely on my buy list.

Q: Why are iOS apps so much cheaper than regular VST/AU plugs? Is it just the way the market works or is there a technical reason?

May.10.2018 @ 1:10 AM
Chris Randall
@krell: it's an interesting question. There are many reasons; chiefly (for us anyhow) the iOS one kind of has to be a separate purchase. You get a lot more in the desktop versions: 13 different platforms that work in several hundred hosts across two operating systems, from basic funToys to full-blown professional-level consoles for stadium shows and the highest-end recording and post facilities.

The iOS version gets you something with a much shorter half-life (just by the nature of how Apple updates iOS) and that only works in hobbyist and semi-pro products, by the nature of the hardware.

In addition, the economics of the iOS market, as Apple has realized it, preclude making a full line of professional-level studio products. Nobody would pay what it actually costs to develop Quanta (essentially, two people with almost forty years of experience in making plugins between them working exclusively on this for six months). There's no way that maths out. If you look at all the big, popular synths on iOS, nearly 100% of them are made by companies that have other products to support the habit, and/or existing IP to exploit to bring those products to market.

For us, it's just a bit of extra work to massage something we've already made in to a walled garden format. We charge accordingly.


May.10.2018 @ 5:21 AM
Interesting, I hadn't though of it in that context; it makes sense with a shelf life of several years that the pro plugin format is more expensive than the 'semi-pro' iOS format. It's surprising that any developer can actually make money out of the app ecosystem unless the number of sales is so high that it offsets the lower price. Cheers!



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