August 22, 2006

Dear sweet baby jebus...

by Chris Randall

And from the "careful what you wish for" category, Reverence is a smash hit, I guess. Yesterday was (by far) the biggest sales day ever for Audio Damage, and Reverence has sold more in one day than some of our other plugins have sold, period. It is a happy time.

On the flip side, I'm totally swamped with NFR requests and "I bought the wrong version" and such like that. It's really quite amazing how many people want free shit from a company that barely makes ends meet.

As an aside, our original t-shirt company _finally_ got back to me with a quote for the high quality shirts, and it is quite a bit lower than the first company, so it looks like we're going to be able to get the shirts we wanted in the first place, and still have 'em for $20 like the last batch. All's well that ends well. I'm a little too busy to deal with that just now; I'll get it rolling next week.

In any case, back to the flip-flop factory. While I'm busy, hey, look, Jack White's house is for sale, if you're really looking for that White Stripes vibe. Nice place, I'll say that much. I don't even mind the red. (Thanks to fmasseti.)



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Aug.23.2006 @ 11:14 PM

why do you think Apple Logic decided to use only AUs?


Aug.23.2006 @ 11:17 PM
We can all keep posting "congratulations!!" posts praising the new product that only some of us have bought. Or we can tell you what would help seal the deal for those of us who have not bought the whole line of AD products.

You can keep selling to the same highly opinionated, extremely vocal, users who already own all your products if you like. Or you can take some constructive criticism from users who do not own 100% of your product line.

Or you could turn off the damn computer and go out and play with your kids....

I'd love a backrub right about now Chris. Thanks.

Fact is. I tried the computer before I bought it. Looked at the house I live in twice before moving in. And bought DPole (Yes, one of my all time favorite plugs as well. Wish there was a UB version. Never happen. I know.) after using the freaking CRACK for a month and deciding that this was a product I wanted to support.
Not everyone is so honest.

Jesus, you are a testy bunch in here. If you don't want opinions. Don't ask for them.


Aug.24.2006 @ 1:42 AM
Chris Randall
I didn't ask for opinions about the demos. Neither did Adam. We never have. We just stopped offering them. Nowhere in any of my posts, ever, on either here, OSXa, KvR, or Gearslutz have I ever solicited any opinions about the demo thing.

The reason we're testy about it is that every time we release, we have to answer the same question, and usually to the same 10 people. It can get tedious.

And if there's one thing that should be obvious is that I don't have kids. Can't stand the little creatures.



Aug.24.2006 @ 5:00 AM
"Can't stand the little creatures."

Use more BBQ sauce next time, or a wedge of lemon if you have to re-heat em.


Aug.24.2006 @ 6:49 AM
I don't own or use many plugins at all. However, I can almost guarantee use of either Phase Two or Dubstation on a track, somewhere. Both of these were bought on spec, without demos or whatever.

If an excellent product is $39, I'm definitely more likely to hit the 'buy' button than if it was $50. It just sounds like a lot more, even though it isn't. It's all basic psychology.

AD have the market sewn up by offering something made with love and attention for a decent price (how often does that happen?), also by having a first-rate support system (anytime I've emailed Chris, I've had a very quick and useful reply, yesterday was a good example of this).

I also like the AD account system - even if I lost all trace of my registration codes or whatever, I could still find them safely in my account. Customer satisfaction.

I'd rather keep the current philosophy than a compromise.


Aug.24.2006 @ 10:37 AM
Adam Schabtach
I don't expect anyone to buy our entire product line, and I'm not gonna waste my time trying to explain why someone should. (I'm a terrible salesman, really.) I'm absolutely elated when people do buy our entire product line, but we tend to make idiosyncratic, specific-purpose products and I don't expect them all to appeal to everyone. Chris and I build stuff that appeals to us personally, rather than building stuff because we think it will appeal to everyone. There is a personal story, a personal desire, a personal musical impulse behind every plug-in we sell. We're just lucky that lots of other people seem to share our personal tastes.

Chris is right: we didn't solicit opinions about the availability of demos. I asked a very specific question about whether the availability of demos would be worth a price increase.

The short version of the demo story is this: we can't create demos without a price hike, and we feel that our price points are more important than demos. Yes, it is fairly common for other companies to offer demos of their products. You will notice that those products have both a higher price than ours, and have much more invasive forms of copy-protection than ours. That is not a coincidence. You will also notice that most of those companies do not offer money-back guarantees. We never set out to be just like other companies, in case that isn't blatantly obvious by now. Some people like our style, some don't.

Taking constructive criticism and continuing to sell to our existing customer base are not mutually exclusive. We are open to constructive criticism, but "open to" is not synonymous with "accepting and acting upon all". Nobody has yet persuaded me that it is worth our expense to create demo versions. On the other hand, statistics gleaned from Reverence sales alone provide plenty of evidence that we are very much capable of attracting new customers without offering demo versions.

Yes, we are a testy bunch (or pair, anyway). That's what happens when you talk to the actual people in a company, rather than talking to a support rep in Calcutta who's reading off a script that was generated from a marketing firm's PR concept. You encounter real people, real opnions, real elation, real gratitude, real testiness. Yesterday, for example, I was testy because I had just spent two days of work to placate one person on KVR. (Actually the work will placate anyone who has the misfortune to be using a Pentium 4 for doing music.) If you think Chris is testy with the public, well, there are good reasons that of the two of us, he's the one with the higher public profile. Today I'm feeling pretty chipper because I think I've laid that problem to rest (assuming that Steve has happy news for me) and I think I'll be able to move along to our next project.

I don't have kids either, and never will. I'm too selfish and preoccupied with my own stuff to be a good parent. The 14-year-old who lives next door is pretty cool, but she's busy with her first days of high school so I haven't been able to go over to play with her PS2 lately.



Aug.24.2006 @ 10:46 AM
Adam Schabtach
uvacom: you have a valid point regarding the comparison of Ronin and Dubstation, and that's partly why the next rev of Ronin will have a different-looking UI. Chris and I tend to compare and contrast them because the difference in their sales figures is dramatic.

UI design is really tricky. The Dubstation/Phase Two look works really well for simpler stuff but doesn't scale up well to more complex plug-ins. Chris did a version of Discord 2 in that style and it just looked weird (and not in a good-weird way).



Aug.24.2006 @ 11:00 AM
Fair enough guys.
You make a good point and thanks for your diplomatic responses.

As for solicited feedback, I was referring to this:
"Rhetorical question: would the availability of demo versions be worth a 25% increase in our prices? Producing demo versions would increase our R&D time by about 15-20%, plus leave us more vulnerable to piracy. We'd have to compensate somehow...

One could argue that by prefeacing the questions with "Retorical" that you really were not asking for a response.

Sorry to have bullied you guys into blogging more than you should be right now. I am sure you are unbeievably busy.

FYI I bought Reverence last night partially out of guilt for wasting your time on this topic, and partially because it looks beautiful and I know it will be great in the AD tradition. (Not because of the audio demos) I do plan on purchasing your entire product line as funds become available.

I attempted to write a witty comment about Chris and Adam having a kid together. But I'm not sufficiently caffeinated this AM. Consider yourselves spared.

I'd still like to see demos. And I would pay a 20% markup to have them. And there is a great big hole in the UB VST/AU market for a good analog filter emulator that I hope you guys will fill soon.

Keep up the good work.


Aug.24.2006 @ 12:46 PM
Adam Schabtach
Fair enough point about the "rhetorical", which I think is defined as "for the sake of discussion", so yeah, I was asking for it, I suppose. Believe me, if I didn't feel like blogging that much, I wouldn't have done it. That's why my own blog is so sparse.

Thanks very much for your purchase of Reverence. I hope you like it, and if you don't, return it. That's what the policy is there for.

Is there really a hole in the market for filters? I actually had the impression that that particular niche was pretty saturated (no pun intended), but maybe there are just lots of filters and no good ones? We have talked about filter plug-ins, of course; we'd like to do a successor to Filterpod. Chris tells me that the hardware filter box of choice is the... uh... I forget its name. Two-space rack unit, black, kind of expensive (IMHO). Something like that might serve as inspiration for an AD plug-in. It has the simple-but-effective kind of design that we strive for.



Aug.24.2006 @ 1:44 PM
I am sure that I will like Reverence and am more than happy to support AD.

I bought a new MacBook Pro a month or so ago, and in assembling the system for music, I could not find a filter plug that I liked.

I tried Volcano (cool, but too many knobs, and did not get the sounds I was after quick enough) and Frohmage (too finicky and put my cpu at 125% with one instance) but did not find what I wanted.

I have a moogerfooger lowpass and waldorf 4 pole for hardware that I love, and Dpole on my G5 which I am happy with, but nothing good in UB. I'd corresponded with Chris about porting filterpod, but I ended up using a combination of fuzzplus and Live's Autofilter in the end. Not the best but it worked.

I personally would like to see a dead simple filter emulator in UB.

And I would happily pay $39 for it. Demo or no demo ;-)


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