August 9, 2007

Informal Poll...

by Chris Randall

I'm just curious as to the market for a sophisticated sample set, like the Konkrete 2 package. All this discussion has got me thinking about the viability of such things; I know that they used to sell much better than they do now, but that's really neither here nor there in the scheme of things.

So, how 'bout it? What do you spend, per year, on largish ($50 or more) sample sets? Up until yesterday, I hadn't bought any samples in years, but by the end of the day, I'd spent several hundred dollars on various things I couldn't easily or quickly make myself, or seemed cool and useful.



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Aug.09.2007 @ 7:36 PM
Chris Randall
Well, there's a certain line of logic to that, as everyone has at least one sampler (even if it's the one that came with your DAW, like EXS24 or HalionOne or whatever) and packaging a sample set as an instrument takes the pressure off you when it comes to getting something that's actually usable from the source material.

I mean, have you nosed around even a simple piano sample set? There are a lot of samples in those cocksuckers.

Viz. the piracy issue, I don't really see how to protect from it; the only solution is the same method we follow at Audio Damage. Just build inherent value to make piracy unattractive. Our plugins are pirated, sure, but we still do okay. The way I look at it, the nipplehead that got a cracked version of Ratshack Reverb wasn't gonna pony up for the plugin in the first place. That little motherfucker better not write me for support, though. (That has happened; my response is candid in the extreme.)

Long and short of it: if you provide a good product for a reasonable price, your shit is gonna get pirated but you're still gonna sell enough to make it worthwhile to do. If you provide a good product at an unreasonable price and blame it on piracy, or you put in annoying copy protection (STEINBERG!) and blame it on piracy, you'll still sell some, but not as much, and the perceived value is lower because you don't trust your honest customers.


Aug.09.2007 @ 7:57 PM
Probably around $300 a year, but I get a lot of NFR copies too. There are companies who are doing the micro-payment model like AD, such as SoniVox and Westgate Studios. Project SAM also sells a download-only library. I probably buy a few small libraries every year and one big one (latest was VSL Appasionata Strings Extended) every two years.

Aug.09.2007 @ 9:24 PM
Ive spent close to $100 in samples in the past 2 1/2 years. The twisted textures library which is collecting dust due to them sounding to good and me feeling guilty using em. And the m-audio elektron monomachine library which was a total F**cking waste, the one shots are good but disappointed that they didnt have any good synth one shots and no bass whatsoever, and the loops on it are just friggin whack..waste of money.
The AD one shots you had posted where D-shiznit. I can appreciate a tasty sample pack/ library. One shots=Good...overproduced 4 bar loops w/ too much swing=not so good, opinions are like a**holes though.

Aug.09.2007 @ 9:28 PM
God damn...a sup jup waveform sample pack would be nice!

Aug.09.2007 @ 9:59 PM
I avoid the big beat collections because there is no way to audition them. You end up paying a lot for a couple items with a lot of worthless filler.

Does anyone use the iTunes model for this? I would pay a buck for the killer loop and a couple more bucks for set of hits that make the loop.


Aug.10.2007 @ 12:08 AM
Since I got my V-Synth XT all I need is one sample from the source. Probably 95% of samples sound good one octave either side of the original before you start to hear any artifacts; no mickey mouse chipmunk sounds (unless you want that). That's good enough for my needs. If you need a full grand piano or velocity cross-faded chapman stick samples, the V-synth won't help.

Aug.10.2007 @ 2:19 AM
"The twisted textures library which is collecting dust due to them sounding to good and me feeling guilty using em."

This is basically the reason why I don't usually buy other samples than multisample patches of instruments I don't have. If I get some loops / textures and they suck, I can always mangle them to death but I feel like I've been cheated since I've paid money for crappy samples. And if they rock, I don't really want to use them since I start feeling guilty and think about how some other sucker is using the exact same recognizable sample in a track he's just working on.

Agree with CR on the piracy aspect. It'll be around and it's a fact, and still even small developers don't seem to be dying even though they don't use triple Synchrosoft dongles and signed with blood -authorization for protection. Some devs I know seem to be really militant about it and have a constant war against pirates (funnily enough, one of the most vocal anti-warez devs I'm pretty sure has been a member of a cracking group in the C64 / Amiga era) and some are just "well, I don't like it but what can a man do, I can still code more mad shit and live with it" and spend that extra time making things better for their customers. Death and taxes.

While there is an inevitable portion of assholes who first look at warez sites when they need some software / sample pack, and then spend money only if they can't find it for free (and that applies to some commercial studios too), I have a hunch that for most it's just that they wouldn't either buy anything like that in the first place or just want to evaluate stuff in their own pace and buy it if it rocks (yeah right).

For example, when I was a kid, at some point I used quite a lot of warez myself (yeah, I am that young). Later when I grew up a bit it just started to feel like "fuck this shit, I love doing this stuff and I can now afford to buy the tools I need" and I started buying the software and samples I use. I'd imagine that's how it goes for lots of people - start with illegal copies or free stuff (I actually used only free software - trackers, etc - for quite a while at first) and at some point decide either you aren't using them in the first place, or that you should pony up for the stuff.


Aug.10.2007 @ 5:29 AM
I bought a few sample collections in the past, mostly single-shot drum/percussion samples.
I've released material through Sony and Sonomic (acid loops), but it's apparent that the market for these type of samples is shrinking at a steady pace (for whatever reason.. lots of people are giving away hi quality samples for free these days, there's piracy, the supply of commerical releases is large etc..)

I think there's still a big market for sampled instruments, novelty and quality products should always sell "okay" at the least.


Aug.10.2007 @ 8:10 AM
Selling sample libraries is no longer a viable business model.

The people who authored sample libraries are now bundling their libraries inside a player app and selling virtual instruments instead.

Myself, I'd prefer a bare sample library, even better with presets bundled for major sample players/soft samplers, as this future proofs the product and increases its life-span. If your samples are locked away inside a VI, you're at the mercy of the manufacturer to keep the plug-in up to date.


Aug.10.2007 @ 9:52 AM
I've made many sample libraries for companies in that business, but I think it's more or less over due to factors mentioned here.
The problem these days for me as a producer is that I can't tolerate any perceptible latency when playing a midi keyboard, and most virtual instruments must be run with an annoying buffer setting unless in standalone mode or unless they're the first things to get recorded (ie: cpu isn't already bogged down with audio tracks and plugs). please don't tell me to freeze tracks, etc. I've used hardware samplers since Mirage and they've all had imperceptible latency, and I'm not about to jump thru hoops to used some canned version of an analog synth or other instrument when I have such things here. I'll keep using my Kurzweil & Akai S6k for now, and sit out the VI thing until they catch up to 1985 performance standards. Step programmers: yeah i know you're happy as pigs in 'ish"..... as you should be!

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