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Old 08-26-2013, 06:31 PM   #1
samsome123
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Default why plugins so expensive??????????

we all end up downloading them and using them for free (i guess??)

why don't they lower the prices?? what would it cost them?? its just software!

more people would buy them.......
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:43 PM   #2
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I'll get in and out quickly since this subject could derail pretty quickly.

I'll be the first to say and stand behind that one should never only consider the end result (how it sounds) as the be all end all of anything. What does that mean? It means that the prices of plugins that are expensive are so for many, many reasons and sometimes for reasons that matter and sometimes for reasons that don't; its up to you to figure out which ones are for you.

Sometimes its for no other reason than people are silly enough to buy into the marketing. But there are just as many times due to one or many of the following:

1. Stability
2. Ease of use and a great functional UI.
3. Predictability.
4. Ease of workflow.
5. Number of options and how easy it is to use them.
6. Sounds better or simply does a better job.

... the list goes on and on. With freebies there is many times simply the issue of sweat equity. In other words you have to work harder to do the same job but it technically can do the same job sonically. Other times not so much and the freebie is better, or its simply too much constant fiddling to get what you could have gotten with paid and much less fiddling.

I have lots of freebies most of which just happen to have most of the advantages some paid counterparts do and I'm happy to use and support them. I also have lots of paid ones that by far save me lots of time because so much time went into making them do that very well. So both have lots of merits and the rule is to not make the mistake of thinking all expensive VSTs are just marketing nor the mistake that all freebies are just as good as their paid counterparts.

Each has to be judged individually on its own merits, your workflow and your ears. Do that and you'll be fine.

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its just software!
Edit: Hey maybe you can come over to my place, paint my house. I'll supply the paint, brushes, ladders so there will be no need to pay you since its just your time and effort.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by samsome123 View Post
we all end up downloading them and using them for free (i guess??)

why don't they lower the prices?? what would it cost them?? its just software!

more people would buy them.......
I can just tell this will end well.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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Damn straight my man. You said it. It's just software. It should be free or dirt cheap. All those rich developers make me sick. Those rich developers may as well be the man. Fuck the man! It's the man's own undoing for choosing software as a profession anyway. Fat cat software developers don't need any more money anyway. Right? Am I right? Fucking 1%ers. Where's the fucking high five icon when I need it?
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
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A little more basic: in the grand sea of software development, audio users and plugins are a tiny drop.

It's not easy to make a big pile of cash writing business software for 50million users and most audio plugins probably only sell in the tens of thousands of units.

(although maybe you like to work for 150hours a week for less money than you could make at McDonalds....)
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:07 PM   #6
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Well said karbomusic.

As to software should be free - forget that - everything should be free IMO.

What we need is one of those "isms" - just can't remember if its Communism, Socialism but it's certainly not Capitalism - anyway I'm sure there is an 'ism' to suit.

What I want to know is why are we paying anyone for anything?

And while we are at it lets see if we can get those damn trains to run on time too
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by samsome123 View Post
we all end up downloading them and using them for free (i guess??)

why don't they lower the prices?? what would it cost them?? its just software!

more people would buy them.......
Yes, more people would buy them, but not enough. Companies are very good at making the most money possible. They know how many people download their plugins illegally, and they know what their expected returns would be for given price points.

It's supply and demand. The price they are is the price they can sell them for, and maximize their profits.

If they made more money by selling their plugins cheaper because more people would buy them, then they would. They don't because it makes less profit for them.

I'm not sure what their margins are like, but there is a lot of cost that goes into making plugins, and marketing them etc... so, they also can't sell them below cost, which is probably still quite expensive, even if producing the actual physical unit you own, or download is incredibly cheap.

They are also trying to be the best plugins all the time, so they put as much money into making them as they can, while still being able to turn a profit.

You might be able to buy a plugin for 200$ but it didn't cost 200$ to make the plugin it cost a hell of a lot more, and they need to sell a certain number at 200$ in order to break even.

It's complicated, but I promise you, they know what they're doing, and if they made more money by selling their software cheaper, then they would.

asking them to make less money than they can, is not fair. Nobody else would do that in any profession.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:35 PM   #8
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It is easy to come up with hundreds of reasons why software shouldn't be cheaper /\/\/\/\/\/\ look up there, they already have.
Most of that has zero relevance to anything though when nobody here knows anybody elses business model.
If it is so so hard to offer audio software cheap and still make money somebody explain Komplete ultimate to me, I bought it and ended up selling most of my other software because Komplete ultimate was better and actually in the end a lot cheaper than what would be considered budget software.

I think the correct question is why are some people still buying this overpriced buzzword crap that is available out there ?
Budget/cheap/free software is available right now that will be as good if not better than anything else on the market...
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:03 PM   #9
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Yeah, and water should be cheap too. How hard can it be to take all of those contaminants out of it and get it to run out of my tap?
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:26 PM   #10
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there should be a law that forces us all to purchase plug-ins & penalize us if we don't.
we'll call it The Affordable Plug-In Act.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gpunk_w View Post
It is easy to come up with hundreds of reasons why software shouldn't be cheaper /\/\/\/\/\/\ look up there, they already have.
Most of that has zero relevance to anything though when nobody here knows anybody elses business model.
If it is so so hard to offer audio software cheap and still make money somebody explain Komplete ultimate to me, I bought it and ended up selling most of my other software because Komplete ultimate was better and actually in the end a lot cheaper than what would be considered budget software.

I think the correct question is why are some people still buying this overpriced buzzword crap that is available out there ?
Budget/cheap/free software is available right now that will be as good if not better than anything else on the market...
Komplete ultimate is cheaper as a bundle because komplete is very popular, and they make money by getting customers and then selling them more products at deal rates. Like you said, we can't know everybody's business model, but you can be sure, that if they could sell their plugins cheaper, and make more money that way, that's exactly what they would do.

People are spending big money on buzzword plugins, because the buzzword plugins are good. The cheap or free ones are not as good. A lot less money went into making them.

If high end studios could get the same results from free or really cheap plugins, they would get free and really cheap plugins, and all plugins would be cheap, because all manufacturers would be making them cheaply.

The cheap and free plugins are not made by some clever geniuses that figured out how to get the same quality for a fraction of the cost, and the big named companies haven't figured out that secret, or have and just price their plugins way more expensive, and the big studios and everyone else, are just fooled by it.

That said, there are some simple tools, that can be made cheaply, and are very good at what they do.

I mean, sometimes a big studio needs to use a 6000$ mic, and then sometimes just an sm57.

There are some good cheap plugins that do certain tasks well.

But in order to do some things, it costs a lot of money on research and development. so, if you want what those things bring to the table, you have to pay for them, because they are difficult to make.

Your statement is like saying that it is ridiculous for people to spend a lot of money on good microphones when there are perfectly fine cheaper ones.

And ya, there are some cheaper mics that are great, and you can make great recordings with them.

But a 6000$ mic is not so expensive for nothing, it costs more to make that mic, to develop that mic, and if you want that specific character, that's what you have to pay.

Same thing for plugins. If you want just a compressor, use the compressor reaper comes with. It is good. Has many controls, has sidechain, it is a good compressor, and it is free. But if you want something that sounds like the CL-1B, or like the psp vintage warmer, or the fet compressor, or that has feature sets like fabfilter C, or like sonnox compressor, or great transparent limiting, like L2, or something of that sort, you'll have to pay more.

I've not come across any free plugins that can limit like L2 can limit. some other limiters can maybe, maybe even some cheaper ones, but L2 is old now, and still good, they put a lot of work into that technology.

There are some good usable free plugins.

But there are some plugins that there is no free plugin that can replace what they can do, or that sounds like they sound.

Maybe it makes no difference to you, but it makes a difference to lots of people, and that's why they buy them.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rightonthemark View Post
there should be a law that forces us all to purchase plug-ins & penalize us if we don't.
we'll call it The Affordable Plug-In Act.
I'd like to go with more of a royalty thing. Where all plugins must be free, but if you produce something that sells, they get a royalty, and the big companies would end up getting more from the big record companies, than they currently do now, and all home studios would get free plugins, unless they sell their music, which is fair.

And call it the Sound Asleep act of fair use.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:50 PM   #13
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we all end up downloading them and using them for free (i guess??)

why don't they lower the prices?? what would it cost them?? its just software!

more people would buy them.......
So, you want others to make you vsts for free?

Well, why don't you go ahead, learn coding, learn audio processing, learn digital audio-processing and make an awesome vst-plugin?
Then, you'll have a choice to offer it for free.

But I'll guess, after that, when you actually know what it takes, you wouldn't speak bad about those who choose to ask some money for their plugins.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:12 AM   #14
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I wonder
Firstly though I have to say I am on the lower floor for annual income.
Now to my question
How many of the folk with the view that Plug ins should be free or very cheap give their labour for free to the people they work for or if self employed how many of you give your work away for free?

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Old 08-27-2013, 01:03 AM   #15
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So, you want others to make you vsts for free?

Well, why don't you go ahead, learn coding, learn audio processing, learn digital audio-processing and make an awesome vst-plugin?
Then, you'll have a choice to offer it for free.
But I'll guess, after that, when actually know what it takes, you wouldn't speak bad about those who choose to ask some money for their plugins.
Maybe there should be a GNU style viral licence, for music made with software you didn't pay for, such that you would also have to give that music away (because if you didn't pay for the fruit of people's labour why should others reciprocate?)
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:21 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by samsome123 View Post
we all end up downloading them and using them for free (i guess??)

why don't they lower the prices?? what would it cost them?? its just software!

more people would buy them.......
I understand you, you are one of the great guys, whos working for nothing, just for the future of our race, love and peace on earth. Did you download and using reaper also without a license? Did you pay for your food, clothing or rent for your apartment?

I dont think you are dumb, but keep in mind, that software needs also much work and those guys have also be paid for their rent, food and clothing and maybe the development work on their plugins too.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:09 AM   #17
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I understand you, you are one of the great guys, whos working for nothing, just for the future of our race, love and peace on earth. Did you download and using reaper also without a license? Did you pay for your food, clothing or rent for your apartment?

I dont think you are dumb, but keep in mind, that software needs also much work and those guys have also be paid for their rent, food and clothing and maybe the development work on their plugins too.
anyway they seem fine, 1 paying out of (who knows how many), so thats ok

they'll pay their rent with that
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:11 AM   #18
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reaper is not highly priced...(advertising) i paid for it
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:22 AM   #19
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And BTW: There is a ton of free plugins..
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:35 AM   #20
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1 paying out of (who knows how many), so thats ok
they'll pay their rent with that
I can work with that. That will be my new business model, and here's the break down showing that it will work:

Let's say my monthly costs (rent, food, electricity, water, heat, phone) are $1600/month (no car, no parties, no vacations, free internet at the library), and I need an additional $400 to put into the bank for emergencies. So I need $2000/month income.

I work on a plugin for two months straight, every day, doing nothing else. That is not unrealistic. I get it perfect the first time, so there are no updates, bug fixes, etc. - that IS unrealistic, but let's pretend, just to make this example simpler.

I need $4000 to cover the cost of that (2 months at $2000).

So, my new business model tells me to sell it to the first buyer for $4000, then everyone else can have it for free.

That's SO much easier than trying to guess the total number of potential buyers and hoping that works out. (1 at $4000? or 10 at $400? or 100 at $40? or 1000 at $4? or...? )
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:18 AM   #21
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Damn straight my man. You said it. It's just software. It should be free or dirt cheap. All those rich developers make me sick. Those rich developers may as well be the man. Fuck the man! It's the man's own undoing for choosing software as a profession anyway. Fat cat software developers don't need any more money anyway. Right? Am I right? Fucking 1%ers. Where's the fucking high five icon when I need it?
Post of the year.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:35 AM   #22
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So, my new business model tells me to sell it to the first buyer for $4000, then everyone else can have it for free.

That's SO much easier than trying to guess the total number of potential buyers and hoping that works out. (1 at $4000? or 10 at $400? or 100 at $40? or 1000 at $4? or...? )
We should work up a to do/calculation list so those who don't understand can do the steps/math themselves and maybe see the light, or not.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:05 PM   #23
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Doesn't Protools use this pricing model now?
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:39 PM   #24
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We should work up a to do/calculation list so those who don't understand can do the steps/math themselves and maybe see the light, or not.
I think people generally don't understand the time and effort that goes into stuff.

Special effects in films cost a lot of money. That's not because the software is expensive, it's because of the work and man hours that goes into making it. People see 30 seconds of cool special effects, and see that you can copy the movie, it's just digital, it is not a hard copy of something, so it should be free, expect so much work went into making that thing.

Just because you can duplicate a finished product for free, that doesn't mean it was free to make.

the amount of work that goes into some stuff totally passes us by. And we complain about how expensive stuff is.

Even for products. I mean, think of something simple, even a USB cable, or something, we would want to pay like 2 dollars for that, 30$ is a lot. And that is true given market prices, but think about how much effort went into making that cable. From finding the metal, refining it, getting the oil to make the rubber, making the rubber, making the connectors. I mean, if you made one cable, it would be really expensive.

But economics of scale, makes it cheap for us.

I can see how that can make people think that a plugin should be incredibly cheap. The economics of scale means you could produce such a large quantity at such small cost, and this is true, but I don't think there are large enough quantities of people that would buy them, the demand isn't enough. Plugins are for people that make music in a fairly advanced way. Most people don't know what a compressor is. Everybody knows what a USB cable is.

So, sure it might seem that even though a plugin could be expensive to produce (R&D), and time consuming, that it can cost so little to manufacture that you could just sell much more, at lower cost and make your money back, but they worked it out. They did the math, this was the cheapest way for them.

Lots of manufactures even spent an extra ton of money making their plugins difficult to pirate. If they would have made them cheap, they would be much less likely to have to do that.

But it still works out that they make more money this way.

Say what you will about companies, they are generally very good at making the most profit possible out of their products.

If they made more money selling them cheap, then they would.


There is a second factor though. companies sometimes price things expensive to make they seem better, and for company image. An apple computer is just a computer, but it costs way more than windows, a lot of that is to make it more elite of a brand, that is probably also a factor with plugins to some degree.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:40 PM   #25
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There is a second factor though. companies sometimes price things expensive to make they seem better, and for company image. An apple computer is just a computer, but it costs way more than windows, a lot of that is to make it more elite of a brand, that is probably also a factor with plugins to some degree.

hm thats another good reason
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:04 PM   #26
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We should work up a to do/calculation list so those who don't understand can do the steps/math themselves and maybe see the light, or not.
Yeah. My example was for one guy in an apartment living on noodles, and did not include the cost of the computer or the education and time needed to learn DSP and programming. And I don't know what happens after the two months is up. Make another plugin? With less than half a month of funds in the bank? Is it possible to make 6 unique and desirable plugins a year? Every year?

I shudder to think how tricky it would get if there were two or three engineers or pro developers on the team, working in an office space for more than minimum wage. Plugins would cost $30k or more!
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:05 PM   #27
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There is a second factor though. companies sometimes price things expensive to make they seem better, and for company image. An apple computer is just a computer, but it costs way more than windows, a lot of that is to make it more elite of a brand, that is probably also a factor with plugins to some degree.
True, its a known fact that people may/will not respect your product at face value if the price is low comparatively. However, many seem to assume that the above is always the case and that companies just make up high prices and rake in the cash when that is very, very often the exception to the rule.

Anyone with any experience in business whatsoever knows that this isn't how it generally works. You don't say I'll sell this product I'm going to create for 19.99 and make millions.... You calculate all the time/materials/parts/labor/taxes/everything that is required to create the product, add what you need to make as your income then divide number of units required to make that come out to 19.99 Then...

At this point you start guestimating how many you think you actually can sell and this is what decides the true final price... what total cost+profit/potential sales. IF that final price is above what the competition is selling you either need to justify it or drop the idea because the price will be a detriment to the number of units you must sell to survive. If you are wrong in what you think you can sell you are either pleasantly surprised or out of business. This risk of losing everything is precisely why so many invest so much time (well spent or not) on market research because if you don't you starve. It's really not much different than being in Vegas playing roulette.
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:08 PM   #28
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Yeah. My example was for one guy in an apartment living on noodles, and did not include the cost of the computer or the education and time needed to learn DSP and programming. And I don't know what happens after the two months is up. Make another plugin? With less than half a month of funds in the bank? Is it possible to make 6 unique and desirable plugins a year? Every year?

I shudder to think how tricky it would get if there were two or three engineers or pro developers on the team, working in an office space for more than minimum wage. Plugins would cost $30k or more!
Its like when I used to play gigs and make 300.00/night and people thought I was raking it in until I explained it also is covering 20 years of practicing and starving without a good job so I could practice, so in reality I was making 0.002 per hour.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:04 PM   #29
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Its like when I used to play gigs and make 300.00/night and people thought I was raking it in until I explained it also is covering 20 years of practicing and starving without a good job so I could practice, so in reality I was making 0.002 per hour.
Haha, then try to explain to them that it was a 12 hour day with travel, setup & soundcheck and the reverse after the show and they hear "partied the whole time". "All you do is party and get paid!"
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:28 PM   #30
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Default Why are plug ins so expensive?

Why do you need to use plug ins?

Just don't use them.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:43 PM   #31
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There is a second factor though. companies sometimes price things expensive to make they seem better, and for company image.
I think people too often over or mis-calculate that factor.

While Apple is certainly a good example of it, that's certainly not always the case, even though people seem to often assume so. Very often it's as simple as pricing a thing where the market will bear it. The final determination is profit and all of the speculation aside, nobody knows how profitable any of these companies actually are.

You can't buy a new BMW for $15k, so it's targeting "other people". The fact that another car that cost $15k might actually be as well built and as reliable as a BMW is irrelevant to all that.

The problem with consumer audio is that too many people think they're entitled, that (unlike the rest of the world) everything should be in their reach financially... as if that was or ever will be the case.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:14 PM   #32
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Look at Reaper as an example.

Because it is priced so reasonably, with the working musician in mind, it is often seen as "less than pro".

The reality, of course, is that it offers way more bang for the buck (value) than most anything else out there.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:42 PM   #33
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Look at Reaper as an example.

Because it is priced so reasonably, with the working musician in mind, it is often seen as "less than pro".

The reality, of course, is that it offers way more bang for the buck (value) than most anything else out there.
I agree with all of those statements, and although I love reaper and use it exclusively for all my DAW needs, I don't consider it "pro". And that's not because it is cheaper, but I think those things are related.

Reaper is great in many ways, and powerful, but it is too "tinkery" for me to consider it to be pro, and it does some really basic things weird for me. I love it, but if I owned a studio, I would not use reaper.

Although, I would really want to pay someone to clean up the stuff I would want to clean up with it, if I had the cash, then maybe I would.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:56 AM   #34
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Another way to look at high prices, is that most of the software industry has effectively been putting punishment for piracy into the prices of their legit customers, following the naive logic that if 9 out of ten people don't pay for a particular software product, its price must simply be increased tenfold to make up for 'lost sales'.

People who value their own time at more than a few bucks per hour generally rather pay a buck then go look for ways not to pay a few bucks. But that is dramatically different when you're taking about a price of hundred bucks or so. Setting a price of a hundred bucks is also effectively telling people that they can make/save a hundred bucks if they can find a way not to pay for it.

Now look at Apple's App Store. Prices are typically low ($1, but are dominated by free with in-app add-on sales), sales and profits are huge, 'piracy' is pretty low (only about 10-15% of iOS devices are 'jailbroken' at any given time, and although jailbreaking should not be equated with using warez on iOS devices, it does seem to be a prerequisite).

The OP does have a point.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:28 AM   #35
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Another way to look at high prices, is that most of the software industry has effectively been putting punishment for piracy into the prices of their legit customers, following the naive logic that if 9 out of ten people don't pay for a particular software product, its price must simply be increased tenfold to make up for 'lost sales'.

People who value their own time at more than a few bucks per hour generally rather pay a buck then go look for ways not to pay a few bucks. But that is dramatically different when you're taking about a price of hundred bucks or so. Setting a price of a hundred bucks is also effectively telling people that they can make/save a hundred bucks if they can find a way not to pay for it.

Now look at Apple's App Store. Prices are typically low ($1, but are dominated by free with in-app add-on sales), sales and profits are huge, 'piracy' is pretty low (only about 10-15% of iOS devices are 'jailbroken' at any given time, and although jailbreaking should not be equated with using warez on iOS devices, it does seem to be a prerequisite).

The OP does have a point.
Although there are some complex apps out there, I think that more money goes into production of plugins, even if they are relatively simple. some apps though are complex, and I think those reach out to a larger number of people and often times they will take advantage of advertising also.

It's a supply and demand thing also. Some apps are very widespread and most people are potential customers. Plugins are only available to people who make music.

You have to wonder, if plugins were 20$, then ya, they'd sell more, but how many more? I think they would save a lot in terms of copy protection. They are willing to pay for that, because they think it is worth it.

But, it is also how much people are willing to pay. If they could price an app at 100$, and some smaller number of people will download, and they would still make more money that way, then that's what they'd do.

But if you price an app at 100$, then you would sell very few. People aren't prepared to pay that. And you have to take into account what your audience is, how many people you think will download it, and the price point you need to be willing to sell at, before you invest a certain amount of money.

It is not because people can't pirate apps that they are so cheap.

As you say, Apps are like 1-10$. I mean, pretty much anybody would pay 1-10$ for software rather than pirate it. So, if everyone could sell their software 1-10$ and make more profit, then they would. But they can't.

I think people over estimate the impact of piracy on prices of stuff. It's like they make the assumption that if John Doe didn't pirate the software, he would have bought it, so it would or could be cheaper.

If all of a sudden you could carbon copy a Ferrari, then lots of people would have Ferraris. Not being able to carbon copy them doesn't mean the same number would have Ferraris but would have bought them, it means that a whole bunch of people that have a Ferrari, just wouldn't have one.

Yes, they would lose some business from people copying them, for sure, but for the most part, people that have a Ferrari now, and can afford it, would just buy one because it is easier and less hassle, and comes with a warranty and whatnot.

Most methods of copy protection are not very successful. But, some are, I wonder if companies will just realize that there's no point, and that really their sales are not significantly affected by piracy even if lots of people pirate their stuff.

There are many things in the world, that if you told me it was free I would have it, but since it isn't I don't. Making something impossible to pirate doesn't mean that everyone that would normally pirate it would go out and buy it all of a sudden. But I'm sure you'd get some sales that way. In terms of plugins though, a pirate might have 10 pirated plugins, if those became impossible to pirate, they might buy one or two, eventually, but they won't go out and buy 10 plugins at 200$ a pop. If they could do that, then they would.

I think that it is overestimated how much profit loss comes from piracy, and how much prices are affected by it. Someone pirating doesn't make your plugin cost more to make, it doesn't cost the company in direct losses, i.e. the materials and manufacturing process of creating the object is not lost, it doesn't change how much people are willing to pay for it, and it doesn't remove as many customers from buying the software as it appears, so there isn't as much potential revenue lost as the number of pirates make it appear to be.

I don't think removing piracy will make plugins crazy cheap, and I don't think plugin manufacturers would make more money from selling them cheaper. I would expect their projections of maximizing profits are quite good. Enough people will pay a high price tag, to make up for, and exceed, the loss of lots of people opting not to buy it because it is too expensive.

That's not the logic of the pirates, that's the logic of the corporations. By and large the pirates are the ones that would normally opt out because it is too expensive, but get it anyway. They are not, for the most part, people stealing software and driving the prices up.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:21 PM   #36
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Since I got a smartphone and saw how even games are dirt cheap (Asphalt 8 is 1$), I can't help but wonder how the hell all this software (not just plugins) is so expensive. I don't know much about programming, but isn't the same amount of work put into a mobile app (by that I mean the complex ones, like games) than into PC software?
Hell, some plugins cost more than the OS itself.
I know the market is a lot smaller here, but still...
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:15 AM   #37
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I personally think that the software market is trending in the same direction as, for example, recorded music.
You have an increasing number of developers chasing a dwindling number of serious users who A need the plugs and B can afford to pay for them and still stay in business themselves.

Now apply this to the increasing number of people kidding themselves that they have a shot at a career in recorded music but in fact make no money at it and you begin to see the scope of the problem.

Third, check out what has happened to "bands" with the increasing sophistication of software tools.
In the eighties, less and less people were interested in paying to see a live band - bands broke up and becme a trio and a couple of solos or maybe three duos.
Only one (if that) of which were actually a viable act.
So club and bar owners, seeing a way to shave a little off their expenses, hired the smaller acts, but the SAME NUMBER of acts as before.
Which left about 3x the number of acts chasing the same amount of work.
So price cutting and attrition were the order of the day.

So in every case you have the actual pool of available money either staying the same or diminishing.

You do not have to be a mathematician.

So - I suppose the answer to "why are plugins so expensive" i s best answered by posing the question "Who has enough money from music to actually buy them?"

Following on from this and paralleling the amateur band's take on music a a hobby vs music as a living, we arrive at the current situation where there are enough FREE or almost free plugs out there to satisfy most amateur or even semi pro recordists, why pine after the top end plugs that ARE expensive but also likely to be beyond your ability to use to the fullest anyway.
Plus in the great wash of musical shite, is anyone ever going to get the chance to actually HEAR what you did?

My first record was made on a ONE track, two input 15ips "pro" tape recorder, was recorded in the upstairs room of a pub & was released. It even sold a few copies. 2 mics. no effects at all.
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:33 AM   #38
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Since I got a smartphone and saw how even games are dirt cheap (Asphalt 8 is 1$), I can't help but wonder how the hell all this software (not just plugins) is so expensive. I don't know much about programming, but isn't the same amount of work put into a mobile app (by that I mean the complex ones, like games) than into PC software?
Hell, some plugins cost more than the OS itself.
I know the market is a lot smaller here, but still...
I think that saying "the market is a lot smaller here" is a massive understatement.

I can pick 50 random people that I know and say with confidence that 40 of them have a smart phone and purchase some little apps for $1 or $2. Out of that same group of 50 people, there are 10 people who play an instrument. Out of those 10 people, 3 of them actively play gigs or write music. Out of those 3, 1 is interested in recording and mixing.

The VST market is so small that the only way I would ever choose to develop something for it, is if it was something for me to use that didn't already exist.
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:53 AM   #39
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My first record was made on a ONE track, two input 15ips "pro" tape recorder, was recorded in the upstairs room of a pub & was released. It even sold a few copies. 2 mics. no effects at all.
Something about this is so romantically radical. I love it!

I'd like to hear the actual recording.

Do you still have it? Can you post it?
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:56 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfiremusic View Post
Since I got a smartphone and saw how even games are dirt cheap (Asphalt 8 is 1$), I can't help but wonder how the hell all this software (not just plugins) is so expensive. I don't know much about programming, but isn't the same amount of work put into a mobile app (by that I mean the complex ones, like games) than into PC software?
Hell, some plugins cost more than the OS itself.
I know the market is a lot smaller here, but still...
Come on. Did you read my post? Or any of the ones above that explain it?

Here it is again for those with low attention span:
- survival costs are $2000/month
- guy takes 2 months to write plugin
- therefore cost of plugin is $4000
- guy must make $4000 from sales, no matter how you slice it

The plugin is not some mind-sucking time-wasting piece-of-toilet-paper throw-away phone app/game that can sell to the vast unwashed masses of the general public. It is meant for creative and/or technical people, who in turn will create "content" for said masses.

Another example, this time a small company with a development team of say 3 devs, plus admin, marketing, etc, total 20 people, plus rent, insurance, industry fees, travel, nothing unusual:
- costs are $200,000/month
- company takes 2 months to write plugin
- therefore cost of plugin is $400,000
- company must make $400,000 from sales, no matter how you slice it

So let's talk specifics. Which VST plugins are too expensive? Name a specific one, and then we'll discuss why we think the price is what it is.
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