Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • I venture to bet...

    that sometime in 2006 the pro edition will be phased out.

  • I agree.

  • I agree, too. It's 16-bit, can't be used with the new software, and is not "proprietary" in the sense that they are just WAV files that can be edited, etc.

    You know, after a few days of watching the announcement and our reactions to it, I'm beginning to realize what sort of strategy the VSL is taking from a business perspective. This probably has to do with the incredible cost of innovating on a product that has a very, very small market. (There will never be, say, a million VSL users, given that a, it's orchestral music, b, it's complex, and c, it costs a lot of money).

    The VSL as a company, therefore, is forced by economic reality to take the route of a luxury goods maker. This runs counter to almost every trend in software and computing today, so it is quite risky.

    The point I'm trying to make is that current users of VSL are being targeted as the primary customers for the new VI cube because, well, there probably aren't a whole lot of new customers out there (or at least not enough of them to justify, say, not requiring purchase of the new cube in order to upgrade).

    Given this economic situation, VSL's actions make a lot of sense. In fact, they should be offering new products at substantially higher prices ... and with proprietary formats and tools, that will be very much easier to do in the future. It's called "lock in." Lock in makes it harder for the user to switch.

    If all this seems to leave a bad taste in one's mouth, just remember that the innovation has a cost, and that the company must make money. If the market size were huge, the company could spend millions on innovation and sell the end product for a few hundred dollars, making a lot of profit in the process. But since that's not the case, attempting to be the best, and behave as though it has a monopoly, in a luxury-goods company way, seems to be the only viable option here.

    The one driving force, outside of VSLs control, is that other companies will also innovate. Prior to now, they could play nicely with VSL products and the consumer benefitted. Henceforth, however, with proprietary formats involved, users will be more dependent on VSL ... or have to ultimately face the question of switching (with high "switching costs").

    So, we're at a cross-roads, I believe. Should we throw our weight behind VSL and risk painting ourselves into a corner (but have the most advanced, greatest orchestral instrument avaiable now)? Or should we "wait and see" what sort of innovation will come from elsewhere? Personally, I will take the former (because of something called "Net Present Value"), but I can understand why some will choose to wait and see, too.

    In the end, if you can afford VSL products, there is no good reason not to use them now, if your goal is to make the best possible digital orchestral performance you can.

    - Paul

  • The thing is that there is no real alternative. EW is also tied into a particular sampler and they are working on their own version of a VI player. Admittedly they have a very different philosophy when it comes to recording, but it seems as if they too are going towards the dedicated sample player, only piecemeal rather than all at one time.

    DG

  • Yes, you're right about that, DG. No real alternative. That's why we will be using VSL products! However, I still think that the market size severely limits the kind of innovation that we need. VSL does a hell of a job innovating, under these conditions, but it hardly seems sustainable as a business. We'll have to wait and see what happens over the coming years.

    - Paul

  • [:'(]
    the worst case scenario is VSL being bought by some monster company like sony or autodesk then we're screwed

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    @mike harper said:

    [:'(]
    the worst case scenario is VSL being bought by some monster company like sony or autodesk then we're screwed


    That my friend, it most likely. All we can hope for is that the new owners have vision. I am sure that Herb feels this is his 'baby' but at some point (euros offered) you just cannot walk away from opportunity. To think otherwise would be naive on our part.

    VSL is here today - helping us all charge our clients as much as possible. I really don't even care what will be on the horizon in 8-12 months - I have music to wirte now. And from my perspective VSL gives me the best tools to do so - now.

    Rob

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    @mike harper said:

    [:'(]
    the worst case scenario is VSL being bought by some monster company like sony or autodesk then we're screwed

    Don't be afraid [:)]

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Don't think there's much danger of that somehow....

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    @RedLeicester said:

    Don't think there's much danger of that somehow....


    I agree, in the end everything will be owned by Microsoft anyways.

    R

  • Let me assure you: All existing Horizon Series libraries as well as the Pro Edition will remain on the market.
    Best wishes, Martin

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    @RedLeicester said:

    Don't think there's much danger of that somehow....


    I agree, in the end everything will be owned by Microsoft anyways.

    R

    the truth is that Apple will win the race. [:D]
    You know that it's not always Goliath that is gonna win [;)]

  • And as soon as some bright fellow programs a great DAW for Linux with both VST/AU compatability, with everything working, and compatible audio hardware, then we'll all be looking at that.

    I don't know the limitations of Linux, but after reading hundreds of comments and articles for the past few years, i'm fairly sure a Linux Midi/Audio/video everything package would seriously damage the opposition just based on general resentment and continual dissatisfaction!

    Regards,

    Alex.

    [H]

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    @Martin said:

    Let me assure you: All existing Horizon Series libraries as well as the Pro Edition will remain on the market.
    Best wishes, Martin


    I am very happy to hear that. [:)]

  • Funny, I just posted something about this subject in another thread...

    I only hope that the sample-translation companies (edit - Translator Pro, CDXtract, Kontakt, Halion, etc) can manage translation of the Vienna Instrument sets... it would be a shame (as I posted over there, two seconds ago) for VSL to be absolutely proprietary, with no application outside of their own instruments. Integration's nice, but there are other samplers that are very much worth using, and completely proprietary systems can become a royal pain in the a**... (read: Protools and the idea of "support" -- which, I suppose, is actually a euphemism! (edit 2 -- or maybe more of an oxymoron...))

    J.

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    @Martin said:

    Let me assure you: All existing Horizon Series libraries as well as the Pro Edition will remain on the market.
    Best wishes, Martin


    But what I'm wondering about is new content. I guess the real question would be whether or not other samplers will be supported with new releases of sample content -- i.e., will there be something like a Horizon Solo Strings 2, with the new content?

    J.

  • We support all existing products like they are now, but a lot of the additional samples simply doesn´t make any sense without Vienna Instruments, so there will be no Solo Strings 2.

    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
  • long, low, gutteral growl, with just a touch of fang showing...

    I guess I understand. Bit of a bummer, though.


    J.

  • Jbm,
    There is a bright side though. For that brief solo within the orchestra, you could use your current solo product.
    And for that killer Bruch violin concerto type sound the new VI solo instrument could really give your work a lift, and set it above others!

    Regards,

    Alex.

  • paulhenrysmith, that was an exceptional post.

    We are in a world of downward affiliation. Logic is forced to the masses (Garageband). Sampler orchestras are being thinned and popularized (Garritan Orchestral Library). Once exclusive equipment is being broadened (Pro Tools HD). This is more than technology -- it is a deliberate market strategy aimed to lower level users, a market not of professional need, but of discretionary income.

    And VI is a definitive step away from all of the above.

    Trouble is, it's the great unwashed (or perhaps, the less washed) who tend to post here.

    I don't imagine many A list composers or production houses are eager to log on to this forum and talk to Plowman. But I do imagine A list composers and production houses will uniformly acquire VI because its ease of use is, for them, a necessity.

    And the consequent of these truths is, the hew and cry from the forum is loud but not resonant, obvious but not representative of the core customer. I didn't say the loyal customer, the supportive or vocal customer, the helpful and perceptive customer who contributes so often here. I said the core customers, folks who are generally invisible to our discussions.

    For this shining moment, VSL has no peer. VSL knows it, and that's why the price is what it is. paulhenrysmith is absolutely right: this is a business model. And it's a very shrewd model. It would have been shrewd even if the Symphonic Cube was just more samples. Now add to it a proprietary engine that further inhibits the theft of sounds. And tack on an implicit reward for first time users.

    What irony. As jbm comments on the obsolescence of samples, we are reminded that we'll never have to pay for the same sample twice. No... I guess we won't.

    The technology is the future. The business model is as old as gold.