Sample Library Depreciation thread

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by NYC Composer, May 10, 2019.

  1. NYC Composer

    NYC Composer Senior Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    The moment that you press the “buy” button on most sample libraries, your investment depreciates to...wait for it.....


    Why? Because you can’t re-sell it. Its value in your hands is whatever it is, but in real currency terms, your investment has lost all worth.

    Maybe that’s why I really appreciate user demos and honest opinions. It’s good to have every resource available to judge the worth of a library-professional demos, user demos, walkthroughs, opinions, critiques. All welcome. Maybe if everyone just processed all the information that came in and made their own determinations instead of arguing about whether people are being mean to their team...

    My personal opinion-quality control could improve at most companies... a LOT. Some notable exceptions of course-Cinematic Studios, VSL, Audiobro, a lot of small companies.

    Hey-maybe companies could do what Mike Greene does-money back guarantees! Or how about user trials!!
    SOME accommodation should be made for an investment that immediately goes down to....well, you know.

    Or...not. Probably wouldn’t be as profitable. Impractical. Probably.

    But why?
    FriFlo, dflood, patrick76 and 16 others like this.
  2. tack

    tack Damned Dirty Ape

    Aug 3, 2013
    Yes, mad respect to any developer with the sense and sufficient confidence in their product to have not just a resale policy, but a return policy.

    The sad thing is, this shouldn't have to be an exceptional case.
  3. puremusic

    puremusic Active Member

    Nov 27, 2017
  4. tack

    tack Damned Dirty Ape

    Aug 3, 2013
    If you're in the lucky group of those you can write off sample library purchases, you get, what, 15% back?
    whiskers and richardt4520 like this.
  5. dpasdernick

    dpasdernick Senior Member

    Jan 18, 2010
    If I could sell every library i have ever bought and then buy back the ones I truly use i would be a very rich man. Ironically most of the ones I would keep allow resale. (Spectrasonics, Project Sam)
    mike753, RightOnTime, Henu and 3 others like this.
  6. Lee Blaske

    Lee Blaske Senior Member

    If you're a working composer, and have used the libraries on tracks, you've got value in that that keeps on giving. And most likely, you wouldn't be ready to negate that content.

    Buying a library is licensing content. It's similar to a production company licensing footage for a video production. What they paid for is in their finished product.
    g-man and Land of Missing Parts like this.
  7. Land of Missing Parts

    Land of Missing Parts No Time for Honky-Tonk

    Jan 27, 2013
    I'm all for it. :emoji_sunglasses:
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
    dpasdernick and richardt4520 like this.
  8. tack

    tack Damned Dirty Ape

    Aug 3, 2013
    I daresay that's not a coincidence.
    dpasdernick, mike753, sinkd and 4 others like this.
  9. OP
    NYC Composer

    NYC Composer Senior Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    So you’ve never made a purchase you regret and wish you could return?

    Being well over 100 years old I don’t work all that much these days, but I’ve worked in the music industry full time since 1973 and my first libraries were on the Akai one shot floppy disk sampler. I’m in for hundreds of thousands over the years. You can certainly disagree, but mine is not an uninformed opinion, and I’ve thought that “try before you buy” is a good idea for a very long time.
  10. bigcat1969

    bigcat1969 Senior Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    What I need in my life is a time back refund for things that turn out to be crud after I've spent far to much time messing with / watching them. Ironically many of the folks who have downloaded my instruments agree with me! ;P
  11. chillbot

    chillbot Sock Muppet

    Feb 6, 2014
    La Canada Flintridge, CA
    I'm curious what is with this trend of bitching and complaining about this stuff recently. Not this post specifically.

    OK let me put on my old man pants. Dammit I'm not over 100 I'm only 42, I don't really feel that old. I'm old enough that I didn't get an email address or a cell phone until college. So that makes it real fun for me to try to be a parent these days. And yes I walked to school every day of my life and it was in Minnesota so occasionally it was through a miserable amount of snow. (Not uphill, though. There are no hills in MN.) So I remember paying $2k for EWQLSO and loving every bit of it. And I still use it, today, in Kontakt nonetheless! And I paid what, $1,200 for LASS? Shit I paid $500 for a 5 CD set of samples for my Emu ESI-32, among other such purchases.

    So when I was a kid we didn't have a VCR, though maybe once or twice a year my parents would rent one from the local store and I would binge watch Star Wars on repeat for a whole weekend. That's because VCRs cost like $1,200 bucks (in today's money: about a million bucks). But the thing was, you bought one, and it lasted 25 years, literally. And if it broke you got it repaired. I know people that had the same VCR for 25 years. The same vacuum and microwave, too. So now days you buy a DVD player for $30 bucks and when it malfunctions after two years you toss it and get another one.

    You can get Albion ONE for a ridiculous price right now. So you can't resell it? Who cares! Toss it and get another one! I just wander around in wonder of the samples that we have available to us. Here is a sick brag but I have probably spent $XXk on samples that I have never used. Oh well.

    We download huge GBs of samples now in a matter of minutes. The internet has made selling samples profitably enough to bring the cost down to at least a 1/10th of what we used to pay for FedEx to deliver the boxes to our houses. So I feel like we are in the age of "throwaway DVD players". OK even that shows my age, I guess they are now BluRay players and no one uses those any more either.

    Bad analogies are like oatmeal, they are just white and starchy. So I'll stop. And I'm also not going to make a smarmy "sample appreciation thread". But sincerely I don't get all the complaining that goes on around VI-C about the samples we have access to, at the price we can get them for. You could buy FIVE libraries and if you find one to be amazing it will easily pay for the other four that you toss.
  12. OP
    NYC Composer

    NYC Composer Senior Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    I don’t get relentless fanboyism either, and I’m not complaining. I’m telling it like I see it. YMMV and obviously does.
    That’s coolio with me.
  13. erica-grace

    erica-grace Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2015

    Exactly why I like hearing the opinions of someone like re-peat. Ok, the most unusable instrument ever released in the history of mankind may be taking things a bit too far, but overall, he has provided some great insight to a very many number of things. I want to hear both sides - yes, I also want to hear why people like a certain library, but I also want to hear the other side. Not disrespectful bitchin' and moanin', but an in depth analysis of what is bad, why it is bad, and that comes with audio exs. Gives me a better idea of whether or not I want to buy a library. Sure, walkthroughs by the developer help, but they are trying to sell a product. Nothing wrong with that, but the end user who says this library is great! or this library doesn't work for me and here's why isn't trying to sell anything. Which is why I value all opinions, and those who choose to try and stifle negative comments should be shunned.
  14. Jimmy Hellfire

    Jimmy Hellfire Senior Member

    Jun 28, 2015
    The no-reselling thing is 100% a business strategy that takes advantage of GAS, I'm sure. No other reason for it.
    dpasdernick likes this.
  15. Confuzzly

    Confuzzly New Member

    May 5, 2014
    New York City
    Personally, I don't think resale is the way to go. It seems too punishing for developers, especially smaller ones who can't necessarily afford to regularly lose sales to people selling "used" copies.

    With that said, I also don't feel like clicking the checkout button should feel like a gamble between being a happy customer with a shiny new toy, or lighting my money on fire. Out of everything I own, both physical and digital, I don't think I've ever had that feeling outside of buying sample libraries.

    I test drove my car, I tried on my clothes, I can return my Amazon packages. My video games have Steam's return policy and some have demos. My DAW and notation program had demos. I could go on...

    At the end of the day, I just wish there was a better way to make a more informed decision on purchasing a library. Whether that is trials, returns, or something else doesn't matter much to me. I doubt it will happen though. It's not even an issue of greed so much as it is simply extra work for companies for minimum gain.

    I've lost track of what point I was going to make, and it's late and I should probably stop typing. So I guess this post is just a long way of saying "+1".
  16. dzilizzi

    dzilizzi I know nothing

    Feb 27, 2017
    Somewhere near Los Angeles
    +1 to this.

    Your why may not be mine. So I like the whys and why nots as to whether a library works for you. It helps me decide whether I can live with spending money on something that may only partially work for me because the part that works is what I need.

    I have spent a lot over the years on stuff that only partially worked for me. Okay, barely worked. And like @chillbot says, I remember when I couldn't afford a decent DAW because they cost thousands and required hardware. Now you can crossgrade to Cubase for less than $200. So, yeah, I'd like all that money I spent on useless stuff because now I can buy so much better stuff for a quarter of the price or less.

    I just don't think we can complain now.
  17. bengoss

    bengoss Member

    Nov 15, 2018
    New York
    Yes it’s similar to company licensing footage but there is a huuuuge difference:) The company pays for whatever gets used in the finished product and also licensing fee will depend on where the product will be used.
    On the other side you have to buy let’s say a Spitfire license for strings $1200 no matter if you use them for a no budget student short or a blockbuster or trying to get work:))

    Or another great thing would be to pay a licensing for the project you worked on and got paid for.
    Hope something will change in the future.

    richardt4520 likes this.
  18. Guy Rowland

    Guy Rowland Senior Member

    Dec 13, 2012
    I’ve just been burned - again - with an essentially useless paid “upgrade” to a library. I won’t encourage the pitchforks by naming them here, but have elsewhere. Of course, I blame myself - this company has form here, I should have known better. It was at least a cheap upgrade in a sale, and I am extremely fortunate in that - unlike so many others - money is not outrageously tight for me, but the principle that I’ve been had yet again still stings.

    There is an obvious way forward here. If a company lets me down, dong buy from them again. I have an increasing list of companies who operate a strict sold-as-seen policy, all very big on slick marketing and very small on QC, meaningful fixes and improvements. To all of these, I wouldn’t say never again, but I’m at the 90% discount level with them. If that gives me an occasional use, great, if not I’ve not lost too much.

    Fortunately, there are other companies with a stellar reputation and have policies where the customer comes first. It shouldn’t leave me impoverished to only focus on them.
  19. scoringdreams

    scoringdreams Unsuspecting Person

    Jun 2, 2013
    Canberra, Australia
    From a business perspective here (not hardcore theory, just personal thoughts),

    1. excessive discounting ruins relation-building
    2. poor relation-building leads to public criticism
    3. poor management of criticism leads to ruined brand image
    4. ruined brand image requires rebuilding (and that costs a lot)
    5. depleting resources brings us back to point 1 to regain sales (till bankruptcy)

    Maybe a subscription service like EastWest is the upcoming point-of-parity business model?
    "You don't like the way a product turned out, you just cancel the subscription..." costs less in the short-run? helps keep competition standards high too IMO

    Having some firms create return policies now is going to be akin to puncturing a hole in their revenue streams, and product life cycle comes into play too
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
    WhiteNoiz likes this.
  20. lux

    lux Senior Member

    I have to say I disagree with that. On a personal standpoint, walktroughs made by skilled mockupers and naked demos are the key to understand if a product will work for me or not. 99% of times that is enough. I tend to refer to user opinions only to spot programming bugs or other technical difficulties, and that is really useful.

    About demos, I believe that the whole concept of "well, he's good so he makes everything sound good" is somehow wrong. To me, knowing that someone is able to create an illusion and make a product sound great, that is "exactly" what I'm after. I'm an illusionist myself. I have a problem when even skilled mockupers can't make a product sound good, THAT is different. I also have to say that "in context" demos are nowadays less informative and I tend to kinda ignore them and just look for the word "naked" in the audio demos.

    So, in my book, "it has a dreadful tone" means nothing. On the contrary, "the legato has a problem on fast sequences as you can hear a weird noise in the transitions" means gold to me, as it is something which may affect my ability to create music, whatever that is.
    Last edited: May 11, 2019

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