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AVID (Digidesign) - Letter from CEO ! Audio Interfaces
Old 3rd September 2008
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Nonsense. If the software was free, you wouldn't have to pay for fixes, I mean updates.

Like, y'know, all of those bugs that were fixed in the move from Logic 7 to Logic 8. Right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
And if the software wasn't the "standard" nobody would use their hardware.

And I agree about the the software being the selling point - that was part of my point - I was arguing that the profit comes in on the hardware.
Old 3rd September 2008
  #62
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
That's same Logic as why Digi does not make Protools HD run on Apple G3 hardware. The Mbox 1 is still supported BECAUSE it works on current available hardware.
Nope. Sorry, completely different thing.
For one, there were still a large number of Mac and PC users who were using PCI Mac's.
2nd, updating the software had NOTHING to do with the actual hardware driver. 2 completely different things.

Again, the simple crack on the PC side was proof of that.
It was a moneygrab, pure and simple.

If it was a case of not wanting to write drivers for a new OS, I completely understand that. But again, there were a large number of PC users who are still using XP, and who would have gladly kept using the 001. Except Digi forced it into obsoletion. Pure and simple.

Why won't you accept that? Do you just not want to believe that a company would do that? Just like Apple forced PC users of Logic to switch?
Old 3rd September 2008
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post

Mark, you obviously are a sharp guy, but there are some issues where you just let your generalized Digidesign hatred take you into an insistence on total bull****. Let it go, man.

JSL

I don't have hatred for Digidesign. The software is working very well at this point.
But facts are facts. They wrote out the code that allowed the software to see the 001 as a useable interface.
As I said in the previous post, this isn't about a driver issue. I can understand not wanting to keep updating drivers for a legacy interface.
Old 3rd September 2008
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
Unfortunately the first DVD of that software probably costs about million dollars to develop.
Hi,
as I already wrote, developing costs of course has to be taken into consideration as well - for both the hardware and the software. Version 1.0 of anything costs a lot to develop, and keeping the software updated also costs money.

Even if the first version of a piece of software (or hardware) costs a million to develop, that million is paid back quickly if the product is as expensive as it seems that the PT(HD) software is. The software alone seems to cost $4000 list, but they would reach break even (get their first 'software million') already after less than 700 sales even if they would get only $1500 (in software profit) for each PTHD sale.

The problem may be that if Digi made an non-crippeled, pro, native version of PT, to compete with the other native DAWs... would people be willing to pay $4000 (list) for their software?

When the developing costs are covered, selling an installer DVD generates more profit than selling piece of hardware with a lot of components on it. New versions of the software of course has to be made, but the software update price should reflect the cost of developing that update.

These discussions sometimes gets slightly absurd... Avid's CEO admits that they need to do a better job of listening to their customers, and that they need to make some changes to the way they do business, but some Pro Tools users (just like Logic users, Apple users etc) always seem to insist that everything always is perfect/that nothing needs to change with their 'mother company'.

So - enough accounting. I simply don't think Avid/Digidesign has any intentions about (or reason to try to) not to make money on selling software, especially now when they may encounter reduced DSP hardware sales. It costs money to run a company besides the mere product developing costs as well, and I hope Digi (and everybody else) generate the money they need - even if I happen to have moved away from their products.
Old 3rd September 2008
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
Waves sells mostly software and to my knowledge have been making quite a bit of money. In fact whenever they try and get into the hardware market they tend to fail. (APA).

But whatever, its neither software or hardware that makes a company or product better or successful. Its the resulting product. Would apple sell as many computers or iphones as it does without os x and the great iphone interface? Would digi sell as much hardware as they do if they had crappy software?
OK Waves is tens years old Digidesign is had much more growth in the size of the company number of products and profits in the first 10 year period of the company.
Perhaps the reason is that Digidesign switched it's focus from a software to a hardware business model. Lexicon is good example they never made a lot from Lexiverb they have hardware so they can control the features they want and having it in a stand alone box gives their reverb software more profit than any plug-in will give them. Look at another example even IK Multimedia and Native Instruments both software companies are starting to sell hardware. Once you start developing software to certain point you need to have development control of hardware to take your products you want to offer customers to next level.
Profit , it is the capitalist way Communism failed ...
I have no problem if Digidesign is strong highly profitable company.
The more profit they make the better is for every Digi customer.
Look at all the Synclavier customers that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on what they had.
Old 3rd September 2008
  #66
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[quote]
Quote:
OK Waves is tens years old Digidesign is had much more growth in the size of the company number of products and profits in the first 10 year period of the company.
They're actually about sixteen years old...
Old 3rd September 2008
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
OK Wa
Perhaps the reason is that Digidesign switched it's focus from a software to a hardware business model. L
When did they have a software focus?? To my knowledge they have always sold both the software and hardware (out of necessity perhaps, but still).

And, if it´s been any shift at all it´s been towards software. Think about it, from TDM only version of PT to a native PT, from TDM plugins only to RTAS, from sample cell to soft sample cell and AFAIK the aquisition of AIR.
Old 3rd September 2008
  #68
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They started out as a company manufacturing EPROM drum chips, including chips for Drumulator with Simmons drum samples on it. I think I still have some of their chips for Sequential Circuits' Drumtraks somewhere...

They used to be called Digidrums, but was renamed Digidesign after one year (in 1985).

The first 4-voice Pro Tools system (soft- and hardware) was launched in 1991. (PTs predecessor, the Nubus based SoundTools (soft- and hardware) came in 1989, and is considered the first DAW that was ever made - although it was based on their Sound Designer II software - and there were other editors around...).




Old 3rd September 2008
  #69
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Interesting, it´s necessary to adapt it seems. Imagine if they still made eproms for linndrum.heh
Old 3rd September 2008
  #70
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T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredrik View Post
When did they have a software focus?? To my knowledge they have always sold both the software and hardware (out of necessity perhaps, but still).

And, if it´s been any shift at all it´s been towards software. Think about it, from TDM only version of PT to a native PT, from TDM plugins only to RTAS, from sample cell to soft sample cell and AFAIK the aquisition of AIR.
I Used Digidesign before Sound Tools. Sound Tools came from Q Sheet A/V and before that is was Q Sheet (c. 1986). Q-Sheet A/V (c.1989) worked with Dyaxis hardware (Before Studer owed it)
They also made TurboSynth (c.1987) probably one of the first Soft Synths around. Also Sound Designer I Software (c.1985-86) This was used as sample editor software for Emulator I and II's
Sound Designer II (c.1988) became far more popular because that worked with Sound Tools hardware.
All back when Evan Brooks was the man!
Old 3rd September 2008
  #71
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T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nativeaudio View Post
The first 4-voice Pro Tools system (soft- and hardware) was launched in 1991. (PTs predecessor, the Nubus based SoundTools (soft- and hardware) came in 1989, and is considered the first DAW that was ever made [/IMG]
Synclavier, Fairlight, ADAP (Atari based), Dyaxis only to name a few. AES 1988 LA there was slew of DAW's
Digidesign was so small back then they shared a tiny booth with another company.
While they sever wine and cheese at the huge NED Synclav room
Old 3rd September 2008
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
I Used Digidesign before Sound Tools.
Not that i asked when you started to use digidesign, interesting never the less. Cheers
Old 4th September 2008
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Again, the simple crack on the PC side was proof of that.
It was a moneygrab, pure and simple.
First, the simple crack on the PC side proves nothing, except perhaps that you know nothing about driver development and hardware support.

Second, what's the difference between a "moneygrab" and a sensible business decision — one that broke no promises to anybody?

They made a decision that they couldn't afford to provide 001/PT7 support for the Mac. Having realized that, they realized that it didn't make sense to support 001/PT7 only for Windows, in part because it amounted to a very small number of customers who would be affected, and in part because they had no intention of supporting 001 for six more dot-revisions on one platform but not the other.

Those decisions, like many others, inconvenienced some customers but broke no promises. I just don't see what makes this one any different from any other support decision, made by Digidesign and dozens of other companies.

I guess it's this "crack" that you keep obsessing about. You apparently can't grasp that getting a hardware config to run for a minute (or a week) using a crack is not remotely the same thing as supporting every possible variation of a Windows config for all features.

So the main difference is, I guess, that you don't understand. Otherwise, this is just like every other support decision.

JSL
Old 4th September 2008
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMoshay View Post
But that's 1 month of revenue...... the software stays a valid seller till the next upgrade, then sells again.
It's a pretty good way of getting some stable income and keeping your customers don't you think?
and by the way, no software no hardware sales...... so you choke yourself
Jesus, you would think a bunch of musicians and engineers would be better at math ...

Apple sold about 200 million iPods and iPhones before selling a single piece of software for either one. We're talking about over $25 billion in PROFIT, probably over $5 billion last year alone, compared to this $6 million a month for the software.

Can you tell the difference between $5 billion and $72 million?

If we say, "software makes no money compared to hardware," is it not sufficient to illustrate that the hardware is making 70 times more money?

JSL
Old 4th September 2008
  #75
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i love having debates on the internet, it's as productive as eating soup with a toothpick.

Microsoft make 5x the profit ratio to Apple....... Microsoft sells mostly software.
I'm sure the company analysts will be able to give real broken down statics, but you can say one thing for sure........ Bill Gates is the richest man in the world.

Is it hardware driving software?

or

Software driving hardware?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?


(now let's talk about something productive)
Old 4th September 2008
  #76
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
So the main difference is, I guess, that you don't understand.
JSL
Actually, it's you who doesn't understand.
As I said, this had NOTHING to do with drivers.
I already stated, I comepletly understand not updating the drivers.
That wasn't the issue with the 001.

But going out of your way to REMOVE code that would allow the 001 to be recognized is simply forced obsolescence for no reason.
That is the small simple fact that you and others liek you refuse to accept.
I'm not saying that they don't have the right. They can do whatever they want. But let's not pretend that what they did was done to force peopel to upgrade their hardware, and in thsi case, to an 002.

Because do you really think they would have sold a pile of 002's out of the gate, if people could still run their001's? And don't Apple users talk about how long they hold on to their hardware? I know that most of the people I knew who had an 001, were still using PCI mac's, and were forced to upgrade their hardware because of Digi's decision.

So, now with computers having the horsepower they have, it will be interesting to see how Digi transitions from being a hardware company to a software company.

Because let's face it. If you've got an Mbox or 002 that's serving your purposes right now, what other hardware are you going to need to buy from Digi design?
Old 4th September 2008
  #77
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andrewj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PMoshay View Post
Apple's iPhone App Store, reported 60 million downloads and revenues of $30 million in its first month.
they would earn another 60 million in the second month with a bugfix update for the iphone 3g heh heh heh
Old 4th September 2008
  #78
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jslevin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Actually, it's you who doesn't understand.
As I said, this had NOTHING to do with drivers.
Actually, it does ... but I'll skip that explanation, since it's basically semantics.

Here is the fallacy that you continue to cling to, the oversimplification.

The software could have recognized the hardware had that code not been removed — yes. That's what the crack proved.

But that doesn't mean that the software and hardware would have worked correctly.

It does not remotely mean that. The two are not remotely the same thing.

That's why the "crack" shows nothing about how whether they proactively wrote the support out of the program.

Quote:
Because do you really think they would have sold a pile of 002's out of the gate, if people could still run their001's? And don't Apple users talk about how long they hold on to their hardware? I know that most of the people I knew who had an 001, were still using PCI mac's, and were forced to upgrade their hardware because of Digi's decision.
Yes, the people WHO ALREADY HAD 001 were using PCI Macs. Of course -- what else would they be using? But the vast majority of target customers at that point did not have PCI Macs, they had all-in-one Macs. The iMac was in its fifth year, immensely popular, and fresh off a very popular re-design — the second-generation LCD-bubble version came out around the same time, and all iMacs had Firewire starting in mid-2000, two years prior to the 002.

We also had third-generation Titanium PowerBooks — another huge hit for Apple — and the second-generation of the white iBooks. Power Macs, meanwhile, were in their awkward "wind tunnel" stage. Sales of laptops and iMacs absolutely dwarfed Power Macs from about 1999 forward, which meant that a Firewire interface had a vastly larger potential market (at least among Mac users) than a PCI interface.

So I would say that that was what drove 002 development and 002 sales — it was compatible with every Mac sold from mid-2000 forward, rather than maybe 10% of Macs sold.

But let's not get hung up on that — or we might forget that your original question doesn't even make sense! What was that question again?

Quote:
Because do you really think they would have sold a pile of 002's out of the gate, if people could still run their001's?
Ah, yes. And by "right out of the gate," I assume you mean in the first several months after it shipped.

Well, the 002 shipped in September 2002. A week later, Pro Tools 6 shipped — and you could use it with the 001. Nine months later, July 2003, Pro Tools 6.1 shipped — and you could use it with the 001. Another eight months later, April 2004, Pro Tools 6.4 shipped — still fully compatible with the 001. Finally, six months after that, October 2004, Pro Tools 6.4 shipped — and for the first time ever, there is a new version of Pro Tools not supported on the 001.

So what you're asking here — I think — is, would they have sold "a pile of 002's right out of the box" — in the fall of 2002 — "if people could still run their 001's" — in the fall of 2004, two years later?

I hope you realize the silliness of the question now. Digidesign obviously did not sell a whole bunch of extra 002's "right out of the box" due to cutting off 001 support, because that didn't even happen for another two years. My guess is that very few 001 users bothered to upgrade until 2006 — many still haven't — and those that upgraded earlier probably didn't do it to use Pro Tools 6.7, they probably did it for the FireWire support.

You may not realize this, but those PowerBooks are portable!

JSL
Old 5th September 2008
  #79
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Ok then... let me put it in a completely new prospective.

You're wife, being loyal and loving, wants to get into audio so as to show her imense love for you.

She goes to the shop, and falls in love with a Digi 002, or 003, or any Mbox even... because she knows thats what you use (say, HD3) and wants to be a part of your life... She wants to dedicate her life to composing sweet songs just for you.

She has the cash, she has the will, she is a super talented girl !

But for some cosmic reason, she is alergic to Protools and it might kill her if she even tries to double click on the shortcut.

She never intended on using it, she actually handles every other pieace of sequencing software known to man very well !!

She comes up to you and asks...

"Honey, I'm just about to pop into a shop to buy a Digi interface. Do you think this is the right choice? I mean, the price look right... "

Assuming you truely love her, what would you answer to that? ... better still, WHY did you answer what you did...


dfegad


elaborate at will...
Old 5th September 2008
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
Jesus, you would think a bunch of musicians and engineers would be better at math ...

Apple sold about 200 million iPods and iPhones before selling a single piece of software for either one. We're talking about over $25 billion in PROFIT, probably over $5 billion last year alone, compared to this $6 million a month for the software.

Can you tell the difference between $5 billion and $72 million?

If we say, "software makes no money compared to hardware," is it not sufficient to illustrate that the hardware is making 70 times more money?

JSL
That comparison is ridiculous. Software is the secondary feature of a phone. You need a hardware phone to make calls, you need a hardware unit to carry around with you and listen to music (ipod).

Its not the same as either buying dsp hardware to run plugins or buying native plugins, you have a choice and you can do either.

Also you have to ask, are people buying from digidesign because of the hardware or because of the software?

Another area this is different is between DSP hardware, and interfaces. We will always need an interface to record digital audio, but that piece of hardware having DSP is not specifically necessary. Its wanted based on opinion. If in the future people still want that, it will continue to make money, but if it shifts and people don't then that portion of the hardware will make no money. Who knows what will happen.
Old 5th September 2008
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
That comparison is ridiculous. Software is the secondary feature of a phone. You need a hardware phone to make calls, you need a hardware unit to carry around with you and listen to music (ipod).
I didn't mean it as a comparison -- and you make a good point. It isn't that the money is always in the hardware and not the software, it just happens to be the case with respect to DAWs. There is scant evidence that any DAW software publisher is making much money off just the software.

Steinberg made quite a push in that direction, trying to create a high-priced product that was software-only, with only a thin veneer of a hardware brand, but ultimately their software products were not viable as a stand-alone business -- or at least, Cubase/Nuendo were significantly more valuable to Yamaha as an add-on then they were as a stand-alone business. Same was no doubt true of Logic and Apple.

So the question in many ways is, for each product category, is the "real product" the hardware or the software?

Cell phones wouldn't work without software, but that's the software that comes bundled with the phone, not add-on software. This is also Microsoft's trick — they had huge margins because they had no hardware to ship, and yet they maneuvered themselves into a position where all the hardware had to include their software. They made a lot more money off the hardware-bundled software (Windows) than add-on software, and the more they succeeded in making MS Office an essential part of the hardware purchase, the more money they made. I think historically they have made almost no money off any software that was considered add-on or optional.

Game systems are different -- the add-on software IS the desired product, so you basically give away the hardware. Not really like computers or cell phones or DAWs.

So that takes us back to DAWs. What is the product, the hardware or the software? Well, for some applications, the software is the main product, requiring little if any external hardware other than the computer itself — and I think the DAW software products that have made the most money have been the ones where you could see them being used 99% of the time with a laptop and headphones — Reason, Logic, Ableton, the original Performer.

But when it comes to multitrack recording, it does seem like the hardware is more the "real product," and you often see the software basically being given away — Cubase LE or Traktion or AudioDesk or even GarageBand — and Digidesign and MOTU, who both sell leading DAW software but also have major hardware products, the software cost is trivial compared to the hardware.

It is very hard to figure out how any software DAW company can succeed without being attached to a hardware business, unless the software is rather expensive and highly specialized. Other than companies set up to have practically no overhead, I don't see that kind of business continuing even to exist.

JSL
Old 5th September 2008
  #82
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yeah it is something that seems to be very hard to quantify.

Obviously Ableton is making money and is software only. Same as Propellorheads. With Logic its hard to determine, cause if you think of apple in strictly the audio realm this app could be considered software only. It would be interesting to compare the results with say sales of Logic, sales of Live, sales of Digital Peformer and cubase, with sales of MOTU hardware, sales of steinbergs hardware.

Throw digidesign into the mix is even more troublesome since the software is, as you may say, given away, or, as others might say, is factored into the price of the hardware. One could make the point that pro tools LE could be considered a $250 value as the mbox micro sells for that, and its pretty much just the software that you are buying. So subtracting that from LE hardware sales I wonder what you would get?

I wouldn't even know how to begin quantifying HD software vs. hardware...

I'll try and do some number search, something I'm not very good at... see if I can get any of this info from these companies financial results...Please post if you know where to find any of this info!

[added] I think I should also mention that I do agree with Apple's general philosophy of the best product is marrying great software with great hardware. Saying that one drives the other is a little unfair. But concerning the audio world while you can't have hardware without software, you can sort of have software without hardware, assuming the computer itself is out of this equation...
Old 6th September 2008
  #83
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Okay, I'll play along.

I think $250 for the price of Pro Tools LE is about right on — and that's also the price of the stand-alone Pro Tools M-Powered.

The price of upgrading LE or MP is $75, which is about 30% of $250.

The price of upgrading HD is $199, which is about 30% of $650. So we could say that if you had to name a stand-alone price for the Pro Tools HD software, $650 would be a pretty good number to pick.

There are many LE systems — Mbox 2 micro, mini, [standard], pro, 003Rack and 003. The Mbox 2 Pro model is in the middle and probably at or slightly below the average selling price of an LE system (assuming the 003 sell in much lower quantity than the Mboxen).

So if the average LE system costs about $600, we're looking at $250 for the software and $350 for the hardware. The M-Powered systems have lower average selling prices for the hardware, software is still $250. (Though some have suggested basically infinite income on software upgrades, realistically, I bet they average one software upgrade per hardware unit sold and probably less.)

Now the HD systems. There are many configurations, but an average one is going to be something like an HD Accel 2 system with a 192 i/o. (Some will have more than one i/o, some will have a cheaper single i/o, but I'm just going for something close to average and typical). That system is $15,000 list, probably around $11,000 street. So for HD systems, we're looking at $10,350 for the hardware, $650 for the software — and probably an average of 2.5 paid upgrades at this level. Obviously, the ratio is a lot different!

Viewed from that perspective, some things become clear. First, the point of Pro Tools revisions isn't to get paid upgrades, but rather to continue growing the total value of the whole system, upon which future hardware sales will rely. Having made continued improvements, the next decision is just what price to put on each upgrade revision so as to maximize total revenue from the installed base, since the development costs are already sunk.

In your prior message you asked, are they buying it for the hardware or the software? The simplest answer is that they're buying it for an overall solution, but if I had to say one or the other, I'd say the hardware. For one thing, as we've seen, a whole lot of people are capable of writing good audio software, and while many might say Pro Tools is the best, it certainly isn't head-and-shoulders above other DAW software as a recorder/processor/sequencer/editor/mixer. Yes, the editing is excellent, the automation is excellent, but these features could be duplicated in other programs without too much effort, and other programs have powerful features that Pro Tools lacks.

For another thing — the important thing — the hardware is the real differentiator with Pro Tools systems. It is precisely the integration of a real-time hardware mixer, with generous real-time DSP — the ability to run every session in a rock-solid, reliable, latency-free environment that is akin to old professional analog systems — that separates Pro Tools HD from other DAW systems and makes it the solution of choice for the vast majority of commercial facilities.

And as for the low-end systems ....
  1. the only reason to get them is for the software,
  2. yet the main reason we want the software is because it's basically the same as the software used by high-end facilities and pros,
  3. yet the only reason they use that software is because of the TDM hardware.
So even for the low-end systems, sure, it's mainly the software, but ultimately, it's only the software in the low-end because it's the hardware in the high-end.

Re: Apple, they did something very interesting with the consumer computer lines, namely, the decided to pour all kinds of effort into developing high-quality consumer software that they would then give away for free — iTunes, iPhoto, Mail, Safari — or at least very cheap — the iWork and iLife suites. And they did this because they made a determination that people would value Macs more highly if their free software had a reputation for being truly impressive. And then we saw all those ads that claimed that Macs were meant to do fun things, not un-fun "officious" things. I think people clearly buy Macs for the software, and always have, but it's still selling hardware that makes Apple money.

JSL
Old 6th September 2008
  #84
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nativeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
So we could say that if you had to name a stand-alone price for the Pro Tools HD software, $650 would be a pretty good number to pick.
Interesting theory, but how does one then explain that HD1 + software lists for $4000 more than an almost identical card without the software, a card they even seem to be happy to sell for $2000 list?



This isn't a Digidesign attack; it just think it would be great if Apple, who wants to make computers and software, and Digi - who wants to sell interfaces - could could cooperate about a compatible, native solution instead of Digi insisting on keeping prices at what would be considered reasonable circa when Digidesign's 500 mb hard drives suitable for audio recording cost about $10,000, and a 40 mhz Mac II fx with 4 mb RAM was in the same price range. We considered a jump from 16 to 40 MHz impressive then. Those Macs are worth $20 now. This was around 1991, when Pro Tools initially was launched.

Anyway - it doesn't really matter whether one considers the price difference between a core system and a bundled card (the difference $6000) as something they get from hard- or from software. The main issue is that the difference between your estimated $650 and the price difference I mention suggests that there could be something behind the skepticism against Digi's policy in this area.

I won't waste time on trying to calculate what the difference in computing power is between a 40 mHz Mac from 1991 and a current, fast 2.8 ghz 8-core, but although some people hate this and others don't, it's at least impressive that Digi have been able to keep their DSP hardware prices as high as they have.


Quote:
For another thing — the important thing — the hardware is the real differentiator with Pro Tools systems.
At least, this definitely used to be the case until January this year....

Quote:
It is precisely the integration of a real-time hardware mixer, with generous real-time DSP — the ability to run every session in a rock-solid, reliable, latency-free environment that is akin to old professional analog systems
Rock solid is important. I think 'rock solid' also is the reason that why Apple and some others (Nuendo?) have been optimizing their native DAWs instead of adding long sought after missing features, because a more optimized DAW means less strain on the CPU, and will therfore be more solid/perform better. As we all know, 'native' was unsusable for real work back when some early birds claimed that it (theoretically) was... Pro Tools wasn't reliable in the beginning either, and neither was the combination of Digi hardware and native DAWs.

Regarding 'real-time' mixer and 'latency-free'... here's what Digidesign wrote about latency a while ago:
Quote:
The standard versions of DirectConnect v5.1 and v5.1.1 that are installed with your Pro Tools v5.1 or v5.1.1 software provide a 512 sample buffer for streaming audio into Pro Tools. This newer version of DirectConnect 5.1.1_128 has a much reduced buffer size of 128 samples. The smaller buffer results in much lower audio latencies that now range well below 9 milliseconds for TDM systems and below 12 milliseconds for Pro Tools LE (at 44.1 kHz sampling rate). This means that if you play notes on your DirectConnect compatible synthesizer (such as Native Instrument's Reaktor) you will most likely no longer perceive latency.
If they suggest that 8-9 ms for TDM synths isn't perceivable, how can the difference between a TDM system and a professional native system (the difference is less than 1 ms) qualify for describing one of them as latency free, and the other not? I do think most people agree that 9 ms is perceivable.... but is 1ms perceivable enough for enough people to represent real frustration?

I'f I'm not mistaken, non-TDM systems (using low buffer settings) always offer lower latency than TDM systems when recording software instruments - the above numbers refer to recording/monitoring audio tracks

I could of course also mention that native systems can switch off software monitoring and get a 70-80% lower latency than the best TDM system can, but won't. After all, manu users want access to use of plugins during record - and only sends can be used when software monitoring is off, and 70-80% sounds like more than it actually is - the difference (in the favor of the native solution) is less than 2 ms.

The only 'annoying' part of the speedy development of available computing power is that while I got an 8-core (Dual 4-core) only a few months ago, Intel apparently will launch 6-cores next week, meaning that we could see 12-core Mac Pros anytime. Not that I need one, but I'm not sure if I like the idea that I will have to see the launch of faster computers several times a year for the rest of my life.
Old 6th September 2008
  #85
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
The price of upgrading HD is $199, which is about 30% of $650. So we could say that if you had to name a stand-alone price for the Pro Tools HD software, $650 would be a pretty good number to pick.
I'd say that's way low...a more accurate way to figure out the relative "value" of the software would be to look at the differences in price between the HD core systems and the cards by themselves. An HD1 system retails for $8K and a card for $5K, putting the value of the software around $3K. Sure, it'd be a little less than that since we're talking about retail versus street prices, but now a whole lot less. It's just a lot less expensive to upgrade HD relative to the initial purchase cost of the software...

I'd guess that most other DAW manufacturers actually are making most of their money off of software. Ableton and Propellerheads have already been mentioned. Cakewalk comes to mind as well...yes, they have a couple software/hardware packages, but they're a small part of their line and the hardware is simply rebranded Edirol stuff, so they're not making much off of that. Before they were purchased by Apple Emagic occasionally put out a hardware piece, but they didn't sell a whole lot of them and stopped selling them. Same with Steinberg...they put out some rebranded RME stuff but again, their focus was always on software. It'll be interesting to see how much that changes under the Yamaha umbrella...
Old 6th September 2008
  #86
Lives for gear
 
nativeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
An HD1 system retails for $8K and a card for $5K
A card lists for $4000 unbundled and for $2000 bundled... unless, of course something has changed lately.

If the card lists for $5000 sold separately and lists for $2000 bundled, it's even harder to understand their policy from a buyer's point of view...
Old 6th September 2008
  #87
Lives for gear
 

I was looking at retail prices in both instances, not street prices...and yes, if you buy a multi-card system (or a Massive Pack bundle) the cards average out to even less each, which would skew the relative value of the software even higher...
Old 7th September 2008
  #88
Lives for gear
 
jslevin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nativeaudio View Post
Interesting theory,
Oh, it's you again! We had a pretty interesting discussion about this stuff a few months ago ... now it seems you're dipping into propaganda and ideology and just plain getting sloppy with the facts. Why must you do this?

I won't engage in yet another "versus" debate about this. When I say the TDM hardware is the differentiator, I mean that it's the differentiator for those who choose to buy a PT HD system. You can dispute how different it really is — WHATEVER! — but you can't dispute that its purchasers see it as being very different, and different in very important ways.

Quote:
but how does one then explain that HD1 + software lists for $4000 more than an almost identical card without the software, a card they even seem to be happy to sell for $2000 list?
What a weird remark. I assume you're talking about an Accel card? Because otherwise I have no idea what you're talking about.

An Accel card is not remotely the same as a Core card. The whole system is basically on the Core card. An Accel card is just a spare engine.

Furthermore, they list for $5000, not $2000, although the new street price is something like $2200, right around the difference between massivepack with and without.

Quote:
This isn't a Digidesign attack; it just think it would be great if Apple, who wants to make computers and software, and Digi - who wants to sell interfaces - could could cooperate about a compatible, native solution instead of Digi insisting on keeping prices at what would be considered reasonable circa when Digidesign's 500 mb hard drives suitable for audio recording cost about $10,000, and a 40 mhz Mac II fx with 4 mb RAM was in the same price range. We considered a jump from 16 to 40 MHz impressive then. Those Macs are worth $20 now. This was around 1991, when Pro Tools initially was launched.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Quote:
The main issue is that the difference between your estimated $650 and the price difference I mention suggests that there could be something behind the skepticism against Digi's policy in this area.
We weren't talking about the skepticism, and I'm not interested in it.

The skepticism is coming obsessed non-customers. Nobody else cares.

Quote:
I won't waste time on trying to calculate what the difference in computing power is between a 40 mHz Mac from 1991 and a current, fast 2.8 ghz 8-core, but although some people hate this and others don't, it's at least impressive that Digi have been able to keep their DSP hardware prices as high as they have.
Try applying this logic to lawnmowers, or cars, or vacuum cleaners. Quantum leaps in pure processing horsepower are not equally valuable in all product types. I know that that is a deeply, deeply sophisticated concept, but try to get your head around it.

Quote:
At least, this definitely used to be the case until January this year...
... at which point all the studios STOPPED using Pro Tools?

Quote:
Rock solid is important. I think 'rock solid' also is the reason that why Apple and some others (Nuendo?) have been optimizing their native DAWs instead of adding long sought after missing features, because a more optimized DAW means less strain on the CPU, and will therfore be more solid/perform better.
Same old refrain. You natives crack me up.

It's not all about speed. It's not all about speed. It's not all about speed.
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It's not all about speed. It's not all about speed. It's not all about speed.

I'm outa here ... let me know when Apple or Steinberg or whoever have a complete, integrated, turnkey system with guaranteed support levels ...

JSL
Old 7th September 2008
  #89
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nativeaudio View Post
Pro Tools wasn't reliable in the beginning either, and neither was the combination of Digi hardware and native DAWs.

Regarding 'real-time' mixer and 'latency-free'... here's what Digidesign wrote about latency a while ago:


If they suggest that 8-9 ms for TDM synths isn't perceivable, how can the difference between a TDM system and a professional native system (the difference is less than 1 ms) qualify for describing one of them as latency free, and the other not? I do think most people agree that 9 ms is perceivable.... but is 1ms perceivable enough for enough people to represent real frustration?

I'f I'm not mistaken, non-TDM systems (using low buffer settings) always offer lower latency than TDM systems when recording software instruments - the above numbers refer to recording/monitoring audio tracks
As a long time user I would say Protools was Very reliable in the beginning that is one of the many reasons that it helped to become the standard.

Protools 5.1 ? Direct Connect ??? that software is 6-7 years old direct connect is long gone .... I fail to see want that that has to do with what is going on with todays technology. I have not measured the latency with softsoft synths but I have never had any complaints about feel when tracking live.
Old 8th September 2008
  #90
Lives for gear
 
Roger Starr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beyersound View Post
There is no money in software sales?
Microsoft...

RS
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