Is there any money in the sample DVD business?

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Shreddie
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Re: Is there any money in the sample DVD business?

Post by Shreddie » Thu May 14, 2009 2:14 am

I know a guy who's a sound designer, not really a big name but he's been in the business for years and is well respected. I'll repeat some of what he has said elsewhere.

There isn't a great deal of money in it anymore unless you're doing a large and detailed library... Which unfortunately requires a large outlay.

The market for electronic sounds and loops is heavily over saturated now so unless you're lucky, you'll struggle to make back your costs, let alone what it cost you in time. The most popular sellers are things like vintage EPs, organs, pianos and orchestral instruments. 'World' instruments can sometimes be successful too. But even with things like that, the market is pretty crowded so what you produce had better be good!

There's also the fact that most of the stuff (the soundbanks themselves) aren't very well protected regardless of what platform you make the sounds for. So on the off chance that you do create a successful product, and the guy I know has, you can expect to see it all over torrent sites pretty quickly. You can also expect to see people selling DVD-R copies of your library on fleabay. The thing is that these days, alot of people expect thier samples for free. The guy I know does get alot of emails asking for exactly that... Some of those emails have been abusive. He used to offer free samples/soundbanks for a number of products and still does for one, but that's only because he is paid by the manufacturer to do so.

Overall though, the market for all types of sounds is pretty saturated so unless you do something a bit special and can market it well, you can't expect to make much money from it.

In my case, I've make loads of sounds and sample banks but only ever for my own use and enjoyment. I've been toying with the idea of making some of them available for some time now but I wouldn't expect to make much money from it. Partly because they would mainly be hardware specific, partly because they're not mainstream and partly because I don't have the financial muscle to market them at all. It would only really be a sideline/hobby to bring in a few more beer tokens. I had thought of releasing them on a donations basis but as I know one guy who has done that, had a couple of thousand downloads and had only one donation (of $5) that's not really an option. I wouldn't charge much for my banks if I chose to release them but I would charge a nominal fee if only to prevent leechers from chewing up my bandwidth.

All in all though, releasing soundbanks is alot of hassle. Especially if you do it on your own. If you manage to get them released through a company like Zero-G, it can be a different story but companies like that get literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of submissions every year so the chances of a sound library you create being released by a company like that are pretty small.

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Re: Is there any money in the sample DVD business?

Post by madtheory » Thu May 14, 2009 9:11 am

If you have sounds that you want to sell, set up a Paypal shop on your website. It's easy. I've sold a small amount of my piano samples, enough to pay for the hosting service, and met some cool people along the way. They're licensed to a small online vendor too, for Akai format. All good :) I didn't do the donation thing, looks like that was a good idea! Harware specific can be a good thing, if it's a popular device with not so good support. Like all those workstations that can load samples.

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Re: Is there any money in the sample DVD business?

Post by meatballfulton » Thu May 14, 2009 1:29 pm

CS_TBL wrote:Big-name sounddesigners are overrated.
After trying samples from "name" designers and those from "no name" designers I'd disagree.

I've run across more than a few loops that either clicked or fell out of tempo from the no-name guys. It's not the sounds themselves as much as producing sounds that actually work as advertised.
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Re: Is there any money in the sample DVD business?

Post by aeon » Thu May 14, 2009 9:40 pm

I'm a no-name guy, and my (free) (looped) samples are click-free! :mrgreen:

I've given some thought to producing a sample CD, but my sense is there is not much desire or demand for the CD I would create - a CD of synthetic string samples.

From string machines to physical models, from analog polys to digital modulars, it would cover many tone colors of strings, pads, and atmospheres.

They could be used as-is, or as construction kits for building one's own layered stringpad tones.

My goal would be to provide a wide variety of timbres and have support for (some) older hardware samplers (such that individual timbres be ~16MB or less).

Quality in terms of looping and the like would be the same as the strings I recently gave away for free.

I dunno...I might do it anyway for the love of it and expect nothing in return. :D


cheers,
Ian

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Re: Is there any money in the sample DVD business?

Post by CS_TBL » Fri May 15, 2009 12:12 am

I wasn't referring to loop ticks (sound designers doing that should be pulled through the paper shredder anyway). I was referring to the actual content. To stick to actuality, big name sound designers are a bit like big name composers doing autopilot-songs for the Eurovision Song Contest. I mean, you get a library of synth sounds by a big name sound designer, or you get a set o' presets for a softsynth by a big name sound designer (or even a softsynth baring a big name), and what do you end up with? Basic sounds, everyday sawtooth basses, unusable arpeggios, thin basic pads, lame percussion, bassdrums everyone already has 4309 times, 2041 sets o' OMGL@@K trance pads, terror basses, sounds claiming to be acoustic instruments but aren't by a mile etc. etc. And don't get me wrong, I'm not against these genres (electronica, trance, dance, synthpop etc.), but if I switch on my Supernova 2, then I get an equally fad pad with the twist of just 2 or 3 knobs. Same story for all the other instruments I just mentioned. How on earth do these big name sound designers get their 'big name' status in the first place? Does twisting less than 10 knobs for a sound give you the status of 'big name sound designer'?

k, enough rant.. I'm just disappointed that sound designing is about to become a dying art and some names in the industry are taking credits for producing hot air.. :(
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Re: Is there any money in the sample DVD business?

Post by Shreddie » Fri May 15, 2009 3:47 am

aeon wrote:My goal would be to provide a wide variety of timbres and have support for (some) older hardware samplers (such that individual timbres be ~16MB or less).
That's pretty much my plan!

BTW, do you have a link to your site?
CS_TBL wrote:I wasn't referring to loop ticks (sound designers doing that should be pulled through the paper shredder anyway).
+1! The same goes for mis-matched mutlisamples (doo-doo-dee-dee-daa-daa as you go up the keyboard anyone?!) and dodgy velocity layers.
I'm just disappointed that sound designing is about to become a dying art
About to? From my experience on a few forums, it already has. That's the nature of the technology though. Years ago you either didn't have any presets/user locations or had very few so you needed to know how to make sounds. These days, everyone is spoiled (especially in software) with thousands of different timbres so they can just pick and choose their sounds easily. No specialist knowledge required. I'm constantly amazed/bemused by those people who don't know their arse from their LFO! And as for those who don't bother to read the instruction manuals, do a forum search or do a bit of googling... F^(<|>g B@$|@£d Lazy C^>|$!!!

The PM conversations and pointless forum threads I've had... Jeez!

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Re: Is there any money in the sample DVD business?

Post by Bitexion » Fri May 15, 2009 2:08 pm

But why on earth would anyone want samples of a modular synth imitating acoustic instruments when they can just get the actual acoustic instruments or samples of those instead?

Seems that the only business left for sound designers of old is to create factory patches for new synths that come on the market. If the manufacturers can brag about "Presets designed by Howard Scarr" or "Jean-Michel Blanchet" they'll surely use it in the marketing or on the website.

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Re: Is there any money in the sample DVD business?

Post by CS_TBL » Fri May 15, 2009 3:02 pm

Ok, forget the acoustic stuff. FM would be more practical for that (and samples of course, but synthesis is more fun :P).

Still, many sounds could be so much more organic and alive, 'human' if you like.. and often enough you'll find the simplest and most dull sounds on big name libraries.
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