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Old 07-24-2017, 10:35 AM   #1
bozmillar
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Default Plugin Coalition

I'm curious to know if anyone would be interested in starting a plugin coalition. I've been creating and selling plugins as my full time job for the past 4 years, and I was thinking back onto the whole starting out phase and remembering how hard it was.

The thing is, the ability to create good plugins is a completely different skill set than the ability to sell plugins, and with the right combo, a few of us could probably help each other out.

This idea is still in "idea" phase, so I still don't have any set in stone plan or anything, I'm just testing the waters to see if this is something that anyone would be interested in exploring.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:58 AM   #2
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I would be interested to try. From my point of view we could make one plugin to test the waters. My strong skills will be anything related to workflow and GUI.
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:12 AM   #3
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I'm interested. Selling that is. I know nothing about creating a plugin.
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Old 07-24-2017, 01:12 PM   #4
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I would be interested in something. I am not sure what I bring, other than pessimism and procrastination.

I think the buzz that would be generated by several of us working together would be a huge benefit for everyone.
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Old 07-24-2017, 02:13 PM   #5
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I'd be very interested it joining. I'm almost done with my first plugin, and I think it would be incredibly valuable for me, since I'm looking to make this my full time gig.
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Old 07-24-2017, 02:31 PM   #6
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Awesome. I'm open to brainstorming about the best way to go about doing it. I'm thinking I don't want it to be an exclusive thing, but I don't want to turn it into just another plugin retailer either.

It could be a bunch of brands selling in one store, or a new brand altogether. I wouldn't want the developers to be anonymous, because I'd want the coalition to bring in publicity and sales to the original stores as well.

The storefront, the marketing, the support, the development all need a level of quality to them. But at the same time, one of the biggest advantages of being a small developer is you can be more experimental with your plugins, and I definitely would not want anyone to lose that advantage. It's also what keeps this stuff fun to do (at least for me).
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Old 07-25-2017, 04:41 AM   #7
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Definitely interested to know more I've only been creating and selling plug-ins full time since January, but so far so good. In any case, it would be great to share experiences. Great initiative!

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Old 07-25-2017, 04:30 PM   #8
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I'm not the best at coding, I have a pretty solid audience of amateur producers that I have had a very successful project doing sound design, and marketing towards. It has such grown in volume and I find myself doing exclusive sound design for grammy winning producers even, so it's a solid platform with some clout haha.

That being said, I am more than happy to feature plugins and products in my videos to drive traffic and sales.
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Old 07-26-2017, 12:56 AM   #9
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We can work together I'm working on the creation side of plugins: coding and GUI
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:01 AM   #10
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Very interested myself - I'm sure most are a bit more experienced than me with all of this but I'm moving towards making this my career, and some of my projects have pulled in a decent audience.

https://larzeitlin.github.io/software/

I've also recently been contacted by someone from a fairly well known music tech website that are moving into selling plugins, so that might be an avenue for making sales.

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Old 07-30-2017, 12:34 PM   #11
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I'm 100% willing to try and help! I can't code, but I can definitely push and design plugins! I think I have a pretty good track record in this area
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:59 PM   #12
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I would be interested in contributing as well. My background is in electrical engineering and computer science, so I would be able to contribute to developing any audio processing code.

Some of my past/current audio work: https://github.com/austensatterlee/VOSIMSynth (VST synth), https://github.com/austensatterlee/TivaSynth (embedded hardware synth)
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:44 AM   #13
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Please correct me if I am wrong, I am trying to simplify things in my head in order to figure out how we can proceed.

It sounds like there are two independent possibilities. The first is to have some sort of joint collaborative plugin(s). This would be something that a few or many developers would work on. I am going to assume that the goal is to make a commercial plugin that is closed-source (minus the IPlug stuff).

The other idea is to have a website that is a way of promoting and selling our plugins. My guess is that there would be some sort of percentage of each sale that is spent for maintaining the website, paying for any server managing person(s), etc. For the website, let me ask a "devil's advocate" question. What could we do better/cheaper than other sites? I know there are resellers out there that already have systems like this.
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by random_id View Post
Please correct me if I am wrong, I am trying to simplify things in my head in order to figure out how we can proceed.
I'm still in brainstorm mode on this, so as far as I'm concerned, any idea is worth exploring at this point. The main problem I would like to solve is that I think there is a lot of wasted plugin designing talent out there because most plugin developers have a hard time getting past the first plugin when it comes to marketing.

Usually someone who can create a decent plugin probably also has the ability to find a job that will actually pay money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by random_id View Post
It sounds like there are two independent possibilities. The first is to have some sort of joint collaborative plugin(s). This would be something that a few or many developers would work on. I am going to assume that the goal is to make a commercial plugin that is closed-source (minus the IPlug stuff).
Yeah, and whether it should be 5 people working on 5 plugins in a suite, or 5 people working on a single plugin is up in the air. Maybe it's a new brand, maybe it's not.

Or it could just be a bunch of people sitting around a campfire sharing ideas about what works for them and what doesn't. Or when someone comes to me and asks me to do a plugin and I know I don't have the time to do it, it would be really handy to be able to say "I can't do it right now, but I do know a few people that could."

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The other idea is to have a website that is a way of promoting and selling our plugins. My guess is that there would be some sort of percentage of each sale that is spent for maintaining the website, paying for any server managing person(s), etc. For the website, let me ask a "devil's advocate" question. What could we do better/cheaper than other sites? I know there are resellers out there that already have systems like this.
It would be hard to compete with the likes of AudioDeluxe and PluginBoutique on this front. They sell for so many developers, you would definitely need to have a good salesman/communications guy to manage it all, but a project like that would be a salesman project and less a developer's project.

The in between idea would be something like Plugin Alliance. They do a really good job of filling the gap between development and sales. This is just a personal preference, but I don't want to go head to head with them because A) They are good at what they do and B) I like those guys
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:35 AM   #15
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It looks exciting to me!

I'm in here because I still have some basic toolbox type of plugins that I need for day to day work and haven't really seen built yet so I figured I'll keep trying to learn to build them myself, but I'd way rather do what I'm good at and see a coder do what he's good at.

In REAPER's infancy, Justin and Christophe held my hand enough to get me thru making the basic basic plugins in JS that I needed for functionality for mixes I was working on, and though they tried their damndest, coding just doesnt seem to click in my brain....I'm still trying though
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Old 09-06-2017, 01:52 AM   #16
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This all sounds very cool. I could add something in GUI field. I've publicly released only one plugin for now (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iFMZsLiZOo), but sound designers like it. I also don't have any clear idea about how to sell it.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:58 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by 1eqinfinity View Post
This all sounds very cool. I could add something in GUI field. I've publicly released only one plugin for now (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iFMZsLiZOo), but sound designers like it. I also don't have any clear idea about how to sell it.
I think you really have something cool with this plugin. I think your next step, if you are having a hard time selling it is to figure out what about this plugin gets people most excited.

If you are anything like me, and probably most developers, your thought is probably along the line of "It does lots of really cool stuff. Experiment with it and you'll see." The problem is, that's not a good enough description to cut through the noise. You need to relate it to something that people already know.

I watched the video, and here are my thoughts:

1) You use a lot of words/descriptions that 90% of audio people won't understand. These things are obvious to you because you spent the time to make the plugin, and you know it very well. For a vast majority of the potential customers, they don't understand what you are talking about.

2)You are focusing on technical features. While there does need to be an explanation of technical features for the people who are diving in and learning the plugin, most people just want a quick guide to making cool sounds.

3) Do you know any musicians with a big following that could push this plugin for you? Because that would help a lot.

4) This plugin is obviously very complex, but you need to find a very un-complex example that shows what it can do. I feel like I'm pretty well versed in audio processing, but even I was a little overwhelmed with all that this plugin can do. I think you need stories. You will feel cheated doing this, because you aren't showing everything to its full potential, but I think you need to show some of the dumb simple stuff it can do.

I think developers in general are not in a good position to explain their products. It's the technical details that excite us, but it's not the technical details that sell plugins. People don't care about the technical details until they have already bought it. They care about "What can this plugin do for me?"

You have a really cool plugin on your hands. If you are having a hard time getting people to buy it, it's not the fault of the plugin. It's well thought out and well made as far as I can tell. What it needs is a good SIMPLE explanation that gets people excited. You have to always take the approach that the people watching the video are starting at ground zero with their knowledge of the product.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:47 AM   #18
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@bozmillar:
I've subscribed to this thread but did not receive the notification about your reply for some reason.

Huge thanks for the feedback and the advice!
I agree with what you say. Many users at KVR have also wrote about this complexity issue. I'm thinking about stories and ways to make GUI more welcoming for different use cases.

As to #3, I had a chance to show it to Richard Devine in person, but I'm not sure he had time to tweak the knobs not having a proper manual on hands
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:40 AM   #19
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@bozmillar:
I've subscribed to this thread but did not receive the notification about your reply for some reason.

Huge thanks for the feedback and the advice!
I agree with what you say. Many users at KVR have also wrote about this complexity issue. I'm thinking about stories and ways to make GUI more welcoming for different use cases.

As to #3, I had a chance to show it to Richard Devine in person, but I'm not sure he had time to tweak the knobs not having a proper manual on hands
Wow, if that was available for Mac I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

I'm guessing there's lots of crazy vocoding possibilities?
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:41 AM   #20
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PS. If anyone was wanting 3D rendered graphics assets for GUI use, I could be of assistance.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:52 AM   #21
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Wow, if that was available for Mac I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

I'm guessing there's lots of crazy vocoding possibilities?
I'll PM you so we don't change the topic of this thread
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:19 PM   #22
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I'm thinking about stories and ways to make GUI more welcoming for different use cases.
I consider this to be the hardest part of plugin development. You come up with a plugin that does tons of cool things, but in order to make it usable, you have to start seriously gutting and neutering features, which really really hurts. Especially when you know the potential of what a control can do, but you have to simplify it to make it usable.

You really have to remove yourself emotionally from the plugin to be able to view it from an outsider's point of view when it comes time to productizing it. The switching back and forth between "I can do all these things!!!" and "It should only do these things" is really hard, but necessary.
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:41 AM   #23
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@bozmillar I know what you mean. I think I should create something similar to workspaces that Adobe uses in their products. I'm not throwing away controls, but I can hide them and restructure GUI based on what's left

The other thing is that oversimplification trend makes me mad. Even though most people are not techy and are very lazy, product managers shouldn't treat users like idiots (I know that I'm on the opposite extreme though ). I used to have several useful apps on my phone, and as time went by I uninstalled them because developers started to remove features, which rendered apps not functional. It's the whole separate science - designing with UX in mind. And the only good examples I can come up with is NI Massive and iZotope RX plugin pack.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bozmillar View Post
I consider this to be the hardest part of plugin development. You come up with a plugin that does tons of cool things, but in order to make it usable, you have to start seriously gutting and neutering features, which really really hurts. Especially when you know the potential of what a control can do, but you have to simplify it to make it usable.

You really have to remove yourself emotionally from the plugin to be able to view it from an outsider's point of view when it comes time to productizing it. The switching back and forth between "I can do all these things!!!" and "It should only do these things" is really hard, but necessary.
It is a tough balance, for sure. Ultimately, we have to remember that, most often, a musician is using these things. The more you make a musician think, the less they can make music—you pop them out of creative mode. Most instruments have a very simple user interface...pipe organ may have a lot of controls, but in the end you can pick one and keep playing. Cars are one of the great user interfaces of all time.

There is certainly room for intuitive controls and lots of flexibility—I think Isotope Neutron does a good job. But you expect such a plugin to not be so simple. And they don't try to add things like delay and reverb—in fact, they pulled that sort of thing out of Ozone 7 (but let you add such a plugin of your choice within the chain). Those plugins are something you typically use after recording, and that's something to keep in mind too—things like delays can be important int he music-making process, and that's where you especially want to keep to the intuitive level.

And there is the option of hiding the deep features—I worked on the OB8, where we had a lot of new software-control options over the OB-XA; already limited by the existing knobs and buttons, Michel had the bright idea to put fun stuff in "page 2".

Just scattered comments...
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:44 PM   #25
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I worked on the OB8
we are not worthy
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:21 AM   #26
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we are not worthy
It just basically means I am an old guy
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