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Re: Looper development and production costs?

Thank you, Kim, Mathias, et. al. for being in the music



----- Original Message -----
From: "Harvey Starr" <harvey@cts.com>
To: <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2001 12:22 PM
Subject: Re: Looper development and production costs?

> Kim, I've got to hand it to you for having the patience to
answer these
> questions. People don't know what it's about until spent a
month re-writing
> code that was supposed to take only a week tops while being
> because someone decided to use anodized screws to make a
ground connection
> or a silscreen was mis-registered or a PCB run was over-etched
or an
> assembler mis-read an assembly drawing or your shop compressor
blew a
> head-gasket or the paint mfg discontinued your paint and the
> isn't compatible with your already primed parts or your
2nd-source mfg of
> an IC discontinued production and the main source now has a 2K
pc. minimum
> or there are no memory chips or tantalum caps because the cell
> industry has swallowed them all... et al... and to think you
could be paid
> 3 times as much to write an embedded guidance system for a
cruise missile
> and take long sushi/sake lunches and paid vacations. But the
music biz is
> so glamorous...
> -hs
> >
> >>>Sadly, we now don't have enough money after that to pay for
> >>>software engineer and software QA person that we
desperately need.
> >>
> >>You have a dramatically exaggerated idea what the cost of
design is,
> >>particularly once amortized out over a lot of cases.
> >
> >well, I do this for a living, but maybe I'm full of crap.
> >
> >
> >>I'm sure you could get a designer to do a really nice front
> >>panel design in perhaps 50 hours of work at $100 an hour.
> >
> >it's funny how I go through this so often in my professional
> >
> >"It's simple!"
> >"it only costs $x!"
> >"it will only take a few days of work!"
> >
> >it always comes from somebody who's never actually done such
a project.
> >Then somebody experienced in the field who actually has to do
the work
> >says, "no it will take more than that, it is not so simple."
That person
> >gets shouted down because nobody wants to hear that doom and
gloom story of
> >reality. Fantasy project management is so much more fun!  Of
> >somehow you never get to say "I told you so" later when the
project is a
> >complete fucking disaster. but that's how it goes, my life is
a dilbert
> >cartoon.
> >
> >
> >>That's a really good designer and a lot of time and that's
> >>$5000.  That might get you one MONTH of a decent software
> >>engineer and no QA person at all.
> >
> >and
> >
> >>If two programmers and two engineers worked on the unit for
two years
> >>and cost $60,000 each a year (including FICA, benefits and
all -- this
> >>is below market rates) then the whole thing cost
> >>or $480,000 which means that each of these dozen features
> >>$40,000 to make.
> >
> >uh, what decade are you talking about? You have to go to the
third world to
> >find good embedded real-time software engineers or good dsp
engineers or
> >good hardware engineers who work that cheap. Maybe you can
get somebody who
> >writes windows apps or java script for that price, but the
salary paid for
> >specialized skills and experience you need for developing
something like
> >the EDP are at least double that. Where I live it's even
higher. for good
> >contractors, you're talking $150 - $300/hour.
> >
> >
> >>The EDP had to have SOME sort of front panel design made up
> >>and something was printed on it.  That had to cost you
> >
> >no, not really. I did it myself because I believed design was
> >much as you and Mark have been saying, and other people
didn't. Mostly I
> >did it in my spare time, but I didn't get paid much anyway in
those days so
> >it probably wouldn't have made a difference. I used the
copies of
> >illustrator and quark and the large font library I had
"borrowed" from the
> >printing company I worked at during college. I used the
typesetting and
> >page layout skills I had acquired during that job as best I
could. I think
> >we spent about $25 to get films done at a service bureau for
the silk
> >screen. There ya go, do it on the cheap or don't do it at
all. Hate to
> >burst you guy's bubbles, but that's the way things get done
in the little
> >niches of the music industry.
> >
> >G-Wiz was a small new division then. There wasn't a big
budget, there
> >weren't many people working there, and the echoplex was the
bottom odd-ball
> >project of the pile. the FAR synth, ZIPI, Infinity
controller - those were
> >the glamor projects that got what there was of the attention,
the budgets,
> >the resources. The ugly duckling looper project seemed like a
long shot.
> >This was before the jamman even, so nobody really was sure
what to think of
> >the idea. I liked it though, so I worked on it. Or I was
assigned to it
> >because I was the lowest guy there. The Echoplex amazed us
all by being one
> >of the few things that actually made it to a real product,
and continues to
> >live long after g-wiz died. That is true because of
determination and
> >getting things done by any means you can find.
> >
> >
> >
> >>>yet another fiscal reality check:  these are small
companies doing this.
> >>>Tiny companies really. Or maybe tiny divisions of small
> >>>Usually just 3 or 4 underpaid people tops, without
sufficient budget.
> >>>There is not a lot of capital available. There is not a
large market
> >>>available. There will not be a large return for your
investment. You have
> >>>to manage these issues to make money. In fact, you will be
lucky not to
> >>>lose money. You make choices.
> >>
> >>but it's an inferior choice to drop graphic design entirely,
> >>since you can get something really quite nice really quite
> >
> >in my opinion, we did get something nice for cheap. Just some
people are
> >real picky is all. It could have been worse, we could have
used Matthias'
> >design. ;-)
> >
> >
> >>you have a major opportunity on your hands!
> >>
> >>Why not take the opportunity NOW that you are coming out
> >>with a new revision of the machine to call it "EDP 2"?!
> >>
> >>You can put a new coat of paint on the face, call it
> >>version II, and everyone will look at it again, even
> >>people who knew about it before.
> >>
> >>It'd boost flagging sales, it'd encourage people who
> >>already had one to get another, it'd boost people who
> >>are turned on to looping by the Repeater to look
> >>at a very different alternative.
> >
> >in fact, that has been my plan for a long time. I love
deceptive marketing
> >and sales tricks. Probably all we need to add is a pointy
read bubble with
> >"New and Improved!" in the middle. Or maybe the Digital Pro
Plus XL?
> >
> >
> >>black and silver and white, that simple sort of thing,
> >>real typesetting, and it'll be done in a flash.
> >
> >Not pink and purple? haha... I'm still waiting for an
explanation of which
> >parts of my typesetting are not real. did I get the kerning
wrong somewhere?
> >
> >kim
> >
> >
> >Kim Flint                     | Looper's Delight
> >kflint@loopers-delight.com    |
> >
> >
> >
> http://www.starrlabs.com