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Discount on Miriam
Mar 6 2004
15:33
quetzalcoatl
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Any chance of a discount on Miriam for existing customers? <img class=” />

Mar 7 2004
00:33
gray
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I agree!! I think after you bought 1 of the programs, the others are just adds to the existing program and should be cheaper.

Mar 7 2004
16:05
quetzalcoatl
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That’s right, existing customers should be able to purchase the Miriam voice font only. If it’s possible to create an install that just installs the voice font, and it shouldn’t be that difficult, that would be perfect for customers who already have one or more Vocaloids.

Or maybe it’s easier if you offer a 50% discount on Miriam for those who have purchased [u:39rid5bo]two[/u:39rid5bo] Vocaloids? So if you have bought Leon and Lola, Miriam would cost you 50% cheaper. I’m guessing that customers who have already paid for one or two Vocaloids and only getting mediocre results, are going to be a little reluctant to pay even more on Miriam .. even IF it’s promised to be a bit better.

Over to Zero-G 8)

Mar 7 2004
17:19
gray
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I’m betting some smart axed 12 year old gonna break vocaloid and then there will be loads of sound fonts available. I wouldnt mind havin an Elvis sound font or maybe a Britney spears so I could make her talk dirty to me. heh heh

Mar 7 2004
20:42
quetzalcoatl
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Elvis isn’t allowed anywhere near my ears, aweful voice!! You would have to pay me a lot of money to even listen to an Elv (I can’t bring myself to write his name, yuk) song, let alone a Vocaloid one 8O

Mar 7 2004
21:32
campaigner
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It would seem that any discount for existing Vocaloid owners buying additional voices is a no-no (for the time being at least). Got this from Time-Space mid-February:
[quote:36weo4hv]… there are no plans to offer discounts to customer who purchase additional Vocaloid libraries, you are paying the money for the license to use the library which is why each license is the same price regardless of how many Vocaloid products you have… [/quote:36weo4hv]

[i:36weo4hv]I wouldn’t normally post contents of emails but there was no confidentiality request in the sig. and I thought this would help.[/i:36weo4hv]

Mar 7 2004
23:43
administrator
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[quote="QUETZALCOATL":2rjpbg4n]That’s right, existing customers should be able to purchase the Miriam voice font only. [/quote:2rjpbg4n]
[quote="Gray":2rjpbg4n]I agree!! I think after you bought 1 of the programs, the others are just adds to the existing program and should be cheaper.[/quote:2rjpbg4n]

eerrrr… this is complex I will try (and probably fail!) to explain…..

When you buy Miriam, you are buying a license to use the voice font. The Vocaloid software is only included simply so you have the means to use the voice, which is the bit you are paying for. Think about it this way…. the voice font itself will be in the region of 850MB the vocaloid software is less than 30MB.

Remember Zero-G is a soundware company, primarily producing sample CDs. The only exceptions being the Native instruments and Vocaloid “Powered” products. In both cases the software is included simply so you can “play” the product, and the software companies (NI and Yamaha) are responsible for providing updates to their software. This is simply because Zero-G is a soundware company not a software company (as you can see the line between the 2 is becoming blurred!).

The Vocaloid Powered products license agreement is very similar to sample CD. So it’s probably best to think about them in a similar way. So basically, Zero-G makes the sounds, and that is the bit you are paying for, the Vocaloid software is bundled free (kind of).

Mar 8 2004
00:41
gray
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[quote="QUETZALCOATL":15pu178q]Elvis isn’t allowed anywhere near my ears, aweful voice!! You would have to pay me a lot of money to even listen to an Elv (I can’t bring myself to write his name, yuk) song, let alone a Vocaloid one 8O[/quote:15pu178q]
You just listening to the wrong Elvis tunes. In his early years, Elvis did some very bluesy numbers. “Love Me”, “Don’t”, “One Night” were some great tunes. But I think I still rather have Brittany Spears. UH UH HUH

Mar 8 2004
10:59
andromeda
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I fully understand what you mean, zer0-G, when you say that we are paying for the licence to use the vocal font, and that we are getting the Yamaha software bundled “for free” in order to play the fonts. This is perfectly reasonable from the zero-g point of view, and probable makes good business sense. I spoke to ed stratton about this on the phone some while ago when I was considering getting Lola. (Which I then did). I understand that you are in the business of selling sound samples, not software, as such. But I think you have missed one very basic fact of customer care and relations. The idea of giving existing customers, or owners, a discount if they buy a second product from you, is the usual way of encouraging people to buy more. You know, 3 for the price of two at the supermarket and all that. It’s a simple fact of business that customers expect that. By not doing this (for all these very good reasons) you will alienate customer good will by appearing to be rather mean. Surely, any retailer gives discounts to get customers to come back and get repeat sales?? Sound fonts are no different to anything else. I also think you need to be careful while the software is still a little “buggy”. People need to percieve that they are getting value for money. If they think the product is of sufficiently high quality, they may be prepared to pay a premium price. The sound samples may well be of high quality, but that is of no use if the software lets it down. People see the whole product. If they see anything less than top quality, they won’t pay.
Just my thoughts
Chris

Mar 8 2004
11:37
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Zero-G is not a retailer. If you think you are entitled to a discount then you should contact your supplier/distributor. For example if you go into a music shop, buy 3 guitar amps, and smile sweetly they would probably knock some of the price off because you brought them so much business. But you wouldnt contact the manufacturer and ask them for the discount (unless ofcourse you bought the products directly from them!). You can’t buy products directly from Zero-G.

[Just so you know, this site is NOT a Zero-G site. It is privately owned and maintained, and we intend to give coverage to vocal fonts created by other companies aswell, when they start appearing.]

Mar 8 2004
12:29
quetzalcoatl
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I think you should un-blur things :D

You are supporting the entire product, not only the sound fonts. You are developing the entire software with Yamaha. Vocaloid is a Zero-G product, it is being manufactured by Zero-G and marketed as a Zero-G product, and it’s Zero-G that’s selling it to suppliers, not Yamaha. Stop hiding behind technicalities and give us a discount <img class=” /> … you’re nice guys, I know you can do it if you want! First 50 people, a 50% discount, just do it.

Vocaloid may be software 30% and sound font 70%, but all our usage problems, suggestions and so forth have been 100% software.

Another thing you could do is launch a competition and GIVE AWAY copies of Vocaloid! :roll:

Mar 8 2004
13:56
gray
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[

Another thing you could do is launch a competition and GIVE AWAY copies of Vocaloid! :roll:
When I was looking into purchasing vocaloid, Somewhere I saw a statement that if you submit a file and they use it as a demo on their page, they would give you a free Leon or Lola. Now I cant find it. Not sure but I think it was at Zero G site. Anyone else see this??

Mar 8 2004
13:58
andromeda
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Please administrator, we can all read the line on the home page of the zero-g website which says “Zero-G Limited was founded in 1990, trading under the name Time+Space. During …”
I bought my product from Time + Space. You ask me to contact my retailer. Time and Space and Zero G are clearly all part of the same setup. Time and Space acting as the retail arm of Zero-g.
Chris
PS You say that zero-g does not own this site. May I respectfully ask who does?

Mar 8 2004
15:51
edstratton
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To try to end any confusion, I (as a guest of this forum) will speak for Zero-G:

Time+Space has nothing to do with Zero-G except that currently T+S is acting as a distributor (but for UK sales only) of some (not all) Zero-G products. Zero-G also supplies a lot of product to Arbiter UK who are a fierce competitor of T+S! In 1997 a brand new company Time+Space Distribution Ltd was created and that is the T+S that exists today. T+S buys soundware from all over the world to sell in the UK. Zero-G is just one of its many suppliers, and has no preferential treatment (look at T+S’s magazine adverts!).

Also, it’s not making any sense to direct posts at people who run this user site with the idea that you are somehow talking to Zero-G. Zero-G did not build this site and does not run it (as you will no doubt see very clearly when other companies start bringing out vocal fonts!!) – though we do think it’s a great idea and we are very glad it exists.

As regards discounts (i.e. rewards for purchasing LEON or LOLA) Zero-G would like to introduce some kind of loyalty or upgrade program in the future but right now the investment in each separate vocal font is so huge (literally tens of thousands of man-hours of expensive programmers’ time!) that the retail price simply cannot be reduced. We warmly thank every person who has taken the plunge with this exciting technology and we promise to do all we can to keep bringing you free updates, of both the software and (hopefully) of the vocal articulations as well. However, it must be borne in mind that any retail discount would have to be offered by music stores all over the world. They would have to verify that their customer is a registered user of the software and they would require rebates from their suppliers (our international distributors) on some of the Vocaloid stock they bought from them, and therefore our distributors would in turn require rebates on some of the stock they bought from Zero-G. All this creates an enormous amount of additional administration for each stage of the retail chain and unfortunately we simply do not yet have the resources to set up, maintain and manage this degree of complexity (and not all our distributors would accept it anyway). It just wouldn’t be workable unless (perhaps) we brought out a special separate product that is a special Upgrade Version of Miriam and sold it separately at a lower price (and somehow ensure that nobody in the world sells it to un-registered users). We MAY consider trying to do something like this, though it could also result in a big delay in the release of Miriam as everything would have to be in place from the start. We’ll discuss the idea with our customers (meaning our international distributors) to see if its viable. If they want it, it can be done, otherwise not.

I can tell you that Miriam is shaping up to be worth every penny – it’s going to be a great product and a significant step forward. Of course we hope many existing Vocaloid users will purchase it but we understand that not everyone can afford to buy all the vocal fonts that are released. Only those who found Lola or Leon really useful, or have simply been waiting to make Miriam their first purchase, will buy it. When there are lots of voices on the market (or we have figured out how to make them less expensively) the prices should come down.

Mar 8 2004
16:19
andromeda
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I appreciate the time you have taken to reply. Perhaps “administrator” could have saved you the time by posting an honest answer to the question in the first palce! <img class=” /> By the way, you didn’t answer my question about who, then, actually owns and moderates this site. With so many zero-g people on it acting as “experts”, and with the site being announced on the zero-g website and its existence emailed to me by zero-g, (not T+S!!) I think we can be forgiven for thinking that a) when we post on here we are talking to zero-g and b) zero-g had something to do with its creation. However misguided we might be.
Thanks
Chris

Mar 8 2004
21:39
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[quote="andromeda":2tir82gb]I appreciate the time you have taken to reply. Perhaps “administrator” could have saved you the time by posting an honest answer to the question in the first palce! [/quote:2tir82gb]
Pardon??? To my knowledge I have never not been honest with you, and I am sorry that I am unable to answer your questions instantly! I have other things in my life other than this forum. I did actually ask Ed to contribute to this thread simply because it is not my place to comment on the situation with Time and space and Zero-G, also discussing discounts on Zero-G products is absolutely none of my business.

I don’t have to justify myself.

Mar 8 2004
22:02
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[quote="QUETZALCOATL":9xnct7yb]I think you should un-blur things [/quote:9xnct7yb]
yes, you are right.
:D I own this site, my name is Joe Hogan and for my day job I am part of the Zero-G Vocaloid Development team.

BUT,

I am JUST a freelance sound-designer, and as such I have no influence or authority in any of the workings of the company I work for. I just do the work and get paid.

This site is [b:9xnct7yb]NOT[/b:9xnct7yb] a Zero-G site, it is [b:9xnct7yb]NOT[/b:9xnct7yb] owned by Zero-G, it is [b:9xnct7yb]NOT[/b:9xnct7yb] financed by Zero-G. It is completely independent, and my intention is to keep it impartial (as much as I can, given the company I work for). I fully intend to include and encourage future vocaloid products from other companies in this site. I certainly dont want this site to be a mouth piece for Zero-G, Yamaha or anyone else.

I run this site in my spare time and at 100% my own expense (When I have some free time, I might start looking for sponsors). I simply saw the need for this site and thought I would have a go at building it….. nothing more to it than that really.

I am NOT in anyway compensated financially or otherwise by Zero-G or anyone else for maintaining this site. I do it in my free time, and at my own expense because I want to….. and….. yes I am slightly mad <img class=” />

My intention was that this site will simply be a centre for vocaloid related things, and would be a useful resource to Vocaloid users. This is why Ed is enthusiastic about this site…. it provides his customers with a service and hopefully improves their overall vocaloid experience (hence him emailing people). I hope other voice font companies will also embrace this site as enthusiastically, afterall the site is here to serve THEIR customers, so it would be foolish of them not to.

My apologies for the fact that this site is still quite bare, my intentions were to include many more tutorials and resources, but I just havent had the time to make them, things are very hectic right now. I built the site very quickly so in some ways I dont really feel its finished yet. (I have a backlog of user submitted downloads to check through! big sorry to those people!) Constructive criticism is still welcome.

Andromeda, You mention Zero-G people acting as “experts”… who? where?

When I started working on this site, I realised it is far more useful to have moderators who actually have an understand the technology. So I asked my colleagues; one wanted to be involved… Tazman. Taz hasn’t posted any messages yet, but I know he keeps a close eye on what is happening in this forum, I will ask him to introduce himself. Ed is involved simply so that Zero-G can have an official prescence here when needed, as was the case in this thread.

You might argue that having moderators that work for Zero-G is hardly condusive to a “completely independent site”, hmm well maybe…. but I would rather use people I know and trust than complete strangers, and at least you have the confidence that your moderators are decent people who have a deep understanding of the technology.

I hope this is all clear now.

Enjoy the site! 8)

Mar 9 2004
09:01
andromeda
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Yes, it’s clear now. Thanks, Joe, for taking the time to explain. By “experts” I mean admin/moderator people. eg. The person, possibly you?, who answerd my query about opening the vowel sound on the word “good”. This worked very well and I am indeed greatful that there are people on here who are part of the development team and whom I would call experts. Please take that as a compliment!
I think it’s time to bury the “lets have a discount on Miriam” debate.
PS While you are here, could you tell me what the “working range” is/was of the vocalist who provided the samples for Lola. She seems to me to be more of a contralto than a soprano and her natural range is rather low. The sounds get a little strangulated in the higher octave, The sort of music I write requires good, sustained, clear vowel sounds (I often use wordless lines on a single vowel sound).
How do you get Lola to Humm effectively?
Cheers
Chris

Mar 9 2004
09:37
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Now Worries :D

Yes she did have a low range. The samples that were used were in the region of Eb2 up to F3. Theoretically the most useable bit of her range is about Eb2-A3…. quite a norrow range in some ways…. but in practice I know you can get useable results outside this range. hope that helps.

humming…. hmmmm….. hehe! A good place to start is to use the phonemes h m. the h sounds a bit harsh especially high up, so reduce the noise track at the beginning of the note, which should soften the h. Experiment, an ascending curve might sound more natural. I would then experiment with clearness, to give it some life. Start by drawing a decreasing curve throughout the length of the note, starting at 64 and go to 25, again a curve rather than a line may sound more natural.

Mar 9 2004
13:23
quetzalcoatl
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I understand that it takes some effort to set up a discount with distributors. How long does it take to set up a competition to give away 5 copies? 30 minutes? :roll:. Sorry for pushing this guilt trip, as grandma always says, it’ll do you good in the long run to break the mould of money-hungry software companies. Kindness will be repayed to you 10-fold :!:

A word about your justifications for the original price .. man-hours? Oh please, all businesses put in man-hours. If all other comparable software was priced around $100, Vocaloid would be too. You set it according to market forces, in other words, the most you thought people would be prepared to pay. We who LOVE Vocaloid and who delight in being there at the start and helping to develop it, have paid it, but it doesn’t make the price right. The annoying thing is that Miriam is actually even MORE EXPENSIVE! The price-tags are not printed on the box, so why not just negociate a new price with dealers, since it has even started shipping yet?

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