[sdiy] OT: Guitar FX - Loopers & prices - what magic is in there?

John P Shea info at extrinia.com
Thu Sep 5 10:59:46 CEST 2019


For better quality converters, there is also the Audio Board, for which
there may be a new vers coming for the new Teensy 4 release (which has a
lot more RAM, but no DAC).


On Thu, 5 Sep 2019 at 5:52 pm, <rsdio at audiobanshee.com> wrote:

> Steve,
> Nothing is priced based on component cost. Price comes from supply and
> demand.
> Of course, nobody will price gear *below* the cost of the components
> because that’s an unsustainable loss. The only exception is if they’re
> dumping old stock that’s already a loss - better to sell at a loss then
> than never sell at all, and better to stay in business long enough that the
> losses are offset by profits.
> On the flip side, though, there’s no upper limit on prices so long as
> they’re above the component costs. The only “justification” needed is that
> people are willing to pay. The catch is that any company who tries to sell
> a product for too much will be surprised by the Behringers of the world who
> are willing to make a product as cheaply as possible and get closer to the
> cost of the components than their competitors. Nobody can predict the
> future with 100% certainty, and there’s always the risk that what gets
> manufactured will not ever sell, at least not the entire inventory.
> Basically, it all comes down to you. If you don’t think the full set of
> features is worth $1,000 then you can either build it yourself or buy a
> model with fewer features. Maybe you could even do without.
> You’re right that a maker Pi plus Linux would have latency, but you could
> learn real-time (RTOS or other) programming to avoid the latency. You might
> even have fun. I do. But unless you have experience with mechanical
> engineering, you might stomp on your baby a little too hard and then
> there’s no warranty.
> I’ve been building musical electronics since PAiA, Electronic Projects for
> Musicians, and various magazines published interesting schematics. I’ve
> also designed several commercial musical products. The price is only
> vaguely bounded by the component costs. There are just so many other costs
> that aren’t inside the box that you receive. I don’t want to discourage you
> from trying to build something yourself, but you’d be surprised how much
> difference there is between the cost of what’s listed on the schematic
> versus the total cost. For one thing, the exact same parts can vary by 10x
> or more just based on how many you buy, whether it’s 1 or 1,000,000. But
> maybe you can figure out how to make a $1,000 gtr looper that sells for
> $200.
> These days, I pretty much only build things myself if nobody makes
> anything like it. Stuff that’s already been created as a commercial
> product, even if I only use some of the features, just isn’t worth the time
> worrying about a few hundred dollars.
> Brian
> On Sep 2, 2019, at 5:04 PM, sleepy_dog at gmx.de wrote:
> > I recently looked at some of those loopers that are apparently
> > especially popupar among guitarists, but also other instrumentalists.
> > I was also more specifically looking for one with +48V XLR input to use
> > it for both, instant feedback for practising singing without messing
> > with computer software, and also actually practicing instruments /
> > jamming, experimenting. The handling (or rather, "footling"?) of the
> > looper for this "sing a line, step on it, hear it" seems even simpler /
> > less distracting than just using my litte old portable recorder - nice
> > for concentrating on self monitoring/correction in this regard.
> >
> > So I found e.g. the Boss RC30, which has 2 foot switches, a display, a
> > few more small buttons, evidently some RAM and some not too complicated
> > DSP stuff.
> > Costs about 200 $.
> >
> > Or the RC300, 3x or so as wide, more foot switches.
> > This costs ~ 500 $ and doesn't even have stuff like time stretching,
> > which *cough* pedals for ~ 1000 $ I've seen have.
> >
> >
> > Now, in my hobbyist imagination, who has done some projects roughly
> > involving the things I imagine to be involved here, but not exatcly the
> > type of product, it seems like this stuff should neither be exactly
> > rocket science, the R&D shouldn't be too tough on those, nor special
> > super duper hardware to make it happen (also hinted at the fact that
> > some of the products are out there for ~ 10 years, unchanged).
> > While I see that the rugged cases & switches do cost something - 500 or
> > more? Get real. My age old laptop which cost less than that back than
> > could do a lot more than what those things do, apart from being stomped
> > on hard and still work.
> >
> > What am I missing, what magic is in there to justify those kinda prices?
> > Let's not forget that those aren't boutique synth modules, but rather
> > mass produced pedals for one of the most popular musical instruments.
> >
> > I almost was about to slap something together involving a Raspberry Pi
> > Z, an audio codec, and some cheap thomann stackable foot swtiches.
> > But that'll probably result in not-so-low latency with the Linux audio
> > stack in the background :)
> >
> > I will probably bite the bullet for the RC 30 for ~ 200, one of the few
> > smaller ones with XLR mic in, albeit some reported usability issues and
> > paying also for some absolutely pointless built-in effects... (FX are
> > cool, just not those)
> >
> > - Steve
> >
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