Retronyms Slashes Prices On Tabletop Add-Ons

Retronyms Tabletop

When we covered the introduction of Retronyms Tabletop – a new virtual studio that turns an iPad into an expandable virtual music studio – many Synthtopia readers were impressed with the concept, but disappointed that add-ons were $5 in-app purchases.

One reader, Guy, put it like this:

I bought it.

It seems interesting but I’m not sure if I will use it over FL Studio. I’m having reservations about $5 for delay, $5 for flanger, $5 for reverb, $5 for bp filter, $3 for cross fade, $10 for mixer with sends. I’m happy to pay for a good app (all these synths as of late are starting to hurt the wallet) but how about $5 or $10 for the full pack?

It looks like Retronyms is listening. They’ve responded by slashing the prices on effects add-ons:

Thanks for making the Tabletop release such a success. In celebration, we’re extending the launch promotion – all effects are now a buck each!

Note to early adopters: If you bought effects before this promotion, ping us at [email protected]ms.com or Facebook and we’ll hook you up with deals on future devices.

Not seeing the updated prices? Give it a few minutes. It can take Apple’s servers some time to update everywhere.

We’d like to see a $10-15 ‘pro’ in-app update that would unleash the Kraken and give you all the Tabletop goodies.

But we also see some value to Retronyms’ piecemeal approach. The in-app purchases give Retronyms an incentive to develop new add-ons, which should increase the value of the platform over time.

How would you like to see a virtual studio like Retronyms’ Tabletop priced?

9 thoughts on “Retronyms Slashes Prices On Tabletop Add-Ons

  1. I think growing up in America has made me instantly and vehemently hate anyone that even looks like they might be nickle and diming me. It stings of greed. If you want $x then charge $x, don't sucker me in and then keep asking for $x+y+z.

    I concede that this does incentivize them to continue to support it with future add-ons. If they insist on this model, I like your suggestion of an Ultimate-Pro-Komplete-Limited-Edition price for everything and future add-ons.

    As it is now, I'm still not biting.

  2. These paid for add-ons may provide the incentive on Retronyms' part but I'd also imagine there's a boost of sales of the base program anytime their is a major upgrade. If, for example, the add-on was access to a cloud based server to store tracks/patches, than the fee might make sense since not everyone perhaps wants/needs that. However, we're electronic musicians; we want every single sound processing/making device you can give us! 🙂

  3. I like the idea of free or cheap apps that have paid upgrades, because it let’s you try the app without much commitment. If it sucks or just doesn’t do it for you, you aren’t out much.

    That said, charging $5 or even $1 for a flanger seems like wishful thinking on the developers part. Look at what you can get from other apps for that price. Like it or not, GarageBand is $5 and has a lot more power than this.

    They should make this a free app, charge $20 for the ‘pro’ version, and then offer add-ins for major items, like a new synth. I paid $20 for Korg’s iMS-20 and think that was pretty fair.

    If they handle thus right, I could see this turning into the next Reason.

  4. The micro transaction strategy is a valid one, but I think these guys have the tuning all wrong. First of all, 5 bucks for the base app should deliver more than it does. For instance, the "bread and butter" effects like delay, verb, phaser, etc should be part of the 5 dollar base. Paying extra for those feels ridiculous when they are free in literally every other program. Sure, charge for a grain delay, or some fancy variety, but not the basics! An alternative is to make the base free.

    I don't even want to experiment with this app because I already have great tools on this platform, and to make this app measure up to those I would need to pay five bucks for the "demo" and then buy a lot of bread and butter components before I could even begin to compare it's sound quality and functionality to other tools I'm already happy with. That makes it a pretty expensive application, especially when it's only apparent stand out feature is the modularity, which may prove to be more problematic than functional.

    Finally, assuming that "Guy" in the example above gave accurate prices for the components (pre-sale), this app would cost $38! And I'm sure they have more components for sale than were listed. Suddenly $25 for FL Studio Mobile feels really cheap. Even with the $1-per sale price, this app is $11 (again, using only components listed above). If this was the full time pricing, I would still feel ripped off by paying for the basics, but might consider it if there was something about an app that was clearly excellent, like tone, etc. Given that there is a band-pass filter listed as an add-on, I suspect there is nothing at all that stands out about this product.

  5. I listed all the add-ons available for purchase (just double checked to be sure). The sale is on the effects only. The mixers are still at their regular price. I think it was both thoughtful and wise of Retronyms to compensate early buyers.

    I read a report published last year that stated app updates have little impact on sales. I would still prefer a "full pack" IAP but I do understand that by selling new modules they have motivation to continue development (as long as people keep buying). I will be interested to see how their model works out.

  6. Yeah, micro-transations and "fremium" are very effective models, and for better or worse they are here to stay in every software genre. I just think these guys aren't offering the value yet to make those models work for the musician. And I agree with you that a bundle price would be best.

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