Thursday, 10 November 2011

Alchemy Mobile, a Marketing Lesson.

EDIT: Syncing your own sounds is now possible according to the changelog, but I had no time to test this.

Alchemy on desktop is one of my absolute favorite synths ever. As I learned that there will be a mobile version I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I got it now and played around with it.

Though, Alchemy mobile is more like Alchemy player mobile rather then full Alchemy, but this is ok since the initial download is free :D
Just like the player it consists basically of the synth engine, the performance area and basic tweaking knobs for filter and envelopes. In addition it features a neat loop player, allowing you to import loops for playalong.

The pro version is available as in app purchase allowing you to remote control Alchemy on your computer and import sounds from libraries you purchased. But other then Alchemy or Alchemy player: It is not possible to import the sounds that you created yourself. According to Camel audio this feature is planned for the future.

But the features are not very inovative, I have the same control surface already created in midi touch and touch OSC. Furthermore the bold marketing claims of Camel audio set the wrong expectations, toning the experience down a bit: Alchemy is not the most powerfull synth on the iPhone, this does injustice to Jasuto, Crystal etc. who allow you to create your own patches and not just alter existing ones at a lower pricetag. Also the claim that Alchemy is the first dedicated remote for a soft synth is not true: Spectrasonic Omnisphere TR is out since ages. 

Don't get me wrong. All in all Alchemy Mobile is great fun but the price for the pro version is completely injustified for a mere toy. This will change as soon as it will be possible to import your own sounds, but until then let this be a marketing lesson in how not to advertise your product. It is also not a good idea to start with a high intro price and lower it later. It is better practice to announce a low intro price period: you will sell shitloads of software and then later go to a regular price. This way you do not annoy your early adopters.

That said, I encourage everyone to get the other amazing products from Camel Audio: Alchemy and Camel phat end up in almost every track I create and are rock solid, efficient, inspiring and versatile tools!

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