We asked, you answered, we address!
An important aspect in everything related to music is listening. We consider listening to you and your opinions, feedback and ideas the most important factor for improving our products, services and communication.
That is why we recently send out a mailing to our community. Basically, we asked two questions: "Why did you buy WIDI Master?" and "Why did you NOT buy WIDI Master?".
You and your fellow MIDI enthusiasts overwhelmed us with a wide range of interesting comments. Feel free to scroll through those using above linked blog posts.
That said, there is a logic behind asking these simple questions. We'd like to address the issues that arose during the preorder process and our first crowd created project.
Also, we'd like to learn. That is why we will start by answering the most common answers we've received from you about reasons NOT to buy WIDI Master.
I have used CME Pro products for over a decade. I have always liked the innovative, advanced designs and products. I own a CME XKey Air 37 and WIDI Bud and use them every day. I use Apple MainStage on a Mac Mini.
I am hoping the WIDI can eliminate the need for a USB 5 pin MIDI Interface, free up a USB port and simplify setup with a reliable solution. I am looking forward to using it when it arrives.
You are free to do whatever you want!
If you are still in doubt about purchasing WIDI Master, we are now able to show you what fellow musicians and producers considered. Also, we are able to provide you with some insights and become fully transparent on hot topics addressed by our community.
That said, we do not want to force you in buying anything you do not want or need. You are a unique person and perfectly capable of making your own decisions. The only thing we like to do is providing you with all the information we've got based on real life interaction with people like you.
Because there is a pandemic at the moment and everything that has to do with money feels unsure. Why would I buy, if I am not sure if I have enough money for food in two weeks? Asking something like this is a bit tasteless in times like these. Are you sure this was a good idea???!
COVID-19 and how it affects all of us...
We receive a lot of feedback from many people all over the world concerning the corona situation. First of all, we are really with you on this matter and fully understand that these are challenging times. We also encountered many difficulties with employees in lockdown and even have one team member in Wuhan.
Also, we had to move the manufacturing of our prototypes to France when the situation was hectic in China. Next, within a couple of weeks, we had to move it back to China.
We carefully listen to what our community tells us. Looking at the current feedback, we will discuss in our team that when this all is over, we are considering to do something special for those musicians that encounter difficulties as a result of to the current corona situation.
That is also why we started our live broadcasting on Facebook. It is a live show named #REAP. It stands for “remote events & advanced productions”. It is intended to create a virtual environment for those musicians that now only can perform remotely.
We hope you are still in good health.
Stay safe, stay strong. This too shall pass!
I use a Roland FR4X accordion and I am not sure it will work on it as it only has one Midi out going to the Midi in on the Roland BK7M. And would I have to buy two units and what would be the cost of that…
About pricing and discount..
Pricing is a complex thing. Some people say WIDI Master is a bargain, others say it is expensive. We want to offer you the best price we can possible get, while making sure that we can continue to design innovative solutions for you.
That said, WIDI Master is the first member of the WIDI family. We've developed it upon request from our Xkey Air community and released the first designs in an early stage. The reason behind this was to allow real people like you to think with us and improve the design and usability of WIDI Master and future successors.
Also, we've created a preorder and introduction offer to ensure we will have a better position when negotiating with our manufacturers. That is our first step. That is why we are confident that, when we grow Bluetooth MIDI together, and more industry partners start to implement this technology (in all their amazing equipment), we will be able to make the price point more attractive.
This will only take time!
Importing to the UK is too much of a head wreck with import taxes etc, I’ll wait until you get a distributor over this way. very interested though.
About import tax and shipping worldwide..
We currently are in preorder phase. The idea behind this is that we wanted to involve our community in the earliest stage of development. As WIDI Master was initially developed upon request from our community, we wanted to ensure we were creating something that really was desired by our users.
That said, we’ve noticed that a lot is changing in worldwide shipping processes. Especially when it comes to import taxes and things like Brexit. Sometimes they are applied, sometimes they aren’t. There is no one-way worldwide approach on this matter. That is why we added this warning prior to placing your order. We wanted to ensure not to disappoint any of our customers. It seemed the most fair thing to do. This way, you are able to make your own decision based on the limited information we have available and the research you can do locally.
It is a local regulation!
That said, these kind of taxes are applied by your local government. You can request your local customs authority how this is arranged in your country. Of course, an obvious next step is to involve our distribution and retail network. We already have that in place as results of 15 years worldwide activity with MIDI and WIDI.
Please note that a distributor (or wholesaler or importer) also has to pay import taxes. This is cumulated into the eventual retail price. As we do not decide what your local retailer offers you concerning sales pricing, we can only advise it.
We expect it to be around $/€ 59 per WIDI Master in retail. We will inform you as soon as we go into wholesale distribution and when it will be available at your local store.
The change in the form factor was a major issue for me. Was protruding too much from my rig.
About the form factor and the design process...
With WIDI Master you are able to transmit MIDI over Bluetooth without any computer or operating system. To ensure that you could, we needed to add a PCB and firmware to replace that operating system. Therewith WIDI Master became a tiny little operating system upon itself.
That lead to having to offer a somewhat larger unit. Next, we decided (upon request from our community) to make the two parts of WIDI Master detachable. This way you can only use the one that is connected to your MIDI OUT or THRU (for power).
Also, we are working on a solution to power WIDI Master with a simple USB power bank connection using a DIY accessory cable. This way, in the future, you can also use WIDI Master when there is no power from the MIDI port of the device you attach it with.
It will only take time!
That said, we will be able to improve the design and meet your specific request in the future. This can be done when Bluetooth MIDI is a widely accepted technology and we have a higher request from the market for such solutions.
It will take time an effort and we will do that when we receive more requests like yours. That said, it might influence the price range. We cannot predict the future. In retrospect, we can make the right decisions and learn form mistakes we will make. Therefore, when we will start focusing on this, we will involve our community and people like you to develop the best solution together.
Feel free to read this blog on how we did that for WIDI Master:
The reason why I don’t buy refers to the lack of presentations of credible and clear videos. I watched an online product presentation broadcast on YouTube. I didn’t want to believe what I was seeing…
About our marketing, messaging and raw go to market approach..
We fully understand this way of thinking and respect any decision you make. As WIDI Master is our first crowd created project, which is based upon contributions by all our potential users, our development was in parallel with following those user requirements.
The videos were not perfectly well edited towards a promotional version. They just show our current raw development stage. We try our best to keep transparency as the most important factor in our marketing approach. And the preorder phase was intended to be for enthusiasts who want to join this project and convert our innovative technology into a real product, together.
In addition, we are not building something from scratch. We already approved Bluetooth peripheral technology in our Xkey Air and Bluetooth Central technology in our WIDI BUD products. That is why we were fully confident to merge those two technologies into one device - the WIDI Master.
We were not born yesterday!
If you want to check the performance of CME's Bluetooth MIDI technology, you can check the videos of Xkey Air and WIDI BUD. Also, you will find dozens of reviews on the internet. Just Google it! You will see the real reaction from thousands of professional musicians worldwide.
Anyway, this blog comes to an end now. Thank you very much for your interest in WIDI. Maybe the comments underneath this blog will provide you more insights about the motivation for people to buy WIDI Master.