What I’d really like to see is the MOD core/UI in the form of a VST/LV2 plugin, for use within a DAW. To me, the most enthusiastic aspect of MOD is their vision and realization of an effects framework (we all know the virtues). My thought for a while now has been, why make devices at this stage in their business?–Producing and supporting music devices is a hard road.
I used to work for a company called Open Labs (INC.) in Austin, Texas. We made ‘super keyboards’ equipped with an x86 motherboard, a touchscreen, custom controllers, audio I/O, etc. It was quite something and these machines could do it all. The company failed though, for a number of reasons, none the least of which was the complexity of the BoMs, engineering, software development and after-sale support. Short story, the costs were far more than could be passed on to the customers of a niche market (musicians). We’re talking, in it’s ultimate form–which they sold to marquee stars and home users alike–$7000+ keyboards! There was even an anniversary edition which they had electro-plated in gold!
Upon auction, the remaining investors bought their company back and they reformed it as a software company. They’re still in business (since 2010) selling what could be considered ‘Garage Band for PC,’ plus a mobile version and some other stuff. ( http://us.openlabs.com/ )
Now, I’m not sure how MOD must operate, concerning license encumberment; it could be the device is necessary, as they cannot sell GPL-ish software? Nonetheless, there’s likely an avenue whereby they could do so, effectively, and perhaps call it a service? I’m not sure what the strategy might be. Although, I do know that I’d very much like to have a traditional plugin which bundles the MOD experience for use in a DAW–devices in addition to this would be great too. Still, I would much prefer to have the prior, as I can always spin a Linux device for a given purpose. The true gem in my opinion is the MOD framework with it’s social aspects, UI, LV2, openness, etc. This is what’s unique here and I value it. Contrary, is the plethora of Raspberry Pi-like devices which continually improve in power and capacity.
A word about hardware too; the only digital hardware (for pro audio) worth keeping is high quality converts, studio clocks and the like. Other digital hardware is usually a bad investment. No matter what, these things ultimately die of errata, even the good stuff. Yet, it’s often trends which obsolete digital gear first! Meanwhile, high quality analog gear can have an indefinite lifespan, if maintained … The big question to MOD, do you really want to be in the hardware business? If so, maybe some diversity with a traditional offering like a VST/LV2 plugin as described? As a dedicated Linux audio user, I’d be thrilled. Moreover, it would be a boon to your existing device offerings by providing a wider scope of use–performance and studio recording, unified.