[Ardour-Dev] Funding: Build and Sell Hardware

Mark Knecht markknecht at gmail.com
Thu Jan 22 20:42:00 PST 2009

On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 7:41 PM, Patrick Shirkey
<pshirkey at boosthardware.com> wrote:
> Mark Knecht wrote:
>> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 5:18 PM, Hans Baier <hansfbaier at googlemail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> A stand alone
>>>> computer with sound cards running a rack of Open Source reverb units,
>>>> signal processors, Jamin, etc., that could work with a generic studio
>>>> setup. The user would buy their own hardware and would buy a CD from
>>>> us for minimal cost.the main signal path.
>>> ...
>>>> I think coming in on the side chain using Ardour and lots of other
>>>> plugins has a better chance of being accepted into a studio.
>>> Selling a rack is a good idea IMHO,
>>> Users want plugins and they want to them to work without hassle.
>>> And the Linux Audio community has a lot of excellent sounding
>>> (but not always excellent looking) plugins.
>>> Selecting the very best of them, creating nice GUIs
>>> would make an attractive product.
>>> Hans
>> My view is sort of like telling them we have a reference platform:
>> 1) A PC of their choice
>> 2) An HDSP 9652 or 9636 - something family specific but then with a
>> few varieties
>> 3) A/D, D/A of their choice
>> Then we do up some reference racks. As a group we could come up with
>> ideas about what those racks might look like:
>> 1) Synth/VST oriented
>> 2) Sound processor oriented
>> 3) Mixing/Mastering oriented - sub buses, bus compressors, Jamin on
>> the master - whatever
>> Those reference racks would be something like Ardour templates.
>> Anyway, we work that out, give then a few on a demo CD - All Open
>> Source, all freely available. However if we come up with lots of other
>> racks we could have an inexpensive subscription service that gets them
>> access to these other racks, and then as other soft synths and
>> processors come out we add them in and they don't have to do any work.
>> They just get the rack and start using it, but they don't get the rack
>> unless they subscribe. sure, the smart ones who don't want to pay the
>> subscription can go figure it all out themselves, but for $50/month
>> why bother?
>> If we offer some sort of auto upload service we can even ssh the stuff
>> onto their box for them so it's all ready to use, and we could do
>> simple system maintenance for them
> I agree that this is an excellent idea for a hardware/service around Ardour.
> However I have to conclude that the same people who don't want net access in
> their studio are gonna complain like mad about having it in their racks.

We can make it so they log in somewhere to pick up racks. That part
could be up to them. I earn a few hundred dollars each month looking
after a few different Linux boxes. Nothing much. Just doing updates.
Looking at log files, checking to be sure that nothing looks hacked.
I'm no expert at it. I hardly know how Linux works. 90% of the people
on this list (at least!) could do a far better job than me. However,
over time you build a relationship if things go well and they get to
where they find that if they cannot get to completely trusting you at
least they don't distrust you.

> It's a pity. I think it would save a lot of time and hassles for most people
> but I guess we all have hackers trying to access our latest tracks and don't
> want to run the risk of having the box auto update while it is being used or
> maybe just don't want to have *potential* inefficiencies...
>> Just an idea how we non-developers could work together to provide some
>> value to future users.
> A very valuable idea.
> Of course if it actually makes money then someone is gonna fork it just to
> spite you from selling out and being successful because you have offended
> their vision of open source.

Yeah, there's that, but  I don't think 'racks' per se - if they are
something like Ardour templates - are covered by GPL anyway. Ardour
session files aren't covered. That's proprietary or you'd have to give
me all your sound files, right? That stuff is yours. This stuff - just
a bunch of templates -  is ours. If someone wants to cop a copy then
it's no big deal really. In some way that's what we're all doing right

I think it's more about finding 100 studios around the world that
might have a small interest in using Linux in some small way and then
just leveraging this collective knowledge we all have to make it
easier for them. To me it's a no brainer that if I'm running a
business and someone can take an old PC with a good quality sound card
and make it, through no effort of my own, into something useful for my
studio, then maybe I'd take a chance. $50/month. $25. Whatever they
give it helps Paul and the others.

But heck, I'm a dreamer... ;-)

> --
> Patrick Shirkey
> Boost Hardware Ltd.

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