[Ardour-Users] Could this solve Ardour's financial headache?

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Tue Jan 13 12:35:16 PST 2009

a few quick comments on Dewey's email....

> Anything is possible, I suppose, but I guess I'm just skeptical that a
> DAW (and no DAW will ever interest more than a very small percentage
> of people) can generate enough dedicated interest or traffic to have
> more than a minor impact on the overall budget, particularly if that
> budget is to include salaries.

this isn't stopping the reaper guys, it would appear. but they have
windows on their side.

> Small donations and advertising should be a part of any strategy, of
> course, but I'm not sure how big a part they can really be. 

can is one question, and its unclear. "should" is another, and with the
number of users we appear to have, having only a few hundred of them
financially support this niche product is untenable.

> This brings up two more potential revenue streams that hadn't ocurred
> to me before. Both involve plugins.

just to record this for posterity ... there is some work going on in
this area (i can't say more for now), and it predates your email :)

> I was actually going to mention Trent earlier. Off the top of my head,
> I came up with Trent Reznor, Chuck D, David Byrne, Peter Gabriel, 

do you know who owns Solid State Logic? Peter has already paid me. He's
a nice guy. Just didn't have a long term business plan for using Ardour.

> Get users and proponents and the money will follow. Almost every
> musician I know has seen Protools or Cubase; none had ever heard of
> Ardour until I told them.

this is a very "domain-specific" situation. i've been amazed at some of
the places i've been and have run into people who knew about ardour.
particularly younger people.

> Here's another idea: Is there enough of a market for a
> prebuilt/preconfigured recording workstation? 

there are discussions going on with an existing computer OEM about this

> But I bet I could spec out such a machine at retail prices for under
> $1,000, including the 1010 and the second HDD (assuming 500 GB
> drives). I've seen similar hardware on sale at Guitar Center and major
> internet retailers for two grand and up.

we want the $2k and up prices, or just below, for the margins it

> * Just out of curiousity, does nvidia's VDPAU have any implications
> for audio processing in Ardour/JACK/Linux? As I understand it, Nvidia
> has finally opened the source for (certain of their) video drivers and
> there are now fully native linux drivers under heavy development that
> allow pretty much full on-card decoding of HD video.
> That's a lot of goddamn throughput. 

its a lot of throughput; the latency is horrible. its not designed to be
a realtime co-processor. if you wanted to run a kick-ass reverb and add
another few 10's of msecs latency to its operation, it could be good. as
a general locate to do DSP, its not very attractive for low latency

> Another longshot, to be sure, but SoC is good visibility. I wouldn't
> count on a check next week, but it's definitely worth staying on their
> radar.

Ardour is on their radar. I'm on their radar. They'd rather I worked on
other audio projects that they have going on. I'd rather not.

> Also, please let me know if Ardour.org has US 501(c)3 status. If so, I
> believe I can get a company matching gift. Presumably this is also the
> case for a healthy number of Ardour users.

501c(3) status is easy to get. We don't have it. Thats because once the
revenue goes up above $10k/year, you have to start worrying about things
that can get pretty messy. You need officers & board insurance, for a
start. legal representation etc. When the numbers are that big, the risk
of a board member suing claiming that money was misappropriated goes up,
amongst other issues. 

We still may do this. If not, I will likely try to join the Software
Freedom Law Center, who do have 501c(3) status and allow you to donate
to member projects via their foundation.

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