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"Black Box" effects pedals thread / a way forward?


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  • "Black Box" effects pedals thread / a way forward?

    Black Box plea

    The iStomp and Neunaber Slate threads have prompted some here to wonder about the potential for a "Black Box" digital effects solution.  Hoping this thread can start some thought perhaps give us insight into what might work and how.

    The idea is fairly basic: have an open-source platform where anyone can program digital effects at a building-block level, and then upload those creations the cloud for download to a 'black box' type of floor box.

    * Has to be open-source; the attractiveness is in the potential for having everyone around the world contribute their imagination and coding skills to develop new sounds.  
    * Mfrs could sell different box configurations; you'd need certain minimums for controls, but maybe have the possibility for a few things like expression pedals, etc. to be added/subtracted.
    * Has to have two levels of functionality: patch adjustment AND component-level tweakability so guys like V (and one would hope, Brian Neunaber, and ...) could create really interesting pedals, not just spin the dials to make patches.  BUT I would also want to be able to just spin the dials and make patches, and exchange them with others in a way that is user-friendly.
    * You'd hope to find a way to monetize those new virtual pedals.  An online marketplace, so V could get $8.99 (or whatever) from me and others as he came up with cool new downloads.

    * Similarly, provide for some sort of decent if minimal online community (like HCFX without the colossal screw ups).

    If that kind of business model were followed, I see the opportunities as:
    1. Selling inexpensive but useful software interfaces for the source code/coding.  
    2. A rich mine of user data.  Yeah, sorry, this is $ these days.
    3. The ability to sell very nice download/host boxes.  The iStomp is $39; the Slate is $239.  There MUST be a middle ground?  

    I feel like this will be 'the next big thing' in effects ... the opening up of the platforms.  It's like multitrack recording - at one point a scarce and expensive tool of professional musicians.  Now, basically free to all. Analog effects sound too good to go away - but digital needs to move to a different model.



  • #2

    You mean like this?

    Hoxton OWL


    (I bought 2 of these from their Kickstarter campaign, but I still didn't have time for it :-/)

    Info about more than 23000 pedals from 4000 brands
    NAMM news: http://fxdb.org/namm
    Musikmesse news: http://fxdb.org/messe


    • BG76
      BG76 commented
      Editing a comment

      I sometimes program what I need in C-Sound, which has been around for a long time. I got into it in the mid-90s at Berklee.

      You should look into it, as it pretty much allows you to code whatever you would like and there are tons of resources available.


    • WeStartToDrift
      WeStartToDrift commented
      Editing a comment
      Line 6 did something similar with their Tonecore series, but it never caught on.

      I think the idea is absolutely great, but the genius programmers that end up coming up with something completely unique and awesome are also generally smart enough to know how to design everything else.