A message to nsm (Roadmap & fixes)

Interestingly, i just received my board today (Canada). Shipped Feb 10. Can’t remember when i ordered it exactly, long enough ago that I forgot about it. Anyway something was going on in Feb at least. Now i have one hopefully i will be able to contribute something.

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I didn’t know how to put my feelings on the matter into words but as this thread has progressed my heart has warmed slightly. I think that when you release something that people react so well to it’s instantly overwhelming to see that reaction. When I stumbled upon this product I purchased it as something of a luxury, even though it’s nowhere near as expensive as most synthesizer gear. I know that people are excited about it but it was hard to see some people across the forum start clamoring for more features in what sometimes comes across as a pretty demanding manner. For some personality types, that kind of thing is enough to make one fully retract into their shell, sometimes almost to the point of wanting to abandon something they’ve worked really hard on because it feels like too much pressure. A passion project turns into work,etc.
that’s not necessarily what’s happening here and I have no idea what Nicolas has on his plate for work, but I know he just moved and life is chaos and as has been said more recently, I’m just glad to hear that he’s alive and doing what he can to get orders shipped out when it’s possible. I can wait as long as necessary because I haven’t planned any projects around this with deadlines or anything. I know it’s going to be great and I’m glad to have contributed to it because I get the feeling that when the rough patches are smoothed out it’s going to be part of the future of modern synthesis and I can’t wait to build things with it! Big love from the Midwest @nsm!

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For new users waiting patiently to receive an Akso, I’d still recommend trying to obtain an Axoloti (that’s not easy, either). The Axoloti software (1.0.12) is more complete and stable, and the Axoloti forum has more useful information.

This isn’t a criticism. Akso might live up to its promise, but not yet.

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Checking everyday Axoloti’s web and any update for the last three months. Second-hand almost imposible to get. I have tried without success. In my opinion these projects are wonderful and I hope they find energy enough to keep them alive, but maybe it is too much effort for a one-man project. Maybe they should think about how to work together and make it bigger and more accesible. It would be great news.

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I’ve been thinking that maybe if we pooled a kickstarter or so together we could raise some money to find some pro assistance (hardware dev/programmer or so?) that could help on some of the bigger hurdles. I don’t think I’d have any problem sinking another 50-100 euro into this thing, honestly I thought both Axoloti and Akso were a little underpriced and maybe better funding could’ve sped the project up a bit. This thing is going to be a virtual do it all beast when it’s done, I’d say its fair. Would that interest anyone else?

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Unfortunately the hardware design is not open source. WIthout access to the hw design and the ability to make more hardware there is little point in investing in the project.

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The issue is business model. Nic is hesitant to hand over control of his creation (legit!), and then he ran into scaling issues.

This is always a choice you have to make as a creator: do you want to do the part you want to do and then let it end there, or do you want to scale it up?

Part of the ecosystem in our current creative economy is middlemen who will take the thing and scale it, leaving the original creator with little in the way of either resources or even creative power over their own creation.

Kickstarter is successful because its take is small (net around 8%) but human attention is very expensive. So figuring out how to involve another person without effectively doubling the price is a challenge. Usually that’s dealt with by scaling: you sell 4x the units at less than 2x the cost. And if that’s paying off at that juncture and it looks like there’s still more interest, you keep going. Eventually, it pays off.

Along they way, there’s debugging going on, tech support, etc. those all cost human attention, and which is sometimes dollars and sometimes effort (as in the case of this community).

I’m a small publisher. I know I have to surf the edge of what one person can do. If I overextend, it will sink my company in warehouse costs (and other entropy). If I underextend, it will sink my company in lack of customers.

I want Akso to be a success, but the question is, what is the maximum it can extend? And what is the minimum it can extend?

We can’t know that without Nic’s participation. Even if we have access to all necessary files and permission to use them, reverse engineering it would be quite expensive and require the efforts of at least one person this community lacks anyway: someone who can understand and design the entire circuit as required, from the μC up through the type and position of the jacks.

It’s definitely possible. It’s just not a matter of finding a human with the right skills and kickstarting that one human’s labor.

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I agree with you for the most part. He has no obligation to hand over his creation to the public domain, or to continue to support the community of people who purchased it from him. In fact he has no legal obligation to do anything at all. I would argue though that he has at least a moral obligation to tell us what his intentions are (ie is the project dead or not) so that we can either continue to work with it or just move on to something else. I mean really thats not a lot to ask.

Yeah, I mean, the minimum moral, legal obligation is to supply the thing that people paid for. But I don’t think he’d consider that a success.

But, of course, I’m guessing about his feelings because I haven’t heard from him in months.

As you know, we all spent many months talking about this project together on Discord, and in some ways I feel like I know you all. It does not seem in character for him to just drop this thing without a word. I am afraid that there is some sort of Major Life Event that is causing this lack of communication. Hopefully it will resolve in some postive way for him, even if not for us.

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I hope so, too.

I will say that I have a Discord that focuses on all sorts of science fiction stuff, from weird music to roleplaying games to Big Ideas. It was originally set up for the supporters of my Patreon (https://patreon.com/Joshua) but it’s also open to invitees. It needs more Weird Music talk (there’s only a few of us right now) so if you can’t back my projects and still want to join the conversation, please let me know and I’ll drop you an invite.

There’s a project I’m working on that I’d been long hoping Akso could be a part of called Liberation Technology and that has its own channel. And if there was more than a couple of us, I’d love to pick up the synthesis conversations over there, too!

(For anyone who doesn’t know me, I’m Joshua, and I’m one of the mods here and on the Akso Discord. I’m into synthesis, of course, but also other kinds of mind-altering signal systems.)

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