As Chris announced today on his blog, Audio Damage is branching out. Specifically we’re starting to design and manufacture modules for the Euro-Rack modular synthesizer format. Our first product will be a 2-in/2-out USB1.1 class-compliant audio interface. It’s compatible with the iPad, so you can use it to conveniently add just about any iPad audio app to your Euro-Rack modular rig. Of course it will also work with a laptop or desktop computer. Hence you can use it as a convenient way to route audio between your DAW (or other audio software) and your modular. It also has DC-coupled outputs so you can use it to control your modular with software like the Silent Way suite from Expert Sleepers or Volta by MOTU, or by generating signals via your own devising with something like Max/MSP or Reaktor.
While this module is far more utilitarian in nature than Audio Damage’s software products, we realized that it would make an excellent first hardware product. Besides being extremely useful and unique in the Euro-Rack market, it’s relatively easy to manufacture. While I have a fair amount of experience with designing and building synthesizer modules and microprocessor-based devices, I’ve never taken a product from design all the way through manufacturing. However, doing hardware products is something that Chris and I have talked about doing almost as long as we’ve been talking about anything, and we finally decided the time had arrived. We think that we can make some interesting contributions to the Euro-Rack modular scene, bringing to bear both our considerable experience and success in the plug-in world and our mutual extensive experience with–and love of–synthesizer hardware. We’ve also enlisted some outside expertise to fill in our gaps. As we gain experience with manufacturing hardware products in general, our offerings will become more complex and more diverse.
We’re not abandoning software–not at all. We’ll continue making plug-ins also, and we envision products that provide novel integration between modular synths and computers.
Obviously I’m quite excited by this new venture. I think this will be the last time I can successfully turn a hobby into a business, however–I’m running out of hobbies.