Beyond modular - generic use of panels

This project is about creating a fully digital, modular experience with the audio processing, patching and knob twiddling but it occurs to me as I build the hardware that many elements may be extensible and reusable. I wonder if there would be interest in enabling the panels to act as a generic (or bespoke) controller? Maybe this could be via existing protocols such as MIDI, OSC, etc. or via direct CAN bus integration.

Imagine the ability to add a panel to a Zynthian which directly interacts with its processors or to interface with a DAW like Ardour, Cubase, Reaper, etc. It feels like a natural extension that could increase the userbase. Of course, riban modular is the focus of current development but a lazy Sunday afternoon allows the mind to wander…

Customizable midi controller sounds awesome, but again, I would really hesitate if its growing the scope of the project too large. It’s hard to take any project to a release stage, let alone trying to make it cover too many use cases in the first version. Also I’m not certain outside of musical applications (and maybe aircraft controls) there are tons of uses for banks of knobs and buttons, otherwise I would expect there would be more off-the-shelf modules of knobs we could leverage (or at least I’ve never found them).

Anyhow, just some thoughts. Sorry to be so negative.

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Hi @ssj71! Thanks for the wise advice. Nothing negative there. It sounds eminently sensible to concentrate on getting the core device releases before expanding scope. It’s nice to discuss stuff “outside the box” - if only as a distraction from the main body of work. It may also attract some interest and support from a wider group.

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More mind meandering triggered by this post in the Zynthian forum…

Maybe a USB-CAN interface to expose the panels to other devices. It could be a standalone module that fits in the eurorack instead of the Brain. Or the Brain could expose the panels via it’s USB type B port. I think the latter would be uneconomical. At Synthfest UK last year someone thought that was what was implemented and suggested a much lower value for the Brain.

Just more stuff flowing from my open head between actual work on the core functionality!