Planning the next batch of Gechos
Thank you for following the Loopsynth project and thanks for all of your support!
A little bit of background: The project launched in winter 2016 on Kicktarter, and gained traction thanks to independent bloggers and synth / music / DIY electronic related magazines (mainly ask.audio, hackaday.com and Synth DIY FB group). It got funded, manufactured and fulfiled by late summer 2017. Owners submitted tons of feedback that has lead to upgrades, hacks and new functions, delivered in form of firmware updates.
Slightly more circuit boards and boxes were made than needed for KS backers, to meet minimum viable quantities; those are being sold now and getting scarce. What happens is basically that after the boards are prepared, programmed and tested, they exist in a form of "DIY" kit and I build some of them to offer as "completed units". This takes a significant amount of time. While it surely means a lot of fun for a hobbyist who doesn't mind spending hours (or even days/weeks with more advanced "master" version of the kit), it's not humanly possible for me to make, test, pack and ship more than a handful Gechos per week.
The plan is to manufacture more boards, so everybody can have a chance to get one. They should be slightly upgraded, for example to already have MIDI extension installed (many of you were asking about complete unit with MIDI), also the few elements that currently require hand assembly will be substituted with machine-placement compatible version (things like connectors, magnetic sensor, microphones). It will significantly speed up the whole process.
This ruins the fun for DIY people though. There will still be some mounting required but not soldering. Maybe we can figure something out - for example, set up a percentage of boards to have certain elements left out from the automatic assembly. Also the current version of Gechos (until they last) could be left solely for your DIY efforts.
The boxes - while they are beautiful, they should be made optional in future. Many use cases prefer to have the board installed in a rig, or embedded in a "Frankensynth" type of setup. Box is often in the way when it comes to MIDI or SWD programming connector (useful in case you want to work on the code and develop your own applications or sound effects).
So, to answer the most common question "when can I have it?" - you see it is not easy to tell right now. To be able to give you realistic time frame, first I'd like to take the opportunity to get your thoughts on a few possibilities, to see what you prefer and plan things accordingly.
It would be very helpful if you could spare a few minutes and vote in this poll: gechologic.com/next-batch-poll