My Glorious Five-Year Plan can be summed up as follows:
To build a complete hardware-based setup for making electronic/techno music out of DIY components, before spring of 2018.
The setup will consist of a number of synthesizers, samplers, and sequencers, a mixing desk, and digital and analogue effects, like reverb, delay, distortion, and compression. The focus is first and foremost on immediate, simple and tactile interfaces optimized for live usage/jamming.
I don’t have to design all the component parts myself. There are lots of excellent devices available to fill out some of these roles, some usable as they are, others will need adaptation to my needs. The only requirements for a design is that it should be reasonable easy to make without special tools (ie. no BGA parts, complex multilayer PCBs, or proprietary toolchains), and that all schematics, drawings and firmware sources are available under licenses that permit me to republish them in modified form.
Where no usable designs exist, I will have to start making my own.
Why do this? Because I can! And that’s actually a more profound statement than it sounds. I have no formal backgorund in electronics, and only very little when it comes to computer programming. But the resources and community that can be found online allows dedicated amateurs to learn and do almost anything. Beyond wanting bespoke tools for making my music, this is something of a political statement: I don’t have to rely on technology made in factories in the Far East, I don’t have to just be a consumer/client for big corporations. I can decide to learn what goes on behind the NO USER SERVICABLE PARTS INSIDE-stickers, and reclaim the tools that I rely on for work and play. All the knowledge needed to build anything I want is there for the taking: the only reason to buy something ready-made is time.