@fugazi32: that is what ardour3 is all about (though it has lots of other cool stuff too)
Another perspective ... For the purchased DAW products, the development environment is very closed, which is a constant complaint. ... but ... the closed environment lets the GUI of an effect be one of the selling points of the 3rd party plugin people. The choice between a slider and a rotary knob is a critical one. While it is true that the sound on the mp3 distro is all that the consumer cares about, if the producer can't deal with sliders, then he or she will choose another effect (and there are always plenty) This evolutionary pressure makes it so that the GUI most decidedly becomes part of the effectiveness of a plugin.
Paul's rhetorical question on the source of the customization (user vs. dev) always devolves in my experience to a user-custom framework with a "generic surface" that has movable primitives and plugin control plane mappings. You bet! I'm saying that the good GUI dev knows better than the user what will speed up setting and reduce errors in changes in the user's workflow. The control surface of a live-sound console is now losing out to the mouse with a screen for all except the faders, punches and EQs. I personally can't wait until color Kindle technology allows a screen that doesn't wash out at an open-air festival.
I really think that the discussion of the sound quality trumping the GUI is a red herring. I appreciate that LV2 solves some developers' problems in interfacing. Even as late as run-time in the perfect world - with the user. But ... the only user-customizable GUI worth anything IMO has already been proven out in the Winamp model ... The skinning system rocks. That will not port to the DAW effects plugin world simply because the skin method assumes a fixed guts whereas FX guts are as variable as the weather, effect-to-effect.
I hope that we all settle on LV2 over LADSPA, the interface is much more robust (at first glance.) I have to dig deeper, though. But good looks and ergonomics can't be dismissed.
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