Maybe do a Kickstarter to fund Ardour?

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sammi
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A lot of good project have been getting funding by doing a kickstarter.com campaign. Maybe this would be a good idea for Ardour?

Francois
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Good idea

linuxdsp
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Surely it wouldn't be necessary to cook up these kind of creative / inventive financial initiatives / schemes if everyone who used the software just... er.. donated some money? (or is paying for stuff really such an old fashioned idea)

A minimum donation of e.g. 1 USD for each download would be / is a very small percentage of the cost of all the equipment required to actually use the software?

As I understand it, kickstarter is more about getting funding for new projects - how about actually paying the people who have already taken the risk / shown some creative initiative and already made something useful.

seablade
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@linuxdsp

Well Kickstarter can be about new projects, but it can also be fundraising in general as well I believe. Case in point, we are in the middle of a kickstarter campaign for Tube, which we started years ago, literally, just to raise funds to pay people so we can finish it up, and maybe even expand it a little.

Personally I don't think Kickstarter is a good solution until we come up with a better long term funding goal. Those projects that raise a significant portion of money are in the minority, and even more the most successful kickstarter projects have a serious amount of time invested in the campaign and the work afterwards as well. Ie. Most of them have rewards that would need to be thought about and implemented, and would require people taking time to do so. So for example having people step up and say, if you donate $X I will donate my services mixing/mastering/etc. But then we need to ensure a quality level for such services, etc. There is a LOT of work to do to run a successful kickstarter campaign really. And to put it mildly, I believe the developers would probably rather spend their time on developing rather than trying to run a fundraising campaign.

Seablade

Francois
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You don't really need to raise money for the core Ardour functionality but Kickstart projects to add features sets.

For instance one Kickstarter to raise money for adding

step sequencing
extensive pitch manipulation feature pitch automation
Good notation features.
Ask what plugins is missing that we really want to see?
What plugins has stalled and need extra feature sets or which we want ported to Linux VST
Adding video editing capabilities.
Maybe a cross platform developing enviroment to write VST's easy for both Windows and Linux.

I'm not a programmer but all of some above plugins and software will need thousands and thousands of lines of code and scarce expertise.
I hate to say this but it seems the competition is starting to catch up in the Linux DAW arena especially with new entrants.
I hate to be so forward but maybe the conservative approach to keep Ardour a pure multitrack track recorder should be reavaluated given the competition and the needs of users. From what i see in the issue tracker is not the lack of enthusiasm but the lack of time and resources.
Maybe kickstarter is not a bad idea.

Francois
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You don't really need to raise money for the core Ardour functionality but Kickstart projects to add features sets.

For instance one Kickstarter to raise money for adding

step sequencing
extensive pitch manipulation feature and pitch automation
Good notation features for composing.
Ask what plugins is missing that we really want to see?
What plugins has stalled or are under developed and need extra feature sets or which we want ported to Linux VST
Adding professional video editing capabilities.

Maybe even a cross platform developing enviroment to write or port VST's easy for both Windows and Linux.

I'm not a programmer but all of some above plugins and software will need thousands and thousands of lines of code and scarce expertise.
I hate to say this but it seems the competition is starting to catch up in the Linux DAW arena especially with new entrants.
I hate to be so forward but maybe the conservative approach to keep Ardour a pure multitrack track recorder should be reavaluated given the competition and the needs of users. From what i see in the issue is not the lack of enthusiasm but the lack of time and resources.
Maybe kickstarter or things like it is not a bad idea.

christophski
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Ardour is not just a multitrack track recorder any more, as of Ardour3, it will have full midi sequencing capabilities.

fernesto
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on the funding theme but with a different aproach:

how insane would it be to periodically release a set of songs from the comunity as a "Done with Ardour´s LP Compilation" for sell with partial or total benefit to Ardour???

I´ve been thinking about it and although hard to do (takes the will of a lot of people, and coordination and effort from the comunity itself since the developers are busy enough already coding.) i don´t find it impossible.

what do you guys think?

paul
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My perspective: Ardour's development process doesn't benefit very much from one-time fundraising efforts that generate small amounts of money. Perhaps there is something that would get done because of an extra US$400 or so, but it seems unlikely to me (paying someone to write documentation would be the most sensible thing with that kind of money). In general, most of what needs to be done requires a lot of work, and until we see the emergence of talented and motivated developers who don't want to work for free but also don't need to be paid a lot to contribute to the program, I don't see fundraising efforts changing that situation very much.

stanlea
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I agree with Paul. It's more important to keep and raise monthly donations.

Ricardus
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@fernesto. The OSM guys and I were going to release just such an album and donate a % of the proceeds (if we made any!) to Ardour. The idea had traction, but seems to have lost it.

fernesto
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@Ricardus. i think that if done properly it could actually help not only in a direct form, but also as a word spreader which is good to increment donations and subscriptions in a medium to long term.

the tricky part is to actually organize it and keep it running because a one time effort wouldn't help much, for it to work would have to be done periodically, say one EP or LP per year maybe?, all recorded, edited, mixed and mastered using Ardour and Mixbus, from different people.

The main reason for doing it as a compiled release is that the followers of each artist would listen to the other artists as well to the work of other recorders, mixers etc with only two things in common, Software and probably Mastering for it all to have sense within the release, basically the bigger the people involved the bigger the public hence the word spreading of Ardour.

The funds gained for Ardour from such a release would only matter if were (again) periodically so we could compare it to having X amount of extra subscriptions per year.

Personally, i don't think i have enough experience recording or mixing to have material with the quality required for that but would do my best to participate and i have some clients that would be happy to participate too just for the opportunity of sharing music in a community this wide regardless of monetary income.

anahata
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It would be nice to have a "made with Ardour" label on an an album, but seriously how many purchasers of a recording are going to end up somehow contributing money to the project, or even using Ardour themselves for a project of their own. The money has to come from the users, and that means us!
There's always the possibility of donating a % of the proceeds of any album or billable recording project to Ardour. I planned to do this at first, made one donation on that basis, but then realised the need for a steady income was better served by a subscription. Mine's only $4/month, but
(a) I'm getting the impression that's $4/month more than a lot of Ardour users are donating
(b) if/when any income results from my use of Ardour I can always send a bit more as a one-off
(c) it will be years before I've paid out the price of a commercial software equivalent, and
(d) I could subsidise it by drinking one less beer per month!

Is anybody here actually using Ardour for money making projects?
Me: certainly not full time, but I'm currently doing a folk album which would otherwise have been recorded in someone else's studio (as its four predecessors were) and hope to sell copies at gigs as usual, with far lower overheads - the CD pressing run will be the only direct expense.

kskertchly
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@paul

I buy a lot of recording gear through Amazon. I think adding one of those affiliate links where you get some sort of commission for other's purchases would be a good idea.

linuxdsp
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Can someone explain all this to me, because I genuinely don't understand why so much debate and energy is (wasted) trying to dream up new fund raising schemes when the answer is really very simple (see my earlier post in this thread). All people have to do is pay for stuff they value - and it doesn't have to amount to very much - I'm sure if everyone (or a significant number) who used the project 'for free' donated $1 all these fund raising ideas would be redundant.
To put this in context, a copy of e.g. Logic Pro is, I think, about $200 and that's relatively good value in the general context of what this kind of stuff 'normally' costs (and very good value from the perspective of how much it costs for all the hardware / equipment needed to actually make use of it) so $1 or even $10 for Ardour would be insignificant by comparison.

From personal experience, I would suggest the way to improve the situation would be to charge a nominal (small) fixed fee for a pre-built and tested 'ready to run' ardour download (there's nothing that says you can't charge money for open-source software).

I think it should be easily worth the cost not to have the trouble of trying to collect together all the dependent libraries etc and build a working version. Of course for those who want to, the option is still there - but it would also provide a more consistent, and improved user experience.

As an example of how donation-ware normally doesn't work commercially, when I first developed the linuxDSP plugins, they were released as donation-ware (an important principle was that I wanted people to have the opportunity to pay what they could afford) and in the first year were very popular and highly regarded, but almost no-one donated anything. Clearly, most people using the software are not in a position where they can't afford to pay anything so, the system was not being used as intended (and in reality once distribution costs etc were included, the only person paying for people to use my software was me - which is not good financial sense).

In order for the project to survive it had to become commercial and now, the software remains as popular (if not more so) the only difference being that we charge a (relatively low) price. This might put it 'out of reach' for some users, which is unfortunate, but the alternative was that the project would have to cease entirely - thereby not being available to anyone.