Sknote Realthing Update.
Quinto Sardo, the designer of the Sknote Realthing from a couple posts back, just wrote me to correct some things about my previous entry, and drop a bunch of information which makes this a much more exciting product. Now that I know all this, I want one, and you will too.
Basically, the Realthing has oscillators and filters on board, but no envelopes or LFOs. These are created in the VSTi itself.
The other main difference is that it is a polysynth, not a monosynth. It also has inserts on the back, so you can run hardware effects inline with the unit. There will possibly be an option for a tube stage as well, he says. You can access the oscillators, the filters, the tube, or all three in the VSTi, or as an insert effect.
The major thing is that it only needs MIDI in and out.
All the sound coming from the box is brought in to the DAW via MIDI ports; you must dedicate a MIDI in and out to the hardware, and you can then forget about it. You still have to connect the audio outputs in to an in on your DAW, but it will be treated as a VSTi in other respects.
The coolest thing about all this is that different kinds of synths can be written as VSTi to access the oscillators and filters. All in all, this sounds like a much better idea than what I had originally parsed out from the information on the Sknode site. The insert loop in the unit makes it really exciting if you own a modular synth. This is shaping up to be a really cool device. Quinto has also informed me that it is definitely not vapor. He has just received 8 completed units for final testing and software adjustment, and it will be on sale at some point in the not-too-distant future. More information as I get it, but this may be my pick for Most Baddest Ass Product of 2006, now that I have this new info.