We do not plan to stop producing, developing and supporting the Sylphyo anytime soon, however new developments will arrive much more slowly than before the pandemics.
Our intention has always been to provide instruments that can evolve over time and continue to work independently of computer OS evolutions and even of our own existence as a company.
Since its introduction six years ago, we published 20 free firmware updates for the Sylphyo, much more than most competitors, and we intend to continue as long as possible.
But you guessed it right, a small team fighting amongst giants is not an easy adventure, even more so when you're doing niche products. And COVID and the semiconductor crisis didn't help.
We've been facing significant supply chain issues and cost increases, hence why the case disappeared temporarily, for instance. Even just making internal prototypes has become much harder and trickier due to this.
Delivering the Anyma Phi took us some time, and maintaining production of both the Anyma and the Sylphyo is a very time-consuming activity in itself.
Recently we've been busy preparing various trade shows (Synthfest, SuperBooth, NAMM) where you will find both the Sylphyo and the Anyma Phi (yes, not just at NAMM).
Even though we're growing in the face of all cosmopolite microbes and Suez canal obstructors, we're just not enough people yet to have a decent capacity of parallel processing, so we have to deal with things one after the other.
The result of all this, for the Sylphyo, is that v1.4.9beta is one year in the making despite being a relatively mundane update, and new developments will arrive slowly.
The best way to significantly speed things up is to get more people to know and buy our products, so we're very grateful for @Clint's work and we encourage anyone to spread the word about us.
I totally understand that some people find this an uncomfortable position to be in. If you depend on a product to make a living, you need it to be able to evolve at your own pace, and it can't be far behind your needs for too long before the situation becomes untenable.
I'm in that position myself regarding computers: I support small open-source hardware and software companies and buy their products, but I can't "wait for them to get their
sh act together" because I've got work to do, so I do my work on computers from a behemoth company whose ethics I despise and end up using both. The behemoth doesn't care about my use cases, and the little ones care a lot but is slow to support them.
Either way I'm angry :), but I'm seeing more and more good things trickle down my way.
Now, what's left for the Sylphyo?
Major updates take time, and cooperating with others wouldn't make development shorter because it's often not a problem of not knowing how to do or finding solutions, but rather of finding the time to develop them and ensure they won't cause further issues down the line.
We've been carefully listening to all the feedback we received along the years, and this shapes our roadmap for future major updates. But there are many things that could be introduced much earlier in minor updates, simply because they're easier to do.
It's impossible to tell from outside if a feature request is trivial or not, only we can tell. For instance, the fingering changes Clint submitted were easy to do, but sometimes a seemingly insignificant fingering request could require major rework in some parts of the fingering system. Sometimes a blockage dissolves, and a bunch of requests change from hard-to-do to trivial, but we're not sure there's still interest in it.
That's why it's important to us to constantly get as much feedback and ideas as we can, and we encourage you to do so, keeping in mind that only time will tell which of these ideas will end up in an update and when.
I'll conclude this by giving maybe another perspective on the developments at Aodyo in the past few years. Yes, during this time our major focus was the Anyma Phi, but it would be an error to see the competition in Aodyo resources between the Anyma Phi and the Sylphyo as a zero-sum game. Many developments originating from the Sylphyo's firmware and synth culminated in the Anyma Phi we have today, which is much more than a few Mutable algorithms slapped together. The new knowledge we gained doing and perfecting the Anyma Phi will ultimately come back to benefit the Sylphyo in some form or another.
…if you live long enough to see it ;).
(just kidding, back to work)