In order to keep things simple, I have been trying to refrain from adding more and more features to the i8 module. Nevertheless, a few are really tempting, and I have decided to package them into future companion modules that would connect to the i8 from within the rack. Among other things, companion modules could provide additional sets of connectors for inputs, outputs, and cartridges.
For example, I would really like to have a set of 4 DB25 ports that could be used to connect an Apogee Symphony I/O 16×16 audio interface. This would allow the 8 stereophonic analog outputs of the i8 to be converted into 32-bit digital signals with 192KHz sampling rate, while using another set of 16 analog signals as inputs for the 8 submodular synthesizers.
Another companion module could provide a set of connectors for 16 Z-DSP cartridges, with 2 cartridges per channel. This would allow our submodular synthesizer to be extended from the outside of the rack, at a relatively low cost (cartridges usually retail for about $75). These cartridges could be used for delays, filters, or reverbs.
I won’t work on these companion modules for a while, but I’ll keep them in mind when designing our faceplate PCB, so that it could provide the necessary connection points for them. This should not add too much complexity nor cost to the overall design, and it will open a brand new realm of possibilities.