perception/aesthetics are pretty personal… so could be, and I do understand where your coming from, but I suspect each pf the manufactures of the above devices, all thought they were creating something ‘non-geeky’… so perhaps more difficult than it appears.
perhaps your ideas might be more aligned to something like the Zoia Empress?
this is being made by a reputable pedal manufacturer. it allows the user to create custom effects, but the building blocks are made by Zoia - so its a supposed to be simpler than other offerings
(I think its still pre-order, so not available yet to see really how easy it is to use)
ah, thats tricky again.
at the end of the day these things are digital, and how “digital” they sound (*) often depends more on the patch rather than the underlying hardware - frankly a saw oscillator from PD/SC/axoloti on any of these platforms all sound pretty similar
(btw: patches are important, its unfortunately easy to create simple patches that sound digital, simply because they alias badly… it takes a bit more knowledge/effort to avoid this, rather then better hardware)
but, I will agree because these things are a bit niche and from small manufactures, I think the demos and ‘factory presets’ sometimes don’t do them justice.
also Id point out the the majority of the the above, all use good quality DACs (often Burr Brown).
do you have a particular DAC in mind that you think will be better, and is going to give the you this analog ‘warm’ sound?
also does this “warmth” need to be in the pedal?
perhaps sometimes the digital sound is what you are after!?
with any of these if you want to ‘knock the corners’ off the digital sound, then you could always run them thru an analog FX unit, of your choosing, to colour the sound a bit.
recently, Ive been playing with cassette tape to do just that… not really in the pursuit of ‘analog warmth’ but rather just because I like the colour/texture it adds.
oh, I dont think you should, nor would I try to persuade you (or anyone else) too…
theres always room for improvement, and for sure none of these have ‘taken the market by storm’ (e.g. like say Volcas) , so if you have a vision of how to deliver this ‘better’ - thats really cool Id love to see it.
my comments are merely to illustrate whats there, my experience with them, and perhaps the difficulties they face this influences their design- rather than saying they are the ‘pinnacle’ of achievement
perhaps, there is another side to this…
If you plan to do this, it might be an idea to prototype your ideas on one of these existing platforms (e.g. Norns I believe was prototyped using a RaspberryPI with PiSound, so thats one option, but Id also recommend looking at Bela), this will help you develop the idea, and ensure it lives us the goals you are setting.
anyway good luck, look forward to seeing what you can come up with.
(*) without getting into the digital vs analog sound debate here, as some will argue regardless how you ‘polish’ digital with analog processing, it still sounds digital - but this is moot for me, Ive no issue with digital or analog, with can sound great to me.