My dearest LZX community,
Sometimes making something important is messy. Pushing boundaries can reveal those boundaries are thicker than initially perceived. In steering our company through our past decade of activities, survival has often depended on placing a bet on our capabilities as a team to meet a specific release date, asking for support and funding for the project from the community, and then willing our way to a triumphant release – more often tardy than not.
The alternatives to a preorder funding model have often been: raising our pricing and getting more into a niche market where we serve more affluent customers (contrary to our goal of delivering these tools to the actual artists who want to use them) or giving up!
The two projects which are our main focus right now: TBC2 and Chromagnon, have drug out beyond my initial bets, to the degree of two years in the case of TBC2, and going on 10 months with Chromagnon. These are our two most ambitious projects to date, and the amount of engineering work going into them has been staggering, and often uncharted waters for us.
We are fixated on delivering these projects with a degree of excellence that is beyond our past work, and are very proud of where we’ve come with them – and now, we are on the brink of releasing them both. We are so excited about these projects we pee ourselves daily. But neither are in your hands yet, and for that, I am obligated to extend a heartfelt apology and an
So here goes:
We Are Very Fucking Sorry TBC2 Is Taking So Fucking Long!
TBC2s are all built and the assemblies are beautiful. We plan to ship them on Jan 18th, 2021 after another month of rigorous testing.
Before we do that, we need to replace the SD card sockets in all of them to prevent an issue you will be glad not to have on the receiving end.
We also must finish a firmware release. I am finalizing our new video graphics engine (that will run firmware for all our devices) and Ed is finalizing HD scaler/deinterlacer designs. Both of us, as parents of three school age kids each, have had to deal with extraordinary unexpected demands on our time this year due to the pandemic, and some features have been slow going.
On top of that, my ambitious ass doubled down on several feature goals for TBC2, and it’s cost us a lot of time. I made these calls the week after I had to send everyone from LZX home for several weeks in the early days of the pandemic. I didn’t know what was going to happen at all at that point, so I doubled down on what I could: making sure that if these products had more delays, that it would have been worth the wait. But I made a bad call, and now it’s delayed us even further. The good news is that the software architecture we’ve been building is much further advanced than it otherwise would be. That does nothing for you now, but you will see why it will in 2021!
We Are Also Very Fucking Sorry Chromagnon Is Taking So Fucking Long!
Finally, as of this week, we released most of the design for production. We will be going into 2021 in full production with Chromagnon as the only project the workshop is building for a while. We plan to have the first 500 units (which includes all of your preorders so far) shipped by March 15th, 2021. This is one year after the initial shipping estimate.
Most of the drag out on Chromagnon is for the same reasons as TBC2 (on the firmware/software side, they are much the same project.) While Ed and I have been preoccupied with the software architecture, Jonah has been going thru every single circuit with a fine toothed comb all year, ensuring the hardware release will be smooth and easy.
A reminder: If you’re tired of waiting, we’re happy to exchange your preorder credit for a different product. If you can stand a little more waiting, your eyeballs will be super glad for it. And that is a promise I can make you!
Thank you for believing in us and what we are trying to do, and for being a part of it. If you have any further questions or concerns, I am standing by to address them. If you want more transparency into what we’re working on, just ask.
Thank you for your role in enabling us to spend our lives in pursuit of this work. We are grateful for it every day.