I think it is quite possible the Ketron folk are starting to realize what a huge bite they are trying to chew! So many aspects of this thing SEEM like such a good idea, until you start to realize what the implications are...

IMO, audio is still not up to the capabilities of MIDI. Sure, on what it DOES do, it sounds great. Until you ask it to do something it DOESN'T do well... Then it sucks WAY worse than trying to get MIDI to stretch...

I still believe there is FAR too much R&D wasted on trying to shoehorn audio into a task it is not easily capable of, when just FAR better, more dynamic (more layers) sampled instruments would do the job as well, with far fewer hassles. Just when some of the major players are getting into realistic guitar patterns, and lines that don't 'jump' around so badly, some of the industry flees away from the very thing that is starting to WORK..!

Massive ROM sets are becoming the norm, with the opportunity to use multi-layer drum kits that rival real ones (anyone tried BFD, or DFH2? ) a real possibility. And Ketron GIVE UP, and go a route I think is very premature, if it ever will be viable. It's not that the technology can't work, it's just that the task of preparing these audio Parts and styles involves a MASSIVE amount of work in a studio with talented players (playing very boring repeated parts) to be able to have a large (at least as large as a MIDI arranger) choice of chords and inversion/suspension/extension choices.

You can kiss goodbye to a massive amount of user styles, that's for sure! And kiss goodbye to both a large bunch of styles to start, and next to NONE after the purchase. That's not why we buy an arranger (at least, I don't!). I want something that will grow LONG after I've bought it, and audio loops doesn't seem the way to get this, that's for sure!

So a long gestation for the Audya is highly likely, IMO. And I am prepared to bet anyone that the audio guitar styles are going to disappoint a LOT of you, unless you only ask of them what little they are capable of. For me, the strong point of an arranger is, no matter WHAT whacked out chord, suspension or extension you throw at it, it can PLAY IT. To one degree or another (and usually pretty darn good!). But audio loops will play ONLY what has been recorded, and with a limited ROM and slow sample load up time, you are going to have few choices.

But it'll SOUND good

Me, I'd rather hear an OK C7#9, than a great C7, if I played a C7#9...