I don't doubt the idea has been thought of a thousand times before so I kind of expect that it already exists - or that it's not profitable, but I was thinking about how interesting it might be for someone to create a product that lets the user (from neophyte to expert) design a plugin ..possibly, but not necessarily, down to the component level. Obviously, and in order to be a viable product for a larger market segment, it would need be delivered with a number of ready to go "starter" designs for each plugin type - EQ, compressor, delay, saturation etc.. No Coding Necessary ..with maybe more of a drag and drop GUI for designing. I.e., most people would start with existing designs, but you could start from the ground up.
One of the potential pros of the concept is that the resulting plugins could be CPU friendly because they could be very specifically designed. For instance, a tilt EQ with switchable pivot points at 0.5, 0.75, and 1k only, though I think the real selling point would be things like the ability to change the color of the plug, etc. People like me (and hipsters ) could design their own skins and choose their favorite knobs, meters, etc. Figure out how to make it all proprietary and set up and support a community of users and designers.
OK, I'm done. Back to your regularly scheduled activities..
I was just thinking about this very concept a couple of days ago...shame the the interface doesn't exist as I think the biggest barrier is int he technicalities of code and sound implementation on any given system. Would love it though.
Yeah, I found the Juce site while I was writing the OP. There's too much coding (Really, there needs to be NONE). It's ugly, and as far as I can tell it's not really a component level type of program, as in changing resistor values for experts and swapping tubes for novices, etc. What I'm thinking of needs to be much more user friendly and sexy in order to support a viable business model, and the end-product should have some kind of proprietary shell (like Reason or Slate's VMR) so even if you aren't a "designer" you have to buy the package to be an end-user.