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The article you share is interesting. Discovering that the mixing console was consolidated in 1970, somewhat before I was born, has impressed me.
I will comment on some points about all of this.

"dunno if it matters here but, before the subject comes aloft, here goes my take:"

Of course it matters.
Why does this topic exist in this forum?
Why customize?
Is it just an aesthetic whim?

No. There are deep-rooted reasons why personalization makes sense.
Let's say it is a method to achieve ergonomics that transcends the physical.
It is getting the emotional and mental into the relationship.
It is making the tool yours, which fits with your being and intentions.

It is rare that a craftsman does not end up building or modifying his own tools.
Creating or adapting your own tools is part of the creative process.
Computer programs are still tools. Conceptual tools that require a physical interface.
That is touched on in the article you share, and I will return to the topic later on the hardware point.

"beyond skeuomorphism..."
skeuomorphism Yes or no?
There is no one solution, but infinite ones.

We live in a social proposal that is imposed on us and teaches us from a young age that there is only one correct option.
For each option, a side must be created to go to "war."
That the options must fight among themselves until the winner is left.
And that unified winning tendency must govern globally.

It is a false approach, which has more to do with psychopathic thinking than with human thinking.
It is not a human thought, if humans follow it it is only because it is instilled in us from birth.
We are born into a brainwashed environment.

But that is not freedom. And here we are in a free software framework.

There is no one solution, but infinite ones.
If it makes sense to fulfill a specific and correct purpose, it is a solution.

Many complain about Linux fragmentation. They do not realize that fragmentation is implicit in freedom.
True, it makes the learning curve more difficult, but in exchange it gives much more knowledge.

There will be those who need skeuomorphism in their tool, for purposes of historical memory, didacticism, nostalgia, continuity with workflows already learned, etc.
And not in all of his tools, but only in those that skeuomorphism makes sense to him.

And there will also be those who never make sense of skeuomorphism, because it has no place in their way of creating.

Both cases can be correct

_3 Productivity
The social proposal that I indicated before also says that you have to produce a lot.
That what is produced and the way in which it is produced must satisfy the demands of an industry, and not of the artist.
That what is produced must be consumable, without importing the real value of what is produced.
(If it intellectually or emotionally enriches the creator, or the recipient, it is completely useless for the social proposal).

Unfortunately, the trends referred to above are set by software multinationals. And those tencencies end up being the main reference.

In a free model, the value of a creation is linked to the real physical, emotional and intellectual good it provides.

So I think we should start having our purposes as our only reference.
And perhaps we should begin to consider customization as an essential functionality in the development of any free software.
That is, not only being able to modify it, but also allowing high interface customization without having to modify the core of the code.

Because customizing the tool is a natural part of the creative process.
Returning to the metaphor of war. A valid approach should not reign globally.
It is necessary to make it easier for any valid approach to be expressed. That is implicit in a free relational model.

_4 Hardware, physical and software interfaces.

No matter how much they try to insist, the "touch" tablet format is a failure.
It is a good complement, but imprecise for elaborate work.
Nobody uses them as a main tool, nor will they use them. It's imprecise.
The mouse has a precision of one pixel. You couldn't be more precise.

A finger at most has a precision of 50px x 50px. Click detections can be erratic. Not seeing the cursor doesn't help either.
Using a mixing app as a midi interface to control Qtractor can be useful, but you lose the feel of a real mixing console.

They call it touch, because you send information through touch, but you don't receive any touch feedback.
On the other hand, with the mouse (without entering a physical mixing console), you send information through touch.
By pressing or rolling the wheel, you receive the physical information from the button and the wheel.
We should change the name, because the mouse is more tactile than the tablet.

The electronic pen for tablets is not a solution either, because although it is precise for tracing, it is imprecise for clicking.
If you don't control the pressure you can make double or triple clicks, when what you intended was to drag.
You have to put on a "glove" if you don't want false clicks with the palm, etc.
The tactile sensation on the screen is unpleasant. Similar to the squeaking of a stone on a slate.
Much more subtle, of course, but there is that very subtle and irritating background sensation.

It is curious that he got it right the first time with the mouse, for now, it is irreplaceable.

Virtual reality glasses, presence detectors?
No. That they don't find out. We are sensitive beings and we underestimate touch. To interact we need to touch a physical object.

There are those who are incapable of writing on a keyboard if it is not spring-based, with its characteristic touch and sound.

It is evident that as a tool, glasses, tablets and other attempts to eliminate the tactile experience with the physical world do not work.
Those who develop these technologies know it. So perhaps its intention is not to provide new tools, but rather to desperately try to detach ourselves from the physical world.

_5 Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is not mentioned in the article, because at that time it was not yet evident.
I'm just saying, what's the point of something creating music for me?
Will that music enrich me intellectually and emotionally? No. You just have to see the results with images.
Technically spectacular, but at the same time empty, disturbing and sordid.
My intention is to enjoy the experience of creating music myself.

If I want to listen to music that I haven't made, I don't need artificial intelligence.
Millions of humans created, create and will create excellent music to enrich me emotionally and intellectually.

Music is communication. What do I contact if it is generated by AI?

Artificial intelligence is a useless fireworks.

6_ Concluding:
Skeuomorphism can also make sense.
It is necessary to make it easier for any valid approach to be expressed. That is implicit in a free relational model.