I prefer hard too, but honesty soft is the most realistic for now.
The problem is that Bill is quite disapointed and the situation is critical now. I don't want to quit the project, but please i am open to suggestions how to encourage Bill to continue!
In our last private con said that the cost will be too high. If he build a soft version with a hard controler (for the Ins-outs) i don't think that the cost will be such high, at least for a prototype.
I said to Bill, the image is strong in our days.
Bring a camera in front of your set-up, connect your keyboards with the Zyklus and maybe the Direct and play something! Then, upload this to the site and wait for reactions...(in order to find some company)
After all that time with this thread, i confess that i want help. I don't know how will keep Bill with us...