Non-dev here. My use case: I use a MOTU AVB audio interface. It allows me to specify a number of virtual channels of i/o in addition to the physical i/o of the interface, presumably to be used with their AVB networking features-- I assume Dante interfaces allow something similar. These virtual channels appear to DAWs just like normal, physical i/o. I’m using these channels to send audio and virtual CV (in the form of audio) between Ableton and VCV Rack. Using an AUDIO 16 in VCV Rack, I have it configured so that I have 8 channels of i/o between Ableton and VCV Rack, and the other 8 channels of the AUDIO 16 addressing an Expert Sleepers ES-3/ES-6 combo. It works in a high-performance way, incredibly. It was a pain to configure the i/o in the MOTU control app to get this working in a sensible way. The app is flexible enough to make it possible, but it was never designed to do this and there’s nothing elegant about it and I’m sure many wouldn’t have the patience to get it to work. But it does work–very well (with the caveat about non-elegance). I believe my use-case provides a convincing argument for making audio i/o modules in VCV Rack with an arbitrary number of channels, and for those channels being selectable in a more flexible way than in blocks of eight, and also for the channels being label-able.
I have to say, it’s a pretty great solution. And it could be much more elegant if the audio i/o modules in VCV Rack were more flexible. It’s also possible to imagine other use cases that would benefit from the type of flexibility I’m talking about. If anyone is interested, I’d be happy to share details.