There's a long post to follow, but the bottom line is that i want to build a x-y controller (with lcd or jsui) that has more than one 'dot' in it. It'd have multiple draggable points and report the position of each. The next step would be intead of having points, having circles whose radius can be changed as well as being moved around. These would live on a square in both cases.
I am still running max 4.6, btw (on windows xp).
a somewhat verbose description of the patch idea follows:
i have this idea for a sort of crossfader thing sort of inspired by vector synthesis. Basically, the idea is to have N sound sources (not just four) where the loudness is controlled by a 2-d oscillator. Imagine a square with points inside it representing the different sound sources. now imagine a dot running around in the square, and the nearer the dot is to a given point, the louder the corresponding sound source is. Now, instead of the sound sources being represented by points, represent them with a circle. the smaller the circle, the closer the dot has to be to make the sound loud, so a really wide circle will basically mean the sound is always on.
So, the interface I want to have is a square with a fixed number of circles in it where I can drag the circles around inside the square, and also drag to make them wider or thinner (i'm guessing the circles have a dot in the center for dragging and the circle around for width control). The scanning dot should be able to be controlled by external commands or dragged around with the mouse.
A much simpler but also useful interface would just have several points that i could move around, where the scanning dot and width would not be displayed or controlled within the interface, but separately with vanilla max interface elements.
Adding/removing sound sources (circles/points) would not be necessary, as this would involve on the fly connection of signals inside max. It might could be done with poly~ or something but i'd be content with just a fixed number of points.
I had the idea just listening to vents and other common noises, where it seems that there are two or more tones where the loudness of one depends on the loudness of the others. Sometimes when one tone appears another goes away, and sometimes the loudness is positively linked.
Getting this to work wihtout the nice interface shouldn't be too hard, but playability is key. It's not unlike the mulch metasurface i guess, but automating (as with a randomized lfo) the scanner would be impossible inside mulch so far as I know.