Project re-direction. Back to the drawing boards.
This subject brings to mind a current project that our design team is working on. At MRL we work with multi track recording in the film and music industry and one of our specialties is surround sound production. Since we do not use emulators or Dolby simulators to producethe desired effect, we are left with limited hardware resources to automate the panning in a 360 degree environment. High end Video/ Audio gear will somtimes have a feature to sub mix into a controlled out of any number of assigned tracks, but this is usually limited to one controller, and a selector switch that may or may not group 1-5 tracks and emulate the pan accordingly.
We are currently in proto-type with a multi-track mixer that functions as a surround sound pan automation controller. 8 seperate channels > phase inverted side chain > 4 - band parametric eq > then finally each track will have its own individual robotic joystick panner controller. Each track is a independent audio signal in a 360 degree audio environment. However its can be grouped, linked, and modded to mirror reverse/ or chase the parent automation and still keep all 8 tracks seperate and free from crosstalk.
The technology is based on robotic joysticks that have been customized to have 3 ganged potentiometers (1 linear taper, 1 audio taper, and 1 encoder)at each axis. Each axis to have the forward and backward motion on seperate data lines. Each gang will function seperately as a volume, frequency, and time code automation to the software.
This will finally give us what we want= A hardware device to control 5-8 tracks of audio in a 360 degree environment indepedently. Now if I only had 6 arms. Bahhaaa! But we figured that one too. Because each controller is actually a sound generator in itself, it will create a new track married to its host. This track will be a 256 channel midi file locked in SMPT.
Now your probably thinking WTF?
Well the technology is based on the old gravis analog joystick. We can daisy chain them together and transmit as a single 16 channel midi sequence through a USB port. Software allready exists to support it eg: Sony Vegas Pro/ Sonar Professional/ Abelton Live/ etc. The hardware will be very minimal and use the space of an average keyboard and each fader will be motorized and an onboard 8 track movement recorder via lightpipe technology.
Expensive?? Yes! But I am current negotiations with a manufacturer in Japan. They will fabricate these mini robot joysticks for pennies, and turn and sell them exclusively to me for a quarter. Bottom line is this unit has the funchtion of any other 8 nob midi controller. And the potential to be a 8 track surround sound automation panner/ sequencer/ processor. Given the right programmer and the tools this is going to make my job, well lets just say, alot more fun.
If this all works, I will manufacture them and distibute them as a multi-function midi controller/ sequencer. with a price tag of about $200.
They will also have the ability to daisy chain to add multiple tracks to the environment. You will just need a usb hub with its own power supply so resources are not stolen from your computer.
The future is automated, lets make robots!