Stay creative. Keep brainstorming. Thats why I purchased an Akai S6000 8 years ago. For the interface and grunt designed buy someone who actually cared about the needs of a musician. Re: 3d visuals. I renember seeing an instrument patch shown in 3D space on an Impulse Tracker 3 ideas site. It was very informative. Because you guys keep the GUI seperate from the Sample playback engine, you could dedicate a processor to powering a 3D interface.
Autodesk Autocad 2009 (3d drafting program) has a new feature for orientation called the "view cube" IT's a little cube that stays in the corner of the screen no mater where you are in the model space. If you click on one of this little cubes sides (E.G LEFT), the whole screen pans (glides into the LEFT view, (Or orientation). while the little cube stays in the exact position on your monitor.(up in the corner) displaying LEFT, RIGHT, FRONT, BACK, TOP ETC) This would give musicians an easy way to pan around all there sampler instruments if they can't get there head around 3d space. I.E A usefull restricition to orientation. (((((Clicking the cube would be like holding the Linux Sampler's Samples as dice in your hands)))))
An idea: Perhaps seeing all the Instruments layed out in 3D side buy side, with all the parameters wraped around each sample like modifying a 3d Column in Autocad. Each side of a 3d colomn could have a node (bit to click on) and the CC MIDI controller message graph could be represented with XYZ in 3 parameter/dimentional space instead of the XY, (2 parameter/dimentional space). E,G You could visualise Panning as YZ and ADSR (Atack, Decay, Sustain, Release) on XY. Opacity (transparencey) for volume and colour for pitch.
XYZ will seem confusing to anyone unfirmiliar with 3D orientation. But ounce you get used to it, it's the best way to draw digitaly and Audio MIDI Samplers are fundamentally digital. You could use 3d shapes built in 3d editors for template CC MIDI controller messages. As you know a helix is shaped like a spring. imagine a waveform siting inside the middle of a giant helix (spring). "Time being the direction that the spring squishes" (The spring being static un-squished) As the sound moves down the middle of the spring, it reads the position of the 3d helix (spring) shape and it's CC messages comply with the spiral accordingly. E.G A spring would pan around in circles. X to Z to Y to X to Z to Y . "Imagine pressing your finger on a Screw and turning the screw, the feeling would be the CC controller message and the Axis centre fo the screw would be the time. " But not simply panning. We could modulate these paramters with a different perspecitve. You could littraley modulate ADSR and panning and AUDIO OUT with one helix. This could be eligant if the design was kept simple. Great for repetative synth loops. ha ha ha ha I should put my programming skills (none) were my mouth is.
CLICK the switch button and the helix inverts. You could get the helix to invert (change direction of spring) every time the sample starts. This is a Colosol amount of modulation posibilities all from a simple spring, octogon, loft, dimond, etc.
At the end of the day basic shapes sound crap" or don't sound at all" unless fabricated into violins or guitars . But basic shapes do have edges and lines
that could be used as points and paths
. for MIDI Controller messages. The Helix being an excellent example.
(Helix could be the samplers Interface name)
have a VST plugin that adds WIDTH to stereo audio. You could incorporate a similar algorithem into your sampler. If you modify the width of a cube in 3d space. It could littrillay stretch the sound out. <<<LEFT - RIGHT>>>.. A reliable 3d interface for a sampler would shatter any thing else. I know because you can fly around Autocad like a bullet ounce you get to know it. You can simply see so much more in 3d and it doesn't have to look cheezy to be informative. And Samplers have many little nity grity bits of information that we every now and then need to see quickly to keep the melody in our minds.
HERE IS THE GOOD BIT> If the 3D view is switched to Paralel not Perspective. You could visualise your Instruments from the LEF to see as they look now in your JSampler. Or from the FRONT as a whole lot of Hexigons or Octagons for ADAT (8channel Audio card). One Octogon for each of instruments.
E.G. When mixing for surround sound (6 (Hex) channel), the wave form could be sitting in a column with the base shape of the column as a Hexigon 6 Sides/Audio channels (0 on the time line). Each side of the Hexigonal colomn is an Audio out. Time travels down the column while you pan to either of the 6 sides. Thus could give 6 3D places to pan too. It could look cheezy. but if built it properly it would be very imformative and the pros would out weigh the cons. You could use knobs or a mouse to drive position of the CC MESSAGE on the 2D grid traveling down the 3d shape as Z dimension is written in time/ADSR. If kept simple visulaly it would become logical to anyone quickly.
ONLY YOU GUYS COULD DO IT. WHO ELSE? You guys have dedicated a CPU to Sample playback seperate from a Console (JSampler). A 3D engine and a sampler all running simultaniously on one CPU just wouldn't work properly. And Roland, Akai, Yamaha are too busy feeding there kids to make a new classic. I look forward to what ever you guys come up with for an interface, I know it's going to be snappy and quick like a hardware sampler should be. Why not be the first to break into 3D Sampling? I would be happy to do any modeling in CAD. Is there a free program for linux that opens .dwg autocad files? I could perhaps build you an example of Your/My ideas.
Alot of the older Architects in there 70's that still draw houses with pencil and paper may critisize a 3d drawing programe for it's complexity. They think it's un-nessasary. "Can't teach an old dog new tricks perhaps" But at the end of the day there are things that (3D) can do amazingly, impresavely, informativley that pen and paper just can't do. An analog synth interface is at home with knobs. and a digital sampler interface would be at home in a digital 3D space.
Draw a pot on paper or mold one out of clay