is this less a problem of sound being visualised
within a tool as
spatial, as after all sound is spatial, and more of how the
spatiality is being visualised at present? i read in sue's original
comment the suggestion of new visualisations and interactions with
sound as it is edited.
Yes. I think now I was mistaken to be regarding spatiality in an
abstract way, with 2d, 3d, etc as instances of the general class. A
good interface is after all one you can forget about, and three true
dimensions is both the most forgettable realm and the most obvious and
useful meaning of "spatial". The stuff that Mark and Julian mention
looks to be, at least, interestingly different.
it stumped me because i couldn't think of what
shape this would
form. the closest i can imagine is 3d editing gadgets that use a
wand like tool you wave around within an arena, or medical practises
of dicing up a hologram before cutting into a real aorta. but those
models are still problematic, especially given the outline by
douglas, because they're still restricted to defined spatial
parameters which may or may not correspond to some actual spatial
parameters of sound (a sound spectrum is a parameter after all).
The colour pickers on image programs are simple examples of interfaces
that project non-natural space into fewer dimensions. Colour can be
described in three dimensions, but the axes can vary infinitely, with
different sets of axes revealing different relationships. The
commonest 2d projection is a 2:1 dimensional split -- a square and a
slider. In an RGB colourspace, the slider might be set to a level of
green, with the square showing the colours attainable by mixing it
with some proportion of red and blue. Probably everyone is utterly
familiar with this. You can get to every colour by fiddling with a
green slider and red-blue square, but it is much nicer to use the
buttons that let you pivot the space around a colour, making, say, the
slider red and the square blue/green. The thing is you can also pivot
into a completely different mapping of the space, from RGB to HSV (or
Lab), so the square can show you a plane of equal murkiness rather
than a plane of equal greenness. You navigate the space by rewiring
its geometry. This is more than tilting the axis - it changes the
relationships between colours.
And so it would probably have to be with luke's musical wand. You'd
start off in some 3d projection of a sound description, and press a
button to jump into a different projection of a different description.
Dimensions like tone might sometimes be seen as linear or logarithmic,
from low to high, and sometimes circular, with an octave wrapping back
round on itself. I can't really guess at the true dimensionality of
sound, but counting the knobs on a synthesiser might be a start.
Having said all that, I don't really know what I'm talking about in a
practical sense. I've just been reading a book about Bayesian
inference, which point out that to pick dimensional parameters is to
implicitly choose a prior probability for the outcome, that is, you
decide what is significant before you see it. The Bayesians think it
is better to explicitly decide what you expect, and let the
probabilities dictate the parameters. This also leads to the idea
that the musical wand should not be an exact instrument, but an
inference machine. It should watch you and try to decide what you
probably mean. Learning to play it would mean the development of a
mutual relationship, with the machine adapting to your actions at the
same time as you adapt to its responses. Using the wand would
become conversational, thus in the sense in which I originally invoked
Torben Tilly, less spatial, because you'd lose sight of the
dimensions. Perhaps. Such a machine is not imminent.
how we edit and the tools we use always imprint the
more than we'd ever like to know), so acknowledging that it would
have a parametised outcome, the best you could hope for was a _new_
or is the problem that no matter how spatially focused
work comes back to the same old machines that have been built around
the metaphor of a book, or desktop with drawers and one's pockets,
and the spatiality becomes a kind of sham on those platforms? could
there be other platforms that dimensions have real meaning on,
literally or not literally?
Well, seeing as I just (accidentally) made a case for conversational
interfaces, I'll point out that the command line is like that. You
say something, the computer replies. You can follow up on it, or
change the topic. It is actually very natural and easy to use, once
you have spent forever learning the right commands.
I'll refrain from saying anything more about VR, because it's another
subject about which I really know nothing.