Brian - I love your dreams. Keep dreaming! (And better start saving $!)
I think both Kyma and MAX/MSP provide solutions. This is cool! [Sometimes I feel that, if I'm into this "looper religion" thing, then Kyma is like my denomination. :) That makes the MAX/MSP folks (and Orville users, etc.) like a different denomination; same religion, they just use different words to mean about the same thing!]
>>Ah yes, this is a tricky one, because when you stop looping the sub-loop an d go back to a longer loop, you >>might end up with clicks at the edges of the sub-loop. I have been trying to solve that problem with little >>crossfades at either end of the sub-loop, but I want to be able to keep playing the larger loop while recording >>into the sub-loop also, and haven't quite figured out how to keep the crossfades perfect at all times. I was >>ready to bail on this feature but it's cool to hear that someone else has thought it would be useful, so I'll try >>and get back into it.
> Hmm.. any ideas folks?/fontfamily>
(Brainstorming here, haven't completely thought this out) Seems like the trick might be to record it initially without clicks. In other words, clean it up on the way into the loop memory instead of on the way out (at playback). Sort of like a "smart overdub". It would delay the recording by a few sample points until an appropriate zero-crossing, then delay the "punch-out" until it saw a matching zero-crossing (indicated by the first derivative). You might need do double-buffer the baby. I.e., put the overdub into a working buffer, trim it neatly, then shuflle it into the main loop memory.
Of course, if you put it into a trim/clean-up buffer, you could trim it via fades (appearing as cross-fades in the loop) instead of zero-crossings. In general, I prefer the zero-crossing idea because I think it can be less audible (less artifacts), but it is more work.
>I think the hardware products are great for what they do, and they do a lot, but I do not know of any that let you >overdub simultaneously into multiple backwards varispeed loops, while playing complex sequences of >subsegments of other loops, in 5.1 surround, and that's the sort of sonic mess I like to make.
Yes! The hardware products are the best for that "out of the box" experience, but for ultimate flexibility/customizability, I think a software solution (I include Kyma here) is necessary.