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Display for Software Looping

Ken Mistove's last message to Looper's Digest said:

>>Also, some sort of time display that would let the looper know what
>>position he or she is within the loop currently playing?

>Also possible. I'll have to think about ways of doing this.

I had a look at this problem a while back when I wrote a little "Loop
Metronome" in MS Visual Basic on the PC, and I came up with two

1) The Wheel: Represent the loop in memory as a wheel, something like the
tape in an original EchoPlex would look if its path was round, except that
the heads could be shown moving around a stationary tape, not vice versa.
This method could cope with multiple taps, with a "input / feedback" tap
shown as a different colour, while the wheel could have coloured segments 
indicate subdivision of the loop.

Taking this analogy further, the colouring of the wheel could even perhaps
show the signal level, or FFT spectrum at a given angular position. Or how
about having "taps" moving the wrong way round the wheel for reverse 
... - nah, too much?

Alternately, if the wheel was shown moving and the "taps" stationary, that
would open up the possibility of a virtual wiring diagram for multiple
delays: "input1 -> loop1_write, loop1_fbtap to damping EQ -> loop1_fbtap ,
loop1_tap1 -> loop2_input" etc., etc.

2) The Bouncing Ball: this is the simpler method I eventually used. If the
loop is subdivided into n "bars", a ball can be shown bouncing horizontally
along a display, n times, then returning to the start. It takes advantage 
the way we perceive and can adjust our actions to match a moving object, 
there's not too much room for fancy features beyond that.

Any comments?

Brian Thomson, London UK
bnt@ibm.net / bnt@email.com

"Looked at objectively, the vale of human suffering is basically a dump. 
human condition can be changed, and it will be changed, and is changing; 
only real questions are how, and to what end."
 -- Bruce Sterling (Interzone column)