Funny. I wrote the same thing, about how he needs to be so much more concise in what he means.
"detect a ripple" "measure the drops" "drops of water that flow"
But the text disappeared before I could post and just didn't care.
OP guy needs to do a better job at explaining what his grand ingenious goals are.
Far as I can tell, he wants to turn on a sprinkler onto a keyboard.
Sorry for not being more clear ! So basically, i want to measure the ripple a water droplet makes in a 'well' of water, this means the ripples strength (how far it propagates and at what intensity through the water) and also where the ripple originated within the well of water. I imagine its strength could be measured by the intensity of refracted light it creates or its speed as it moves through the water ? Anyway I would translate this data in MAX MSP into different musical notes, by setting various thresholds or mapping different notes to different areas of the 'well' depending on the sensor used to aquire the data and interface it with MAX MSP.
The problem is that i am not sure what sensor to use ! I used IR sensors in the past to do much the same but it was a bit of an 'illusion' in that people were instructed to touch the water and various musical notes would be produced, but actually i was detecting their fingers and not the actual ripples they made within the water. Another problem is sensors form factor. I absolutely must be able to hide it from view, so it must be small.
I hope this helps and please if you have any more questions direct them towards me and i'll try my best to answer them.