.. maybe it was just badly implemented in the first iteration..
one way to make things perfectly clear it is to first have some kind of limitation, in example;
– a parameter can only be controlled by one Hotknob
– factory presets utilize only the first Hotknob
together with color coding it would all pretty easly make sense.. see my 5 min mockup attached 🙂
(…another possibility is to have another page for hotknobs 2,3,4, personally I think it’s way more useful than the XY pad ..)