Towards an Interface for Music Mixing based on Smart Tangibles and Multitouch

Gelineck, Steven and Overholt, Dan and Büchert, Morten and Andersen, Jesper

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper presents the continuous work towards the development of an interface for music mixing targeted towards expert sound technicians and producers. The mixing interface uses a stage metaphor mapping scheme where audio channels arerepresented as digital widgets on a 2D surface. These can be controlled bymulti touch or by smart tangibles, which are tangible blocks with embedded sensors. The smart tangibles developed for this interface are able to sense howthey are grasped by the user. The paper presents the design of the mixing interface including the smart tangible as well as a preliminary user study involving a hands-on focus group session where 5 different control technologiesare contrasted and discussed. Preliminary findings suggest that smart tangibles were preferred, but that an optimal interface would include a combination of touch, smart tangibles and an extra function control tangible for extending the functionality of the smart tangibles. Finally, the interface should incorporate both an edit and mix mode—the latter displaying very limited visual feedback in order to force users to focus their attention to listening instead of the interface.