A Qualitative Analysis of Haptic Feedback in Music Focused Exercises

Young, Gareth and Murphy, Dave and Weeter, Jeffrey

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

We present the findings of a pilot-study that analysed the role of haptic feedback in a musical context. To examine the role of haptics in Digital Musical Instrument (DMI) design an experiment was formulated to measure the users’ perception of device usability across four separate feedback stages: fully haptic (force and tactile combined), constant force only, vibrotactile only, and no feedback. The study was piloted over extended periods with the intention of exploring the application and integration of DMIs in real-world musical contexts. Applying a music orientated analysis of this type enabled the investigative process to not only take place over a comprehensive period, but allowed for the exploration of DMI integration in everyday compositional practices. As with any investigation that involves creativity, it was important that the participants did not feel rushed or restricted. That is, they were given sufficient time to explore and assess the different feedback types without constraint. This provided an accurate and representational set of qualitative data for validating the participants’ experience with the different feedback types they were presented with.