Towards Related-Dedicated Input Devices for Parametrically Rich Mechatronic Musical Instruments

He, Jingyin and Murphy, Jim and Carnegie, Dale A. and Kapur, Ajay

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

In the recent years, mechatronic musical instruments (MMI) have become increasingly parametrically rich. Researchers have developed different interaction strategies to negotiate the challenge of interfacing with each of the MMI’s high-resolution parameters in real time. While mapping strategies hold an important aspect of the musical interaction paradigm for MMI, attention on dedicated input devices to perform these instruments live should not be neglected. This paper presents the findings of a user study conducted with participants possessing specialized musicianship skills for MMI music performance and composition. Study participants are given three musical tasks to complete using a mechatronic chordophone with high dimensionality of control via different musical input interfaces (one input device at a time). This representative user study reveals the features of related-dedicated input controllers, how they compare against the typical MIDI keyboard/sequencer paradigm in human-MMI interaction, and provide an indication of the musical function that expert users prefer for each input interface.