Battle of the DJs: an HCI Perspective of Traditional, Virtual, Hybrid and Multitouch DJing

Lopez, Pedro and Ferreira, Alfredo and Pereira, J. A. Madeiras

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The DJ culture uses a gesture lexicon strongly rooted in thetraditional setup of turntables and a mixer. As novel toolsare introduced in the DJ community, this lexicon is adaptedto the features they provide. In particular, multitouch technologies can offer a new syntax while still supporting the oldlexicon, which is desired by DJs.We present a classification of DJ tools, from an interaction point of view, that divides the previous work into Traditional, Virtual and Hybrid setups. Moreover, we presenta multitouch tabletop application, developed with a groupof DJ consultants to ensure an adequate implementation ofthe traditional gesture lexicon.To conclude, we conduct an expert evaluation, with tenDJ users in which we compare the three DJ setups with ourprototype. The study revealed that our proposal suits expectations of Club/Radio-DJs, but fails against the mentalmodel of Scratch-DJs, due to the lack of haptic feedback torepresent the record’s physical rotation. Furthermore, testsshow that our multitouch DJ setup, reduces task durationwhen compared with Virtual setups.