Haptic-Listening and the Classical Guitar

McDowell, John

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper reports the development of a ‘haptic-listening’ system which presents the listener with a representation of the vibrotactile feedback perceived by a classical guitarist during performance through the use of haptic feedback technology. The paper describes the design of the haptic-listening system which is in two prototypes: the “DIY Haptic Guitar” and a more robust haptic-listening Trial prototype using a Reckhorn BS-200 shaker. Through two experiments, the perceptual significance and overall musical contribution of the addition of haptic feedback in a listening context was evaluated. Subjects preferred listening to the classical guitar presentation with the addition of haptic feedback and the addition of haptic feedback contributed to listeners’ engagement with a performance. The results of the experiments and their implications are discussed in this paper.