FrameWorks 3D : Composition in the Third Dimension

Polfreman, Richard

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Music composition on computer is a challenging task, involving a range of data types to be managed within a single software tool. A composition typically comprises a complex arrangement of material, with many internal relationships between data in different locations repetition, inversion, retrograde, reversal and more sophisticated transformations. The creation of such complex artefacts is labour intensive, and current systems typically place a significant cognitive burden on the composer in terms of maintaining a work as a coherent whole. FrameWorks 3D is an attempt to improve support for composition tasks within a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) style environment via a novel three-dimensional (3D) user-interface. In addition to the standard paradigm of tracks, regions and tape recording analogy, FrameWorks displays hierarchical and transformational information in a single, fully navigable workspace. The implementation combines Java with Max/MSP to create a cross-platform, user-extensible package and will be used to assess the viability of such a tool and to develop the ideas further.