A Shift Towards Iterative and Open-Source Design for Musical Interfaces

Vallis, Owen and Hochenbaum, Jordan and Kapur, Ajay

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The aim of this paper is to define the process of iterative interface design as it pertains to musical performance. Embodying this design approach, the Monome OSC/MIDI USB controller represents a minimalist, open-source hardware device. The open-source nature of the device has allowed for a small group of Monome users to modify the hardware, firmware, and software associated with the interface. These user driven modifications have allowed the re-imagining of the interface for new and novel purposes, beyond even that of the device’s original intentions. With development being driven by a community of users, a device can become several related but unique generations of musical controllers, each one focused on a specific set of needs.