Chair: Karyn Moffatt, McGill University, Canada
Digging in the Crates: An Ethnographic Study of DJs' Work
Contribution & Benefit: Presents an analysis of how DJs collect, prepare, perform and promote music. Raises implications for technologies to support DJs and for studies of music consumption and sharing in other settings.
Abstract » An ethnographic study uncovers the work of nightclub DJs, which extends far beyond the act of mixing tracks to also encompass collecting music, preparing for performances, and promotion and networking. We reveal how DJs value vinyl and digital formats in different ways, acquire music through 'crate digging', prepare physical and digital crates of music before gigs, and how these underpin improvised selections during their performances. We document how DJs interact with promoters, venues, dancers and other DJs, revealing an etiquette that governs how they select and share music, and manage an ongoing tension between revealing and hiding metadata so as to maintain a competitive edge. We raise implications for technologies to support DJs, while also shedding light on previous studies of music consumption and sharing in other settings.ACM
Becoming-Sound: Affect and Assemblage in Improvisational Digital Music Making
Contribution & Benefit: Affect and assemblage can help us understand the interaction between users and artefacts in interactive systems. This paper provides some theoretical background and shows its application in understanding collaborative creativity.
Abstract » The concepts of affect and assemblage proposed by thinkers such as ACM
Gilles Deleuze and Brian Massumi can help us to understand the
interaction between users and artefacts in interactive systems,
particularly in the context of computer-supported improvisation and
creativity. In this paper I provide an introduction to affect and
assemblage theory for HCI practitioners. I then use a case study of
Viscotheque, an iOS-based interface for group musical collaboration,
to demonstrate the application of affective analysis in making sense
of improvisational group music making.
Interactive Paper Substrates to Support Musical Creation
Contribution & Benefit: Explores the design of typed paper components for manipulating musical data. Support layers and modules of data rearranged in time and space through tangible interactions with pen and paper.
Abstract » We present paper substrates, interactive paper components that support the creation and manipulation of complex musical data. Substrates take different forms, from whole pages to movable strips, and contain or control typed data representations. We conducted participatory design sessions with five professional musicians with extensive experience with music creation tools. All generated innovative uses of paper substrates, manipulating their data, linking multiple representation layers and creating modular, reusable paper elements. The substrates reflect the structure of their computer-based data, but in a much more flexible and adaptable form. We use their prototypes to provide concrete examples of substrates, identify their roles, properties and functions. Finally, we explore their physical and interaction design with an interactive prototype.ACM
DiskPlay: In-Track Navigation on Turntables
Contribution & Benefit: Design and initial evaluation of an augmented reality system for DJs. It shows how AR can be used to recreate individual features of a medium on a generic controller.
Abstract » Although digital media playback and storage have several advantages, many DJs still prefer using vinyl records on turntables due to their direct manipulation and haptic qualities. ACM
The physical structure of a traditional vinyl record provides important cues for in-track navigation, such as track length or location of loud and soft passages.
Digital vinyl systems use a timecode record to combine the advantages of digital playback with the handling DJs are used to.
These records contain a special audio signal that is processed by a computer and mapped to information such as playback speed, direction, and absolute position in a track.
However, due to their generic nature, timecode records cannot provide visual information to navigate inside individual tracks.
Using top-projection, DiskPlay augments a white timecode record with individual visual cues of the medium, such as cue points or track start and end.
In our observational study with four professional DJs, participants valued the co-location of visual feedback with the control vinyl on the turntable.
Vintage Radio Interface: Analog Control for Digital Collections
- Long Case Study
Contribution & Benefit: Development and evaluation of an interface for navigating digital music collections based on a one-dimensional analog control and a data visualization inspired by old analog radios.
Abstract » We present an interface for navigating digital collections based on a one-dimensional analog control and a data visualization based on old analog radios. Our system takes advantage of inertial control to browse a large data collection in a compelling way, reducing the complexity of similar interfaces present in both desktop-based and portable media players. This vintage radio interface has been used to navigate a digital music collection. We have compared the proposed interface with the current most popular hardware, the iPod. The results of user tests with 24 participants are presented and discussed. The insights gained are encouraging enough to continue the development of one-dimensional analog controls for content discovery and retrieval.