Publication or Conference Title:M.A. Thesis, McGill University
The majority of touch-enabled musical production software tend to use metaphors from professional musical studio environments in their interface (e.g., a rackmount, turntables plus a crossfader, or a keyboard) or simply use single-finger input as a computer mouse.
We identify a need for musical software that benefits from novel graphical user interface elements and innovative metaphors to provide control over pre-recorded music. We hypothesize that a software design approach using conceptual integration, or blending, will lead to new ludic interfaces for musical expression with the potential to facilitate DJ tasks.
Multi-touch technology offers the promise of going beyond traditional mouse-based user interfaces, and is especially pertinent in that it provides full embodiment: the user interacts directly with the visual feedback of the system. This change in paradigm has implications in software design, not yet fully understood in tools for musical expression.
This thesis first documents the existing methods of implementing multi-touch technology, before suggesting a taxonomy of multi-touch devices. A literature review of multi-touch systems for musical applications is also presented, after which metaphor and blending (also known as conceptual integration) are discussed. We apply blending to software design for
multi-touch musical software and introduce our programming framework, TactoSonix.