Design and evaluation of a multi-user collaborative audio environment for musical experimentation

Sammann, Tyler
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Cutler, Barbara M.
Braasch, Jonas
Chang, Ben
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Computer science
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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This thesis presents a new type of digital audio environment based on musical experimentation and exploration rather than high quality digital audio production. The system is designed for users with and without experience in the realm of audio software and music in general. The interface for the system is designed for multiple simultaneous user interaction. Multiple functional mouse cursors are displayed on a single screen, and are controlled by users via individual USB mice. Simultaneous user interaction harbors collaboration between users, and allows less experienced users to learn from other users. Unique elements of the interface are designed around the concept of parallel user interaction.
This thesis presents PolyButton interface elements. These multiparametric sliders use the vertices of polygonal shapes to represent and modify numerous sound parameters that are categorically similar. Rules governing the selection and own- ership of PolyButtons ensure that multiple users can simultaneously interact with different PolyButtons, but an individual PolyButton can only be used by a single user at a time. Finally, this thesis presents methods for the user studies conducted with the system, and presents an evaluation of the system based on the user study results and user feedback.
August 2013
School of Science
Dept. of Computer Science
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection
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