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Battle of the DJs: an HCI perspective of Traditional, Virtual, Hybrid and Multitouch DJing

16 Apr

To be presented at NIME 2011 (New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Oslo ). The remainder of the program is very interesting, so please feel free to look around here.

What about DJing?

How does it equates within an HCI perspective?

What forms of interaction exist with DJ gear?

How can one classify those interactions/gear?

The following paper addresses these questions, trying to create a framework of through concerning DJ interactions – a very idiosyncratic type of “music interfaces” – and proposes an evaluation of Traditional (analogue turntables, mixers and CD players), Virtual (software), Hybrid (traditional and software in synergy) and Multitouch (virtual and traditional in synergy).

The term multitouch here defines not a categorization but rather an implementation of a touch sensing surface DJing prototype. Explorations among new interfaces for DJing has already been hapenning for at least 10 years, but an evaluation from such perspective (interactions and devices) can aid researchers and developers (as well as DJs) to understand which tools fit in which style. 


Update on my publication list

11 Dec


Articles in International Conferences

1) Multitouch Djing Surface, Pedro André Santos Afonso Lopes, 2010, ACE ’10: Proceedings of the 2010 ACM SIGCHI international conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (BibTeX)

Multitouch Djing Surface (paper) ( ace2010-pedrolopes-mtdjing.pdf)


Articles in International Conferences

2) Battle of the DJs: an HCI perspective of Traditional, Virtual, Hybrid and Multitouch DJingPedro André Santos Afonso Lopes, 2010, NIME ’11: Proceedings of the 2011 New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Oslo (To appear)


Articles in National Conferences

3) Interação Multi-toque no contexto do DJing, Pedro André Santos Afonso Lopes, Alfredo Ferreira, Joao Antonio Madeiras Pereira, 2010, Interacção 2010 (BibTeX)

Interação Multi-toque no contexto do DJing (paper) ( interaccao2010-pedrolopes-mtdjing.pdf)


4) Trainable DTW-based classifier for recognizing feet-gestures, Pedro André Santos Afonso Lopes, Guilherme Fernandes,Joaquim Jorge, 2010, 16th Portuguese Conference on Pattern Recognition (RecPad 2010), (BibTeX)

Trainable DTW-based classifier for recognizing feet-gestures (paper) ( pedrolopesdtw-based_recopad2010.pdf)


5) Transhumance, Pedro André Santos Afonso Lopes, 2010, Future Places – Digital Media and Local Cultures (BibTeX)

Transhumance (page 169 of the Proceedings) ( futureplaces2010.pdf)



6) Mt-DJing: Multitouch DJing Table, Pedro André Santos Afonso Lopes, 2010, Instituto Superior Técnico (BibTeX)

MtDjingPedroLopes.pdf ( MtDjingPedroLopes.pdf)


(updated from the IST official website)

ACE 2010: Multitouch Djing table

5 Dec

Here is the paper, presented at the International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment 2010, ACM & SIGCHI at the Interactivity Session.

Add metadata information to a PDF file (to my thesis!) with pdftk

25 Nov

Using pdftk (THE pdf toolkit) an open source toolkit t manipulate and do magic tricks with pdf files.

In most PDF files are meta-information stored (for example, about the author, the subject of the file or the software used). With pdftk can you can print this information to standard output or save to a file:

> pdftk example.pdf dump_data
> pdftk example.pdf dump_data output info.txt

The info.txt file now contains all the metadata of the document. It is composed of key fields and their values:

InfoKey: Creator
InfoValue: TeX
InfoKey: Producer
InfoValue: pdfTeX-1.10b
InfoKey: CreationDate
InfoValue: D: 20041226182200
NumberOfPages: 4

Back up that file, because we will edit on top of that and then upload again with the pdftk to change the pdf file to include metadata.

InfoKey: Title
InfoValue: Mt-Djing: multitouch DJ table
InfoKey: Subject
InfoValue: Dissertation for Master degree
InfoKey: Keywords
InfoValue: DJing, NUI, multitouch, user-centered design
InfoKey: Author
InfoValue: Pedro Lopes

It must, this file does not include any information that can save a PDF file. Already occupied when updating fields remain unaffected if they are not included in the text file. You can also define additional key fields (eg “site”) and impose values. The update of the meta-information by means of:

> pdftk example.pdf update_info info_neu.txt output beispiel_metadaten.pdf

Output file and input file may not carry the same name. With a small shell script or batch file you can rename the output file accordingly.

MtDjing Paper presentation at ACE 2010 (tomorrow)

17 Nov

There it is the programme for ACE 2010, we will be presenting Multitouch Interface for DJing tomorrow in Taipei, Taiwan (see photo below).

taipeiGiantNightMarket(Taipei Hwahsi Jie Night Market)

Thesis Defence

30 Oct

My thesis defence is scheduled for 3th November, 12h, IST – Alameda.



Disc-jockeys have come a long way, through technological evolutions. This path led them to the status and recognition they have achieved in our society. But as impressive as those technological evolutions are, as far as DJing is concerned, there are still few applications that support hands-on interaction over virtual DJ applications, and those are typically reduced to the traditional input devices.

Furthermore, recent proposals apply new DJ metaphors, but are not successful in maintaining coherence with traditional DJ lexicon of gestures and concepts, thus requiring an extensive learning period.

Accounting user feedback from an accompanying group of DJ experts, we devised a multitouch solution that maps physical core DJ concepts into a virtual application. In the proposed solution, gestural interaction from Traditional Setups remains coherent while inheriting advantages from the virtualization of the DJing domain. The system addresses typical requirements of contemporary DJing, as identified by our research, namely: robustness, low-latency, external control, adaptability, audio plugins and connectivity standard-compliance.

Additionally, we support task improvements, such as dynamic re-routing of music flow, seamlessly merging edit with DJ-performance mode and rearrangement of interface layout according to user needs. Our system allows DJs to exercise creativity with a natural interaction, creating scenarios that are not possible in the real world.

Comparison against Traditional, Virtual and Hybrid DJ setups showed how a multitouch DJing surface developed with DJ involvement, can suit experienced users changing to Virtual setups.

A new foot controller for MtDjing @ RecPad 2010

30 Oct

DSC04189Presenting our DTW-based classifier for gesture recognition @ RecPad2010

(Download the paper here.)

Next conference: RecPad 2010

22 Oct

I will be presenting a poster at RecPad 2010, alongside Guilherme Fernandes. We will present our Trainable DTW-classifier for feeg gesture recognition, which we built on a foot-controller device that allows to control Mt-Djing application, as shown below.


(Controlling Mt-Djing with feet gestures)

The program is available now here.

Presentation of paper at Interacção 2010

22 Oct

Pedro Lopes apresenta MtDjing 1

(download the paper)

Latex: installing miscellaneous fonts and macros

25 Sep

In order to use the book template required by many iunstitutions such as IST (where my Thesis is being completed), check the following packages:

(you can use apt-get, synaptic (my favorite for this things), or aptitude)

  • texlive-fonts-recommended (the basic)
  • texlive-fonts-extra (needed for the template because of cmbr8 font)

As far as other Latex packages I have the following that come in handy for scientific writing:

  • texlive-math
  • texlive-math-extra

Also a lot of usefull macros can be found in:

  • texlive-generic-recommended
  • texlive-generic-extra