Tag Archives: Djing

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. 


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.

User test methodology

6 Jul

As the user tests are almost done, I can share some toughs on my methodology to capture the most information of the tests.

Gear used:

  1. Video camera (and a high tripod) -> Video recording of the tasks
  2. Microphone -> Audio recording of the user comments
  3. Application logging -> Using arthopod (see this post)
  4. Pen & paper -> Observation and note taking
  5. Audio recording device ->record the audio output of the DJ application

As far as the test outline, it is as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Pre-test questionnaire
  3. User Tests
    1. Task 1
    2. Task 2
    3. Task 3
    4. Small Toy Problem
  4. Post-test questionnaire/interview

Allowing DJs to share their patches!

3 Jun

Multitouch Djing: Loading Objects via XML from PedroLopes on Vimeo.

This is just showing the Objects in the interface being XML defined, that can be read at start up and create the patch for the DJ.

This will allow users of the interface to share patches, save, load, etc…

Tracking DJs: the msPinky case-study!

28 Dec

I’ve been watching developments in msPinky for quite a while now. It is rising as the new cheap solution towards tracking vynil control (either via cd player or analogue turntable – doesn’t matter, the recorded tmecode does the trick).

For those who are wondering about msPinky, he’s a lil’ info:

“the idea behind it is simple: We want to use our standard DJ turntable as a generalized controller in the digital dimension. This way we maintain the hands-on physical contact and subtle gestural control we’re used to having when spinning records, yet we’re able to apply those gestures to whatever we want to inside the digital dimension.” (official statement)

Thus msPinky strives to fill a gap in the tracking applications (currently costing 99 dollars) but stands out for several rasons. Firstly it approaches directly the question of multimedia, instead of closing the perspective to audio control (of course several commercial systems are used for video – see this!, but the manufacturers state that they serve as an audio tool). Secondly it features a wide range of sub-products:  Maxi-Patch (Windows or Mac) and Binky Toy (Mac only), a VST plugin called Pinky VST and finally the SDK (cross-platform) allowing  programmers to access use MsPinky’s Vinyl Tracking Object (MPVT) in their own code.

They are widely targeting the Max/MSP environment with easy acess to MPVT under Max (see below), and hav triggered the appearence of user-made new interfaces for audiovisual manipulation using timecoded vynils.

If you want specs and technical papers:



Maxi-Patch(Windows or Mac) and Binky Toy (Mac only), a VST plugin called Pinky VST (for integration with VST hosting applications\footnotemark[99] ) and finally MsPinky’s Software Developer’s Kit (cross-platform) allowing  programmers to access use MsPinky’s Vinyl Tracking Object (MPVT) in their own code.\\
Caption: msPinky integrated within Ableton Live\footnote{A note that msPinky can integrate use VST or with new MaxForLive\footnotemark[99] \url{http://createdigitalmusic.com/2009/10/30/vinyl-ableton-ms-pinky-and-max-for-live-working-now/} 21/12/2009}.\\
– \url{http://www.mspinky.com/WreckedSystem_MaxMSP.html}\\
– \url{http://www.mspinky.com/SoftwareSpec_0.0.4.pdf}\\
There is also a special emphasis on the Max/MSP programming environment for the usage of MPVT, which originated the appearance of several variations of custom-digital DJing systems\footnote{make ref http://www.mspinky.com/MsPinkyPetsAndFriends.html}.\\

Caption: a programmer receiving timecode interpreted data within Max/MSP environment.\\

Gesture Research #2 (djing in action…)

28 Oct

A collection of real gestures (that you perform on the actual things):

i) Real gestures on Dj systems



The expression “dj systems” is just a more-or-less-suitable name for the tools that Djs currently use when it comes to hardware: turntables, dj decks, mixers, cds, HD’s, laptops with djing software, effect processors, vynil, etc… mainly by looking at Djs performing you can learn much about the physical gestures that they naturally use: and with that know how you can define your gesture database.