Mid Semester Degree Project Summation

it's difficult for a traveling dj to keep track of all of his/her equipment. that's why for my senior degree project i want to propose the idea of installing large-scale, multi-touch light tables in clubs around the globe. Digital has its obvious advantages (storage, on the fly set up, easy accessible), but the problem is it doesn't look as cool as a analogue dj setup. another problem is if there are no buttons or knobs, the dj will have to look down at the screen the whole time to make sure he knows what he's doing. this is a big disconnect because he loses the needed interaction with the crowd if he's got his head buried into the table.

it would be too easy to apply already excising digital mixing software to the touchscreen, (traktor, virtual dj, etc) but lets face it, it sucks trying to turn a representation of a knob on a flat surface. my solution is a set of hand gestures that can be used to a large area on the screen to effect the parameters of a music, just like a traditional turntable and mixer. depending on the gesture, you're able to control the tempo, cue points, loop, scratch, eq's, and effects. Now the dj can interact/see the crowd and change the music parameters without having to look down (plus it looks freaking cool). each dj uses a different set of tools when they play a live show. some use turntables, some use synths. my goal is to have the light table access all equipment that's used in the analogue world (turntable, mixer, drum pads/mpc, 64 key monome, synthesizer, and effects processor).

for the rest of the semester, i will create a storyboard, film with green screen, and create motion graphics and combine all of these techniques into a video that showcases how this light table kicks ass over analogue dj equipment.


thenewprogramme said...

greg, when you said "plus, it looks freaking cool", did you mean the interface, or the gestures?

i think the interface should be designed in such a way that makes the gestures interesting to watch. to me, that's what makes punk rock (or whatever kind of rock) so interesting live because the instruments are mobile, and the performers go nuts.

when i did an artsounds a couple of years ago i was disappointed that all of the activity on the huge screen was triggered by one or two nerds typing on a computer. it looked totally boring. that wasn't the point of the performance, but i realized later that it could be a visually interesting performance in and of itself.

so, all that to say, make that dj get his groove on to make the music. make her/him look cool while making that music. recall how the little back-and-forth scratch gesture came off the turntable and into culture? people would say "wicka wicka" and do the little turntable hand motion. your project should have that effect.

cool. can't wait to see this. very exciting.

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