Designing electronic instruments - 4

Following on from post 1post 2, and post 3 on this project.

We met on Monday to take a look at the modifications to the Filter Box and give them a little test with the Max patch that Luke has been developing, and then I went away to make the modifications.

Filter box testing:

A couple of modification were discussed to make the box more ergonomic and natural to use and hold and that will allow for easier interaction with the inputs the box offers.

These were:

  • Move the hinge to the other side of the box to enable holding and opening like a book
  • Change the button style as they are not working quite right in fitting nicely to the finger or giving adequate feedback, maybe to tiny arcade style buttons that accommodate fingers with a dip, or custom made buttons attached to a micro switch
  • The pressure sensor is in an awkward position on the front making it difficult to use it with the buttons so move to back where the thumb pad of the hand naturally presses against it

We met again the following Monday to discuss the above modifications.

We found it was still difficult to access the force sensor and the buttons at the same time. Also to trigger the sound the button and force sensor have to be used at the same time so what might be better is to leave the sound level high until you press the force sensor which will then lower the volume, this would mean there would be less chance of a player pressing the buttons and thinking they were not playing it correctly or it was not working.

There is also an element here that could play into having to control and mould a sound with the instruments, Luke has mentioned in the past creating an instrument that you would have to fight against in order to play. This could be a good opportunity to explore a concept like that, to have the instrument playing and you use the inputs to bring the sound in order. 

We also discussed the possibility of the light dependent resistor being a little bit volatile in performance situations as there are potentially flashing lights or light changes that could trigger the instrument and disrupt the players sense of cause and effect. Also any photographs taken with flash could trigger the sensor. This will require testing to see how much of an issue this would be. One suggestion is to move the sensor down a well next to the back hinge of the box so the box will be less responsive until it is more fully open......a little more fiddling required :)