Skip to main content

Sketchument: Empowering users to build DMIs through prototyping

  • Filipe Calegario (a1), Jerônimo Barbosa (a1), Geber Ramalho (a1), Giordano Cabral (a2) and Gabriel Finch (a2)...

New interface artefacts are changing the way we interact with machines, and this is particularly important for the musical domain. Conversely, the growing do-it-yourself (DIY) culture is subverting the manufacturer–consumer model. Regarding music, software such as Pure Data and Max/MSP allows users to build their own interactive systems. These factors contribute to the emergence of new digital musical instruments (DMI). However, DMI creation still requires a strong technical background. Based on the importance of prototyping in the process of designing things, this paper presents the Sketchument, an environment devoted to help non-technical users to easily prototype DMIs, using multiple input modes and allowing the integration to other useful technologies. From a lo-fi paper prototype, to functional ones, passing through movies, questionnaires, interviews, Sketchument has been developed following the same prototyping philosophy we intend to propose to its users. The cyclic process of design–implementation-evaluation has produced valuable feedback from potential users, which has been very useful to back design choices and to push modifications.

Corresponding author
Hide All
Anderson, C. 2012. Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. New York: Random House Business.
Apple Inc. n.d. Apple Developer.
Baldwin, C., Hippel, E.von. 2010. Modeling a Paradigm Shift: From Producer Innovation to User and Open Collaborative Innovation. Harvard Business School Finance (November 2009): 137.
Bogers, M., Afuah, A., Bastian, B. 2010. Users as Innovators: A Review, Critique, and Future Research Directions. Journal of Management 36(4): 857875.
Brinkmann, P. 2012. Making Musical Apps: Real-Time Audio Synthesis on Android and iOS. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media.
Chagas, P. 1992. Le MIDI et la musique électronique: Quelques remarques esthétiques et techniques. Revue informatique et statistique dans les sciences humaines 28: 15.
Dougherty, D., Frauenfelder, M. 2005. The Making of Make. MAKE Magazine 1: 7.
Dow, S. 2011. How Prototyping Practices Affect Design Results. Interactions 18(3): 54.
Feldman, T. 2012. Molecular Synth.
Gerber, E., Carroll, M. 2011. The Psychological Experience of Prototyping. Design Studies 33(1): 6484.
Gray, D., Brown, S., Macanufo, J. 2010. Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media.
Hartmann, B. 2009. Gaining Design Insight Through Interaction Prototyping Tools. PhD dissertation, Stanford University.
IDEO. 2011. Human-Centered Design Toolkit: An Open-Source Toolkit to Inspire New Solutions in the Developing World. n.p.: Authorhouse.
Isbister, K., Schaffer, N. 2008. Game Usability: Advice from the Experts for Advancing the Player Experience. Burlington, MA: CRC Press.
Jácome, J. 2009. Afrobeat Machine. (accessed on 29 August 2013).
Jordà, S. 2003. Interactive Music Systems For Everyone: Exploring Visual Feedback as a Way for Creating More Intuitive, Efficient and Learnable Instruments. In Proceedings of the Stockholm Music Acoustics, 1–6.
Jordà, S. 2005. Digital Lutherie: Crafting Musical Computers for New Musics’ Performance and Improvisation. PhD thesis, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
Jordà, S., Kaltenbrunner, M., Geiger, G., Bencina, R. 2005. The Reactable. Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, 2–5.
Jordà, S., Geiger, G., Alonso, M., Kaltenbrunner, M. 2007. The ReacTable: Exploring the Synergy Between Live Music Performance and Tabletop Tangible Interfaces. In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction, 139–46.
Kirn, P. 2011. Keyboard Presents the Evolution of Electronic Dance Music. Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books.
McCartney, J. 2002. Rethinking the Computer Music Language: SuperCollider. Computer Music Journal 26(4): 6168.
McGlynn, P., Lazzarini, V., Delap, G., Chen, X. 2012. Recontextualizing the Multi-Touch Surface. Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME).
Magnusson, T., Mendieta, E. 2007. The Acoustic, the Digital and the Body: A Survey on Musical Instruments. Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), 94–9.
Maurya, A. 2012. Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media.
Microsoft Corporation. 2012. Human Interface Guidelines: Kinect for Windows v1.7.0. (accessed on 31 July 2013).
Miranda, E.R., Wanderley, M.M. 2006. New Digital Musical Instruments: Control and Interaction Beyond the Keyboard. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions.
Neves, A., Campos, F., Campello, S., Castillo, L., Barros, S., Aragão, I. 2008. XDM: Métodos Extensíveis de Design. In Anais Do 8 o Congresso Brasileiro De Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Em Design, 249–59.
Nielsen, J. 1993. Usability Engineering. Cambridge, MA: AP Professional.
O'Modhrain, S., Chafe, C. 2000. Incorporating Haptic Feedback Into Interfaces For Music Applications. In Proceedings of the International Symposium on Robotics with Applications, World Automation Conference.
Orio, N., Schnell, N., Wanderley, M.M. 2001. Input Devices for Musical Expression: Borrowing Tools from HCI. In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), 1–4.
Preece, J., Rogers, Y., Sharp, H. 2002. Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction. Chichester: Wiley.
Puckette, M. 2002. Max at Seventeen. Computer Music Journal 26(4): 3143.
Rovan, J.B., Wanderley, M.M., Dubnov, S., Depalle, P. 1997. Instrumental Gestural Mapping Strategies as Expressivity Determinants in Computer Music Performance. In Proceedings of Kansei: The Technology of Emotion Workshop. Genoa: Associatzione di Infomatica Musicale Italiana: 26–73.
Rudraraju, V. 2011. A Tool for Configuring Mappings for Musical Systems using Wireless Sensor Networks. MA thesis, McGill University.
Saffer, D. 2008. Designing Gestural Interfaces. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media.
Schloss, W. 1990. Recent Advances in the Coupling of the Language Max with the Mathews/Boie Radio Drum. In Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference.
Schmeder, A., Freed, A. 2008. uOSC: The Open Sound Control Reference Platform for Embedded Devices. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME).
Steiner, H. 2005. Building your Own Instrument with Pd. In Proceedings of the 1st International Pd Conference.
Tanaka, A., Parkinson, A., Settel, Z., Tahiroglu, K. 2012. A Survey and Thematic Analysis Approach as Input to the Design of Mobile Music GUIs. In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME).
Thomke, S. 2003. Experimentation Matters: Unlocking the Potential of New Technologies for Innovation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Wang, G. 2008. The ChucK Audio Programming Language: A Strongly-timed and On-the-fly Environmentality. PhD thesis, Princeton University.
Warfel, T.Z. 2009. Prototyping: A Practitioner's Guide. New York: Rosenfeld Media.
Wright, M. 2005. Open Sound Control: An Enabling Technology for Musical Networking. Organised Sound 10(3): 193200.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Organised Sound
  • ISSN: 1355-7718
  • EISSN: 1469-8153
  • URL: /core/journals/organised-sound
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed