Designing and Evaluating a Tablet Application for Guitar Effect Control
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The company Aalberg Audio is developing a system of audio effects aimed at guitar players, and wants a software application for tablets that can control these effects wirelessly. This study tried to determine whether existing research into the design and evaluation of digital musical instruments could be applied to the design of such an application; another aim was to design and develop a working application prototype. An iterative design science research method was used. A series of prototypes were designed and developed using strategies from the field of digital musical instrument design. Using an experiment with 7 participants, the final prototype was evaluated from the performer perspective using techniques from digital musical instrument evaluation, to see whether it increased discoverability, playability, and enjoyment. Using digital musical instrument design strategies gave rise to mostly the same properties in the tablet prototype as one would expect in a digital musical instrument. For the participants, the final prototype achieved higher discoverability and somewhat higher enjoyment than traditional guitar effects, whereas playability was hindered by some interaction and design issues. In conclusion, the existing research into the design and evaluation does indeed seem to be applicable to the design and evaluation of tablet applications for effect control.