P-Comp Midterm: The Prototype and the Play Test!

The Prototype was fun to make!

Here it is:

We took to the ITP floor for feedback on our project. Because we had no sensor, we played a midi piano while the user played. It was fun to pretend to be the sensor! We asked a lot of questions and here’s what the play testers said:


Should it look like a record player?

– Yes, being on a wall would be confusing
– The record player is great, and the cardboard is great because it looks like it can’t do much but it can!

Would you want to make your own combinations?

– Yes, and drum beats too…
– Yes, and it would make having a motor better because I would be interested in hearing my creation as a loop
– Yes, and making them quickly (having pieces ready to go) is more important than gaining other functionality

Sounds from Arduino or Computer? & If computer what sound do you expect?

– It would be nice to have the entire thing encased in the object; if you use midi sounds from the computer it may be too mechanical — why not just use a      keyboard.
– The beats may prohibit the Arduino sound library
– The midi beats would be cool with different drums

Automatic spin or manual?

– It could be cool if it spun automatically, but the manual spin gives it a more interactive feel.
– I like spinning it manually because if it was automatic you couldn’t change the beat.
– The most fun thing was that you could spin it back like when your scratching like a DJ
– Prefabricated is like a record- so the only way to change is manually changing the speed and scratch(back and forth)
– Automatic
– They wanted to flip it (like a real record) when it was prefabricated

Beats or Just colors?

– There could be a separate beat track- GREYSCALE for different drums
– Beats are good- he would want an automatic pace or motor to make it constant
– Beats and colors on separate disks

General Comments:

– Needs On/Off switch — for when It gets stuck on a color.

– Recognized what to do immediately but only spun in one direction. Once we told him it could go backwards he did that and had fun.

– Thought it would be great for kids but as a musician wanted to be able to play real melodies. Wanted to scratch the record immediately back and forth.

– Thought that having it look nostalgic like a record player helped them know what to do and having it on the wall would be confusing. They want it to say what it does on it- like a name. “The Sound of Color” ; “ColorPlayer” ; “ColorSong” ; “Visual Sound” ; “Audio-Visual Composition” ; “ColorPuzzle” ; “Sound Colorization” ; “SoundScape” ;

– The scale gives a better relationship with the scale of music.

– Almost everyone wanted to make their own.

What We Learned:

People like it!

Most users wanted to customize as soon as they understood it.

Customization is the most valuable thing to the user.

We Will…

We will make a book of “Patterns” for the user to create, or they can create their own, to remove the need for an example record.

We will make pieces that can be put together quickly by the user to compose their record, and be changed just as quickly to manipulate the composition.

We will incorporate an ON / OFF switch.

We will make the spin manual, and if possible, be able to switch between motor powered AND manual.

We will continue to explore connecting the device back to the computer and Ableton to use as a midi controller to trigger sounds; and will explore the midi library in Arduino.

We will build sensors or use the one from SparkFun

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