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Towards a new equalisation user interface for mixing multi-track recordings of musical instruments

Dewey, Christopher Paul (2014) Towards a new equalisation user interface for mixing multi-track recordings of musical instruments. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Mixing consoles are the primary tool used in the mixing of multi‐track recordings of musical instruments and feature an equalisation (EQ) section to manipulate the spectral characteristics of each channel. Despite numerous technological advances, modern embodiments of user interfaces for mixing continue to predominantly follow the traditional linear channel strip paradigm. The aim of this research is to question and reconsider one aspect of the mixing desk user interface, namely, the EQ user interface. The research methodology involved evaluating example mixing consoles, their EQ sections and considering a range novel mixing and EQ interfaces. A literature review of Human Computer Interface (HCI) fundamentals established current design and evaluation approaches. This is supplemented by case studies of the design and evaluation of several user interfaces for music technology applications. In line with HCI theory an analysis of the EQ task was conducted and an expert user consulted throughout the design process, simulating a range of scenarios to refine and develop paper prototypes into workable designs. A corrective EQ was developed that was favoured in evaluation over a typical existing Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) EQ. The novel features of the corrective EQ user interface were spectral data visualised as a static spectral plot with five peak frequencies presented to the user allowing the user to directly manipulate the spectral plot which simultaneously provided real‐time visual feedback. A multi‐track EQ was developed that was favoured in evaluation over an existing DAW EQ for multi‐track EQ tasks. The multi‐track EQ user interface featured two tracks displayed simultaneously and added novel direct manipulation method for performing mirrored EQ in the form of ghost nodes representing peaks from the other track on a track’s spectral plot. A similar visual and direct manipulation method for performing band pass and low and high shelf filtering was also included.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Depositing User: Elizabeth Boulton
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2015 10:56
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 16:17


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