A New Lab Opens Music Making to People with Learning Disabilities

Let’s face it: the initial audience for the first version of music tech is often the developers. That impulse to build something for yourself is a perfectly reasonable one. But music technology is constantly producing new ways of creating music, and that means it has to learn quickly. Unlike, say, a guitar, it can’t build on centuries of experience. And if the industry and music technology community are to consider how to reach more people, why not go beyond just average markets? Why not open up music making to people who have been left out? If music making is an …

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With Advanced MIDI Controls, Radial Loopseque App on iPad Gets More Interesting

In a world of $5 apps and no upgrade fees, the fear of abandonware casts its shadow on the otherwise lush gardens of the App Store. (The spectre was raised just yesterday by iMaschine lovers eager for new functionality.) Here’s a terrific counter-example. Loopseque was a compelling app when released; we covered its launch and design in 2010, complete with one of my favorite images from an iOS story on CDM, impromptu ballpoint-pen sketches of its circular interface. Loopseque hasn’t just gotten updates. It’s gotten MIDI functionality so rich that it could be worth a second look, even if you …

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Reflecting on Design and Music Software for Tablets; NXNE Toronto Talk

Pictured: Loopseque, in final form (top) and sketched on paper (bottom). Images courtesy the developers; visit them on Flickr. Saturday afternoon in Toronto, I’m giving a talk to the North by Northeast festival on music software and tablets. I’ll explain a bit about what tablets are about, and some of the software that’s out there on the landscape (principally, of course, on the iPad). But I hope to emphasize a deeper issue: how you design software for the tablet, and what’s unique about this convergence of form factor and touch interface. I mean this generically for a reason: on CDM, …

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Loopseque, New iPad App, Offers Circular Sequencing and Visual Inspiration

For centuries, music has had scores as visual representation. Now it has visual interfaces in software, too. I know from our in-progress platform survey that most of you don’t own an iPad. (At the moment, I’m with you.) But that makes me doubly hopeful that what we get in music software design in general is a renewed interest in visual culture and interface design. Loopseque is a new, US$4.99 circular-sequencing music app, and it conveys what happens when you really build an interface entirely around touch. It’s also a gorgeous example of why doing a good job of documenting your …

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