Awakening the synthesizer knob: gestural perspectives

A. Jense, J.H. Eggen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    While being the primary mode of interaction with mainstream digital musical instruments, the knob has been greatly overlooked in its potential for innovation. In this paper, we aim to open up the thinking about new possibilities for the knob. Based on an analysis of the background of the knob and the relevant theory on interaction, three directives are formulated to guide the design of a new breed of knobs. Six prototypes are tested through an AttrakDiff questionnaire and Discourse Analysis. It is shown that the proposed new breed of knobs has stronger hedonic qualities than knobs of mainstream digital musical instruments, though the pragmatic quality appears lower. The strongest improvement is seen in stimulation, an important factor in enticing investment to play, and as such, more expressive control. Through using three directives, a new generation of knobs can be made that would improve the expressive affordances of digital musical instruments

    Awakening the Synthesizer Knob: Gestural Perspectives (PDF Download Available). Available from: [accessed Aug 1, 2017].
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)317-338
    Number of pages22
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2015


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