The Open UniversitySkip to content

A Critical Analysis of Synthesizer User Interfaces for Timbre

Seago, Allan; Holland, Simon and Mulholland, Paul (2004). A Critical Analysis of Synthesizer User Interfaces for Timbre. In: Dearden, Andy and Watt, Leon eds. Proceedings of the XVIII British HCI Group Annual Conference HCI 2004, Volume 2. Bristol, UK: Research Press International, pp. 105–108.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (169Kb) | Preview
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


In this paper, we review and analyse categories of user interface used in hardware and software electronic music synthesizers. Problems with the user specification and modification of timbre are discussed. Three principal types of user interface for controlling timbre are distinguished. A problem common to all three categories is identified: that the core language of each category has no well-defined mapping onto the task languages of subjective timbre categories as used by musicians.

Item Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 1-897851-13-8, 978-1-897851-13-5
Keywords: Music; Synthesis; Synthesizers; Timbre; Semantic Directness; Usability;
Academic Unit/Department: Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Computing & Communications
Knowledge Media Institute
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Item ID: 5688
Depositing User: Simon Holland
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2006
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2015 20:54
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340