Meeting with Master’s thesis supervisor

This week I had a meeting with Katharina Groß-Vogt, one of our teachers at IEM concerning supervision of my Master’s thesis. Unfortunately, my current supervisor Marian Weger cannot serve as my supervisor, so I had to find someone else. As I know Kathi from our Sonification lectures and she is an expert in sonic interaction design, I thought that she will be very suitable. Luckily, she liked my project and agreed to supervise my Master’s thesis.

During our meeting, some interesting issues were raised that I had not thought of previously.

#1: The right hand setup currently works with an IMU sensor strapped to the back of the hand. A new idea would be to use another ToF sensor that is attached to the body of the guitar. If angled in the correct way, it could also measure the distance variations of the hand and, thus, achieve a similar effect as the IMU sensor. The advantage of this approach would be that the guitarist must not wear the sensor and can move his or her hand more freely. Additionally, the programming for the ToF sensor is a little bit more straightforward. This new sensor approach was tested. An attachment device was designed to fit the ToF sensor onto the guitar body. Then a code was made that measures the changes in distance if the strumming hand is moved. These changes in movement were then mapped to a Wah-Wah effect in Pure Data. The results are similar to what can be achieved with the IMU sensor. However, the hand must be in a specific position for the effect to work. Furthermore, the code must also be fine-tuned a little bit more. No final decision regarding the sensor of the right hand setup has yet been made, because, at the moment, the development efforts are focused on something else.

#2: In order to ensure usability of the system, it was suggested to involve expert guitarists in the development process sooner than previously planned. In so doing, a more user-centered design process could be achieved that already takes in the guitarists’ insights during the main development phase and not in the 4th semester when the products are already finished. This could prevent the unfortunate scenario in which the guitarists test the finished setups and suggest improvements, but there is no time left to implement the desired ameliorations before the master’s thesis submission deadline. Thus, the plan is to hold interviews with four to five expert guitarists that were shown the video demonstration and informed about the current state of the system. For these interviews, an interview guideline will be developed. The goals will be to:

  • Receive the current opinion of guitarists concerning the system
  • Find out more about their live setup and requirements concerning live gear
  • Gain new insights on how the products could be developed further and become more user-friendly

So far, a first draft of the questionnaire has been created. However, the questions must be reworked. Additionally, expert guitarists must be found. I know two to three guitarists that fit the category that may agree to be interviewed. The search for other guitarists will be conducted at the KUG’s jazz guitar institute.

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