[linux-audio-user] Miscellaneous hardware/software questions

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Tue Nov 1 09:57:27 EST 2005

> > as soon as you move away from a visual UI, you have to find some way to
> > avoid requiring the user to remember everything about the session.
> when i try to remember a poem my brain creates images and i walk trough
> them, when i reproduce it. when i learn a piece of music it does other
> stuff (i'm a pianist and singer) but in the end i have a very complex
> thing in my mind, just think of a bach fugue. i have the fugue also in
> "the fingers". different areas of the brain work together. i have the
> same oppinion as you, we are very good in using a visual UI. we trained
> it for a long time. but there could be other combinations that work
> nearly as good as "mouse-to-eye".

i don't agree, but i would be happy to be proved wrong. i believe,
taking a cue from Donald Norman, that interfaces have certain kinds of
inherent (often unexpected) properties that we end up using efficiently.
in the case of visual UI's i don't believe that our skill is the
dominant factor, rather its their ability to represent vast amounts of
information very efficiently. you can get very good with a table saw and
a router, but you will never be manipulating as much information. and
with all due respect to js bach, as complex as his fugues are, the task
of playing them from memory is made much easier by the fact that its a
*flow*: you deterministically move from one part of the fugue to
another, from one bar to the next bar, from one note to another. you are
*not* composing when you do that; if you are, you are probably
improvising a piece in which the final result doesn't "matter" in the
sense that there is no correct answer. but trying to find the right
arrangement for a multitrack piece during editing and mixing is
potentially a much more complex task, requiring a whole different skill
set, and the management of lots of information.

of course, if your music is mostly recorded in single takes, then a lot
of these issues fade away. i am thinking of more complex compositions.

> i think it's all a matter of training. you do the
> "display-keyboard-mouse-combination" for long years and you became
> professional in speed and precision. watch a pro-gamer gaming with
> mouse.. what's about data-gloves? whats with feet-controlers and other
> "non-standard" devices?

as a counter argument, why don't gamers use the keyboard? i suggest that
its because the keyboard's own particular properties are *never* as good
as the controllers they prefer, and so even though it would be cheaper
(and maybe offer more possibilities), they don't do it.


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