• Zack Lee

Week1 - Project Ideas

For this week, I tried to define my project in a cascading level of detail as follows - Dream, Vision, Goal, Plan.

  • Dream: My dream is to create a music creation environment that allows anyone to easily create music of their own. I imagine an interface that requires no instruction or manual to use, yet offering enough flexibility to create something unique. Also, the overall creation experience will be fun rather than painful.

  • Vision: My vision is to create a music creation environment that users can naturally learn how to use while playing with it just like a fun toy. The environment offers multiple tracks of instruments with different sounds and sequences that can be programmed, edited and arranged by the user. The environment would consist of 3 parts that are synthesizer, keyboard, and sequencer. (keywords: fun, intuitive, flexible)

  • Goal & Plan: Not defined yet.


The Problem: Flexibility–usability tradeoff


  • Examples of Flexibility > Usability

These are some of the music creation environments mostly used for professionals that provide a high level of flexibility but requires a steep learning curve.

They are fun to use only after you understand many features and get used to them.


  • Examples of Flexibility < Usability

On the other hand, these environments are more intuitive and relatively easy-to-use but there are limitations in terms of sound, sequencing, and arrangement. Although they are fun to use in the beginning, one would quickly be fed up with them and it is difficult to create a multi-track song without the help of more advanced tools from the former examples.


Based on my research, I came up with the following questions:


  • How can I create more fun and intuitive music creation environment without sacrificing flexibility?

-> Hiding the advanced features? Provide presets that can be optionally tweaked?


  • What would be the ideal medium for creating the interface?

-> iPad? Surface projection? hardware controller? AR/VR?


  • How can I make the environment usable by the general public?

-> Open source? PCB? crowd-funding? App Store?


  • Can people collaborate or share their creations?

-> Ability to upload/download the patch or song to/from the web server?



The current solution: Beste



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