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NIME 2017

I’m pleased to announce that my research paper “A Qualitative Analysis of Haptic Feedback in Music Focused Exercises,” will appear in the 2017 NIME conference proceedings. New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) is a highly respected, international conference dedicated to academic research applied in the development and investigation of creative applications of technologies and their role in artistic conceptualisations, expression, and performance. During the conference, researchers and musicians will gather to share their knowledge and recent work on new interface designs and evaluation techniques. I will be presenting at the conference on Wednesday, May 17th in the Papers 6: Musical HCI strand at 11:00 – 12:30.

See you there!

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PhD Thesis Available.

My PhD thesis is now available to read on the UCC CORA website:

Human-Computer Interaction Methodologies Applied in the Evaluation of Haptic Digital Musical Instruments.

Developments in Music Technology have seen major changes in the manner in which artists, performers, and creatives interact with digital technology; this is arguably due to the increasing variety of digital technologies that are readily available today. Digital Musical Instruments (DMIs) present musicians with performance challenges that are unique to Computer Music. One of the most significant deviations from conventional acoustic musical instruments is the level of physical feedback conveyed by the instrument back to the user. Currently, new interfaces for musical expression are not designed to be as physically communicative as acoustic instruments. DMIs are often void of physical feedback and therefore lack the ability to impart important performance information to the user. Moreover, there is currently no standardised way to measure the effects of this deficit. In a design context, best practice would expect that there should be a set of methods to effectively, repeatedly, and quantifiably evaluate the various elements of functionality, usability, and user experience involved in a DMI interaction. Earlier applications of haptics have tried to address device performance issues associated with the lack of feedback in digital device designs and it is argued that the level of haptic feedback presented to a user can significantly affect the user’s overall emotive feeling towards a musical device. In my research I explored a number of techniques in which physicality could be reintroduced to digital interactions with musical devices. I conducted psychophysiological studies that measured the effects of vibration, designed an evaluation framework that could be applied to musical instruments, and presented functional and longitudinal studies that applied the framework in the evaluation of haptics applied in Computer Music.

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Irish HCI 2016

Very pleased to have been able to contribute to the days proceedings at iHIC 2016 in Cork.

I was first up to present my research “Usability Testing of Video Game Controllers: A case study” and after that I discussed The Design of Tangible Digital Musical Instruments in the poster session that followed.




A very interesting day with friends new and old.

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EuroHaptics 2016

Many thanks to the organisers and attendees at EuroHaptics 2016. I had a great time at all the workshops and thoroughly enjoyed presenting to the delegates of the Musical haptics: use and relevance of haptic feedback in musical practice workshop. A few pictures from the day can be seen here and my presentation abstract can be seen below.

Quantifying The Effects of Haptic Feedback on DMI Functionality, Usability, and User Experience.
Interactions with acoustic musical instruments require musicians to be fully aware of how the instrument is reacting to their gestures in real-time. This is achieved by the musician’s awareness of instrument feedback. Arguably, the most important aspect of acoustic instrument feedback is delivered in the form of auditory responses and haptic feedback. In many virtual or digital instruments, this closed feedback loop is not present. Therefore, musicians are forced to rely on fewer of their senses to gauge the effect of their interaction upon the device they are using. In haptically enabled DMIs this is no longer an issue as feedback can be simulated via the inclusion of specific actuators and transducers in the device design process. With the separation of these elements, we are now able to explore the individual effects of each haptic element upon a user’s perception of functionality, usability, and the overall user’s experience. To achieve this, it has been observed that conventional HCI techniques can be applied in DMI analysis. However, these techniques are themselves restrictive in their application to creative endeavours. In this workshop, questions will be raised relating to the different analysis techniques that can be applied in a device analysis along with the possibility of quantifying the various aspects of devices that are used to create music with. It is hoped that through the discussion of device evaluation techniques applied in other areas of digital technology, validated evaluation practices for haptic DMI devices may be formulated and a formal measure of effects of haptic feedback in this area can be achieved.

Gareth Young
University College Cork, Ireland

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The tale of old ITT Schaub-Lorenz SL58 Super.

Here’s something interesting I’ve been fiddling with recently. A friend of mine asked me to refurbish his old tape deck, an old ITT Schaub-Lorenz SL58 Super. He wanted to record onto and then off again, capturing the compression, noise and warmth that only tape can bring to the table. I think that most of us pre-90’s oldies can remember playing games with such fun tape decks as kids. Be it radio time or story telling, we all recognised the limitless potential of a tape recorder, so why now are these fantastic devices gathering dust around at your grannies or at the back of a cupboard? I blame “the” digital myself.

After cleaning out the dust and spiders that had set up home inside. I dropped in a small filter circuit to replace the three-wire electret microphone capsule, allowing for a direct line in. This was just as well because the capsule snapped off shortly after starting (oops). I then rewired the output through a switched jack plug giving the option to use the inbuilt speaker or the line out. Both in/out routes had to be put through 3.5 mm sockets due to the limited space available inside the deck. I had a quick jam with it and was quite pleased with the hissing, popping and general squashing of whatever I hammered into it. Success!

I can’t wait to hear what Keith comes up with to put it to use!

Check out his website and band here:

Pictures of the job below.



Ditch that digital and reuse your analogue!


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The Cast of Cheers

The Cast of Cheers

The Cast of Cheers brightened up a rainy Sunday down in Dublin’s Forbidden Fruit festival this weekend. Good times and even better times had catching up with the Swords Massive!

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June 5, 2012 · 7:57 pm

IBook Available for Ipad

As promised, here’s the link for the iBook 2 publication.

Digital Arts & Humanities: Scholarly Reflections

by James O’Sullivan, Sara Goek, Rachel Murphy, Gareth Young, Sara Wenthworth, Mary Galvin, Luke Kirwan & Giorgio Guzzetta


Read, think, comment…

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June 1, 2012 · 9:47 pm