With his stackable digital musical instrument design, Colin Hearon simplifies the act of composing. The Tonal Lab was awarded first place at the 2018 Design Exhibition at Ohio State University.
According to Design Milk, Colin Hearon "turns the process of [musical composition] into an intuitive physical act." His Tonal Lab consists of specially programmed modules that can be stacked to produce songs. Each block contains information in the form of sounds and instructions. Due to the simplified and intuitive methods of the digital musical instrument, the Tonal Lab offers an accessible way for beginners to be introduced to layering effects used in the making of a track. From high pass filters and square wave oscillators to arpeggiators and reveres, the digital musical instrument has its limitations, hence it is not ideal for advanced musicians.