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Award-Winning Digital Musical Instruments

Colin Hearon's Tone Lab is Fully Accessible to Beginners

— May 29, 2018 — Art & Design
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.
Trend Themes
1. Digital Music Composition - The trend of simplified and intuitive digital musical instrument designs that enable beginners to compose music will disrupt traditional methods of music production.
2. Modular Instrument Design - The trend of modular instrument design will revolutionize the way musicians create and customize instruments to suit their needs.
3. Accessible Music Technology - The trend towards accessible music technology will encourage individuals with disabilities to become more engaged in music creation and production.
Industry Implications
1. Music Technology - There is an opportunity for digital instrument manufacturers to create innovative, intuitive and accessible products that cater to a wider demographic of music creators.
2. Education - Using digital musical instruments in music education could enhance the learning experience for students by making it more interactive and engaging.
3. Assistive Technology - The modular design of digital musical instruments could be utilized in the production of assistive technology for individuals with disabilities who want to create and produce music.
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