A Survey on Musical Instruments

This survey is aimed at people that are at least one of these: composers, acoustic instrumentalists, digital instrumentalists and/or ixi software users. It is part of our research and will be published in conferences and here online in due time.

The survey is divided into 6 short sections: (and should not take more than 20-30 minutes to fill out)
- Personal details
- Musical knowledge
- Acoustic instruments
- Digital instruments
- Comparing acoustic and digital instruments
- ixi software (if you haven't used ixi software, just skip this section)

You don't need to answer all the sections. For example, an instrumentalist that has never worked with a computer doesn't need to answer the computer related questions (although we would be interested in your views). Or a digital instrumentalist that doesn't play a traditional instrument will not have to answer the acoustic instrument part. However, we would like to have as much details as possible.

Feel free to answer in any of the following languages:
- English
- Spanish
- French
- Italian
- Swedish
- Norwegian
- Danish
- Icelandic
- Basque

(If your first language is not listed, it's just that we're not very good at understanding it. Sorry)


Personal details

Name (optional)
Email (optional)
Academic institution (if any)
Project website (optional)
Where did you hear about this survey?
I would like to be notified of the results of this survey (Email above necessary)


Musical knowledge

How would you define yourself? (select as many as you want)
How long have you been making music?
Do you have a musical education? (if so what kind?)
How long have you used computers in your music?
How would you (or others) describe your music? (as in genre)


Acoustic Instruments

What instrument do you play and how long have you played it? (list several if appropriate).
How would you describe your relationship with the instrument?
Do you sometimes find that it lacks functionality? If so, which?
How much "unstable" or "non-deterministic" behaviour is there in your instrument? Do you feel that you always have full control over it? Can you describe this feature?
How much do you know about the history of your instrument? Do you think it could have been built differently? Are you aware of the ergonomical (or other) issues in the way it is designed?
Do you find that it would be of benefit if your body was different? If so, how?
Have you used a computer for making/playing music? If so, what did you like or dislike about that experience?


Digital Instruments

Which operating system do you use? (tick as many as needed)
What are the reasons you chose that system?
Do you have a programming experience? If so, what languages have you used and what is your language of choice? Which properties of programming languages do you value?
What machine do you use and which soundcard (if any)?
What music software do you use and why?

Have you tried or do you use any of the following audio programming environments? If so, how often do you use them?

- Pure Data Tried it Seldom Often All the time
- SuperCollider Tried it Seldom Often All the time
- ChucK Tried it Seldom Often All the time
- CSound Tried it Seldom Often All the time
- Max/MSP Tried it Seldom Often All the time
- Plogue Bidule Tried it Seldom Often All the time
- Aura Tried it Seldom Often All the time
- Open Sound World Tried it Seldom Often All the time
- AudioMulch Tried it Seldom Often All the time
- Reaktor Tried it Seldom Often All the time
What are the positive and negative aspects of the environments you have tried? If one of them is your main tool, why have you chosen it?
Do you use Open Sound Control (OSC)? If so, what do you use it for?
Do you use any graphics software/externals (such as Gem, Jitter, Fluxus, PDP, vvvv, Mirra)? What do you use it for? In what kind of social settings?


Comparing Acoustic and Digital Instruments

What are the biggest differences for you in playing acoustic and digital instruments? (if applicable)
Does computer software lack something that acoustic instruments have? If so, what?
Do acoustic instruments lack something that digital instruments have? If so, what?
Do you have a need for musical software that doesn't exist? What would your dream musical software be like?
What virtual or physical interfaces would you like to see in computer software?
Do you feel that the limitations of acoustic or digital instruments are a source of frustration or creative inspiration? Does it depend on the type of instrument? If so, how?


ixi Software

Questions for those that have used ixi software.

Note: We are only asking about our old applications that can be found under the "software" link on our website. Some people have already started using the new OSC applications, but they are not the focus of this survey.

Where did you hear about ixi?
When was that (approximately)?
In what context do you use ixi software?
(home) Studio
Of the following, which of the ixi applications have you used?
SpinDrum Connector
Lauki Virus
StockSynth MicSpace
GrainBox PolyMachine
Picker Shell
Slicer VideoBat
Can you describe the process in which you use ixi software? Do you use ixi exclusively or together with other software?
What are your joys and frustrations when using ixi software? What are the positive and negative aspects of the software?
Do you feel that there is a general design strategy in the design of ixi software? I.e. is it easy to learn a new ixi application when you have mastered one already?
Are there characteristics in the ixi software interface design that define elements in your music? If so, do you find this limiting or creatively engaging?
Are there elements in a specific ixi application that has inspired you? Do you get "emotionally attached" to some applications whilst not connecting to other applications?


Did we forget to ask a question? Have you got any other comments on the subjects we've been asking about?