Randomness can sometimes produce interesting results. Kind of like the "word salad" styling's of William Burroughs or David Bowie, I presented the attendees of this week's interactive lunch with 4 diagrams and asked them to follow the directions on the page.
They didn't know that what they were filling out were patterns and sounds for the TR-808 drum machine, TR-909 drum machine, TB-303 bass, and various effect pedals. All of which can be manipulated/duplicated/fuzzed out/etc. on the web at Hobnox.
Here is what I got back.
TR-808 drum machine - Kick and Snare.
TR-909 drum machine - Kick, Snare, and High Hat.
TB-303 Bass - the numbers represent the notes on the scale
Various knob settings for the effect pedals
The thinking here is that sometimes when we have a blank slate in front of us, it's ok to take our creative tools and do something random. Then use that as the launch pad to a more thought out approach.
Something else interesting is how subtle details can really effect the overall feel of things. For example, take a listen to the 2 versions of the track below. Neither will be winning a Grammy anytime soon but notice how a couple of effect pedals (distortion, flanger, etc.) can really help create a more cohesive feel. I guess next time a designer asks me to move some text over 2 pixels, I will try to understand.
Interactive Song (without effects)
Interactive Song (with effects)