C3N – Creating music in infinity

c3n_1Create music in infinity

Most of today’s digital music interfaces still look like copies of music tools in the physical World. C3N play is a new app that starts from another perspective. Music is represented by orbiting circls in an endless space. Inspiration comes from both the gravitational properties of planets and stars – and from the exploration of the inner space, influenced by the teachings of Zen.

The creators of the new Swedish music app c3n play began with questions. What design support the inexplicable essence of music? If we unlearn everything about current digital music tools, what would be the user experience design? How can we focus more on content?

C3N play is a live performance loop player with a user experience carefully designed for a free workflow. The app allows users to arrange performances from the exploration and improvisation of hundreds of loops created by professional artists. The user experience design is based on surface interaction and zoomable graphical user interfaces. The Zen inspired design philosophy has been crucial to the project. Elegance and simplicity. Effortless effectiveness. Understated excellence. Beautiful imperfection.

We focus on the content. All the content is displayed on an infinitely large surface navigated with pan and zoom gestures. With everything on top, you can create music along with exploring the content. Collaborating artists say: “It feels like an instrument.” “You explain the unexplainable.”

User interface elements are designed with a minimalist aesthetics. Abstract symbols consistent with the behaviour and appearance of the app are used for interaction.

We believe that freedom is a feature. A user interface without limitations. A few cautiously designed features that can be combined freely makes the app easy to learn yet it provides room for virtuosity.

The c3n play is our free debut app. It introduces the experience design which will be the basis for collaborative multimedia performances premium apps. Now, users can get more fun from c3n play with in-app purchase of loop content and at the same time help us raise funds to bring those premium apps into the world.

The c3n play app is developed by two musicians, user experience designers, and programmers; Rikard Lindell and Fredrik Uppsäll initially based on research from Mälardalen University in Sweden. Electronica artist Håkan Lidbo has been participating in the project from the start and has also contributed with loops, together with David Laake, and Emil Hedin.

Here is a paper about the project.

Here is a film that explains what c3n play feels like in action

Here is a tutorial film

More facts, research documents and interviews with the people behind the project:

App Store link here.

The c3n play music performance app provides these essential features:

Play and stop loops
Manipulate volume, high pass filter frequency, low pass filter frequency, and resonance
Create performances from collections of playing loops
Arrange scenes of loops in a performance
Play and stop scenes
Add loops to a playing scene
Remove a loop from a performance
Clone and delete a performance
InAppPurchase of loop packs

C3N play contains four free loop packs. Each loop pack contains twenty loops or more. Over 280 loops were composed by Håkan Lidbo, David Laake, and Emil Hedin. Loop packs can be added via inAppPurchase.
C3N play is free during the introduction up to Christmas 2013.