Where Innovation Meets Music

Tage Rinehart has been a musician their whole life — and saw a need for accessibility in the world of electronic music. That’s why they came up with abSYNTHe: a virtual software instrument created to ease the many difficulties that exist in electronic music production.

abSYNTHe was born out of Rinehart’s senior project in the University of Utah’s Multi-Disciplinary Design program. After researching electronic music production in a classroom exercise, they got curious about the different tools needed to create music in that field.

“I noticed that when I tried to learn and make electronic music, there was a really high learning curve compared to other instruments,” Rinehart said. “I wanted to investigate why that was and use my skills as a digital product designer to help create better music software that feels like playing a real instrument, so it feels familiar to musicians.”

Rinehart has plenty of experience with music composition, having grown up singing, songwriting, and playing the piano, bass, and guitar — among other instruments. This gave them the familiarity needed to build a program that musicians could use and feel comfortable with.

Reinhart used insights from instruments to transform an interface full of knobs and entry forms into an expressive and interactive experience. “I focused on the digital synthesizer, comparing it to other instruments. My design uses insights from what it feels like to play an instrument to redesign that process and translate it to a digital language,” Rinehart said.

In an increasingly electronic world, abSYNTHe is working to give greater access to the sounds of everyone’s favorite musicians.

More articles like this in ‘Student Innovation @ the U!’

Find this article and a lot more in the 2023 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.

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About the Author:

Mary Allen Mary Allen is an undergraduate student from Salt Lake City studying graphic design. She has been working in marketing with Lassonde since she began her time at the University of Utah and is also involved at the MUSS Board and the Daily Utah Chronicle. Her passions lie in the arts, sports, and outdoors.

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