Heavyocity creates cutting-edge software instruments for today’s modern composer and sound designer. Their signature sounds are utilized by a variety of acclaimed artists and composers across the Music, Film, TV and Video Game industries.
With a suite of award-winning products already under their belt, Heavyocity approached Perception to design the look and feel of GRAVITY, their most dynamic collection of cinema scoring tools to date.
The virtual instrument community had long championed a skeumorphic approach to design; the market was flooded with products that were designed to look like physical hardware. While Heavyocity’s past products had employed this approach to great effect, for GRAVITY Heavyocity was eager to shake things up with a look that was as radical and forward-thinking as the software itself.
Perception’s challenge was to craft an interface that would take Heavyocity’s visual identity in a bold new direction, while upholding the tradition of intuitive, user-friendly UI’s that the brand’s dedicated base of professionals have come to expect.
Perception became immersed within Heavyocity’s studio, getting a first-hand experience as to how a power-user audience would take advantage of GRAVITY’s robust features and functions. The Discovery process was very collaborative, with Heavyocity providing hands-on access to an early GRAVITY prototype as well as initial wireframes of intended features.
Perception’s artistic exploration began with an audit of inspiration and regions of interest, which was focused into specific suggestions for aesthetic approach. This allowed Heavyocity and Perception to become aligned in terms of tastes and expectations, based on which ideas were the most exciting, surprising and unique.
Perception’s early design explorations continued to explore mood while honing in on a layout that was both exciting and user-friendly. Part of the execution involved re-envisioning interface elements that had become hallmarks of Heavyocity’s brand, such as the innovative and powerful Punish knob.
Once an overall direction was established, Perception got to work designing 30+ screens, including key frames for every individual element and control. Throughout this process Perception worked closely with Heavyocity to ensure that the UI’s cutting-edge design was fully aligned with the needs of GRAVITY’s audience, as well as achievable from a technological perspective. From an aesthetic perspective it was important that every aspect of the UI felt cohesive with the cinematic sounds lurking “under the hood.”
From the very beginning Heavyocity wanted GRAVITY to feel like a living, breathing interface, one that would excite and inspire its users in their musical pursuits. Perception sought to push the boundaries of what was possible within GRAVITY’s technological framework, while carefully considering the needs of the GRAVITY power user. It was important to introduce moments of delight which would “wear in, never wear out” with repeat viewings.
In the month leading up to GRAVITY’s release, Heavyocity sought to drum up excitement with a “teaser” video that would feature GRAVITY’s heavy sounds and show elements of its interface—all without revealing much about the product itself. The Perception team was happy to accommodate. Heavyocity provided the musical score and copy, Perception did the rest.
GRAVITY was released in June 2015 and according to Heavyocity has been one of their most successful launches to date. The design and features have won widespread acclaim in the industry, from trade journals:
“GRAVITY delivers a stunning sound and visual aesthetic . . . they weren’t kidding about the interface, it looks very cool!” -Film and Game Composers [95% Interface Score]
“The interface is beautiful and well thought out. It is fresh yet extremely intuitive. I didn’t even look to see if there was a manual and I was able to use nearly every feature in the instrument in part because of the intuitive design of the interface.” -Sample Library Review
…to film composers:
“Holy interface Batman. GRAVITY is an unbelievable feat in sampling technology.” -John Debney (Iron Man 2, Texas Rising, The Passion of the Christ)
“GRAVITY is the perfect tool for any composer scoring to picture. The sounds are inspiring and categorized in a really smart way. The interface is deep but also quick and intuitive. GRAVITY has already become one of my go-to scoring tools.” -Steve Jablonsky (Transformers [Film Franchise], Battlefield 5: Armageddon [Game], Lone Survivor)
“Working with Perception filled me with a true sense of confidence that our vision would be completely nailed, and executed with great precision. In the end, they redefined the standard of quality for graphic interface design! An amazingly talented, creative group.” -Dave Fraser, Partner/Creative Director
“Working with Perception on GRAVITY was an exciting experience from day one. After a wonderfully helpful discovery phase, they quickly and efficiently formulated a visual identity to the instrument that complemented exactly what we were going for with the sound – then took it two steps further. Their design choices helped us to accentuate complex features and inject a visual tone unique to GRAVITY. Perception brings a dramatic yet practical approach to their designs and we really enjoyed working with them.” -George Valavanis, Senior Product Manager
Perception is thrilled to have collaborated with the Heavyocity team and to have contributed to GRAVITY’s success.
Perception's design is dually focused on both feature film technology visualization & next generation user experience for the world's most innovative companies. We function as strategic design advisors, visionary ideation consultants and architects of the future.