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There's a few different levels to those forms of UI design.

On one end is the skeumorphic approach with interfaces that directly resemble audio hardware. At the other end is total flexibility only achieved using path markers / bands. Product designers often choose one of these extremes to maximize approachability or flexibility.




Problem with the skeumorphic design is that it's only approachable by people who are already familiar with the hardware, as dperfect already said. I share their frustration with such interfaces.

Also, non-skeumorphic doesn't have to maximize flexibility. It could just as well be designed for ease-of-use.




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