[Pat Metheny] has a robot armada backing him up when he performs on stage. They’re going on tour and he’s done an interview explaining his mechanical band. Like the auto-drummer, this setup uses multitudes of solenoids to play the percussion instruments, each getting commands from a computer. It’s pretty wicked to see him use his guitar as a marimba controller; it’s so responsive that he can tremolo and the solenoid follows in kind.
But there’s a lot more going on here. We love to see crazy facial hair from time-to-time, but this guy’s just got crazy hair! This easy listening isn’t exactly hair-band material but more like live-action Animusic. It’s also reminiscent of the automated orchestras at House on the Rock, an attraction you may remember reading about in American Gods. It’s fun to kid, but whether you like the music or not, he’s certainly talented when it comes to this genre.
[Segwaymonkey] picked up an arduino based drumkit circuit and needed a kit to place it on. He worked up a pretty cool design and had it laser cut out of acrylic. The cool part of the design is how he delt with the head motion of the drum. Each head has 4 “springs” that were also cut from the acrylic. The Arduino based drum circuit sits on a little pedestal in the middle, as though it were on display. We really like the design, but we have to wonder if a little noise dampening on the heads might be a good idea. He hasn’t released the plans, but says he might once he gets it perfect.
[Ben Heck] the uber modder has posted a new project. He has made a breath controlled kick pedal for all of the Guitar Hero style games. Though the tutorial focuses on Guitar Hero World Tour, he does explain how it could be done for Rock Band at the end. This is intended for someone in a wheelchair who couldn’t actually use the kick pedal and needed their hands free to play the rest of the drums. He took apart the kick pedal that came with it to get the piezoelectric switch out of it. Then, he made a little chamber and placed the switch on a diaphragm at one end. When you blow, the diaphragm moves and triggers the switch. Pretty simple really. There is a video available of [Ben] trying it out as well.
[Matt] found, like many people, his Guitar Hero: World Tour cymbals left much to be desired. They were only detecting hits intermittently and starting to crack and fall apart as well. While he was waiting for his warranty replacements to arrive, he just couldn’t help by try to make his own improved version. Using about $25 worth of parts, mainly consisting of plastic plates and some neoprene material, he managed to make some pretty fantastic replacements. A video of them working might be a nice addition, but the writeup was pretty detailed otherwise.
[HE Zao] sent us this sweet Wiimote Drum kit. You’ll nee a Wiimote, a Nunchuck, and a Balance Board to use with the the Wii Drum High software. You get a Hi-hat, snare, bass drum, crash cymbal, ride cymbal, mid tom, and low tom. You can even connect multiple sets, up to 4. Download the software from the site and get started.
We have news for those of you dismissing the new Wii Version of Rock Band. Sure, the lack of DLC is a huge factor, but if you’re looking to use the instruments with MIDI software, [Jordan Balagot] has found what may be the easiest way. Since the Wii instruments are connected via USB, they are easy to connect to a computer. [Balagot] used a program called junXion that is a data routing app for OS X. JunXion can take any USB human interface device and remap the buttons, making it easy to set up the drums as a MIDI input device in an intuitive way. Install junXion, plug in the drums, map the pads, and rock out.
[via Create Digital Music]