yes, drums are tangible. We know. What this is, however, is a tangible interface that is a drum machine. The software is freely available for download, after registration. For hardware, all you need is a webcam, a computer, and a way to print out the pieces. D-Touch is cross platform which is very nice. Please note that the software will not run until you activate it by putting in your user account from their site. If you like this project, you might also get a kick out of the Go Sequencer.
Reader, [Lennon Luks] made a really slick MIDI sequencer/controller for his senior design project while studying at Western Carolina University. It has a grid of 64 LED buttons, 8 knobs, and a display with navigation buttons that allow him to sequence tracks with or without a computer. The controller is based off an ATmega644 and is programmed in C. [Lennon] clearly explains the inner workings of the project in detail on his website and has included a good number of pictures. [Lennon] made a nice video of the project which can be seen after the jump.
[Guy John] sent in this cool sequencer project. He’s using the game Go as the input. A web camera pics up the location of the pieces on the grid and plots them in his sequencing software. You can see that it is still very much in progress, but it is coming along nicely. He openly admits that it may never be completely practical. There is still so much to be improved to get it even comfortably usable, such as motion detection to remove his hand from the mix when re locating the Go pieces. This project is very similar to the Skittles interface that we posted back in July. It would be kind of interesting, though probably repetitive, to actually play a game of go and listen to the variations in the music while you play.
DSPmusic.org has just released the latest version of its homebrew PSP music sequencer PSPSeq 3.0. With PSPSeq you can create songs with up to 16 independent audio tracks, use WAV audio clips of your own and then modify them with a number of settings, or even use some of the built in synthesizers to generate sounds. There are strong looping and recording features as well. If you are into homebrew music apps on the PSP, then this will give you a strong offering of features. We had a chance to catch up with the author, [Ethan Bordeaux], and ask a few questions. You can check out the short interview after the break.
Using a webcam, some cardboard, and a bag of Skittles, [Kyle McDonald] created this tangible interface for a beat sequencer. The Skittles are dropped onto the rows which correspond to a drum channel and each Skittle represents an 1/8th note. For such cheap components, the system seems to recognize the sequences pretty quick. This is probably due to some clever programming with the processing back-end. He claims his inspiration was the BallBearing sequencer, which uses the ball bearings as contact switches to determine the sequence rather than having a webcam analyze the surface.
It would be really nice to see this project expanded into a full blown instrument. the webcam could allow for dynamic surfaces and he could certainly add more control to the system with some knobs and/or sliders. He claims these features, and the source, will soon arrive.
Flickr user [firegroove] recently had to take apart his Roland TR-909 drum machine in order to fix it, and he photographed the entire teardown, offering detailed pictures of the TR-909′s internal parts. The TR-909 is legendary as one of the first fully programmable drum machines that could store entire songs, and its legend is only boosted by its scarcity: only 10,000 were ever made. If you can’t afford or simply refuse to tear yours apart, look after the break for a few more photos from inside.