Automated Drum


A team of three PhD students constructed this ‘multi-mallet automatic drumming instrument (Madi)‘. Their Expressive Machines Musical Instruments site is dedicated to building instruments like this and they recently showed their work at the first annual Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. A ‘low-stakes X Prize’ for musical instruments. 25 applicants were chosen to show their unique musical instruments for $10K in prizes. We like the team’s Madi because it’s adapting a traditional instrument and then pushing it to the limit. It reminds us of the Crazy J mechatronic guitar from 2005. You can see a video of the Madi playing below.


[via Hacked Gadgets]

25 thoughts on “Automated Drum

  1. I’m sure it can, but perhaps those who programmed it for the video above have absolutely no musical talent, or possibly because they just wanted to show off what it _could_ do, good OR bad?

  2. Have it play something that a fifth-grader on redbull couldn’t play. This is a great opportunity to do away with digital drum machines. Here’s a litmus test: If it can play the 50 ways’ lick, we have a winner.

  3. Animusic is set in the far future, not the “soon” future…

    Be patient folks, some day it will happen. These are just the very first steps (that by nature always go wrong)

  4. eh, as a drummer i have to say: WTF!

    sounds terrible, plays nothing special (i like the comment with the 5th-grader ;)) and has absolutely nothing to do with “music”…..

    wow, i thought there were e-drums and synthies for crap like that…

  5. You seem to be unable to set the attack on this drum which doen’t help, but the sound is strongly influenced by the environment. Record all this in a studio or dampend room and it will sound a lot better.

  6. Sounds utterly mechanical: no humanity nor any musicality involved.

    If you want to hear some interesting drumming, look for “Top Secret Drum Corps Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2006” on TouTube (although, personally, I’d like to have the announcer’s mouth taped shut).

    Note near the end (this is a six minute clip but the entire thing is worth watching / listening to): precisely WHO is playing whose snare?
    When this guy can come up with something that even APPROACHES their work – even ONE of their drummer’s work, I might be interested. Otherwise – meh.

  7. its a good idea to know how to play an instrument before you HACK IT! try the guitar. not guitarhero,but actually hack a guitar. we have seen drum automation before. come on, lets see a NON DRUM HACK! :)

  8. “Noise is only ever an overwhelming, in some provisional [temporal, spatial, conceptual] context, of a particular subject’s ability to re-/cognize pattern.” -t. coffey

  9. This was created by a computer/engineering nerd, clearly that is the problem. There is no clear pattern, just randomness, not even the impression that a rudiment is being played on the drum. I was hoping for more since there are brushed AND sticks mounted over the drum. Overall a big let down.

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