Darbuka Band

This robotic band has just the right amount of drums. [Liat] and her colleagues fit a group of Darbuka drums with a pair of servo-driven mallets. We’re quite surprised that the servo motors achieve such a successful strike and rebound without dampening the vibrations of the drum head. This is more often accomplished with solenoids because of their quick response and relative strength.

You can listen to a performance of this work-in-progress in the video after the break or make plans to see it live. The installment was built for the Bat-Yam international biennale of landscape urbanism. It will be attached to, and powered by alternative energy producers like solar cells and wind turbines.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqecHPnvb6c]

13 thoughts on “Darbuka Band

  1. [svofski] I agree completely. They are also not meant to sit flat on the floor like that, that greatly affects the timbre of the drum making it sound flat. The two together and I wonder why they didn’t just use a more modern drum, especially since they sound like snares with the snare turned off!

    Other than that I appreciate the concept!

  2. @chris,

    You’re absolutely right. The robotic synchronization ruins the richness of the sound.

    Perhaps “ruins” is too strong of a word. But I don’t care for the sound they produce, and would much prefer the organic sound of human drummers. Nothing they couldn’t fix in the inputs to this, of course, but until then it’s like listening to any other mechanical device, instead of listening to music.

  3. These are only the very first runs of the system.
    Actually, it produces quite an impressive deep bass sound – which is not captured by our mic.. Also, in the planned installation, the drums will be hanged three meters above the ground.
    Future videos will follow :)

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