Ubiquitous Drums

Look at the riders of any city bus. Many of them are plugged into their music players, tapping away to the beat. I propose to augment our natural love of rhythm into a ubiquitous wearable drum system. The target user of this system isn’t only the typical rhythm loving bus rider, but also an amateur drummer. Drum kits are heavy and unwieldy, making them difficult to transport to a jam session. The proposed system can also act as a stand-in for a full drum-kit for quick, impromptu jamming.

I took a pair of jeans and imbued them with two force-sensitive resistors, one on each knee. The left pocket houses a sparkfun box containing an arduino and a breadboard. Wires run through the pant legs to connect the pads to the box. Wiring the pants was surprisingly easy, since as I discovered, electric tape easily adheres to denim.

The two FSRs are hooked into pull-down switches which connect to analog ports of the Arduino. Every time a pad is hit, this Arduino sketch sends the pad ID and the force of the impact through the serial port. A python program running on my machine listens on the serial port and synthesizes sounds corresponding to the data using pyserial and pygame respectively.

This first prototype of Drum Pants is intentionally crude. Aside from increasing this system’s production value, there are a number of limitations that should be addressed. The current prototype requires a computer to synthesize sounds, which greatly hinders portability. By retrofitting the Arduino with a wifi shield, the system could communicate with any wifi-capable synthesizer, such as an Android phone.

Another issue with this system is that it’s built entirely into a pair of pants. This makes putting drum pads into other items of clothing impossible. To address this problem, the pads could wirelessly communicate to the Arduino device. In this case, the pads would be self-contained transmitters that could be placed anywhere. This opens up a wide variety of applications, such as placing the pad onto a pair of shoes to simulate a kick or hi-hat pedal.

Note: this is a mirror of a blog post on my site.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Ubiquitous Drums”

  1. I have a tube of conductive thread if you are interested contact me

  2. […] Turn your jeans into a drum kit Turn your jeans into a drum kit…..this blog tells you how: https://mtifall09.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/ubiquitous-drums/ […]

  3. Like the Website, nicely designed for SEO purposes. Remember, if you can, to spread out your Keywords….

  4. […] sensor to detect movement and a pair of computer speakers to play the greeting. I followed Boris’ project from last year to connect the Arduino with the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: