Breathing Drums – Reactive Bodhran Experiment

On September 25, 2015

After a great weekend at Music Tech Fest Central, I began working on a project to bring more technology to my drumming.

I play a traditional Irish frame drum called a Bodhran. It is most often played as background accompaniment with traditional Irish music, but more players are beginning to experiment with other genres and pushing it forward as a solo performance instrument.

The focus for these upcoming projects and experiments is to see what I can achieve by adding visual and audio processing technology to the drum and giving it some new interesting characteristics.

This project involves using a reactive light app installed on an android phone. When it detects the hit on the drum, it will flash the phone’s LED and light up the inside. The audio is being passed through logic where I have worked primarily in space designer to create some interesting trigger sounds.

Future revisions will include a purpose built light triggering system using Arduino and possibly Adafruit pixel strips. This will give a better reaction time and light dispersion.

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