Advancing the art of electronic percussion




Tindale, Adam

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The goal of this project is to create a new instrument: the E-Drumset. This new interface addresses the lack of expressivity in current electronic percussion devices. The project combines Electrical Engineering for implementing hardware and digital signal processing, Computer Science for implementing musical and mapping software, and Music to devise new playing techniques and ways to combine them into a pedagogy and language of transmission. Like an acoustic drumset, the E-Drumset consists of different components that can be arranged together as a whole. An acoustic drumset can be thought of as a collection of pedals, drums and cymbals. The E-Drumset consists of the E-Pedal, E-Drum and E-Cymbal. The technology utilized in the E-Drumset includes sensor technologies with newly developed technologies such as acoustically excited physical models and timbre-recognition based instruments. These new technologies are discussed and applied to situations beyond the E-Drumset. Just building a new controller is not enough. It needs to be thoroughly tested in musical situations and to take into account feedback from musicians (both the player and other members of the ensemble) during the evaluation of the instrument. Clear and attainable technical guidelines have not been devised for the E-Drumset. In the case of the radiodrum, a spatial controller, improvements can be summarized to be better resolution in space and time. In the case of the E-Drumset the goal is to offer a flexible interface to percussionists where electronic drums are often the bottleneck in bandwidth. There is no clear answer to questions such as how low the latency needs to be to satisfy a drummer; an issue that will be explored through the project. The goals of the project are to provide the percussionist with an interface that they may sit down and use existing skills. Utilizing the great variety of gesture available to the expert, the E-Drumset allows the percussionist to explore all manners of controllers between acoustic instruments and electronic. To provide a smoother transition to the E-Drumset, notation and exercises for E-Drumset specific gestures and techniques was devised. The E-Drumset is a new instrument. Most new interfaces are derived to help lesser players achieve virtuosic ends, while other projects make a controller that is massively configurable where a more static instrument is appropriate. This project provides insight into the theory and practice of new musical interfaces while delivering novel forms of synthesis and gesture recognition appropriate for the E-Drumset.



Electronic Percussion