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Drums

A retrospective of the best weird and wonderful instruments of 2012

Should you find yourself thinking about supergroups, you'll likely center on the famous names that make up the bands and not the instruments they use. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, for example, rather than the double-necked Gibson EDS-1275, or Cream's Jack Bruce instead of his Gibson EB-3, or Brad Wilk of Audioslave/RATM and not the custom Gretsch drumkits he uses. Being as much fans of the tech behind the hits as the talented folks who create them, we've grouped together a super collection of favorite music-making gadgets from the past year.  Read More

Moritz Simon Geist has built a huge mechanical homage to Roland's iconic TR-808 drum machi...

If you're a fan of 1980s music, then there's a very good chance that you'll already be familiar with the electronic beats provided by what's widely regarded as the drum machine that started it all, Roland's TR-808. It set the mood for Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing, fired shots at David Byrne in the concert movie Stop Making Sense and was the inspiration for the naming of the band 808 State. In his own homage to the iconic device, electronic music tinkerer Moritz Simon Geist has mechanically reproduced 11 of its key sounds using real instruments played by robots within the supersized, wall-filling frame of the stunning MR-808.  Read More

Roland has unveiled a highly portable electronic drum set that can fold up small enough to...

Surely no working drummer would seriously entertain the use of drum pants or t-shirts to make the burden of transporting and setting up a kit a little easier, but even conventional acoustic skin bashers might give electronic drums a whirl. The e-drumkit takes up much less room in the back of the band's van, is always in tune and can sound just like the real thing, or just about anything else you might want the various pads to sound like. In the case of Roland's new TD-4KP V-Drums Portable, the whole setup can be collapsed down and carried under the arm.  Read More

Alec Smecher has created a text input system that translates combinations played on a digi...

As input methods like the Gauntlet, Kee4, ASETNIOP and the back-type prototype from AlphaUI effectively demonstrate, there are many novel ways to enter text into a computer system. I'll wager that few (if any) Gizmag readers would consider using a set of drums to type out messages, though. But that's precisely what Alec Smecher has done. He readily admits that it's not the most practical typing solution but it is helping him to hone his skills as a bucket banger.  Read More

MuseBox benefits from two pro-grade guitar/mic inputs at the front of the unit with phanto...

Peavey Electronics and Muse Research have partnered to develop the MuseBox, a rather nifty software-powered, digital sound module, vocal processor, guitar processor and effects processor all-in-one. The half-rack-sized unit features a mind-boggling number of presets, comes supplied with a software package valued at over US$900 and benefits from two pro-grade guitar/mic inputs at the front of the unit with phantom power, stereo, 24-bit, 48 kHz 0.25-inch rear-panel inputs and outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, full-size 5-pin DIN MIDI and four USB 2.0 ports.  Read More

Porter & Davies' BC2 - vibrations travel up the spine via bone conduction and are heard as...

The thunderous punch of a bass drum is the time-honored foundation on which all of rock 'n' roll is built. That thud that hits you in the chest and moves your whole body … it taps into a deep and primal place in our subconscious. But while the crowd is enjoying the power of the bass drum amplified through huge sub-woofers, the poor drummer himself is usually hearing a poxy, paper-thin, bassless pop from a tiny onstage foldback speaker. Trying desperately to feel the bass, they often turn the onstage monitors up to ear-splitting volumes, but you just can't get that kind of low end out of small speakers. Enter the BC2 (formerly known as the BumChum) from Britain's Porter and Davies - a simple two-part system that takes the bass drum signal and literally shakes the drummer's butt with it through a vibrating stool.  Read More

The Boingy Boingy is a spring-suspended drum kit, that allows drummers to give a more dyna...

You gotta feel sorry for drummers in rock bands. While the guitarists and singers get to run all over the stage, they’re just stuck in the back, sitting on their stool. Well, Canadian inventor Charlie Rose set out to change that. The result is Boingy Boingy – a drum set suspended in mid-air by car springs, that lurches around like a mechanical bull as it’s being played ... as can be seen in the video at the end of the article, it’s definitely entertaining.  Read More

The DUBE is a specially-constructed wooden box that serves as a percussive musical instrum...

If you’re getting weary of trying to wrap your head around things like smartphones that answer questions, self-driving cars or microscopic machines, perhaps this might be more to your liking ... a wooden box. Well OK, the DUBE isn’t just a wooden box. It’s actually a percussive musical instrument, that caught our eyes and ears last week at NAMM.  Read More

This Electronic Drum machine shirt is designed to let you bring a drum machine with you wh...

You never know when you'll be walking down the street and want to bust out a few sweet beats. This Electronic Drum machine lets you bring a drum machine with you wherever you go, and create and layer beats on the fly. The shirt has nine different drum kits built-in, including Rock drums, Techno Punk drums, Classic Jazz drums, and Scratchy drums. Drums can be played and looped by tapping the drum pads and controls on the front of the shirt, and loops can be recorded up to three minutes in length. You can mix-and-match drums from different kits in the same loops, and even play all seven at once if you're feeling really adventurous.  Read More

The TableDrum app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch transforms rhythmic tapping on just abou...

With a few notable exceptions, the fine art of tabletop tapping has been a purely non-digital experience for most people. Now, iDevice users can turn their rhythmic creations into real-time drum sounds, courtesy of the TableDrum app from Sweden's Dohi Entertainment. Rather than have virtual drummers tap out the beat on touchscreen icons, this app uses the device's microphone to pick out individual sounds made by thrumping on different surfaces, and allows the user to assign them to the various parts of a drum kit.  Read More

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