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Make the world your drum kit with these tiny MIDI-controlled machines

Make the world your drum kit with these tiny MIDI-controlled machines


Everything is a percussion instrument if you hit it

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Turning household objects into musical instruments isn’t exactly a novel idea — at one point or another, most of us have tried making an impromptu drum kit out of pots and pans and glasses of water. But a new set of gadgets named Dadamachines aims to make the creation of this sort of tinkling, tapping music as straightforward as possible.

Dadamachines are essentially mechanical beaters controlled by MIDI. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes; from little jackhammers as long as your thumb, to larger arms capable of wielding drumsticks and mallets. A control panel named the Automat acts as a central hub, with MIDI outputs that connects the beaters and hammers to hardware or software of your choice.

All this means that you can use Dadamachines to can wire up well, pretty much anything you like, into a tiny percussive orchestra, controlling it either through MIDI keyboards and drum machines, or your mobile or computer. Once wired up, the Dadamachines can be in real time or run through preset songs — perfect for art projects or just inventive musicians. And their creator, Johannes Lohbihler, says they’re “hackable in almost every dimension,” including Arduino compatibility.

It looks like a neat project with excellent design, and who doesn’t like the idea of a more musical world? Dadamachines are currently raising funds on Kickstarter and have already passed their €20,000 goal. Kits with three beaters start at €300 and aim to ship September this year.