BeetBox is a simple instrument that allows users to play drum beats by touching actual beets. It is powered by a Raspberry Pi with a capacitive sensing board and an audio amplifier in a hand-made wooden enclosure.
BeetBox is primarily an exploration of perspective and expectations. I’m particularly interested in creating complex technical interactions in which the technology is invisible—both in the sense that the interaction is extremely simple and in the literal sense that no electronic components can be seen.
The enclosure was created from .5″x8″ poplar boards, which I cut to size and finished using various hand and power tools. I used a router for both the edge details and for grooves in which to conceal the wires, and a drill press to create the speaker grill and to bore holes for the beets with a hole saw. I then stained the wood and, after assembly with wood glue and a nail gun, sealed the enclosure with polyurethane.
Touch sensing is handled by an MPR121 Capacitive Touch Sensor from SparkFun, for which I ported existing Arduino code to Python. This board communicates with a Python script on a Raspberry Pi via I2C. The script watches for new touches and triggers drum samples using pygame. Audio from the Pi’s line out is run through a small amplifier I built using an LM386, which is based on a circuit straight from the data sheet. The amp is connected to a salvaged speaker mounted under the holes in the lid.
Source code for the BeetBox is viewable on GitHub.
Learn more at scott.j38.net/interactive/beetbox.
‘bip’ is a new app from the maker of Synthmate, details below:
bip is a fantastic creative tool for playing, recording and performing musical rhythmic patterns. Starting with the simple idea of a programmable generated beat, touch and hold gestures are used to select beats and patterns. Patterns of recorded beats can be mixed and matched along with a touch-strip controller for transforming beats. Choose from track templates for quickly creating tracks or spend the time importing and tweaking beats with your own samples.
- create a variety of rhythm’s while touch hold and slide finger across beats
- all beats can be programmed to play in time including complex sub-divisions
- a touch strip for changing parameters of any beat, loop or entire track
- record beats and parameters to create expressive musical patterns
- arrange patterns on the fly for each track
- use to compose, arrange AND perform live
- load track presets for quick music making
- over 200 samples included
- import samples using audio paste or iTunes file sharing
Bip is priced at $4.99
Mutable Instrumensts is testing if one of his current projects was able to generate gates for triggering a modular:
“… and got carried away a bit patching classic beatbox sounds from my limited set of modules.”
Sequencer: Custom gate generation code (running on an Arduino dev board), sync’ed to MIDI
AD Envelopes: Quadra
Kick: Quadra -> Dr Octature FM (with high Q)
Snare: A-118 Noise -> A-148 S&H (clocked by A-145 LFO) -> A-106-5 SEM Filter HPF -> A-132-1 VCA
HH: A-118 Noise -> Dixie FM -> A-132-1 VCA
Synth: A-110 VCO -> Dr Octature IN (with low Q)
All sources into A-138 mixer
Will definitely put this one up on my download list for the Ipad
Square Beats has a unique and very simple interface, but accomplishes so much.
It starts by presenting a set of squares to you that are timed from left to right.
You simply tap on one of these squares to activate its sound. Hit some more and you have your first loop, but that’s just one set. Pinch Out and you can create the next.
You not only can attach different instruments and sounds to every set you also can put them next or on top of each other to create a complex beat.
Sounds difficult? It’s really not.
Everything like setting the tempo, changing instruments, pitch, sustain or volume is easily done with just a few fingertips. Even the key of a set can be changed like that.
Within minutes Square Beats lets you sketch out ideas or create astonishing beats by just exploring the app playfully.
You can save your songs and export them to an audio file.
You want to share them with your friends? No problem. We build in an option to let you post your beats to SoundCloud.
Square Beat comes with 96 instruments. If that’s still not enough, you can create your own instruments within the app.
And last but not least: Square Beats looks freaking cool too. Try it.
Square Beats – Main Features:
• 96 different Instruments
• including 17 Drumkits
• Instrument Creator
• Beat Switcher
• Variable Number of Blocks per Set
• Set-based Volume Contoller
• Set-based Sustain Controller
• Set-based Pitch Controller
• Set-based Key Settings
• Exportoption to SoundCloud
• Export to Audio File
Here is a demo of 3 apps working together on the same iPad. MIDI is being sent from BeatMaker 2 to sunrizer synth for iPad, and MoDrum is Clock Syncing with BeatMaker, to make all of the apps play at the same time. This can be of use if you’re looking to experiment with a drum machine on top of another synth app, for example…
Blog post for this video: http://www.iosmusician.com/2012/09/new-ios-musician-youtube-video-beatmaker-2…
App Store links:
BeatMaker 2 (iOS universal): http://bit.ly/UCsiwW
Sunrizer synth for iPad: http://bit.ly/P1VAlZ
SunrizerXS synth for iPhone: http://bit.ly/S0n6iE
MoDrum (iOS universal): http://bit.ly/O5nECC
Virtual MIDI apps (what Sunrizer and BM2 used): http://www.iosmusician.com/2011/09/list-of-ios-apps-with-virtual-midi.html
Core MIDI Clock Sync apps (what MoDrum and BM2 used): http://www.iosmusician.com/2011/04/iphone-ipad-apps-that-support-core-midi.html
by, the iOS Musician blog:
Propellerhead today updated Figure, its iOS beatmaking app, adding the most requested features.
Here’s what’s new in Propellerhead Figure 1.1:
- Save, browse and load song files
- Set length of loop (1,2,4,8 bars)
- Export audio to iTunes File Sharing
- Better recording. Tap record and then draw on the pad to start your recording. Or just press Play.
- Performance and bug fixes
The update is free. Figure is $.99 in the App Store.
“Truly designed for mobile user on the go, Figure gives you drums, bass and lead synth, controlled by an incredibly easy to use touch interface that gets you sounding great literally in seconds. Slide your finger across the play pad and hear your bass line play. Tweak the Rhythm, Range and Scale Step wheels to get the result you’re after. Programming drumbeats is just as easy. Set the rhythm and play the drums with your fingers. You won’t want to stop. You won’t believe how amazing you and your phone can sound.”
Ninja Tune/Coldcut founder Matt Black catches Amon Tobin during his UK ISAM: Live tour for a coffee at Euston Station, to talk about Ninja Jamm – the forthcoming next-generation beatnological application for iOS.
More info and exclusive videos featuring Ninja Tune artists to come – subscribe to the Ninja Tune channel or visit http://www.ninjajamm.com
App launches Summer 2012
“Making a quick beat with two drums and a speaking toy. Get WerkBench for the iPad here: http://bit.ly/L6jhd9“
WerkBench is a new kind of beatbox that is part loop pedal, part drum machine, and 100% beat-making magic. Turn any sound into amazing music! WerkBench’s unique power comes from two live-sampling step sequencers that record sounds directly into 16 step patterns, allowing you to build fresh beats in seconds!
–”Fancy Controls” (pitch, lowpass filters, envelopes, and more!)
–Edit pitch and levels independently for each step!
–Funky lo-fi tape echo for spacey effects with a sweet real-time visualizer.
–Save and load loops.
–Export loops and recordings via Audio Copy, iTunes file sharing, and email.
–MIDI sync and MIDI trigger modes.
Finally we start to see more quality apps coming also for Android tablets – check out this new Groovebox. Create your own grooves and drum loops with RD3 HD – Groovebox!
Use your Android phone or tablet as a musical instrument and make your own electronic music tracks!
Recreate the sound of early electronic dance music with the RD3 HD — Groovebox that recalls two 303-style analog synthesizers, a drum machine plus distortion, phaser and delay audio effects!
Developed in Berlin, RD3 HD – Groovebox is a pioneering audio app that lets you program your own grooves. This multi-touch enabled app makes it simple to invent unique loops and manipulate them with resonant filters and effects on the go.
Appropriate both for experienced musicians and novices.
Use it for live performances in landscape mode on phones and 7-inch tablets or use the additional special rack view on 10-inch tablets in portrait mode.
RD3 HD is optimized for Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), 3.X (Honeycomb) and Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Loops you’ve created and exported with the Groovebox can also be automatically integrated into mikrosonic’s audio mixer app SPC – Music Sketchpad.
- Two virtual analog synthesizers
- 4 types of waveforms per synth
- Reminiscent of the legendary 303 synthesizer
- High-quality or regular filter modes
- Drum machine with 10 drum kits: 808, 909, 606, CR-78, Linn, KR55, RZ1, DMX, RX11, DPM-48
- Real-time step sequencer for the synths and the drum machine
- 3 effects: distortion, phaser and delay
- 4 bars with 16 steps per instrument
- 3 play modes: Solo, loop or random
- Special portrait mode for 10-inch tablets
- Multi-touch control
- Live session recording
- Audio loop export as WAV files
- Session save capability
- Cut/copy/paste pattern
- OpenSL support
- Android 2.3 or higher
- Screen resolution 800×480 (WVGA) or higher
- 800 MHz CPU or faster supporting ARMv7
More details at: www.mikrosonic.com/rd3hd
BeatMaker 2 is an elaborate studio with loads of effects and hundreds of samples. I ignore both of those facts completely as I go on a wild tear to put it through its paces. Included are tips on Hokusai and all kinds of sample chopping fun.
“Build your own virtual home-studio, create multiple instruments and connect them to a full-range of audio effects. Compose, record, arrange and transform your ideas into complete songs, ready to be shared with others. Import your own sounds or use the sound library provided: more than 170 high-quality instrument and drum presets from synthesizers to realistic orchestral sounds. You can even import songs from your iPod library! Connect your MIDI accessories for an external control of BeatMaker’s instruments, effects and mixer, ideal for home-studio productions and live performances. BeatMaker 2 is an universal application, with specifically designed interfaces for the iPad and iPhone platforms. Works on all iPhone, iPod and iPad models starting with third generation devices (iPhone3GS, iPod3G 32GB, iPad 1 & 2).”