The Drum Machine is a unique audio visual experience which provides up to six users a chance to jam in time together and create an unexpected live improvised electronic composition.
The machine features six consoles; four which use velocity sensitive drum pads and two using midi keyboards. These are mapped to various sound samples within Ableton live allowing the users to play out their own rhythms and keyboard parts. The consoles also have an array of knobs, levers and buttons mapped to various effects within Ableton live which further allow users to alter the dynamics of their creative input. All this is displayed on individual monitors centered on each console. This gives the user a visual cue as to what they are creating and manipulating.
Ableton live is used on a master control station to quantise the incoming rhythms and keyboard parts to enable the sounds to stay locked together in time. An additional beat is provided by a master controller to enable even the worst time keepers to still keep to a solid rhythm. The master controller also has many effect samples and effect devices to build up or break down the ever evolving sounds coming from the machines users. The machine also communicates with the users using a stylised computer voice.
The idea behind the Drum Machine is to promote the use of music technology in a simple form that allows many more people to ‘play’ and make music they would other wise never have to chance to. It is based around the concept of a futuristic drum circle, where people are encouraged to listen and react to one another’s beats to spur on the creativity of the music being produced.