Bleep Drum Makes Bleep Better!

Dr. Bleep, Bleep Labs, Bleep Drum, Rad-fi, arduino drum machine

Remember the Dam [Funk] Drum from Bleep Labs? Probably not, since it was so limited and sold out immediately. Well you’re in luck, my little sickies, because now Dr. Bleep has a new little bleeping machine to cure the common tone lust: The Bleep Drum.

I’ll take two and call you in the morning, Doc.

Be sure to read the prescription from Bleep Labs:

The Bleep Drum is an Arduino based lo-fi rad-fi drum machine designed by Dr. Bleep.

– Four sounds, two with pitch control
– Four selectable sequences
– Record patterns just by playing them
– Tap tempo
– Reverse mode
– Hyper Noise 30XX mode
– Stereo 1/8″ output

Is it available as a fully built device?
It will be starting early April. You can order it now and we’ll ship it as soon as it’s ready.
The kit currently ships in 1-3 days.

Can I add my own sounds?
Yes but you have to mess with the code a bit. We’ll be releasing a tool to convert .wav into text that can be copied into the Bleep Drum code.

Where is MIDI it should have MIDI and CV and GPS.
It can take trigger pulses for the pads and tempo. MIDI is just a hack away. See the hacking guide for more on the expansion port on the left side.

How is this different than the Dam Drum 2.0?
The Dam Drum 2.0 was a limited edition device for Dam Funk that is all sold out. The Bleep Drum is the same hardware but has different sounds as well as HYPERNOISE 30XX mode.

Dr. Bleep, Bleep Labs, Bleep Drum, Rad-fi, arduino drum machine

Dr. Bleep, Bleep Labs, Bleep Drum, Rad-fi, arduino drum machine

MR-808 Reproduces 808 Sounds With Robots

Often, digital emulations of analog instruments are just horrid. It’s far more interesting when someone attempts to reproduce sounds of digital origin with analog instruments. This is exactly what Moritz Simon Geist pulls off with the MR-808, the first drum robot that recreates the classic sounds of the 808 drum machine in the physical realm.

Electronic music is usually repetitive by nature. Our brains get bored very quickly of hearing the same exact sounds over and over, and tend to tune them out. To create something interesting, composers are thus compelled to introduce variation and randomness, so called “human” qualities, into their music.

By turning what was once just a computer generated sound into a mechanical process, Geist has managed to inject a bit of unpredictability into what has by now become a recognizable artifact of eighties music.  And he does it with style, building it all into a large scale model of the well-known little drum box. The MR-808 uses an Arduino Microcontroller and MIDI to trigger motors and solenoids which hit drums and percussion instruments. MAX/MSP was employed to deal with latency and a lighting control system.

MR-808 – mechanic drum robot Filmography: David Campesino on Vimeo.

Read part of Geist’s Sonic Robots manifesto “Robot Vision”

What would Asimov say? The vision is to have a decent electronic pop-band where no sound is generated inside a computer, but where robots play the structures humans are not able to. We want the haptics, the error and the visual behavior of machines playing the beats and notes! We want a crowded and dirty stage with cables, machinery and lights all over, pulsating like a single heart. Drums are the base of music, with the “MR-808″ we created an awesome drum machine to start with.

I think the key phrase here is “robots play the structures humans are not able to,” for what would be the point other than to relieve humans of the job of keeping the beat? It’s interesting and a little bit scary to think of what the next steps for computers and robotics will be once artificial intelligence is fully realized. There are already computer programs that can analyze music and write new pieces based on learned qualities and patterns. What happens when a computer is so powerful it can analyze all music in existence and spit out something no human would be capable of producing? And what happens if it’s actually good?

Learn more about Sonic Robots at http://sonicrobots.com/mr808-eng/