Roger Van Der Drift: The electro-mechanical drum machine


With constantly advancing technologies in the electronic music scene, electronic instruments have become plastic boxes filled with wire and shrouded in mystery. The electro-mechanical drum machine is an attempt to break down the barriers of modern technology, de-mystifying the plastic box.

The electro-mechanical drum machine is an analogue drum sequencer that simplifies the technology used within modern drum machines. Through the exploration of mechanical gears and mechanisms, my aim was to create a visual and interactive device that is easy to use and understand. The machine is controlled via a series of potentiometers, which adjusts the speed of trigger mechanisms above drumheads.

As this machine is mechanical and not digital, the timing and rhythm is entirely dependent on the user. This creates an interesting rhythm in itself and adds to the possibility and variety of sound.

I thoroughly enjoyed this studio and the journey that I was taken on through my experimentation and research. I believe the act of making and prototyping was crucial to the success and development of this project and I am very pleased with the outcome.


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