Rhythm box

A new generation of percussion instrument

Rhythmbox is hybrid digital / percussion instrument that allows the user play different sound kits, record sequences and modify them using different gestures. It has been designed to have haptic feedback inherited directly from the box properties and visual feedback through the use of reactive light.

The instrument itself can be played in two modes. One mode is pure percussion, were the player trigger sound samples as soon as each side of the instrument is tapped. The second mode allows the user to record loops and modify the sound characteristics depending on how the instrument is rotated and tilted.

Since we developed a prototype and our budget was not very high, we used recycled components and materials from old boards such as resistors, transistors, diodes, LEDs, cheap piezo sensors, wood and metal.

The piezo sensors were located on small holes made into the wooden box and covered with metallic plates with a thin layer of foam in the middle to absorb the knock. Piezo sensors are really sensitive and just with some slight movements some “knock” can be detected. The foam helped us to reduce that false knocks and at the same time give a nice soft touch to the instrument.

The box has three sides forming the shape of a prism with each side having two piezo-electric sensors. The player will always see two sides at the same time with four sensor divided in two groups of sounds.

We tried the instrument with certain amount of subjects and we discovered that the box was a bit too big to be played with. Anyhow, the mapping implemented was quite intuitive for the user and everybody enjoyed using it :)

  • 05/2010 - 06/2010
  • instrumentuniversity assignmentPure DataArduino
  • Context

    Advance interface design. CSIM Master UPF

  • My task Arduino Programming, Pure Data Patch
  • Developed with

    Guiller Malon Aguilar

    Daniel Cabezas Lopez

    Jaume Subirats Aleixandri

    Abel Gasul Pallas