The Drum Machine is a unique audio visual experience which provides up to six users a chance to jam in time together to create an unexpected live improvised electronic composition. This video captures the unique audio visual experience.
The Drum Machine is always fun to setup and we get to play it ourselves and test it along the way. Here’s a quick snippet of it just before it opened at Glastonbury 2011. We love these acid house vibes.
The Drum Machine is a six-station hexagonal music controller. 4 stations contain two drum pads with two different sounds and a choice of two different sound sets, giving an overall choice of four sounds per station. The other two stations contain two different keyboard synthesizers with different sounds, one is an arpeggiator and the other is a freestyle keyboard. The machine quantizes everything that is played (puts it in time to 1/16ths) when rec loop is chosen, or it can be played completely freestyle also.
There are then a choice of different knobs and levers on each station that control different effects to each sound, changing the overall sound of the music played back constantly. The user can then clear their recordings or the machine itself clears each station after a certain length of time, meaning that the music is constantly changing and evolving. The human controllers in the booth add to the overall sound by dropping in and out different basslines and kick drum loops as rewards and also the “voice” of the machine, which encourages the users and further enhances the overall effect, whilst also adding a little offbeat humour as well. The booth operators also control the myriad of different visuals that combine effected images of the users, our own unique style of visuals, plus running messages which both encourage and amuse the users and tie in the music, visuals and voice of the machine to cap off the overall user experience.
Anyone can play the machine, from those with absolutely no musical knowledge at all through to keyboard or drumming geniuses and get just as much from it.
The Drum Machine was first created in 2009 and debuted at Glastonbury’s Shangri La fields to great acclaim. Here’s a little promo film from the festival. There’s footage from our tent in the middle section. Plus you get to check out all the extraordinary other tents and acts on throughout that weekend. It was incredible!
Glastonbury 2011 was the biggest and best The Drum Machine has ever been. The most significant upgrade being the inclusion of individual monitors on each console giving a visual representation of what you are playing and twiddling. Plus high spec audio speakers were in place to create the best interactive musical experience Glastonbury has to offer.
Check out this short video created using footage from Glastonbury. A full length Drum Machine promo is also in production. Watch this space!