“The Drum-machine that wanted to be a real boy”

Very proud to present my first-final project. This is a product of an exciting first semester at ITP (Interactive Telecommunication Program), a graduate program at NYU’s Tisch school of art. As someone with no experience or background in design and programing, I had to take the basic classes of Physical-Computing and Intro to Computational Media (ICM, Javascript).

The Idea came to me after hearing the CEO of “Little Bits” ,Ayah Bdeir. I got excited by making something that’s considered too complicated to operate for someone who does not have a certain skill or experience. I wanted to turn the drum-machine or sequencer, into something physical and playful, rather then the unapproachable professional products.

I started this with a different vision of the machine, and made a lot of iterations along the way. The only thing that was clear to me was that I wanted it to be a very physical toy. I went from using Lego bricks with embedded resistors, to computer vision and then back to simple digital inputs that are being controlled through a magnet panel.

The interface and the functionality were designed to be very intuitive and simple. I wanted to deliver a strong sensation of success once the user hears what he created. It’s surprisingly easy to create a beat and play around with it. The layout is very minimal – a tempo knob, a style dial, no writing, no buttons, no screen. Only a wooden board and pieces.

ITP Winter Show – Show Projects

At the show, as people were playing, I was happy to see that there is hardly any explaining to do. People approached, put on the headphones and played. Kids, looking funny with the oversized headphones and smiling to their parents with awe. People were telling me how they have no skill or knowledge in music – these individuals were most excited with the loops they created.