For some reason and to some extent, drums are always distinguished from other instruments. Drummers are always in the back of the stage, sometimes barely visible. Drummers are unable to wrap the drumset around their neck and walk and fully interact with the crowd, at least until now. Some drummers achieved real fame and grabbed the attention of fans with their amazing skills and great musical taste, others have played a great live set at times. Some are trying to get noticed by releasing their own albums.
People are currently wondering if drummers will always have their role in music or will we create machines to even replace the artist. I am a mechanical engineer and I always had the thought of making a drum-playing robot that can be controlled by midi file that’s written on PC. Recently I have discovered that someone shared the same idea and accomplished it.
In this video, you can see a robot designed to play drums by feeding it a pc signal coming from a midi file (the same as you see follow a midi file on guitar pro ) and the robot reads the drums lines by software and plays them with acceptable synchronization that can surely be enhanced with some more investment and research in the project.
The advantage of this robot is that it can play really complex music that’s usually written by artists and recorded using drum machine (refer to article written by Patrick Saad about –>Programmed Drums<–) software or hardware. This is a real drum machine that uses real drums not sampling that provides better sound quality and more realism, still this “robot” misses what we call -the human factor-, the feelings of the artist.
For Human drum “machine” you would be expecting Nile’s drummer George Kollias but that is trivial… I want to mention this other drummer John Macaluso. Human drummers have achieved great technicality and amazing speeds. There are still some drum parts that cannot be played by a drummer especially when six arms are required.
Check this video and tell me what you think.