Design and evaluation of a digitally active drum

Peter Williams*, Daniel Overholt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the ever growing variety and popularity of commercially available electronic percussion (EP) instruments, there are still a significant number of active musicians who prefer to use acoustic drums. Digitally active drum (DAD) is an enhanced snare drum that provides sonic capabilities associated with digital musical instruments in the form of a traditional acoustic drum allowing full use of acoustic drumming gesture vocabulary. By using an in-built loud speaker and tactile sound transducers system, a Bela Cape and Beagle Bone Black, near field photoelectric sensors and a synthesis and effects patch built in Pure Data (PD), a prototype of a hybrid acoustic - electronic instrument has been made. This prototype has been evaluated by five expert drummers and two co-performers in both group and solo settings in order to determine its effectiveness and potential role in professional music making.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonal and Ubiquitous Computing
Pages (from-to)783-795
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Active acoustics
  • Augmented drums
  • Digital musical instruments
  • Electronic percussion
  • Hybrid instruments
  • Music technology
  • Musical instrument evaluation
  • New interfaces for musical expression
  • Sound & music computing


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