By Andrew Liszewski
Not all of us are as naturally talented at drumming as Animal is, but thanks to modern technology, who needs natural talent any more? The FielDrum was created by Graham Grindlay while he was at MIT as part of the Magnetic Musical Training project, and one aspect of the project’s hypothesis was whether or not people could learn to play an instrument by feel, which led to this concept.
The FielDrum’s a regular old acoustic drum that’s been upgraded with a system of electromagnets, permanent magnets and various electronics to induce a push and pull force on a special pair of drumsticks, basically guiding a novice drummer to follow along with a beat. The prototype uses MIDI to control the attract and repel states of the drumsticks, but eventually the team would also like to add a position sensing system so the drummer-to-be could easily learn where on the drum they should be playing.