EletroAxé with Carlinhos Brown

Carlinhos Brown is a colossus in Brazilian music, known not only for his solo musical career but also for the founding of Timbalada and for reviving the use of the Timbau, one of the instruments I (try to!) play. As part of this year's carnival in Salvador, Kyle McDonald and Lucas Werthein built him a drum suit, with a series of drum triggers linked up to an Arduino and then via wireless to a PC to allow Carlinhos to trigger drum samples by tapping on the pads on the suits. It's a cool project, see the video below and the project page on Lucas's site for the full details.

The very first version of my wireless-controlled LED system was intended to be used on drums, so the EletroAxé project is based on a similar concept. In my case I built a prototype using a vibration sensor mounted on one of the Alfaias that we play in Juba do Leão, the Maracatu group I'm a member of. It worked fine, but then the folks from the Travelling Light Circus came along with their proposal, and the idea of mounting the strips on drums got shelved. However it would be pretty cool to link up something like that suit to the LED system. and as both are arduino-based, it wouldn't be particularly hard either. I have mad visions of this bunch playing at night, all lit up with radio-synchronised LED strips :-)

Categories : Tech, Drumming