Sydney-based duo Electrocado (Bill Day + Ryan Whare) have been busy making machines to make music – and banging things. In the video above, their inventive robotic percussionist, triggered via MIDI, plays tunes and rhythms. The CP1 (Creative Project 1) uses servos to control drum sticks (chopsticks, in fact) pivoting on rods, which can then strike metal, plastic, and drum skin surfaces. Playing a G# Minor scale on a xylophone along with drums, the robot responds here to MIDI patterns sent to it by Ableton Live.

You can read loads of commentary on the process of making it in a PDF paper:

“Aesthetic and Practical Applications for Robotics in Electronic Music: Further Development of CP1 MIDI Triggered Robot [all for the Bachelor of Audio at SAE Sydney]

These two aren’t just about building flashy hardware, though. They also have a full-length album debut out, with diverse, stuttering, danceable music. I like “psychedelic glitch trance electro” as the label; various other keywords could easily fit. (The opening track even recalls Akufen; keep listening for a gamut of other goodness.) Intricately composed, sometimes tending into tech-house, the record is as finely-tuned as the robotic machine.

I could ramble on, but it’s pay-what-you-like on Bandcamp, so have a listen:

The Hass Effect | http://electrocado.bandcamp.com/

We’re also treated to the delightfully-named track “The Lugubrious Frog,” complete with some froggy drawing timelapse. Artists, too contribute to the project.

Yet more music, in the form of earlier EPs:

Thanks to Bill for sending this along; you’ll find his site worth a look, as well:
http://www.mrbillstunes.com/

Brilliant work, mates. We’ll be watching.

If you have any questions about their work, ask them here and perhaps we can do a follow-up interview.

  • Walesk

    French band Rosa Crux has been using a robotic midi drummer as well (BAM (batterie automate midi) since 1995, interesting as well!

    link here: http://www.youtube.com/user/RosaCruxTV#p/f/3/CRY8

  • 5meohd

    Bill is great.. thanks for sharing!!!

  • http://www.audiblechroma.com Tim

    I must say I really wasn't expecting to hear the music in the first video. I guess I assumed that everything would be done by the robot, as has been done before. This works much better using the robots for only some of the parts as it opens the sonic palette greatly.