Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
56 Beat Starter
Collin Haney
John Miller
Kevin Kovathana
Ruhao Xia design_document3.pdf
design_document4.pdf
design_document5.pdf
design_document1.pdf
design_document2.pdf
final_paper1.pdf
proposal2.pdf
proposal1.pdf
Kevin Kovathana [kjk3], John Miller [johnm3], and Collin Haney [cdhaney2]

Beat Starter

Problem/Objective - The Hip Hop Xpress is a bus that will travel to different communities throughout the US to educate people on both music and technology. We want people, of all ages, to come together and become a part of the bus and their community. By adding an easy-to-understand, eye-catching, interactive device that anyone could pick up and use would drastically help reach this goal.

Solution Overview - We will design our own flat board, similar to a drum board, that would sit on top of a table. The board would have a wide variety of different sounds to select and combine in a loop to create personal beats. It would be portable in order to be set up outside the bus, so people can use our board without having to get on the bus. The board’s instruments would be organized into several, color-coded sections.

Solution Components
[Subsystem #1] - Audio Output: Our device will have AUX capabilities in order to be used in settings with unique sound systems.
[Subsystem #2] - Display: The device will have a simple display panel to indicate the current settings. This includes volume level and beats per minute (BPM) count. The OLED or LCD panel will display the content provided by the PCBA.
[Subsystem #3] - PCBA: Based on which button the user presses, our PCBA will detect the exact instrument and pitch and send the desired sound signal to the audio output. When the user turns the volume knob, the PCBA will adjust the level on the display and also on the speaker itself. When the user turns the BPM knob, it will change the display accordingly. The created beats that are running in a loop will be stored in the memory. There will also be a clear button that erases the previously created beats which will allow the user to start over.
[Subsystem #4] - Power: Our device will be powered by standard 120V DC power. A three prong outlet cord will be connected to our PCBA to provide power throughout the device.
[Subsystem #5] - User Input: Each instrument based section would contain several different buttons. Each button would contain push button switches which would be our sensors and our way to send user input data to the PCBA. The different buttons would correspond to different pitches of that instrument. It would include features such as power and clear buttons or BPM and volume knobs. This board could be operated by a single person but also supports multiple users.

Criterion for Success -
- When buttons are pressed, the corresponding sound is played through a speaker.
- It is so user friendly that a kid would be able to understand how it works without reading directions.
- The display presents the accurate values to the user and aids the creative process.
- Single or multiple users are able to press buttons to add a variety of instrument sounds to a four beat loop in real time. After creation, users will be able to listen to their finished music. The device should encourage collaboration, and more importantly, bring the community closer together by demonstrating their creativity in music and technology.

VoxBox Robo-Drummer

Craig Bost, Nicholas Dulin, Drake Proffitt

VoxBox Robo-Drummer

Featured Project

Our group proposes to create robot drummer which would respond to human voice "beatboxing" input, via conventional dynamic microphone, and translate the input into the corresponding drum hit performance. For example, if the human user issues a bass-kick voice sound, the robot will recognize it and strike the bass drum; and likewise for the hi-hat/snare and clap. Our design will minimally cover 3 different drum hit types (bass hit, snare hit, clap hit), and respond with minimal latency.

This would involve amplifying the analog signal (as dynamic mics drive fairly low gain signals), which would be sampled by a dsPIC33F DSP/MCU (or comparable chipset), and processed for trigger event recognition. This entails applying Short-Time Fourier Transform analysis to provide spectral content data to our event detection algorithm (i.e. recognizing the "control" signal from the human user). The MCU functionality of the dsPIC33F would be used for relaying the trigger commands to the actuator circuits controlling the robot.

The robot in question would be small; about the size of ventriloquist dummy. The "drum set" would be scaled accordingly (think pots and pans, like a child would play with). Actuators would likely be based on solenoids, as opposed to motors.

Beyond these minimal capabilities, we would add analog prefiltering of the input audio signal, and amplification of the drum hits, as bonus features if the development and implementation process goes better than expected.

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