DrumPants: using feet and thighs as a MIDI/OSC controller

DrumPants development

DrumPants development

It may be far from the conventional sort of rhythm MIDI controller one thinks of – an electronic drum kit, perhaps, or the drum pads on a controller keyboard – but in fact it’s possibly one of the most natural ways of capturing human rhythm.

Consider the idle (or even deliberate) tapping and slapping we humans inflict on our legs, thighs, chests, or via our feet, and you can see our hands, feet and body are natural rhythm generators.

Now Tyler Freeman has created DrumPants, a wireless device which sits in a trouser pocket, picks up pressure and movement, and converts to MIDI or OSC for controlling other devices.

It consists of a control box and sensor strips, which can be attached to any piece of clothing or elsewhere – wherever you wish to create rhythm. Each strip contains three separate sensors, so in fact you have six different trigger points per pair.

The control box has a control knob which can be used to select between over 100 sounds and scales. This means it can be used as a standalone device, should you so wish, as well as a controller device.

DrumPants can currently be bought via Kickstarter. Visit the DrumPants website for much more info.

In the following video we see DrumPants being demonstrated as a controller for the Animoog iPad app.