Brad Giorio

Robo Drummer / Design

The proposed design concept will require that I do analysis by device evolution, repeated, and/ or synthesis. Specifications of the project shows which design specifications are requirements, preferences or goals.

The mount for an actuator will be designed by device evolution, and will meet the measurements of the specific drum being used. In this case it will just be the snare drum.?


  • The ROBO DRUMMER must be able to accept MIDI signals coming out of any source.
  • The ROBO DRUMMER must be MIDI compatible and meet MIDI standards
  • The ROBO DRUMMER must be able to be mounted and used on any size drum set
  • The unit must be portable by using standard 19-inch rack mount.
  • Reaction between the solenoid and the decoding of the MIDI signal must not exceed 2.5 milliseconds.
  • The solenoid should have a cycle of .1 seconds (100 milliseconds) or better.
  • The ROBO DRUMMER should be equipped with safety circuitry such as fuses and be able to block reverse current flow from the solenoid.
  • The solenoid should be able to hit the drum head producing a 10 to 100 decibel range?
  • Preferences

  • The ROBO DRUMMER should be made modular for easy repair and expansion.
  • The device may be used by others in the music industry to reduce cost and improve production.?
  • Goals

  • This device may be manufactured for possible sale to the public
  • Reviewed scope, content and approach
  • MIDI Format

    MIDI is a music industry standard communications protocol that lets MIDI instruments and sequencers talk to each other to play and record music. MIDI does not have any actual music or sounds. The MIDI instructions have event codes that are sent to devices that will accept the MIDI data. The data that is accepted are for example: Channel number, Note on, Note off, Velocity etc... These events do specific tasks. Channel number assigns what MIDI channel you would be using. Note on would tell the device what note you are playing.

    When you play a melody line from a keyboard into a computer or to a MIDI sequencer the MIDI signal reduces what you have played down to a series of 1's and 0's. It is not digital signal like an mp3. It simply is just a series of events that control external gear to play the sound one wants to hear.

    Even though sequencers can send MIDI data you do not need to have one, If you press the middle C on a keyboard, three pieces of data will automatically be transmitted out from the keyboard: a Note-On command, the Note Number (60, in this case), and the Note Velocity. These will be the main pieces of information I will be decoding for my project

    When you have recorded to a sequencer, it sends the MIDI data to the receiving synthesizer. The synthesizer decodes the information and creates the sound. The sequencer is playing the synthesizer?

    The nice feature about MIDI is if your performance was not played very well you do not have to play it over. MIDI has a feature that will allow you to go back into your performance or recording and change it. This is called the event list window. So if you want to change a note from C to C# you just need to change it in the event list window. It is better than playing the piece twenty times to get it right. This is also how the Robo Drummer works.

    Understanding MIDI channels, Tracks and Patches can get somewhat confusing. There are sixteen MIDI channels, MIDI channels allows you to record up to sixteen different performances or different parts for a song that is being composed: synthesizer on channel 1, bass on 2 drums on 10 and so on. The track records your MIDI performance. The MIDI signal is recorded as a digital signal and can be altered later if needed. The patches are the sounds you are going to be using for example: if we are using drums on MIDI channel 10, what drums tones will be used? Will they be a jazz kit or a rock kit? This is the reason that I created this project. I could not find any drum patches that sounded like a real jazz kit or rock kit.