We had a useful session yesterday looking at different ways in which we could take data from the tabla and use it to trigger lighting.
I wrote a couple of Max patches to take the sound of the tabla and convert it in to lighting states. These were primarily based on simple sound volume analysis, but produced decent results. The use of an external microphone connected to an Arduino that in turn fed data to the Max patch worked well and it would be quite possible to identify which drum is being struck by using a mic connected to each one.
Another option we talked about was using conductive paint to “wire up” a tabla with touch pads. This might be an interesting thing to try since it would allow us to pick up much more of the subtlety of the performance and report back on the way in which the drum is touched – rather than just relying on the sound they made.
The paint – made by Bare Conductive – would also offer interesting aesthetic possibilities. The next thing to try is to mock up the tabla touch pads on cardboard to that we can get an idea of how well it works.