Digital hand drum pounds the beat with acoustic-like expression

5 pictures

The aFrame can be laid flat on a table or stand, placed on the floor like a cajon or strapped around the neck(Credit: ATV Corporation)

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Japan's electronic instrument maker ATV Corporation has revealed a digital percussion instrument called the aFrame. Yet another digital instrument that's promised to give players an acoustic instrument feel, the hand drum has a playable surface stretched over a handsome bamboo frame and is claimed able to respond to subtleties in a player's tapping, stroking or pressing like no other digital percussion instrument can.

The aFrame is based around something the company calls Adaptive Timbre Technology, which is reported to capture and output player nuances at the surface through the application of filter algorithms called Timbre EQ to dynamically generate a huge variety of classic or modern electronic tones and effects. The sensor-packed playing surface is said to have the feel of an acoustic percussion head, with natural bounce and friction properties.

The aFrame can be laid flat on a table or stand, placed on the floor like a cajon or strapped around the neck. As well as housing the playing surface, the diamond-shaped laminated bamboo frame is also home to the sound engine electronics, including digital signal processing technology and internal memory capable of storing up to 80 user tones.

The sonic palette is accessed via back-illuminated navigation/selection keys and a scroll wheel, and a two-line LCD information display shows current selections. The instrument is powered from a wall outlet, though the company does suggest making use of its USB port to plug in an external battery pack and also suggests plugging in a guitar-like interface to go cable free. The black box behind the playing surface also sports a headphone jack, volume knob and 0.25 in outputs.

The ATV Corporation, founded by music instrument veteran Ikutaro Kakehashi, is currently showing "forthcoming" availability, with pricing still to be announced.

Have a look at Masaki Yoshimi playing the aFrame in the video below.

View gallery - 5 images

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