Music

Modified headphones turn headbangers into music makers

Modified headphones turn headb...
Andrew Lee's Nod Bang system lets head nods dictate the rhythm
Andrew Lee's Nod Bang system lets head nods dictate the rhythm
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Breadboarding an Arduino and an analog accelerometer for the 60 day Nod Bang project
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Breadboarding an Arduino and an analog accelerometer for the 60 day Nod Bang project
Andrew Lee's Nod Bang system lets head nods dictate the rhythm
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Andrew Lee's Nod Bang system lets head nods dictate the rhythm
Testing the accelerometer with a headband for the 60 day Nod Bang project
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Testing the accelerometer with a headband for the 60 day Nod Bang project
Andrew Lee's first sketch, which would become the Nod Bang rhythm generator 60 days later
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Andrew Lee's first sketch, which would become the Nod Bang rhythm generator 60 days later
Breadboarding button control for the 60 day Nod Bang project
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Breadboarding button control for the 60 day Nod Bang project
The control box is home to 3D-printed, LED backlit arcade buttons that dial in MIDI sounds from a connected laptop
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The control box is home to 3D-printed, LED backlit arcade buttons that dial in MIDI sounds from a connected laptop
The Nod Bang system diagram
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The Nod Bang system diagram

Rather than bopping your head in time to the music coming through the headphones, what if your headbanging could actually control the beat? Engineer Andrew Lee has developed a system that does exactly that, triggering audio and setting tempo with a nod of the head.

Lee describes the Nod Bang as a "sort of musical performance toy." The project started as a simple sketch and over the following 60 days became a nod-detecting rhythm maker.

An accelerometer attached to a pair of headphones feeds movement data to an Arduino, and custom Max code translates each head nod into a metronome-type beat. The tempo of the output is dictated by the wearer, and four 3D-printed, backlit arcade buttons on the top of a control box cabled up to the modified cans and a laptop add in more MIDI sounds to the mix – such as a synth drone or a cymbal crash.

Nod Bang Demo

Its creator says that the system hasn't been designed to keep wearers entertained for more than a few minutes, after which the novelty will likely wear off and controlling music this way will become something of a chore. But, there are a number of headphone-wearing music lovers who simply can't keep their noggin from bopping along to the tunes, so maybe such a device would find appeal among committed beat nodders.

Add in some connected sandles and a couple of air drumsticks, like those from Maayan Migdal, and you'd have a beat machine that really cooked.

Source: Andrew Lee

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