The Beatbox is a physical programmable drum machine. Consisting of 5 tappers and a central hub you can teach each tapper by tapping on its top. Once taught they will faithfully re-tap your rhythms until you tell them to stop, or teach them again.beatboxinstr1

Each tapper is connected to a central control box. This has a play/pause button, a mode switch and a tempo controller. There are 2 modes: fixed loop and free. Fixed loop (as demonstrated in the video below) locks all the tappers to one loop cycle, making it easy to create coherent rhythmic sequences, even if they are random. Free mode allows you to create far more complex, phasing sequences. It takes the length of the sequence in the first tapper programmed and uses that as the base for all subsequent rhythm lengths. In this way the Beatbox is more than just a tapping toy, it can be mastered as a flexible compositional tool.


The Beatbox was the result of the combination of a number of tapping projects and is a study into the creation of simple, immediate physical interfaces for activities which have no real natural analogs: namely, programming rhythms. It is also an exploration into the creation of digital music technologies  which do not rely on digital signal processing to create their sounds. With many developments seeking to use digital technology to recreate authentic acoustic instrumental sounds and experiences the Beatbox unlocks the sounds of real world objects themselves.

Beatbox has appeared in Axis and Make magazines.