This report explores the sound and interaction design aspects of a system for augmenting acoustic drums using electromagnetic actuation of a resonant membrane driven with a continuous audio signal. This system offers a novel application of acoustic synthesis methods to an existing instrument and it scales to offer extended capability when multiple instruments are used in a configurable network. The use of bidirectional OSC communication opens a wide range of possibilities for both performer and audience interaction that have not yet been explored. Integration with smart instruments, WiFi-enabled sensors distributed to performers, and audience-controlled mobile apps offers a large range of possible mappings from gesture to synthesis and processing parameters. Electromagnetic (EM) actuation and wireless connectivity enable a network of augmented drums to function in traditionally percussive roles, as well as in harmonic, melodic, and textural roles.
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