Subscribe to Make Magazine Today!

For the ITP classes Tech Crafts and Materials and Building Strategies, Scott Garner created the BeetBox, a tuber-based electronic drum machine. The instrument uses six beets connected to capacitive sensors to play samples on a Raspberry Pi. Here are the full details on the internals:

Touch sensing is handled by an MPR121 Capacitive Touch Sensor from SparkFun, for which I ported existing Arduino code to Python. This board communicates with a Python script on a Raspberry Pi via I2C. The script watches for new touches and triggers drum samples using pygame. Audio from the Pi’s line out is run through a small amplifier I built using an LM386, which is based on a circuit from Eric Rosenthal‘s Basic Analog Circuits class. The amp is connected to a salvaged speaker mounted under the holes in the lid.

Scott also built the enclosure himself:

The enclosure was created from .5″x8″ poplar boards, which I cut to size and finished using various hand and power tools. I used a router for both the edge details and for grooves in which to conceal the wires, and a drill press to create the speaker grill and to bore holes for the beets with a hole saw. I then stained the wood and, after assembly with wood glue and a nail gun, sealed the enclosure with polyurethane.

If you want to see more interesting work from Interactive Telecommunications Program and you’re near New York City, ITP opens its doors to the public for the Winter Show on Sunday and Monday.

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

13 Responses to BeetBox Sets Standard for Vegetable-based Instruments

Your Thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  1. Pingback: The BeetBox Kicks Out the Jams With the Help of Root Vegetables | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

  2. Pingback: The BeetBox Kicks Out the Jams With the Help of Root Vegetables | Unique Design Ideas

  3. Pingback: Casual Gamers Syndicate It's A Drum Machine Made Out Of Beets. A BeetBox. Geddit? » Casual Gamers Syndicate

  4. Pingback: It's A Drum Machine Made Out Of Beets. A BeetBox. Geddit?

  5. Pingback: Beetbox: An instrument that lets you play drum beats on actual beets |

  6. Pingback: A Literal Beet Box

  7. Pingback: 야채 악기용 표준 비트박스 세트 | Make: Korea

  8. Pingback: MAKE | Best of 2012: Raspberry Pi Projects

  9. Reblogged this on The Art of Science and commented:
    Great way to make art with your food. :P

  10. Pingback: Una docena de proyectos para explotar el potencial de tu Raspberry Pi - una docena de

  11. Pingback: So You Have a Raspberry Pi… Now What? - IT Clips

  12. Pingback: Week 02 | What is Electricity? PWM? Digital & Analog? | Physical Computing

  13. Pingback: New Instruments and Soundmakers | Etudes

Related Supplies at Maker Shed