BeetBox Sets Standard for Vegetable-based Instruments

Food & Beverage Music Raspberry Pi
BeetBox Sets Standard for Vegetable-based Instruments

[vimeo w=598 55658574]
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.

26 thoughts on “BeetBox Sets Standard for Vegetable-based Instruments

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

    […] Via Make […]

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

    […] Via Make […]

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

    […] (Via MAKE) […]

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

    […] (Via MAKE) […]

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

    […] wonderful and whimsical creation by Scott […]

  6. A Literal Beet Box says:

    […] This is neat! BeetBox by Scott Garner is an electronic drum set that the player controls by tapping on six fresh beets. The beets are wired to a Raspberry Pi with a capacitive touch sensor and an audio amplifier stuffed into a handmade wooden box. Of all the vegetable, pun-centric, instruments on the market this has to be my favorite. [via MAKE] […]

  7. 야채 악기용 표준 비트박스 세트 | Make: Korea says:
  8. MAKE | Best of 2012: Raspberry Pi Projects says:

    […] BeetBox Sets Standard for Vegetable-based Instruments 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. […]

  9. scientiste says:

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

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

    […] 5. BeatBox con hortalizas […]

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

    […] output, it can be used to make synths, samplers, and other musical instruments. Pictured here, The Beet Box, which brings vegetable-based instruments to a whole new […]

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

    […] Scott Garner Beet Box […]

  13. New Instruments and Soundmakers | Etudes says:

    […] are some of the more interesting ideas that have risen to the surface in recent months. BeetBox This Raspberry Pi-based project measures electrical resistance to generate pitch. Nothing new there– the theremin has done […]

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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.

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