wynterc2 (Wynter Chen), alyssal3 (Alyssa Licudine), shankar7 (Prashant Shankar)
Drum majors lead and conduct marching bands. One of their main jobs is to maintain tempo for the musicians by moving their hands in specific patterns. However, many drum majors, especially high school students, need to learn how to conduct specific tempos off the top of their head and maintain a consistent tempo without assistance for performances. Even those with musical experience have difficulty knowing for certain what tempo they're conducting without a metronome.
Our project consists of an arm attachment that aids drum major conducting. The attachment contains an accelerometer that helps determine the tempo in beats per minute via hand movement. A display shows the beats per minute, which allows the drum major to adjust their speed as necessary in real time. The microcontroller data is wirelessly transmitted, and a program can be downloaded that not only visualizes the data in real-time, but provides an option to save recorded data for later. There is also a convenient charging port for the device.
This project is a unique invention that aims to help marching bands. There have been previous projects and inventions that have also digitized the conducting experience, such as the Digital Conducting Baton from Spring 2015. However, these have been in the form of a baton rather than a glove, and are used to alter music files as opposed to providing feedback. Additionally, orchestra conductors use very delicate motions with a baton, while drum majors create large, sharper motions with their arms; thus, we believed that an arm attachment was better suited for marching band usage. Unlike other applications that only integrate digital instruments, this project seeks to assist live performers.
Link to RFA: https://courses.grainger.illinois.edu/ece445/pace/view-topic.asp?id=37939