Drop the Beat Wearable Drum Machine

Going to an electronic music show can be a great experience if you really love the artist, but if you’re there to see a thrilling performance you might be disappointed. Most digital musicians, talented though they may be, don’t really move around much on stage during a live show. Noticing this, designer Wesley Chau created a wearable drum machine called Drop the Beat that looks a bit like a bullet-proof vest. 

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Created for a project during his time at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), “Drop the Beat” could transform the way digital musical performances are experienced live – that is, if musicians actually use it.

Hitting the vest in different places allows different sounds to play, much like a standard electronic drum machine. The main difference, of course, is that the performer gets to move around, interact with the audience and create a performance that is wholly unique each and every time.

Drop the Beat Wearable Drum Machine vest

As Chau encourages other people to use his vest and get the beats dropping left and right, he is amazed at the different interpretations come up with by different users. He hopes to get DJs and musicians into the vest to give it a shot. Who knows – some day musical clothing could be the norm and we’ll all walk down the street playing our own personal theme songs.

More from the designer

“A wearable electronic drum set that aims to elevate the artist’s presence during live performance. Each drum pad is embedded with a piezo sensor and is attached to the vest with velcro. Neoprene, velcro, piezo sensors, arduino, hookup wire, acetate, fabric.”

Drop the Beat Wearable Drum Machine for live music

About Wesley Chau

Wesley Chau (he/him) is a designer and educator based in New York City. He works across a range of industrial design, moving image, and creative research practices. Wesley holds a BFA in Industrial Design from RISD and an MFA Design and Technology from The New School.