AM MODE: Using AM and FM Synthesis for Acoustic Drum Set Augmentation

Champion, Cory and Zareei, Mo H

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

AM MODE is a custom-designed software interface for electronic augmentation of the acoustic drum set. The software is used in the development a series of recordings, similarly titled as AM MODE. Programmed in Max/MSP, the software uses live audio input from individual instruments within the drum set as control parameters for modulation synthesis. By using a combination of microphones and MIDI triggers, audio signal features such as the velocity of the strike of the drum, or the frequency at which the drum resonates, are tracked, interpolated, and scaled to user specifications. The resulting series of recordings is comprised of the digitally generated output of the modulation engine, in addition to both raw and modulated signals from the acoustic drum set. In this way, this project explores drum set augmentation not only at the input and from a performative angle, but also at the output, where the acoustic and the synthesized elements are merged into each other, forming a sonic hybrid.