Computer Keyboard Drum Pad

Waiting for Windows to boot provides plenty of time for random contemplation. During a recent reboot, while stuck in small airplane seat, my hands began tapping away at the keyboard to mimic drum beats I’ve tapped out on many inanimate objects over the years (played the drums in high school). Lightly tapping the keys and hitting them hard produced different sounds that entertained me just enough for the boot. But while tapping away it dawned on me that the current Garage Band type keyboard setups for musical instruments are too limited when it comes to actually “playing” music on a QWERTY. Why can’t it use all the keys and associate groupings to one single drum head or key of an instrument? Why should I have to hit a single key to produce a single note?
A few years ago Palm released the updated Treo. The biggest part of its early fanfare was the keyboard. Their engineering led them to develop a smart keyboard that would know what key you meant to hit, even though you likely fat fingered a few keys because one key ultimately would be selected first in the I/O burst and thus could be assumed to be the intended key, allowing the smartphone to ignore the rest until the next major keystroke. Well, why not use the same approach to musical instruments on QWERTY’s? I’d like it if the bass drum was the combination of the space key, N, M, “,”, “.”, alt and some other funny windows menu key (HP Compaq 6910p). The snare drum could then be the lower left section containing keys such as the Z,X,C,S,D lot.
This could make for some fun jam sessions in the home office. You could also write the software to assume if you did hit more than one key, you were hitting harder.
I’m not sure what the computer gets for info from a keyboard, but if the I/O data is there, this would be a great enhancement to Garage Band. I also look forward to the iPhone application that allows you to tap out your music.

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