DrumPants Puts Industrial-Strength MIDI Control In Your Pants

dumpants-illustrationDeveloper Tyler Freeman has introduced DrumPants – an inexpensive wearable MIDI controller that you can put in your pants.

We featured a lot of creative MIDI controllers on Synthtopia recently, but DrumPants spank the competition in the ‘wear it in your pants’ department.

DrumPants have the advantage of being both inexpensive (pricing starts at $89) and being wearable (in your pants). DrumPants comes with 100+ built-in sounds, including drums, percussion, synthesizers, guitars and pianos. And it can also be used to send MIDI or OSC, turning your body into a mobile MIDI controller.


While DrumPants were designed to be an ‘industrial quality wearable musical instrument’, fun is also a top priority.

“It’s a wearable music kit, so you can make sounds – in your pants!” notes Freeman.

And, if you’re worried about unsightly MIDI bulge, DrumPants don’t even have to be worn in your pants. They’re flexible and can can attach to your body or clothes in a variety of ways:


DrumPants are being developed as a Kickstarter project. Here’s the official intro video:

Technical Specifications

  • Six velocity sensors in two wearable strips: four drum pad sensors and two foot pedal sensors.
  • Control box with 100+ built-in high-quality sounds.
  • Includes custom ultra-thin velcro stickies for attaching to clothes.
  • DrumPants app lets you connect DrumPants to a computer via USB.
  • DrumPants PRO also lets you connect to a smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth 4.0.

Here’s an example of DrumPants being used to control AniMoog to make super-trippy 80’s cop-show music:

The DrumPants software takes output data from the DrumPants or a connected Arduino and lets you manipulate it in real time. Just tell it what kind of sensor you’re using, calibrate it using the on-screen graphs, and choose actions to trigger.

Example actions:

  • Send MIDI notes to other music apps or instruments
  • Send OpenSoundControl (OSC) messages
  • Emulate keyboard keystrokes to control games, YouTube, PowerPoint, etc.
  • Advanced actions like auto-increment, parameter animation, even meta-control DrumPant App’s presets and settings with our open API.
  • Total phone automation with Tasker (Android only)
  • Receive MIDI/OSC messages from other programs or instruments and transform them into the above actions. This gives you advanced routing capabilities similar to Osculator or Max/MSP.

Full details are available at the project site.

Leave a comment and let us know what you think of DrumPants!

31 thoughts on “DrumPants Puts Industrial-Strength MIDI Control In Your Pants

  1. does anybody else find the seemingly endless push to turn just about anything into a midi controller a distraction from using the tools that work pretty well as they are?

    1. No – I see it as a bunch of different companies competing for my money by offering a bunch of different options.

      Good times for electronic musicians – sorry that you’re bored by it all!

    2. Without a doubt, It seems like a joke really.
      It is amusing to see people thinking they have invented something fresh.
      Midi controllers seems to be where cash is cause their is a lot of halfwits out there lapping up whats marketed ,only to be resold a bigger and better version , the month after (with more lights on)
      My MPC and Master Keyboard /synth will out live all this bollocks.

  2. Eventually, someone clever is going to invent a workable MIDI controller that looks like a conventional piano keyboard. To play a chord, you’d press down on 3 keys at once. You could then create meaningful melodic phrases with your hands. It seems radical, but someone will do it.

      1. In a nutshell, there’s the attitude that’s causing some of the broadest instruments on Earth to often sound like mere coffeepots and ferret farts. I can almost tell who has invested some real playing time versus people who just push Play. The more meaningful it is, the less any idea will sell to rubes who think melody is a joke. At that point, you don’t need a real synthesizer, you need a toddler Busy Box. I don’t think everyone should see things as I do; it’d scotch the variety too much. Still, when you sneer that hard, you make your motives and abilities suspect.

        I can see a certain stripe of person loving this thing. It DOES have immense appeal as a showpiece. It simply won’t become widespread. You’ll see some dancers wring it out, though.

  3. It seems as if a lot of people forget or don’t know about Jimmy Hotz. Disregarding wearing whatever you want, he invented this 30 years ago.

    1. Also regarding sole MIDI functionality. The keystroke feature, phone automation especially with android, and the whole concept is utterly useless. If you wan’t to play drums or learn drums, get a kit together out of actual drums or pots and pans and go to town.

    2. Hey , your not meant to know music tech history on this site . It is litearlly for apple and its software.
      The emperors new clothes!! No pun intended.
      If we are critical , it is cause we are cynics, not that we have (in my case )30 years of synth/music tech experience.

      1. People that know their history know that this technology, whether it’s your thing or not, has not been available to musicians for $100.

  4. I’m a little mixed on it. On one hand, if the latency is low enough, and the velocity sensing is really good, then using this to play percussion sounds seems ok. On the other hand, their targeting of kids with an “on-the-go” lifestyle is a little annoying– because it makes it sound like you would be trying to do something “serious” while you were on the go. It rather looks like a fun “alternative” to real percussion.

    The arduino/teaching-kids-programming part of it seems pretty cool.

    Bottomline, there’s a place for it, even if it seems a little gimicky to me.

  5. I could just tell by the headline this would attract a bunch of comments from grumpy old men griping about the kids today and their musical pants….

  6. this may not be a substitute for a drum kit in a “band” situation, but for multi-media performance this could be incredibly interesting. Theatre, choreography, performance art… this is clearly far superior to tried and tested keyboards if used in the correct context.

  7. Drummer here and in my percussive opinion if the velocity sensitivity is good then it’s worth it to me as a drummer. Every drummer I’ve ever known of any skill has been a halfway decent hamboninst.

    Speaking of, somebody needs to make a hambone wikipedia entry.

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