SKINS: a digital hand drum.

A new, innovative, digital hand drum that combines traditional percussion skills with advanced ergonomics and up to date sound manipulations. Designed as a practical performance tool for both percussionists and electronic musicians, the instrument features sensitive playing surfaces, 500 CD quality editable internal sounds, real time sequencing and full MIDI specs enabling intuitive creation of a wide range of rhythmic soundscapes.


Designed by Ben SMITH as a final year project for his product design degree at the Glasgow School of Arts, the concept was comissioned by The Glasgow Collection to be developed into 2 working prototypes for the 1999 festival of architecture and design

Ben teamed up with experimental musical instrument designer David BERNARD from The Sound Surgery and completed the task in less than a year.

The instrument's performance was so convincing that the pair formed Digital Cow; a consultancy aiming to take Skins to market and look after its patent and design protection.

Ben, a percussionist, and David, an electronic musician, collaborate on multi-media performances under the name Hardware Department. They also presented the drum to many musicians and producers, and, by 1999 built an improved prototype suitable for manufacture.

Since then, the drum has featured in Create Britain, a DTI exhibition in Taipei, received a Millennium Product status and the designers received the John Logie Baird award as young innovators of the year 1999.

Skins is currently touring internationally with the Glasgow Collection and the Millenium Products exhibitions. Digital Cow is looking for investors for short production runs or licencing the product.