Neon Drums

Audiovisual system that uses XYZ position coordinates to draw graphics and synthesize sounds in real-time.

Neon Drums

An audio-visual musical instrument

Neon Drums was a research project I did while at college. Its purpose was to design and implement an audiovisual musical instrument that translates motions of a musical performer into sound and graphics.

Neon Drums received numerous awards, including:

  • James K. Hitt Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research

    University of Kansas

  • Guest Lecture, Neon Drums - An audiovisual musical instrument

    School of Engineering - University of Kansas

  • Keynote Address, Undergraduate Research Symposium

    University of Kansas

  • Undergraduate Research Award

    University of Kansas

Demo: Drawing audio-visual light streaks with a PS3 controller

The XYZ coordinates of the PS3 controller are used to draw shapes in 3D space and to synthesize sounds.


Input devices communicate to neon drums via OSC or MIDI messages. This allows for different input devices, such as DAWs, 3D game controllers, sensors, touchpads, etc.

neon drums midi in

Graphics examples

Research project proposal

Santiago Ferreira - Neon Drums Research Proposal.pdf