Q Electronics is a solo project of Mr. Quintron (born Robert Ralston), who released numerous records as one-man band and is also known as an inventor and creator of his own club called Spellcaster Lodge (located in New Orleans). Drum Buddy is one of his inventions.Much of its sound was captured on 2001 album “Drum Buddy Demonstration Record Vol. 1”, which came as a joint release between Skin Graft and Rhinestone Records (there is also a video version of the album called “The Drum Buddy Show”).
According to press release, the Drum Buddy is a “five-oscillator, light-activated, mechanically-rotating drum machine that took five years to develop and design.” and “the multitude of sounds it produces are a result of a direct link between the human hand and sheer electronic voltage!”.
In a review written for Lumpen Magazine musician Bobby Conn described Drum Buddy as a being “a toy, a tool, google-eyed puppet pal and a lot more” and it also looks like “a coffee can on top of a record player with a light bulb hanging inside of it”.
Wikipedia describes Drum Buddy as “a light-activated oscillating drum machine which operates on the principles of an optical theremin.” Wikipedia also points out that its “an electronic instrument developed in the Spellcaster Lodge Q Electronics laboratory, only 44 units hand-assembled by Quintron exist. Its four voices – Space, Snare, Bass and Kick, are triggered by activating a photoelectric cell”.