Digital Cow is the design consultancy that Ben Smith set up to produce Skins, an ergonomically-designed digital hand drum that challenges methods of composing and performing electronic music.
Smith is a drummer who studied product design at Glasgow School of Art and Skins was his final year project in 1997. The idea originated when he met David Bernard, an electronic engineer who was teaching drumming lessons at the school.
Inspired by the fact that all digital instruments are designed on a pre-existing interface and are not an original creation, the two decided to design Skins.
The result is a completely new design which retains the tactile qualities of traditional tom-tom drums but also features an advanced MIDI sound generation and real time sequencing. Skins was also part of the DTI’s ‘create Britain’ exhibition and has won Millennium Product status.