Beardyman, “ruler of beats and destroyer of dance floors,” has developed a real-time music-production system that places live looping at the center of a new musical paradigm.

Why you should listen

Beardyman, AKA Darren Foreman, was studying product design at Brighton University in the UK when he started beatboxing. After winning two consecutive UK Beatbox Championships, he turned to live looping (recording and playing back audio samples in real time) as a way to layer his vocal ablutions into dance-floor-rocking hour-long sets. He released his debut album in 2011 and has been rocking stages all over the world ever since.

Working with DMGAudio, Beardyman built what he calls the "Beardytron_5000 mkII," a real-time music-production system that could be the solution to the problem of how to smash a dance floor using only your voice -- and how to compose and produce complex and highly nuanced electronic dance music in real time. “There was nothing available that does what I need, so I was forced to make it myself," he says.

What others say

“He’s a cross between a DJ, a comedian, and a human sound-sample library.” — The Guardian, March 11, 2011

Beardyman’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Beardyman

Live from TEDGlobal

The 10 strangest sounds heard on the TED stage

August 2, 2013

What is possible with the human voice? Beardyman asks in today’s talk. He demonstrates with at least fifty manipulations of his voice – from a dog barking to the two-tone singing of a monk. “I was always trying to extend my repertoire of noises to be the very maximum it can be,” he says. On his quest to […]

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Any noise I can imagine: Beardyman at TED2013

February 26, 2013

Beardyman, né Darren Foreman, is a London-based beatboxer and inventor who has always been frustrated by the limitations of the human voice and body. After all, Beardyman’s instrument is his voice — and he only has one. No one, for example, can sing two notes at the same time. So naturally, Beardyman built a machine […]

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Beautiful Imperfection: Speakers in Session 2 of TED2013

February 26, 2013

Moving images and hidden systems — Session 2 moved into the world of the unexplored. Listen for an exploration into the secrets of cities, find out how the elusive giant squid was caught on film and hear a case for the virtue of ignorance. The speakers who appeared this session. Click their name to read […]

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