Critical information about server maintenance, activation, other issues Drum Machine FAQ:


Q: Can I use the d-touch drum machine or sequencer without an internet connection?

Provided that the first launch of the application is done while connected to the internet, so that we may authenticate you as a user, then yes. You may use the application offline for a total of 3hours, before needing to return to an active internet connection. As part of our research, we are monitoring the usage of the application, you will need to go online so that the buffer can be emptied (the applications will upload the content to our server) and then you can go off-line again.

Q: Is there a way to use the d-touch drum machine with American 8-1/2x11 paper?

A: Yes! The drum machine works on any size of paper which has around the same size as A4. However if you print it on American sized paper, be careful to use the fit to page feature of the printer otherwise it may result in a cropped image.

Q: What kind of webcam do I need?

A: The webcam should be at least VGA (640x480) with at least 5 frame per second (fps). The system may run also with a lower resolution webcam (320x240), but this is not advised. The cheapest webcams usually have a bad lens which may affect the performance of the system. The system also works with DV cameras. The choice of the webcam really depends on your OS. For example, not all webcams work on OS X.

Q: Is it possible to make the markers smaller?

A: In principle it may be possible, however the markers we are currently using were carefully designed to be easily detected in using a variety of lighting conditions and cameras. On you can find more information about the design of d-touch markers, which can take almost any size and shape.

Q: How much accuracy is needed in building the d-touch blocks and camera stand?

A: Not much accuracy at all! We hope you like the blocks and stand design, they were published to make it very easy to create a clean setup. However, for the stand you can use anything as a stand (desk lamp, computer screen, tripod,...) as long at it is steady and it lets the camera be at a good distance from the paper. "Good distance" means such that the d-touch board fills almost the entire camera view.
Regarding the blocks, rather than using the folded boxes filled with lentils you can transform any objects of comparable size (walnuts, hazelnuts, chocolates.. ) into interactive objects by attaching to them the printed d-touch markers! Please send us photo- and video-reports of your constructions and we'll publish them on the site!

Q: What are the required lighting conditions? In my settings markers are flickering a lot.

A: The d-touch works best in a uniform ambient lighting condition. Avoid placing a lamp just on top of it. Avoid trying to play in total darkness too. Pressing the "blur" button on the applications' GUI may improve the recognition.
If the problems persist, please contact us on through the forum.


Q: I have no sound!

A: Please check your audio API in the application settings. If multiple Apis are present, try to switch to a different one.

Q: The drum machine does not sound as well as on the video you released. How comes?

A: Unfortunately we realized that there is a bug in the release 0.1 of the drum machine. Please update to the latest version of the software. This should solve the problem.

Q: I have several camera, how can I choose the right one? (MS Windows only)

This can be selected in the application settings (then restart the application).

Q: Activation problems on OS X

A: Please install the d-touch drum machine on your local drive, rather than starting it from the disk image. You can install by dragging the d-touch drum machine icon to the applications folder.

Q: Activation problems on Vista

A: Please try disabling User Access Control and the firewall.

Q: BSOD with logitech webcams

A: We have been investigating the BSOD issue and here are a few pointers. From scavenging other forums it looks like the quickcam software may give problems also with other applications (skype, yahoo, etc..)

From people reports it seems that upgrading the driver may help (latest quickcam version is 11.90.x from,en )

Other fixes we found (but not tested) include:

1- Uninstall logitech webcam 2- Go to 3- Under popular downloads 4- Select DirectX (should be 9.0c) 5- Download program (dxwebsetup.exe) 6 - Reboot 7- Install logitech webcam software

Another solution: Install the webcam in UVC mode (without the logitech drivers, Usb Video Class device)

1) Uninstall QuickCam. 2) Reboot. 3) Plug in the camera. 4) Windows will automatically install the generic Microsoft UVC drivers. • For Vista, do not alllow the PC to use Windows Update to search for drivers.

If someone has a chance to give these methods a try, please let us know by posting on the forum. Thanks!

Q: Can I change the resolution?

A: On Mac you can choose between 640x480 (VGA) and 320x240. On Windows and Linux the default is VGA. VGA gives the best result in term of detection of the markers. The application will try to get the maximum frame rate of your webcam, typically 30 fps.


Q: What is the difference between the two types of markers? What are those suppose to represent anyway?

A: The markers are supposed to represent: (1) a hand hitting a surface and producing a little music note! and (2) two hands hitting a surface. One hand = normal hit, two hands = louder hit.


Q: Linux version coming anytime soon?

Unfortunately the Linux version is still lagging behind. We are really tight on time, so most resources are going into adding more features and maintaining the Windows and Mac versions

Q: Alternative sample bank ?

Yes! You can import your own .wav files from the application GUIs

Q: VST, midi output ?

The d-touch drum machine does not support that. You may use libdtouch to develop your own VST or midi controller. More information on


Q: Is the project open source?

Part of it is, part of it is not. The marker recognition library (libdtouch), the DTServer and the related examples are available under the GPL license. The code is available on sourceforge (see libdtouch).
The other parts of the software, including the audio applications, are not open source. This is because we remotely log their usage as part of our research.

Q: How can I work on the project? How can I join the d-touch team?

Thank you for the interest!
Unfortunately, we do not currently have any open funded positions.
However, if you are a student in Southampton or in an other university (provided there is an exchange programme) you may be able to work on d-touch through your BEng/MEng/MSc project or through an internship.
Moreover, you are free to use d-touch in your own projets (see libdtouch)