Phase I Prototype
My initial thoughts when beginning this project, was that the controller would be attached to the side of the tabla using a ghatta (tightener). I purchased a Brain Jr. microcontroller and connected a force sensor and a touch strip (SoftPot Membrane potentiometer). I programmed the sensors to control Ableton sound effects, which sufficed as a bare bones demonstration.
This contraption served as my first prototype that proved that a MIDI controller could be attached to tabla. However this was a very crude prototype and was not ergonomic. Reaching over the side of the tabla was not something a player would want to do because it requires a little bit of fumbling around to find the controls.