DIY electronic drum brain for Arduino

Arduino Music
DIY electronic drum brain for Arduino

Drummaster Breadboard

The Drum Master project uses sensor filter circuits with the Arduino platform and sends the data over USB for sample playback –

The Drum Master system is actually comprised of two parts. The hardware brain module (containing the Arduino microcontroller and a collection of circuits to assist in obtaining the sensor information) is called the Drum Master. This is connected via USB (technically, a virtual serial port over USB) to a computer, which is running the Drum Slave software, written in Python. When a sensor is hit, the Drum Master converts the signal to a digital value, and sends this value (and the port on which the sensor was detected) over the

The piezo filtering used could be helpful for some other projects as well –

Piezo Filter Signal
Piezo Filter Schem
(fyi – the 1M, 5k, 20k components connected to each input are resistor arrays)

Unfortunately the software uses a specialized data protocol – so it’s not MIDI compatible. Still looks like a fun project with a lot of helpful documentation, plus there’s a shield board forthcoming. – Drum Master

Arduino drum machine

In the Maker Shed:

DC Boarduino

2 thoughts on “DIY electronic drum brain for Arduino

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am the creator of Drum Master. I am honoured to be included on the prestigious Make site!

    In response to your comment about MIDI: while the version I designed does not use MIDI (for a number of reasons; see FAQ for more details), it would be very possible to modify the design slightly, mostly in software, to allow MIDI to work.

    To use MIDI, you would need to do the following:
    1) Get a MIDI jack (5 pin DIN IIRC), and hook up the correct wires. You would have to hook directly to the Arduino, instead of the shield, but since my shield design only connects to the pins which are needed, this is not a problem.
    2) Modify the Arduino software to send a MIDI note instead of the (port:value) tuple. You will probably have to bit shift the velocity value 3 bits, as my protocol specifies 10bit velocities, and MIDI uses 7.
    3) Get a power adaptor for your Arduino, as you can’t use USB power anymore ;-)

    There are a number of pages which do something similar to this, notably . This site, while self-professed by the author as being more of a toy than a real drum brain, has MIDI details on both the hardware and software side.


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