Disco drumming with piezo sensitive lighting

[Wilfred's] brother outfitted a snare drum with LEDs for Dutch Carnival. They faded through different colors randomly and were a nice addition to the normal looking instrument, but [Wilfred] suggested that the LEDs change color with each drum stroke. He set out to design a controller circuit to provide the functionality and ended with a small package based around an ATtiny2313 microcontroller. A piezo buzzer is used to detect the vibrations inside the drum, each hit triggering a different color combination. The LEDs fade to off after each impact as if dying along with the sound, and when not struck for 30 seconds the system defaults to a red heartbeat pattern. See for yourself after the break.

We’d love to see this feature added to each drum in one of those robotic drumsets.

18 thoughts on “Disco drumming with piezo sensitive lighting

  1. Thats Awesome, Would look cool with a whole set of lights like that with a band! Then just some guitars lights and some pyro teks! Mixed With a dark room, You Child can play a colored tambourine! Family Band!

  2. very cool, drop the heartbeat as it distracts from the performance… but a whole drum core with these at night would utterly rock.

  3. the only thing i could think of during this…..million dollar idea to teach someone how to play drums – “follow the lights” (red bad, green good) or something.

  4. It’s a really great project though.

    That kid’s a little old for a pacifier, too. I mean, really; just distract him nonstop for like three days and he’ll forget about it forever even if he’s the hardest kid on earth to wean and it’ll be the best decision you’ve ever made.

    The red heartbeat pattern should not be nearly as bright; it should be subtle so it doesn’t distract you from the beat you’re trying to play.

    And is it possible for the pickup system driving the buzzer to detect hit intensity, or with the speed of the snare drum would its intensity always register as maxed out? Because if you could use the color information as feedback for the player, you could make a really special and flexible family of performance percussion instruments.

    Maybe hook it into the rest of your band and have red for ‘behind the beat,’ green for ‘very close to the beat,’ and blue for ‘ahead of the beat’ or something like that.

  5. @Dan Fruzzetti, thanks for the heads-up, always good to know that other people know better. I’ll let my son have his pacifier as long as he likes.

  6. Hi Mike Szczys

    May i know, are using Netduino or Arduino? Currently we are doing a project which is similar as yours. Do you mind sharing the code?

    Thank you!

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