66% or better

Portable electronic drum kit made from plastic bowls

portable-drum-kit

[Ian Cole’s] son is learning to play the drums on an electronic drum set, and he wanted a way to continue practicing during his frequent visits to his grandparents’ house. [Ian] had picked up a Spikenzielabs “Drum Kit Kit All-Inclusive” (DKKAI) earlier this summer, and set out to build an easily transportable drum set.

The DKKAI comes with an ATmega168-based board and a set of piezos that can be used to register hits. It was up to [Ian] to provide the rest of the kit, so he set off to IKEA in search of cheap, durable drum heads. He returned with a handful of 1/2 Liter plastic bowls, which he mounted on a PVC pipe drum stand.

The piezos were mounted on thin aluminum discs, which were in turn glued to the back side of the bowl lids. The piezos were wired to the DKKAI kit via the PVC tubing, with the signals ultimately fed into an iPad running Garage Band. [Ian] says that his portable drum set works quite well, and although there are some things that require changing, his son is very happy with his new practice set.

Check out the video below to see the portable drum kit in action.

Comments

  1. aztraph says:

    I think the lids make a little too much noise, maybe you could replace it with a rubber mat?

    • bty says:

      From the article :
      Note: the camera picks up the harshness of the sticks on the plastic much more than the amplified drum sounds. In person, you could hear the GarageBand drum sounds much more than the plastic hits, although we know we need to dampen the plastic hit sound ASAP.

  2. Ian Cole says:

    We plan to put neoprene (cheap mouse pads!) over the lids to dampen the plastic strike noise. It is MUCH worse in the video than in person…

    • ScottInNH says:

      I recognized those metal disks from a SpikenzieLabs tutorial for their drum kit kits. Nice build, by the way.

      Just curious if you experimented at all with “metal discs” created from CDs and CD-Rs?

      CDs would seem a ready source of rigid material, and an experiment I want to try when I build the spikenzielabs circuit.

  3. Waterbury says:

    Congrats, Ian!!!!!!!! This is awesome!

  4. FAMiLab ftw!!

  5. Ian Cole says:

    We took the drum kit to FamiLAB, Orlando’s hackerspace, tonight to show it off. He had a great time demonstrating the kit and thought it was really awesome that people kept saying “we saw it on hack a day today!” I also looked at the real sound deadening drum mats today at the music store – they were much cheaper than I expected, so I may cut a large one into 6 smaller pads for dampening…

  6. Hirudinea says:

    Cool hack, you have to love a drum kit you can also pack your lunch in!

  7. anyone(ajerkface) says:

    i think this thing would explode at just about the end of the intro to steve winwoods “higher love”

  8. Anthony Pace says:

    What is the latency in ms? If you could get the latency to the single digits in ms, than you could have a very marketable product on your hands.

    • Andy says:

      Hi Anthony,

      The latency is nearly undetectable. We did some ‘somewhat’ unscientific tests, where we recorded the sound of the drumstick hitting the pad, followed by the sample played by the connected synth, and looked at the waveform in our sound software. We were really impressed.

      We then set up the Drum Kit Kit AI for a friend of ours who is a pro drummer. We got the “Cool…Hey thats alright man” and that was good enough for us!

      We demo these at Maker Faire San Mateo & MFNY every year, come on by and try it out if you’re around.

      Cheers,

      Andy

  9. #2 says:

    When I first read it I thought it said plastic BOWELS…then I thought well eeeewwww. So – never mind.

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