Adding a pedal to a Yamaha DD35 drum kit

[Paul] Wrote in to tell us about a quick project that might be useful to others out there. He was having some problems with the DC jack on his Yamaha DD35 portable drum kit. Naturally, he did what most of us would do and just broke out the soldering iron and prepared to solder it back in place(hot glue it afterwards, that always helps too). That part isn’t a big deal, we’ve all seen it a million times. However, while inspecting the DC jack, he noticed something silk screened on the board right next to it.  As it turns out, that was a kick pedal jack. After a few minutes hunting for a victim around the house that would be sacrificed for its plug, he got his hands on one. A few moments later he was jamming away with a kick pedal.

We absolutely love these super quick upgrades. [Paul] thought maybe this feature was left out at the last minute, and we’ve seen this type of thing for a number of reasons. Maybe that was a feature kept aside for a more expensive model, maybe there was some other reason it was left off. Frankly, we don’t care, we just think it is awesome that it works!

Stay with us to see a quick video demonstration.

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MIDI drum interface helps you step up your game


[Dan] likes Rock Band, but playing it makes him feel as useful as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking a drumming contest. He says that even using his friend’s ION kit leaves him searching out excuses as to why he’s not as good as he should be on the drums.

Eventually, he decided that he would settle things once and for all. The final excuse he came up with was that it is too difficult to press the drum pedal rapidly without getting tired, as the Rock Band gear does not properly simulate real drum equipment. Bass pedals on professional kits are weighted and balanced to allow the drummer to exert the least amount of work for the most return, resulting in a less tiring experience.

To give him a leg up while playing the game, he decided to rig a trigger to his Yamaha MIDI bass pedal, which is properly weighted. He consulted the Rock Band forums, and after looking at a couple of different circuit diagrams, he designed his own. He etched a PCB, mounted his SMD components, and was well on his way to becoming a drum legend.

He says that the pedal interface works quite well, and despite a couple of tiny soldering setbacks, he has yet to see any errant hits register in-game.

Be sure to check out the video below of his drum trigger undergoing some tests.

Continue reading “MIDI drum interface helps you step up your game”

Robot band gives us so much to make fun of

[Pat Metheny] has a robot armada backing him up when he performs on stage. They’re going on tour and he’s done an interview explaining his mechanical band. Like the auto-drummer, this setup uses multitudes of solenoids to play the percussion instruments, each getting commands from a computer. It’s pretty wicked to see him use his guitar as a marimba controller; it’s so responsive that he can tremolo and the solenoid follows in kind.

But there’s a lot more going on here. We love to see crazy facial hair from time-to-time, but this guy’s just got crazy hair! This easy listening isn’t exactly hair-band material but more like live-action Animusic. It’s also reminiscent of the automated orchestras at House on the Rock, an attraction you may remember reading about in American Gods. It’s fun to kid, but whether you like the music or not, he’s certainly talented when it comes to this genre.

[Thanks Grey]

Laser cut drum kit


[Segwaymonkey] picked up an arduino based drumkit circuit and needed a kit to place it on. He worked up a pretty cool design and had it laser cut out of acrylic. The cool part of the design is how he delt with the head motion of the drum. Each head has 4 “springs” that were also cut from the acrylic. The Arduino based drum circuit sits on a little pedestal in the middle, as though it were on display. We really like the design, but we have to wonder if a little noise dampening on the heads might be a good idea. He hasn’t released the plans, but says he might once he gets it perfect.

Breath controlled Guitar Hero kick pedal


[Ben Heck] the uber modder has posted a new project. He has made a breath controlled kick pedal for all of the Guitar Hero style games. Though the tutorial focuses on Guitar Hero World Tour, he does explain how it could be done for Rock Band at the end. This is intended for someone in a wheelchair who couldn’t actually use the kick pedal and needed their hands free to play the rest of the drums. He took apart the kick pedal that came with it to get the piezoelectric switch out of it. Then, he made a little chamber and placed the switch on a diaphragm at one end. When you blow, the diaphragm moves and triggers the switch. Pretty simple really. There is a video available of [Ben] trying it out as well.

Guitar Hero cymbal remake


[Matt] found, like many people, his Guitar Hero: World Tour cymbals left much to be desired. They were only detecting hits intermittently and starting to crack and fall apart as well. While he was waiting for his warranty replacements to arrive, he just couldn’t help by try to make his own improved version. Using about $25 worth of parts, mainly consisting of plastic plates and some neoprene material, he managed to make some pretty fantastic replacements.  A video of them working might be a nice addition, but the writeup was pretty detailed otherwise.