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.

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7 thoughts on “MIDI Drum Interface Helps You Step Up Your Game

  1. I was secretly hoping this post was a little different. I thought maybe someone figured out how to connect a computer midi to rockband. That way they could play a perfect set just by writing a midi file. That way nerd power could finally overcome a lack of rhythm. Oh well, now I must continue to avoid rockband. Nice hack anyway!

  2. Being a drummer that also has played a good bit of rockband, I have to say – the “ease” of playing a real kick pedal vs the rockband kick pedal is grossly exaggerated here. Playing at volume is just as tiring, if not more, on an acoustic kit.

  3. What kind of sensor is he using. He talks about microswitches and piezos. If he’s using piezos, how is it implemented?

    No pics and no implementation details make me sad :(, the electronics is the easy part.

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