Your Own Electronic Drum Kit

[Jake_Of_All_Trades] wanted to take up a new drumming hobby, but he didn’t want to punish his neighbors in the process. He started considering an electric drum kit which would allow him to practice silently but still get some semblance of the real drumming experience.

Unfortunately, electric drum kits are pretty expensive compared to their acoustic counterparts, so buying an electric kit was a bit out of the question. So, like any good hacker, he decided to make his own.

He found a pretty cheap acoustic drum kit on Craigslist and decided to convert it to electric. He thought this would be a perfect opportunity to learn more about electric drum kits in general and would allow him to do as much tweaking as he wanted to in order to personalize his experience. He also figured this would be a great way to get the best of both worlds. He could get an electric kit to practice whenever he wanted without disturbing neighbors and he could easily convert back to acoustic when needed.

First, he had to do a bit of restorative work with the cheap acoustic kit he found on eBay since it was pretty worn. Then, he decided to convert the drum heads to electric using two-ply mesh drum heads made from heavy-duty fiberglass screen mesh. The fiberglass screen mesh was cheap and easy to replace in the event he needed to make repairs. He added drum and cymbal triggers with his own DIY mechanism using a piezoelectric element, similar to another hack we’ve seen. These little sensors are great for converting mechanical to electrical energy and can feed directly into a GPIO to detect when the drum or cymbal was struck. The electrical signal is then interpreted by an on-board signal processing module.

All he needed were some headphones or a small amplifier and he was good to go! Cool hack [Jake_Of_All_Trades]!

While you’re here, check out some of our best DIY musical projects over the years.

6 thoughts on “Your Own Electronic Drum Kit

  1. A few years ago I started a similar project but went doen the track of using peizos from greeting cards mounted on hard faced mouse mats as the pads. They fed into a PIC that output midi into a keyboard to produce the sound.

    I quickly discovered I didn’t have the coordination to play the drums ( or anything more advanced the triangle ) so never finished it.

    This system looks a lot better than mine did.

  2. Thanks for writing this! I actually did make my own amp for the drum kit. Well it’s a 50W bluetooth speaker with an AUX IN that will run from the headphone jack of the module. Here’s an Instagram post I made about it:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CByRw_rHvdx/

    Also here’s a clip of a way better demonstration of the kit than I can manage now, courtesy of my brother in law:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CCbM88snfac/

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