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Old 4th June 2004, 06:46 PM   #1
Dikemou is offline Dikemou  Greece
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Question Electronic drums using PC

Hello there everyone!

I was wondering if there is a way to connect a set of those DIY drum pads (for which instructions you can find around, like: http://www.electronicdrums.com/pads/pads2.htm ) to a PC, so the triggers are fed into some software that plays the samples.

In other words, build the pads (using piezos etc), and get their triggers to playback the samples, not in a module (alesis etc), but instead in a PC, through some port (parallel, serial, usb etc)!

Can this be done in any way? Anyone done it or has some guidelines, websites, software for me?

Thank you all in advance for reading this!
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Old 15th June 2004, 12:54 PM   #2
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You can get Alesis D4 modules for less than 200 /$ used, or you could buy new Roland TMC-6 trigger MIDI converter to do the MIDI conversion and then in PC use MIDI interface to catch the notes and DAW with ASIO and VSTi support to play the samples.

If you want more DIY you could make your own trigger to MIDI converter and interface it via parallel printer interface reading a multiplexed A/D one channel at a time and write a piece of software to process the trigger data from A/D to recognize when a pad is hit and how hard. Then the software could just send a MIDI note to another device like MIDI loopback device (Hubi's etc.) which is then used as MIDI input device to DAW program. If you want to program sample player as well the use ASIO interface for the lowest latency (alternatively kernel streaming but be warned that the MS documentation isn't very comprehensive).
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Old 28th June 2005, 08:03 PM   #3
swamy_g is offline swamy_g  India
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hey i've gotta suggestion but it still needs work
it doesn't need any drum module...
---------------------------------------------------------------------
the kit works as follows
i'm sure you guys would've heard of virtual piano(cakewalk) or similar software
where by you can play midi sounds using your computer keyboard and a suitable software software that supports midi(cakewalk pro audio in my case)
to play drums you just have to select a drum channel and use virtual piano on that channel.. in my case when i hit letter 'Q' i get a kick drum sound.. then 'E' produces a snare etc etc.. my project basically involves ripping the keyboard and taking the encoder chip(the only chip that is present).. i soldered some wires on to chip and after trying all combinations shorting the wires i came up with a table. for eg.. if i short(touch) wires 1 and 3 (see attached pic ) i get kick drum sound.. then 2 and 5 give snare drum sound(on notepad it types letter 'E')... IF pic is not displayed properly.. please download attached pic..
Click the image to open in full size.
THE PROBLEM
My main problem lies with the switch that connects these two wires
i have no idea what switches to use to short(switch ON) the wires..
i tried push type switch switches.. but they are of no use, since their sensitivity is usually very low, i literally have to step on them for shorting(works OK for Kick Drum:-) ).. i'm looking for a flat round type switch that with high sensitivity that would enable me to play rolls and drags.. if you dont get the picture i suggest you see the pic.
another problem comes when i have to embed these pics inside a suitable pad(i just cant keep hitting the switch all the time) so i need a suggestion for the pads too.. please dont suggest remo or any other practise since i dont get them here(india)
If all works out well for me.. i might end up having a "vdrum" for under $5...
thanks for reading all this guys.. i hope someone would come up with a help ful suggestion ..
P.S. CAN i Use piezo transducers as switches????
thanks a lot
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Old 28th June 2005, 08:09 PM   #4
SY is offline SY  United States
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Traditionally, electronic drums have been made from piezo transducers or Force Sensing Resistors. The latter are tough to get in custom form these days, so I'd probably go the piezo route. It will take some signal conditioning, but nothing terribly complicated.
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Old 29th June 2005, 03:40 AM   #5
swamy_g is offline swamy_g  India
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hey i'm looking for something like this
Click the image to open in full size.

in the case of piezo.. the two plates are constantly touching each other right?
and when i hit the piezo it produces varying current and can that be used as a switch???
please help
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Old 29th June 2005, 10:49 AM   #6
Optical is offline Optical  New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally posted by swamy_g
hey i'm looking for something like this
Click the image to open in full size.

in the case of piezo.. the two plates are constantly touching each other right?
and when i hit the piezo it produces varying current and can that be used as a switch???
please help

you could build a simple comparator circuit with the piezo and a constant dc level on each input.. then feed the output of the comparator into the keyboard encoder?

the main problem with your method is that you dont get velocity sensitivity.. without that you might as well not bother.. i dont mean to put you off, but go to the effort of making a proper brain, its worth it..
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Old 29th June 2005, 11:49 AM   #7
SY is offline SY  United States
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The piezo just senses vibration. Attach it to a piece of rigid material cut to the size and shape you want, cover with a piece of rubber, and you've got an electronic drum. The output of the piezo is a voltage spike- you'll have to fabricate a simple one transistor interface circuit (use a FET) to buffer it.
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Old 29th June 2005, 04:43 PM   #8
swamy_g is offline swamy_g  India
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i know these limitations exist but what the heck.. it just costs me a fraction of even the cheapest DIY Edrum involving Sound modules..
can someone atleast tell me which is the best material to use as a conducting plate.. i tried aluminium its not working that good.. sometimes the circuit's shorted sometimes not..
any other suggestions???
thanks a lot
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Old 20th July 2005, 08:31 AM   #9
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I'm presently building such a beast! I'll keep the forum posted as I progress. ( Only because the sample pad Roland SPDS is impossible to get in Canada! I got mad and decided to build my own. )
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Old 30th June 2009, 01:35 PM   #10
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may i ask..did piezo work to usb keyboard controller can register the hits??? ... or you all have any sugestion..?tq
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