Electronic Drum Set Project

Thread Starter


Joined May 2, 2011

I've been working on an electronic drum set for about the past 6 months and thought I would share some of my findings and also to get some input. I am posting here because it's not yet complete (is anything ever "complete?" :)), but it is functional.

This all started with me buying a set of Remo practice pads to keep up, and people starting coming over to jam - so naturally I thought it would be nice to have some drum sounds associated with the corresponding practice pads. Still using regular cymbals that are taped to kill sustain.

The components used in my project:
Teensy 2.0 by PJRC (http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/)
Visual C++ 6.0 to intercept USB output from the Teensy
Visual Basic 6.0 for the interface

Most development has been done on a 1.4gz Athlon machine running windows 2000. USB is interfaced using windows DDK. Sound output is put through DirectX using 16-bit wave files.

I'll be updating this thread as I go along (video of it working coming soon).

These are the pictures I have so far -

Building the drum triggers using piezos:

Need to take them apart:

Every example I have seen of building these involves gluing the piezo to a piece of metal inside of the practice pad. I had a sheet of metal lying around from when I made a dash panel for my truck. I used a drill master sheet metal hole cutter from Harbor Freight:

Here it is, but rusty...

So I took a grinder to it and ended up with:


Thread Starter


Joined May 2, 2011
Spray bombed:

Piezos JB welded to the steel (hot glue didn't seem like a good idea, this is pretty much permanent):

THen a hole is drilled for a RCA jack. This kit's previous owner tried to do the same thing; that is the hole he drilled. I opted to drill it further out toward the edge so that my a good hit would not interfere (but no picture).

Then they are reassembled.

I needed a enclosure for the circuit for the time being and I had an old power supply lying around. I figured it would do for now. Used some old mother board connectors as they slipped right on to the teensy (I am not really a hardware guy =/). Better than the rats nest that was on my desk.