Drum Master

DIY Electronic Drum Brain



Here you can see images of the Drum Master module, during development as well as in its final incarnation, as well as the drum pad hardware which it gets hooked up to. If you have images of your own sets, please feel free to send me a copy and I can include them here.

Drum Master Board and Electronics

These first pictures show the Drum Master through its prototype phase and assembly, into the final production version. This may be a useful resource for those who are attempting to assemble a Drum Master board, by seeing where the components go and what order to solder them in.

Original Drum Set (Acoustic Set with Triggers)

This section shows the pad hardware I used at first. I bought a cheap acoustic set, and installed triggers in the drums and on the cymbals. This setup worked quite well, but I found that having an entire acoustic drum set defeated much of the benefits of an electronic set, namely that of requiring little space.

Current Drum Set (Home Built Pads and Frame)

As of April 2009, I started work on a new set of pads. Included here are the current up-to-date pictures (done in the pink room), as well as some work in progress shots (attaching drums to the frame with hose clamps, which didn't really work in the end). In the end I found a cheap used drum frame, which provieded me with enough mounting clamps to get the entire frame together plus a number of cymbal mounts. The drums are clamped on using commercial drum rack clamps. The drums and cymbals themselves are 100% home made (I cut the drums from 1/2" MDF, and the cymbals from 1/8" hardboard). The mesh drum heads are the only commercial part, and that is only because it was cheaper to buy mesh heads than to make them myself.


A sample of me playing. The playing is bad (I don't get much practice these days!), but it should give you an idea of what a Drum Master implementation can sound like. As with the other two videos uploaded today, the sound is directly connected from the computer (synthesizing the sounds) to my camera's Line In port, so this is an accurate portrayal of latency (i.e., essentially none).

A demo on hi hat operation. I start playing it with the pedal fully open, then demonstrate with pedal fully closed (tight), with a bit of variance in the velocity that I am hitting it. I then show some examples of using 'chic's during playing. Finally I show the full range of hi hat 'openness', starting from fully open, going to 'loose', then 'closed', then 'tight'. Finally I show how you can mute the hi hat with the foot pedal, accompanied by a 'chic' sound depending on how fast you close the pedal:

A simple demo using a couple of toms and crashes:

(Old video, included for archival purposes). Below is a video I have taken of Drum Master, using the original acoustic-modification pads. I apologise for the sound quality; they were taken with a cheap digital camera. If you are interested in a particular feature which I have not yet created a movie for, feel free to request it. I plan to add more videos of the new set once construction is complete.