Drum Master

DIY Electronic Drum Brain


Drum Pads

Once you have completed the Drum Master assembly, you can start working on the pads. This website does not contain details on how to do this, as there are hundreds of different approaches. There are a number of pages which give different approaches; these range from something as simple as a Pizeo glued to a block of wood to an acoustic drum set with triggers inside.

However, what you do need to know here is how to wire your pads to connect to the RJ45 jacks used on the board.

If you don't have an RJ45 crimping tool, the easiest way to do this is to just use normal networking cables, and cut them in half. You can get short network cables (about 6 or 9 feet) for not too much money these days, and each cable can give you access to two pads. Any spec of wire will work - CAT3, CAT5, CAT6, etc.

When you cut the cable in half, you will see eight wires, with each solid-colored wire wrapped around another wire which is striped white and the other color. For instance, the blue wire will be wrapped around a blue / white striped wire. The chart below lists the wire color with the pin number (on the RJ45 plug), and the function in Drum Master.

Pin NumberColorFunction
1Orange / WhiteData 1
2OrangeData 2
3Green / WhiteGND
4BlueData 3
5Blue / WhiteV+
6GreenData 4
7Brown / WhiteData 5
8BrownData 6

Connecting Analog Sensors

When you wire up your Piezo elements, you need to attach the outside brass ring to GND, and the inside white circle to one of the data channels. It is recommended to start at Data 1 for your primary sensor, and increment as needed if you have multiple zones on a pad, but this is not required. As long as you know which wire is connected, you can then patch a jumper cable between the corresponding RJ45 breakout header pin and one of the inputs 0 - 31 (analog).

Connecting Digital Sensors

To connect a digital switch, you should attach a switch between GND and the chosen data channel. You then have to use a jumper wire to connect the RJ45 breakout pin with one of the inputs 0 - 7 on the digital part of the board.

When the switch is closed, Drum Master will report '1' (high); when the switch is open, Drum Master will report a '0' (low).

Connecting Active Electronics

If you want to connect some active components (such as an accelerometer, IR detector, etc), you can use the supplied V+ (5 volts) to power the elements. Be careful not to short out this wire to ground, as you can potentially damage your Arduino and / or your computer. (Most computers will detect a short in a USB device, and cut power to it before it can damage anything; however, I am not responsible for anything you do to your computer or drum hardware while following these instructions).