This very cool DIY drumming setup uses an Arduino and a MIDI—that’s short for “musical instrument digital interface”—device to create a drum kit sound without the drum kit price tag. Move the drumsticks to hit the snare or cymbal; tap your feet to hear the bass or hi-hat.
Two 1 1⁄2-inch (3.75-cm) wooden dowels, about 1 foot (30 cm) in length
Eight USB female type A connectors
Three ADXL335 accelerometers
Soldering iron and solder
Two 11⁄2-inch (3.75-cm) vinyl end caps
Rubber-soled shoes you don’t mind donating to the cause
Four USB male-to-male type A cables
Five-pin DIN connector 5-volt DC-power supply with 2.1mm jack USB-to-MIDI interface
Drill a hole through the two dowels—these will be your drumsticks. In each drumstick, widen the holes to fit a USB female connector at one end and an accelerometer at the other end.
Follow the circuitry diagram to solder together your cymbal and snare, housing their circuitry in the left and right drumsticks, respectively. Cover the ends of the dowels with vinyl end caps.
Make a hole through the rubber sole of each shoe, drilling from the heel to the toe. Widen the holes to fit a USB female socket at both heels, an accelerometer near the toe of the left shoe, and a photocell near the toe of the right shoe.
The left shoe will function as your bass drum pedal, while the right will work as a hi-hat pedal. Follow the circuitry diagram to attach their components.
Use the male-to-male USB connectors to attach both the drumsticks and the shoes to the remaining four USB female connectors. Attach these USB ports to the Arduino UNO and the drumsticks and shoes to the five- pin DIN connector according to the circuitry diagram.
Download the drum kit code from http://popsci.com/thebigbookofhacks. Program your Arduino with the code and start running it.
Plug your MIDI device into the DIN port, then connect the MIDI device to your computer. Plug the 5-volt DC-power supply into a wall outlet.
Slip the shoes onto your feet, pick up your sticks, and drum away. Head banging is encouraged.
This project was excerpted from The Big Book Of Hacks: 264 Amazing DIY Tech Projects, a compendium of ingenious and hilarious projects for aspiring makers. Buy it here. And for more amazing hacks, go here.
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