- Drum Machine + Groove Box Arduino Hardware

Beat707 is an Arduino Shield that adds several neat features to your musical arsenal. You get a 32 step machine, with 16 step buttons and leds, LCD screen and navigation keys. Its like the classic Roland TR707 but with some twists, as it actually has 32 x 1/32 or 32 x 1/64 steps. Plus, the 2 note-step sequence feature allows you to do bass and/or synth lines -- it's a MIDI groove-box all in one ! The unit doesn't produce any sound, its all MIDI based, so you can use any MIDI compatible device.

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This project is a joint collaboration between and Rugged Circuits. We've made a proper Arduino shield that plugs in on top of an Arduino Uno, Duemilanove, or Mega/Mega2560 (not included). The software performs all the drum machine functions, but you can always tweak it to do whatever you want (with the source code reward levels). We've added EEPROM, FLASH, and expandability options and connectors.

And it's not just a drum machine: the hardware is a general-purpose MIDI development platform and playground. The awesome software from is what provides the drum machine functionality, but you can run any software you want on your Arduino to make use of the hardware.

March 31 Update

Version 1.0.0 of the Beat707 software is done! So are the final versions of the Eagle schematics and bill-of-materials, and we are going to be e-mailing out these documents to our backers today.

March 30 Update

PCB’s have been ordered, should be here by April 13. Backers who did not need assembled boards should expect their boards+components to be mailed out by the end of that week (April 15). For backers who wanted assembled boards, add on about an extra week.

Even though the Kickstarter period is over we’re still accepting orders. We’re going to order about 5-6 extra sets of PCB’s and parts for any stragglers so if you know anyone else who might want a Beat707, send 'em our way.

Also, if you want to upgrade your reward level we can accept the difference in payment through PayPal at < sales@ruggedcircuits.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

The final board layout is shown in the attached image. We kept everything mostly the same in order to not require another prototyping cycle (that would have delayed things by about a month). We do have free pins brought out to header spots where you can wire in a CV gate output or potentiometer. Even more free pins are available on a header if you use a Mega.

A couple of small innovations to the final design are:

  • Bottom of the board has been extended (dimensions are now 8.165" x 3.365") to allow numbering the buttons, and also provide extra mounting holes for stability. The board had a tendency to tip towards you when one of the 16 sequence buttons was pressed.
  • LCD brightness and contrast potentiometers were replaced with larger through-hole devices that are easier to solder
  • Great idea by William: PCB’s will come with black soldermask, white lettering, key caps will be grey, except for red record button and red 1/5/9/13 sequence buttons (we attempted to show these button colors in the attached image).
  • Extra mounting hole near top-right of board to allow LCD mounting hole to be used just for the LCD and not require a specially-sized screw.