DMX Drum Trigger Lighting

Hi all,

This is my first post here. Pleased to be apart of the forum.

I’m putting together a lighting project for my band (i’m the drummer) with an Arduino Mega and a DMX shield that has a number of Piezos on the drum kit which activate lights when triggered. The setup includes a foot switch to arm/disarm the process and a small LED screen and LED that indicates the status. This is inspired by this video, which is fairly old now:

There is no source code available for this, so I’ve decided to piece the code together myself. I have all the hardware wired correctly (i.e. it’s all working) and I can trigger the lights via DMX with the Piezos. What I can’t seem to do is find the best loop method to activate the lights. I want the code to send the DMX HIGH to the channel independently with a small delay to allow the lights to activate and then after n seconds set DMX channel to LOW (I hope that all makes sense…). If I want to trigger another light while the first light is activated, that should not interfere with the process. I have tinkered with IF, FOR, WHILE statements and can’t quite seem to get this to function to do exactly what I want. Sometimes the DMX commands interfere with other DMX commands, sometimes the timer doesn’t work, etc. This is my current set of code, I would appreciate some tips for writing the loop with the piezo trigger functions independent from one another and on a set timer if possible:

#include <SPI.h>
#include <Wire.h>
#include <Adafruit_GFX.h>
#include <Adafruit_SSD1306.h>
#include <DmxSimple.h>

#define SCREEN_WIDTH 128 // OLED display width, in pixels
#define SCREEN_HEIGHT 32 // OLED display height, in pixels

// Declaration for an SSD1306 display connected to I2C (SDA, SCL pins)
#define OLED_RESET     4 // Reset pin # (or -1 if sharing Arduino reset pin)

#define LOGO_HEIGHT   16
#define LOGO_WIDTH    16
void lights_1();
void lights_2();
const int buttonPin = 3;
const int ledPin = 13;
const int ledPin2 = 8;
const int knockSensor = A10;
const int knockSensor1 = A11;
int threshold = 1023;
int threshold_1 = 1023;
bool threshold_met = false;

// variable to hold the value of the switchPin
int sensorReading = 0;
int sensorReading1 = 0;
volatile int switchState = LOW;

// Variables will change:
int lightState_1 = LOW;
int lightState_2 = LOW;
int lightState_3 = LOW;

// Generally, you should use "unsigned long" for variables that hold time
// The value will quickly become too large for an int to store
unsigned long previousMillis_1 = 0;        // will store last time LED was updated
unsigned long previousMillis_2 = 0;        // will store last time LED was updated
unsigned long previousMillis_3 = 0;        // will store last time LED was updated

// constants won't change:
const long interval_1 = 1500;           // interval at which to blink (milliseconds)
const long interval_2 = 1500;           // interval at which to blink (milliseconds)
const long interval_3 = 2000;           // interval at which to blink (milliseconds)

static const unsigned char PROGMEM logo_bmp[] =
{ B00000000, B11000000,
  B00000001, B11000000,
  B00000001, B11000000,
  B00000011, B11100000,
  B11110011, B11100000,
  B11111110, B11111000,
  B01111110, B11111111,
  B00110011, B10011111,
  B00011111, B11111100,
  B00001101, B01110000,
  B00011011, B10100000,
  B00111111, B11100000,
  B00111111, B11110000,
  B01111100, B11110000,
  B01110000, B01110000,
  B00000000, B00110000

void setup() {
  // SSD1306_SWITCHCAPVCC = generate display voltage from 3.3V internally
  if (!display.begin(SSD1306_SWITCHCAPVCC, 0x3C)) { // Address 0x3C for 128x32
    Serial.println(F("SSD1306 allocation failed"));
    for (;;); // Don't proceed, loop forever

  // Show initial display buffer contents on the screen --
  // the library initializes this with an Adafruit splash screen.

  // Clear the buffer

  // Draw a single pixel in white
  display.drawPixel(10, 10, SSD1306_WHITE);

  // Show the display buffer on the screen. You MUST call display() after
  // drawing commands to make them visible on screen!

  //Button Confugration
  pinMode(buttonPin, INPUT);

  //Led Configuration
  pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(ledPin2, OUTPUT);

  pinMode(2, OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(2, HIGH);

  attachInterrupt(1, buttonLow, CHANGE);


void loop() {
  sensorReading = analogRead(knockSensor);
  sensorReading1 = analogRead(knockSensor1);
  unsigned long currentMillis_1 = millis();
  unsigned long currentMillis_2 = millis();
  if (switchState == HIGH) {

    if (sensorReading >= threshold) {
      threshold_met = true;
      if (currentMillis_1 - previousMillis_1 >= interval_1) {
        //previousMillis_1 = currentMillis_1;
        DmxSimple.write(2, 255);
      else {
        DmxSimple.write(2, 0);
    if (sensorReading1 >= threshold_1) {
      if (currentMillis_2 - previousMillis_2 >= interval_2) {
        //previousMillis_2 = currentMillis_2;
        DmxSimple.write(3, 255);
      else {
        DmxSimple.write(3, 0);
  else {

void buttonLow() {
  switchState = digitalRead(buttonPin);
  digitalWrite(ledPin, switchState);

void update_display_armed() {
  char msg[8] = "";
  display.setCursor(5, 2);

  snprintf(msg, sizeof msg, "");


void update_display_disarmed() {
  char msg[10] = "";
  display.setTextColor(WHITE, BLACK);
  display.setCursor(35, 2);

  snprintf(msg, sizeof msg, "");

Many thanks.