Yes I'm aware it's been done plenty of times.. but I really want a decent sounding and looking electronic drumset; instead of simply piezos glued to CDs for tabletop finger drumming
Basic idea (like everyone else) : 1)Use a piezo either inserted in a practice pad or stuck behind a DIY pad (like the one here : http://www.instructables.com/id/Electronic-Drum-Pad/ ) I plan to use a 4051 to expand my inputs 2.1)use a midi connector for arduino and use a MIDI-USB cable and use REAPER + EZDrummer OR 2.2) Use a serial to midi driver/converter like the one at Spikenzielabs or the one by the laser-harp inventor to send output to MIDIYoke and use that virtual midi port as an input for a drum sampler like EZDrummer in Reaper or FLStudio
3)Shift the whole thing to my netbook on which I can install a Linux distro. Hydrogen/LMMS can be used although I'm guessing they are no where as good as Reaper + EZDrummer. But the advantage of Linux is that I can throw out all the unnecessary software packages (networking, etc) and create a really light, fast and reliable dedicated 'drum processing' distro..
Now I tried this with one piezo; I soldered the leads to the piezo and put a 1 megaohm resistor in parallel, used the demo sketch here : http://spikenzielabs.com/SpikenzieLabs/Serial_MIDI.html (I did NOT use the driver on that page which gave me some problems, I just used the sketch) and used this : http://www.stephenhobley.com/blog/2010/02/15/serial-port-midi-relay/ as my converter.
So what happens is, as soon as I strike the piezo, I hear a piano note from my PC speakers.. I also modified the sketch so that instead of '127' as the midi velocity, I send the analog read value divided by 8 (max value from analog read is 1023, and max midi velocity value is 127) to the software So now I've got the basic idea working with 'velocity' sensing Only thing left is setting up Reaper with the Spikenzie drivers (the above mentioned driver that I successfully tried doesn't allow me to choose/config MIDI ports ) .. which is giving me problems.
Once I manage to get hold of a midi connector and the cable, I can try the whole thing with todbot's code : http://todbot.com/blog/2006/10/29/spooky-arduino-projects-4-and-musical-arduino/ so I can get out of the whole software mess.
I've also read up on the MIDI format and how the 'messages' are structured (instruction,note,velocity)
Anything else I should think about before diving in and starting the whole thing on the real scale (making drum pads, tubing, etc ? ) What features would it unavoidably lack as compared to pro e-drums ?
Let me also mention, if it matters, that one of the main reasons that I chose to go the DIY way is cost.. Yes I'm aware you usually get what you pay for .. but still...
I have also looked at most of the open-hardware drum brains on the internet, but I've no advanced knowledge of electronics yet to make sense of their designs/instuctions.. Maybe after 3-4 years I'll be able to use those schematics ditch the computer entirely .. or better still get a real drum set, but for now the way I see it,this is the only way to go.
Thanks for reading the whole post