Lights for drums - Beginner need some advice

Hey guys !

I'm Ghislain, nice to meet you. I'm a student and just discovered Arduino so I'm a beginner :slight_smile:

During concerts, me and my band are performing a drum solo with a lot of percussions, and we'd like to put some lights inside (1 per percussion, at first :P), that turns on when hitting the ... top ? skin ? sorry for my english. The thing that we hit on drums.

So yeah, I don't know which lights to choose, according to their power, their constraints, the captors, and the Arduino version I have to use.

Can you guys help me and give me some idea please ? :slight_smile:
Thanks a lot

A stroboscope would be cool. It is designed to produce bright flashes. If you want them in different colours, you can put some coloured gels for photography.

Unless the strobe has a built-in mic to pick out sounds, this won't work for what the OP wants to do. There are different ways of approaching this. Either use an electet microphone to pick up the drum sounds, or a vibration sensor, or even a piezo speaker can be used to pick up sounds and have an Arduino read the analog signal and control a string of LEDs. Google is your friend.

KirAsh4:
Unless the strobe has a built-in mic to pick out sounds, this won't work for what the OP wants to do. There are different ways of approaching this. Either use an electet microphone to pick up the drum sounds, or a vibration sensor, or even a piezo speaker can be used to pick up sounds and have an Arduino read the analog signal and control a string of LEDs. Google is your friend.

Most electronic drum sets consist of a rubber plate (the "skin" of the drum) with a piezo transducer attached to the back. You may well be able to affix a piezo transducer direct to the back of the skin of the drum (if it is open bottomed) and use that to control an array of LEDs.

The question was not how to sense the beating on the drum nor how to trigger the light, it was which lights to use.

Shpaget:
The question was not how to sense the beating on the drum nor how to trigger the light, it was which lights to use.

I assumed "the captors" should be translated as "the sensors", or "the transducers", since you don't want to be done for kidnapping lights...

As for lights... How bright do you want them to be? What will the ambient light levels be? Do you want this battery, or mains powered?

An LED strip works great for this stuff. Line it on the inside of the rim, hook up a 5V source (or 12V depending on which strip you use), with a small MCU that can read and translate the hits on the head and you have a product.

and the Arduino version I have to use.

For a simple set-up, you'll need one input for each sensor and one output for each lamp. The basic [u]Arduino Uno[/u] has 7 analog inputs and 14 digital input/output pins. That should be enough for your average drum kit.

There are some "tricks" (matrixing or multiplexing) for getting more outputs. I'm driving 48 individually-addressable LEDs serially from 3 Uno outputs.

Some random thoughts...

  • If you put the lights inside the drums, you'll see a nice effect, but I would guess your audience can't see the drum heads very well, except for the kick drum. :wink:

  • Regular incandescent lights are inexpensive and a 75W or 100W colored flood can put-out lots of light. With solid-state relays, they are easy to hook-up to an Arduino (although you are working with dangerous line-voltage on the output side of the relay). On the downside, they take a fraction of a second to turn on/off... They can't "snap-on" instantly like an LED or xenon strobe. And, incandescent lights are not easily dimmed from a microcontroller. Solid-state relays can be kind-of expensive, but overall I think incandescent lights will be the cheapest (and easist) way of getting lots of light.

  • You can run a single regular LED directly from the Arduino, but you won't get enough light from one LED. (A single LED is a great way to develop and debug your project.) Multiple LEDs or an LED strip will need their own power supply and one MOSFET per "channel". High-power LEDs will need a special constant-current power supply. LEDs are easy to dim from a microcontroller. (With high-power LEDs, you have to make sure the constant-current supply is "dimmable".)

If you use RGB LEDs you can make a color-changing display that lights-up in any colors you want. This does require more wiring (3 outputs for each LED/channel) and you can't wire your LEDs as a matrix.

  • I'd actually recommend using incandescent lights and solid state relays to begin with. Then after you get your sensors working, and you get familiar with the Arduino, you can design something "more advanced" if you want.

Thanks guys for your answers :slight_smile: It took me a long time to translate everything, but i’ll answer to everyone :stuck_out_tongue:

A stroboscope would be cool.

: This can make basic light in addition to its main function of stroboscope ? If yes, it might be a good solution :slight_smile:

or even a piezo speaker can be used to pick up sounds and have an Arduino read the analog signal and control a string of LEDs. Google is your friend.

: OK thanks :slight_smile: I’ll check on google. Piezo transducer = piezo speaker ? same thing ?

You may well be able to affix a piezo transducer direct to the back of the skin of the drum (if it is open bottomed)

: No it’s not actually, but this will be :stuck_out_tongue: Some other guys advised me the pizeo transducer, I think I’ll choose this

The question was not how to sense the beating on the drum nor how to trigger the light, it was which lights to use.

: it’s ok, it also helped me to choose the sensor :slight_smile:

How bright do you want them to be? What will the ambient light levels be?

: I want them bright enough to project lights on the person who’ll be playing on it. (the drum solo consists of 4 persons playing in front of the audience, with one 16x16 floor tom for each.) So I’ll need 4 arduino ?
The ambient light will depend on where we’re playing… :slight_smile: But we have our light engineer most of the time, so we can ask him to turn off every lights !

An LED strip works great for this stuff. Line it on the inside of the rim, hook up a 5V source (or 12V depending on which strip you use), with a small MCU that can read and translate the hits on the head and you have a product.

: hey man that’s a good idea ! I didn’t think about it ! I might choose this solution if there’s no solution for my first idea of the project :slight_smile:

For a simple set-up, you’ll need one input for each sensor and one output for each lamp. The basic Arduino Uno has 7 analog inputs and 14 digital input/output pins. That should be enough for your average drum kit.

: As I said earlier in this message, this is not for a drum kit :slight_smile: but for 4 floor tom. May be this will be more simple to have 1 arduino inside each tom ? For transportation, and to avoid a lot of cables on stage ?

  • If you put the lights inside the drums, you’ll see a nice effect, but I would guess your audience can’t see the drum heads very well, except for the kick drum.

: I’d like to have this kind of brightness : http://youtu.be/bLUFg-kh4e0 - Time : 1:46 - Is this hard to do ? For the rest of your thougts, thank you, I’ll think about everything you said and I’ll reply to you later today :slight_smile:

Thanks !

I think few 5050 SMD RGB led strips could be enough (pretty cheap too). I suggest getting 5050 strips, 3528 won’t be bright enough.
You can find 5 meters of the RGB strip for under 20$ on eBay. If you don’t need multiple colors, just buy those one-color strips.