Electronic Drum Kit

Velocity-sensitive impact sensors in PVC pipes interface to a micro drum machine.

By Tom Zimmerman


Photograph by Sam Murphy

March to the beat of a very different drum.

An electronic drum is basically a switch that triggers the playback of a digitally recorded drum. Here’s how I built tubular drum controllers out of PVC pipe and connected them to a studio drum machine to create a professional-sounding electronic drum kit.

Each controller has a guitar string suspended above 4 strips of aluminum tape. When you strike the string ...

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