Electronic Drum Kit

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

By Tom Zimmerman


March to the beat of a very different drum.

Photograph by Sam Murphy

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 with a drumstick, it touches the tape and closes a circuit to trigger the corresponding sound from the ...

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