This MIDI kit just
wants to bang on
the drum all day.
By Michael Una
It’s no Buddy Rich, but
this little ’bot can really
lick the skins.
I used to have a drum kit in high school, and I spent hours whapping away
at it in an attempt to build up some decent chops. Then I realized I wanted
to do more with my hands than just play drums, so I sold my kit and bought
a drum machine.
Digital drum machines can be easily programmed knowledge of user communities. There are a few kits
to play many different sounds and rhythms, but out there that’ll do the job, but we’ll be using Highly
ultimately they sound a little canned. Why not make Liquid’s MSA-R MIDI decoder kit. I enjoy this kit for
a machine that plays real drums? its ease of assembly, low price, and solid operation.
My Drumbot has the programmable flexibility and The decoder we’ll assemble will take incoming
sequenced tight rhythm of a drum machine, while MIDI note data and translate it to control the
producing a more natural sound by striking actual opening and closing of 8 switches. Because the kit
drums (or boxes, or tabletops, or whatever). is preprogrammed and does all the heavy lifting, all
Building your own drum-playing robot is now we need to do is solder it together and attach a few
affordable and easy, mostly due to advancements switch-activated mechanical strikers to serve as our
in programmable microcontrollers and the shared drummer’s hands.
Photograph by Sam Murphy
60 Make: Volume 15