Picture of Arduino Air Drums
This instructable will tell you how to make your own set of air drums using little more than an Arduino microcontroller and a few accelerometers. 
Here's a video of the drums I based this design off of: 


My drums feature a number of improvements over those shown in the video:

-Funtional Hi Hat Pedal: Looking at the original designer's code, I noticed he never got the photocell "hi-hat" to work. Instead, he programmed the cymbal drumstick to play a crash at high acceleration and a closed hi hat at lower accelerations. 

-More responsive drumsticks and pedals

Step 1: Get Your Materials

Items you will need (can be found on sparkfun.com unless otherwise noted): 
4 - 6 foot usb a male - a male cords
8 - usb female type a smd connectors 
3 - adxl 335 accelerometers 
1 - Mini photocell 
1- 10k resistor
1- 220 ohm resistor
1- MIDI Connector - Female Right Angle
1- MIDI USB converter (find it on Amazon.com for around $5) 
Arduino Uno microcontroller 
A Breadboard
Lots of Wire  
Cheap flip flops you can cut up (got mine at target for $3) 
Replacement strap for flip flops (I used some tennis wristbands for this) 
Air drumsticks (I used some PVC pipe) 
uneyrand2 years ago
After many time, I find the solution for ME

put A0 (hithat) A2 (snare) A3 (Crash) A4 (Bass)

in the program i change : int Threshold = 125; TO int Threshold = 700;

For Apple Garage Band the midi for a good hit hat :
{playMidiNote(1, 44, 127);}
{playMidiNote(1, 46, 127);}

uneyrand2 years ago
Hello, i try to do the same thing and i will thank you for your post... BUT....
There is for me 2 mistakes

1- in your comment you say "Hook up the z terminals of the accelerometers to the analog inputs 0,1, and 4 of the arduino." for me it's wrong and doesn't work... i have to put A0 (hithat) A2 (snare) A3 (Crash) A4 (Bass), and this work much better

2- My Hit Hat doesn't work... :'( When we look to your program they is a line with "int CrashPin = A5;" You never said to put something in A5 analog pin.... And When we look CLOSER to the picture to your system (Step 5, where there are the 4 usb)
we can see that : Top to bottum
1st usb -> 2 wire -> hithat Photocell OK
2nd usb -> 3 wire -> Snare or Bass OK
3rd usb -> 3 wire -> Bass or Snare OK
4th usb -> 4 wire -> accelerometer HITHAT ? Why? in your schema you never put 4 wire. (step 3) I think, i need a wire on the A5 pin .... ?

i put a LED on the photocell this is working, my crash is OK Bass OK , Snare OK

Can you help me to make function the HIT HAT in the TWO ways ?

I need your Help please
Thank you for what you done !!
it's so nice !