Picture of Drum Pedal conversion for Rock Band
The drum pedal that ships with Rock Band is not built to last and doesn't have a good action if you've played drums before. The Rock Band 2 pedal is built with more metal than the first version, but key areas are still thin plastic. In this project we take a quality (real) drum pedal and convert it for Rock Band (Xbox) use. After only about an hour of work (or less if you're fast), we'll end up with a solid, adjustable pedal, and the best part is it can still function on a real set of drums.

Here's what we'll need:
- (Real) Bass drum pedal
- an audio cord with a mono 1/8" plug
- a reed switch/relay
- small magnet(s)

There are quite a few projects like this around the web, but I wanted to capture what worked well for me.
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Step 1: Buying a decent pedal

Picture of Buying a decent pedal
If you don't already have a drum set, cheap quality pedals aren't hard to come by - just hit up eBay or your local pawn shop. EBay seems to sell dozens each day and if you're patient you can get a good pedal for not a lot of dough.

I stalked the auctions for a couple weeks and got this barely used Mapex pedal for about $35 (it retails for over twice that).

I definitely recommend a pedal that has floor spurs (if you play Rock Band on carpet), since this pedal won't connect to your plastic set like the original.

Step 2: Planning the trigger

Some similar projects trigger a sensor with the beater itself - either with an embedded magnet or piezoelectric sensor. But this requires you to built a pad for your beater to hit (or convert a bass practice pad). This has a couple disadvantages. For one, to use the pedal with a real kit, you have to disassemble this pad, and add it again to play the video game. Also, if you're building the pad, you need to make something sturdy enough to take a lot of abuse without losing its alignment.

I decided it was much simpler all around to mount the trigger under the pedal (similar to the Rock Band design).
hock3ydud35 years ago
I made my own pedal about 10 months ago also, and it is actually almost exactly like yours. I even made an instructable too lol
Decepticon6 years ago
That's damn cool! I really want to get the ION drum kit, but it's too expensive for me right now. THis is the next best thing. That's the one gripe I have with the drums is that the kick is not sensitive enough and it feels cheap. Now all you need to do is get a double kick setup for those really tough songs! All you would need is a 1/8" mono Y splitter and another kick pedal setup just like this one! Kudos!
Trouble with that - is its not a piezo like in guitar hero - its a switch, so hitting one switch would prevent the other from hitting, you'd need to have your foot 'up' on one for the other to hit, and the second wouldnt register if the first was down. On fast rolls where you keep the pedal low to the ground, it could have a lot of misses.
Any ideas on how to remedy that? I really want a 2nd pedal but if it doesn't work like it should then I wouldn't bother. Unless there was a better way.
flaming_pele! (author)  Decepticon6 years ago
Yeah a simple splitter won't work like frollard said. You need to add an extra circuit to convert your foot press to a pulse instead on a constant closure. I plan to add this eventually, but in the meantime you can check out:
Thanks for the link! That is EXACTLY what I was searching for. I will begin gathering the parts.
flaming_pele! (author) 6 years ago
By the way, this works perfect on Playstation 3 in addition to Xbox, just in case anyone was wondering. Haven't had a chance to see the Wii kit.
Instead of using a relay couldn't you just use a pushbutton switch?
flaming_pele! (author)  QuiksilverRox6 years ago
Absolutely! But depending on the switch it may not hold up for long against the constant stomping. The nice thing about the reed switch is that there's no physical contact.
Yeah, the stock controller uses a reed - and if you have a broken pedal - *(excepting like my friend, with a broken reed switch) you could add the components to a real pedal :D