Instructables
Picture of Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Feel the Tiny Boom!

Ever feel like you're missing some beats? Does your day need a better soundtrack? Feel the boom with the Super GrooveAxe! It's a pocket sized, battery powered drum machine & sequencer that you can take anywhere. It makes every moment special.

The Super GrooveAxe is available as a kit on Gadget Gangster

Here's a demo:



Step 1: FAQ

Picture of FAQ
What is the Super GrooveAxe?
The Super GrooveAxe is a mini drum machine / sequencer. 4 sounds are available, and the playback speed of the pattern can be controlled.

How do I use it?
There's a switch on the Battery Box, flip it on. The Red light will start blinking about every 1/4 second. Push one of the 4 sound samples, and you'll hear it play. The sample will repeat, and you you can layer on the other samples with each repetition to build up a complex pattern. The replay speed of the pattern can be controlled with the tempo button;  push it once to change the tempo. Wait for as long as you'd like the tempo to last, and hit it again. Your pattern will now play with the new tempo.

Where does the sound come out?
Sound comes out from the 3.5mm Audio jack on the top center. You can plug it directly into headphones or to another amp / input with a dubbing cable.

How long do the batteries last?
I haven't been patient enough to run the batteries all the way down, but I'd estimate around 30 hours of play time. It runs on 3xAA's. 

Is it hard to put together?
NO!  In fact, it makes a great first-time project.  If you've soldered stuff before, it will take you about 20 minutes to put together, a little more if this is your first time.

Where does the sound come out?
The sound comes out of the 3.5mm headphone jack. 

How big is it?
The GrooveAxe will fit in your hand, it's about 4" x 1". 


The original GrooveAxe was designed by Grandtippler - he has re-done the audio samples and I designed the PCB for this improved version.  A kit or bare PCB are available on Gadget Gangster.



 
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Ploopy1 year ago
It would be cool if you connected the power source to a USB then put your own switch
Do the pcb names correspond with the numbers on the schematic such as R1, R2, R3? I noticed the switches don't...
Jodex4 years ago
On the step seven, ain't the LED connected backwards? Because on the PCB the flattened side is the same that you tell to be the longer lead, positive. But the flattened side is negative.. Anyways Great instructable!
Gadget Gangster (author)  Jodex4 years ago
Normally you would be correct.  The PCB also shows the correct marking.  But the kit comes with a very weird LED from Mouser which flips the leads. 
Okay. I've never seen an LED like that before..
i have two giant leds like that.
can you give me the circut diagram?
goatambush4 years ago
am I the only one who was like wtf when they saw the susan b anthony quarter, why would you use that for comparison, wouldn't it be much more convenient to use a regular coin that's still in circulation? I'm not trying to be a naysayer, that just strikes me as odd.
Gadget Gangster (author)  goatambush4 years ago
Ha! I got those from the light rail ticket machine.  I had already deposited my quarters and this was all I had left.

What's wrong with Susan B. Anthony?  Don't like suffrage?
that's kinda cool, I've never actually come across one before, I have one that was given to me though. It would be neat to just get one like that. I'm certainly not opposed to women's suffrage.
Kiteman4 years ago
That's a nice little kit.

How easy is it to alter the sounds?  Are there plans for a version with a programming connection for the PicAXE?
Kiteman Kiteman4 years ago
(And are you planning to recreate a whole rock band like this?)
Gadget Gangster (author)  Kiteman4 years ago
That would rock so hard!  I was just thinking last night about a digital didgeridoo - maybe that will be the next instrument. 

As for re-programming, I decided not to include a programming jack to keep the size down, but the chip is socketed, so it's easy to pull out and reprogram.  

If you're familiar with the picaxe, changing the sounds isn't that hard (Grandtippler's code is on the last page of the instructable), the sounds are defined at the end of the code.  It is hard, though, to get interesting sounds.  I think that takes a lot of experimentation.  And to re-program, you'll need a programming cable
The didgeridoo sounds good (analogue control?).

I stand by my question, and expect a video in the near future: BohemianRhapsodyAxe!
Gadget Gangster (author)  Kiteman4 years ago
Grandtippler also did a stylophone (the NoiseAxe - it's on instructables).  That makes for a 2 man band, but it probably will need more melody. 

He also did the MemAxe, but that's more of a musical 'simon says' game.
Bongmaster4 years ago
hmm.. i been interested in looking at picaxe for a while now.
i mainly use arduino stuff , custom boards mainly cos its cheaper to make my own XD.

wouldn't mind trying this out if i can source the chips cheap xD
Gadget Gangster (author)  Bongmaster4 years ago
The PICaxe is great when you need cheap & simple logic.  You're not going to drive a video display, but you can use it to do plenty of basic logic stuff.  Programming it is easy, but  the 08M is pretty memory constrained.

You can get the PICaxe from sparkfun - I think an 08M is $5, and the programming cable is $25.  I've also started playing with the kic chip, which is a freeware version of the PICaxe.  There's more info on the Kic here.

For me, I use a Propeller when the project has advanced requirements, and a PICaxe when I just need basic logic.  
I'll prolly stick with the arduino stuff for now XD

how hard do u think it would be to build an arduino version of this using an atmega168 or 328?
Gadget Gangster (author)  Bongmaster4 years ago
I not an arduino expert, but it shouldn't be that hard.  You'll need to do some basic FM synthesis, but if you can pwm an LED, it should be similar.  

This project uses a PICaxe for size (only 8 pins) and cost (a PICaxe 08M is $5 and just needs a single resistor to run).  There are plenty of other uControllers that would meet those requirements, though.