Introduction: Midi Orff Bass Bar Drum Pads

About: Musician, Educator, Music Tech Nerd!

Want to make a midi drum? Want to have a transposing Orff Bass Bar? Follow this tutorial and make your own! Modification encouraged... Get weird with it!

Step 1: Materials Needed


Arduino Pro Micro- Link
USB mini cable
Drum sensor piezo- Link
22 gauge wire
Soldering Iron
Arduino IDE Software
Flat material for percussive surface
10Mohm resistors(or other high value resistor)- Link



Step 2: The Basic Idea

Follow the wiring diagram and drop the code into the Arduino (make sure to import the MIDI_Controller.h library into the Arduino IDE software)

You might want to follow these steps:

1. Solder the resistors to the drum sensor leads.
2. Solder lengths of wire from the resistors to pin 4 & 6 of the Arduino.
3. Solder a length of wire from the 5V input of the potentiometer to the 5V inputs on the drum sensors.
4. With all of the 5V sensors connected in a junction, run a wire to the 5V output (VCC) of the Arduino. Yay! Now everything can have some power!
5. Run(solder) wires from the ground(opposite of power) and data(middle) of the pot to the respective(GND & A1) inputs on the Arduino.
6. Upload the code and test it out in your favorite DAW.
*I used Ableton* but anything with midi mapping and note release modifications would work well.

Step 3: The Code

Open the sketch in the IDE software and make sure you have imported the MIDI_controller.h library into the software. If you have trouble try searching for "how to import .zip library into Arduino IDE"

You can change the notes the midi controller outputs if you want, I have it set up to do C4 and G4 on Midi Channel 1.

Select compile for "Arduino Leonardo" and upload it to your Pro Micro.

You can mount the drum sensors on literally anything that can be hit. I've used a cardboard box, wood blocks. Use anything!

Step 4: Get Weird

I went to my Maker Space and used some plastic resin, paper plates, and dyes to get a cool looking effect. Afterwards I used hot glue to attach the drum sensors.

I also used an old mint tin to shove the guts into. I lined the inside with tape so there wouldn't be any shorts in the circuit.

Step 5: Demo

Using Ableton I mapped the potentiometer to control pitch +-12 steps. I also used my midifighter(another diy project) to remote in some patch changes. Thanks for reading! I would love to help anybody trying this project out, don't hesitate to reach out!

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