Band Hero PS2 MIDI Modification

About: Electronics Engineer Musician and Designer Music Instruments

This is my first instructable and applies to modification Band Hero PS2 controller to proper MIDI drum controller for musicians who want get in cheap way pretty nice drum MIDI controller. Of course Band Hero PS2 has originally implemented MIDI and should working by default with MIDI but my controller doesn’t work properly. After power up Band Hero controller is able to sending MIDI data but with huge latency and bugs in the MIDI protocol. Moreover all the time controller tried get connected with PS2. After few minutes automatically turned off if failed connection with PS2 console. I tried get around that imperfection but I cannot. Googling around the world about problems witch Band Hero PS2 I figured out just I’m not alone and other users Band Hero have similar experience with original MIDI implementation.

So I decided to modify my stuff.

I hope this intractable will be useful for someone who want use Band Hero toy like proper MIDI controller.

For this basic modification you didn’t need use any additional microcontroller like Arduino, any coding work. Just you need couple of regular electronics components.

Use this mod only if you don’t want anymore use your Band Hero with PS2 console.

After this modification Band Hero becomes truly MIDI and standalone device which doesn’t work anymore for PS2 console.

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Step 1: Circuit Diagrams and Part List.

Attached circuit diagrams should be useful and readable for electronics beginners.

Unfortunately doesn't exist any Band Hero circuit diagrams and data sheets for originally included "exotic" parts.

At least I didn't found it.

Below is list of parts which is needed for modification.

2x 220R resistor
1x 330R resistor

1x 1N4148 diode

2x 220uF 6.3V

1x ON/OFF toggle miniature switch

1x universal boost step up converter 3 to 5V

If you decide using an 2 extra inputs (second bass drum and Hi-hat pedals) you need also:

1x an ordinary piezo disc 25 to 35mm

1x SPDT switch like Otehall 343-40-120NOZD40 with longer lever.

2m single core screened cable

2x 3,5mm jack plug mono.

Step 2: Pull Off the PCB

After opening Band Hero front mounted game pad and pull off the boards, you can see main PCB with attached on the top, smaller board where is installed wireless transceiver, boost converter 3,3V, memory chip and master MCU. Small top board is not useful anymore according to modification and need be removed permanently from the circuit.

After removing that board, all gaming buttons stop working because they are connected to the master MCU and mostly linked with control PS2 functions.

No worries about that, you not really need them in the basic midi drum pad controller. Drums working more than great without these buttons. Of course they can be useful for mapping them to MIDI CC messages or so. Additionally you can later implement buttons to MIDI functions but another one simple MCU need be introduced to the circuit and coding work must be done for that. Separately Intractable I will prepare for further extensions.

I sharing just basic mod which release full possibilities HA2005 and originally implemented MIDI.

Step 3: Circuit and Parts Identification

Midi board which contains IC”s: optocoupler PC900, MCU HA2005 where under this code is hidden an PIC 16Fxxx series and two op amps HA1504 with transistors and other parts responsible for conditioning analog signal incoming from piezoelectric sensors buried in pads. I’m not 100% sure which ones op amp is hidden under code HA1504 but it is quad op amp similar to LM324.

I cannot found any reliable info about parts under these component codes.

Manufacturers often create own "magic" codes and remark regular parts. I guess this is one of the not very smart protection from against DIY and hacking communities.

Step 4: Add Power Supply.

For battery operation you need use also an step up converter for boost voltage level to the 5V.

HA2005 programmed for MIDI operations working much better and is more stable under 5V than 3.3V.

I used regular and common available on eBay an boost step up converter 3V to 5V with extra 220uF capacitors for energy storage and filtering ripples incoming from converter.

Close to Ic PC900 is input for 5V VCC.

I soldered here two pins.To these pins should be connected boost converter and one of the filtering capacitors.

Step 5: ​Cutting the Tracks.

This is the most important step which should be done carefully without any mistakes.

Close to the socket MIDI output is small part of the circuit which should be disconnected and omitted by cut off couple of tracks.

This part of the circuit is old MIDI output circuit, includes voltage doubler for pin 4 and TTL level shifter. They are anymore useful and need be omitted.

Like I showed on the photos:

Very close to the GND hole, cut off the track between transistor and resistor. Track above resistor comes from

UART TX, pin 17 HA2005.

There is good spot for soldering wire and by resistor 220R should be connected to the pin 5 in MiDI out DIN socket.

Resistor can be soldered “in air” exactly to the pin socket and should be isolated in heat shrink tube.

Good soldering point is on opposite side of the board, under the socket.

Also under the socket we need cut off rest of the track and by this completely disconnect the old MIDI out circuit.

Midi input is fine and not require any extra work.

Pin 17 HA2005 is UART TX, data comes from that pin is the correct MIDI format and proper level, should be connected in standard way just by 220R resistor to the pin 5 DIN socket. Any other wiring like an old circuit have negative affect and can cause bugs in MIDI data.

Voltage reference on pin 4, DIN socket MIDI out must be 5V. Connect pin 4 by 220R resistor to the 5V output from boost converter.

Step 6: Assembling

Last test and put back modified board to the game pad enclosure. Connect ON/OFF switch between positive battery terminal and positive battery input on the boost converter board. Screw up together everything.

If modification goes smooth without mistakes, new Band Hero 2 MIDI drum controller is ready for play after power up.

Step 7: Extra Bass Drum and Hi-Hat Pedal.

If you don’t have original second bass drum and hi-hat foot pedal then you can easily make alternate pad or foot pedal from common available materials like pieces of foam, rubber, regular piezoelectric disc and switch.

Second bass drum sensor should be connected to second violet colour socket without any extra circuit.

Just take a meter screened cable and one side solder to the mono 3,5mm jack plug. Core cable should be soldered to the “tip” and screen should be soldered to the sleeve, other side cable should be connected to the piezoelectric disc, core to the active plate of disc often marked as a + and screen need be soldered to the GND disc. Now put piezo disc between 2 pieces of foam and boom boom. Poor but simplest way to get velocity sensitivity drum pad.

If you googling around “diy drum piezo pad” there is plenty of examples and useful ways to create really nice pads or pedals.

Hi-hat foot pedal is a normal open switch connected in series with 330R resistor and diode 1N4148. See attached circuit diagram. Resistor is very important, working here like overload current protection. Too strong control signal making mess and bugs in MIDI processing. Hi-hat input originally is unprotected.

The foot switch can be done also in many ways like drum pads or use an existing original pedal with resistor and the diode in series like circuit diagram showing.

I let you opportunity for research and find out the best design suitable for your needs without my suggestion.

My “drum pad” and “foot switch” was done just for testing inputs and it’s working very well despite their really poor and simplest “design”

Step 8: Conclusion

I presented the simplest way for rebuild Band Hero from PS2 and messy MIDI controller to 100% midi drum controller which is very useful not only for practice playing but you can use it for recording drum section in your songs or even play life because now Band Hero get very fast response time, nice velocity sensitivity and better circuit which is compatible with MIDI standards.

Of course level of latency is depending from individual configuration your input devices or software which will be used with Band Hero.

In my case where testing machine was an old MacBook Pro 2009, Logic X and an cheap dongle MIDItoUSB I was able keep level of 5.2ms latency. What is more than enough for almost “real-time” processing.

I have fun playing smooth without delays. I was able play series of very fast hits, my record is 12 hits in 1 second and controller easily catch up everything and without problems, processing it to MIDI!

Under Logic Pro , FL Studio Ableton Live you can easily mapping pads individually to the your favourite drum synthesisers, change configuration sound bank linked to the pads or control any functions in software.

Regarding gaming buttons which not working after modification. It is possible get them to work but for that you need implement another MCU and simple code. HA2005 after mod has free DATA and CLK pins and is ready for dealing with another MCU. Can also be added other controls input like potentiometers or encoder, small oLED screen and so on. Literally everything what is available under MIDI protocols for control music hardware or software.

If people show me that instructable is useful, I will publish part 2, another instructable about Band Hero 2 extension, I/O control board based on implementation second microcontroller.

Thank you for attention and your time!

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