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How to make a virtual drum kit with a pc keyboard or a simple music keyboard? Answered

Please anyone instruct me how to make a virtual drum kit using any of these above mentioned methods. I've seen some instructables,but I'm not an electro-savant so I could'nt understand much. Any help with a VIDEO tutorial (or not) will be appriciated.


With the right software you can have any standard keyboard act as a drum kit. Then it's a matter of pulling the Keyboard apart, mapping out what combination of pins on the small PCB in the keyboard trigger the buttons you want to use. The you can run wires to micro switches.


Make a drum pad from some heavy rubber. It needs to be tight enough that it will only contact the micro switch when struck by the drum stick. Get creative and i'm sure you can figure out a way to make the pads. The micro switches don't need to be in the middle they can sit on the outer edge as long as the pad will flex enough to make contact.

Hey mpilchfamily,

I'm using a software called DvDrums. but as you've suggested to use a microswitch,the microswitch acts as a push switch and I dont think it will respond to random beats as if I play something with fast tempo!. So, here is a link to make one.


Can you please give me a detailed & understandable method to make this kit? I've understood all the things except the conversion of the piezo to a switch and its related circuits. I need help there.


The micro switch will respond with any hits you make. It won't respond like a drum pad where it is loader or softer with how hard you hit it. But then a hacked keyboard isn't going to offer that ability anyway. The pad/button is either hit or it's not. So using a piezo isn't going to change that. But it will make it so you can use any flat surface as your pad and it will pick up the hit.

Essentially what the guy shows in that vary basic schematic/diagram is a comparator circuit. Check the video below. You'll want to use a transistor instead of an LED so that the transistor acts as your button to activate the key on the keyboard board.

Can you give the name of the transistor and its schematics to do?

Hey, thanks for the informations. But I'm just a junior college student & I cant understand all these stuff. Thanks anyway. But do you have any idea to make a drum kit from a small electronic music keyboard(not a MIDI keyboard) which has drum sounds in it by hacking its keys and placing piezo or something?(See image below) Also I've attached an image with simple circuits. Is that possible


Yes a keyboard with drum sounds can be used. The image you attached is basically what i was talking about with the micro switch and would be your ideal solution whether you hack a computer keyboard and use a computer to produce the sounds or if you use a music keyboard with drum sounds. You can make that sort of thing with cardboard and aluminum foil if you wanted too.

I've tried to make that sort of circuit which is in the attached image. but it does not respond always. it only responds for strong hits. Any alternate solution to make them more sensitive to small hits??

The thinner the board between the 2 contacts the more sensitive it will be. Also the thiner the top layer is the easier it will flex. But if either are too thin or too flexable then the contacts will stay shorted. Besides this sort of setup isn't going to give you a softer hit on the drum if you hit it softly. You'll get the same sound no matter how hard you hit it.

I believe most drum pads use piezo transducers to detect the stick hit. This calls for some electronics to trigger the drum sound.

Why not buy a small electronic keyboard that has drums as an instrument option. The hack it to get your drum kit? I have 2 small keyboards that do this, never though to hack them though.

thats a nice idea. But do you mean a small music keyboard like the below attached image??It has drum sounds in it. So,are you telling that we can hack that and attach piezo instead of the keys?Is it possible???


Why not?

The piezo is just a sensor - The signal need to be processed to drive a transistor on and off. The transistor is placed across the correct key connections on the keyboard and the effect will be as if you hit the key 9a drum sound)


lots of circuits to use Piezo as a switch - take your pick.

Iwould use a small microprocessor such as a Picaxe


check out the manuals


So there are no easy ways. :( . I thought we can just remove the cover of the electronic music keyboard & attach piezo instead of piano keys. All these are difficult for me as I just a student.

The piezo is basically a small speaker. You can put audio through it and it will create sound. Of you can place it on a surface like a guitar and use it like a mic/transducer to pick up vibrations and turn them into a small electrical signal. The keys in a keyboard are buttons. They don't produce any current then allow you to close a circuit so current can flow. So you need additional circuitry to make the piezo act as a button or switch. The video i linked to breaks the circuit down to as basic as i've ever seen it and should be easy for any High School student with a semester of basic electronics to understand.

As the piezo or speaker can supply some impulse to the pc, can we connect mutiple speakers/ piezos via some 3.5 mm jacks and can we convert those impulses to drum sounds??? Is it possible??

I've attached a similar link.I've understood everything except the last step.Please refer and can you explain it in simpler words and how to install those softwares?


It's possible but vary complicated. It's nat as simple as pluggin the peizoes directly into teh PC. You need to amplify the input so the PC can register the signal. Then you also need to diferentiate one piezo from another so the PC knows which got hit and what sound to play. SO you will need a micro controller to receive the hits and send a signal to the PC over USB. Audio from the peize to audio input on the PC only gives you 2 separate options (in most cases), Line in and mic.

Can you try it out with the microswitch. The problem is that all these items are not available locally. Post a video if possible.


Can you try it out with the microswitch?? The problem with me is that all these materials are not available locally. Please post a video if possible.


Hey rickharris,thanks for the suggestion. I've seen such sort of kits,but what I actually want to make is something which looks like an electronic drum kit. Do you have any such ideas to do that?? Also ,can we do some modification to that Desktop digital drum kit and place the pads in the form of a drum kit?? I've to make Something like the attached image.



Hey rick, Thats what exactly I mean. I've seen that instructables but i didnt understand it completely. Can you please give me a detailed & understandable method to make that kit you've mentioned above? I've understood all the things except the conversion of the piezo to a switch and its related circuits. I need help there. Also ,I'm using a free drum software called DvDrums.


But ,Do you have any idea to hack an electronic keyboard and make a drum kit by attaching piezo or something? Or will the below attached image work


Hey rickharris,

Also do you have any idea to make a drum kit with a small standard music keyboard.