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Schematic for sound activated lights for drum kit? Answered

Could anyone develop a schematic for this?
A friend of mine plays drums, and would like to install lights inside his drumkit. Mainly the bass drum, but in each tom and the snare too, if possible. I'm thinking a mic'd light organ of some sort.
  • When the drum beats, a light comes on in that drum, with variable intensity, depending intensity of the beat. (soft beat, low light; hard beat, bright light, etc)
  • Does not respond to the beats of the other drums. (selective frequency/pitch or adjustable?)
  • The light punches on, then fades out with approx 1 second duration, rather than just punching out.
  • Uses cool-light, preferably colored, because I'm not sure how a hot light would affect the drums.
  • Plugs in to standard 120v outlet.
Anyone feeling creative, please offer a design!! It would be much appreciated.
I have intermediate knowledge of circuits and soldering, just little knowledge when it comes to component selection.


I'm in the process of doing exactly this...but its an extra step divorced from your idea; I have electronic drums to begin with, so my lights are planning to use a microcontroller to interpret the midi signals then turn on the lights.

As rick says, a piezo sensor inside/on the resonant skin would definitely pick up those hits.

It would then be a matter of running that piezo through a zener diode to protect the microcontroller, then have the controller turn on/fade lights as necessary.

An arduino has 6 pwm channels, perfect for bass, snare, 4 toms.

LEDS are great for this because they are highly efficient and produce very little heat (in this consideration)

Hey, I'm trying to do pretty much the same thing than the OP, but for a marching band. The only thing is, I don't have ANY ideas how to do it (A little to zero electric knowledge), so I was wondering if you could help me, if it worked or anything. It has to be easy to set up and to take down, so if you can help me, hit me up!

Also, it has to be portable....;)

Still working on mine. I have the leds working on a microcontroller, just need to interface with the midi from the drums (or piezos)

If you're starting from scratch its more than I can explain in a reply. If I ever build it believe me there'll be an instructable.

You should be able to use a Piezo sounder as a sensor and with some signal conditioning drive any one of the many microprocessors that are around to then sequence your lights.