EL Tape Install on Digital Drum Kit - HELP!

Hey there, we have a Yamaha DTX Digital drum kit. We’re looking to purchase some EL Tape from core and adhere this to the circumference of each drum, and for this tape to illuminate when an individual drum is played. Rather than using sound activation, as the drums are digital, perhaps we can wire the EL Tape directly into the drums either at the point each individual drum sends signal to the Yamaha base unit, or alternatively we can send a midi signal out of the yamaha base unit and somehow allocate this information to each strip of tape so that when the correct drum is hit, the corresponding tape illuminates? Any help with this would be massively appreciated, especially in the area of sending midi information to EL Tape. Cheers

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Hi Mathew.

What you want to do is certainly possible, but not necessarily straight forward. Firstly, I don’t think the EL tape uses straight DC, but an inverter is used to produce a AC signal to drive it.

Secondly, as you know the drum kit produces MIDI messages not audio, so some form of MIDI controller would be needed to read the note on/note off and velocity messages, and operate the EL tape driver.

Fortunately, Yamaha provides excellent documentation and a MIDI reference for your drum kit shouldn’t be hard to find, so you will be able to work out what drum has been struck, and how hard.

There are also plenty of projects about building microcontroller based MIDI controllers. If you search the web for something like “Arduino MIDI controller” you will find quite a few. MIDI hats are also available to simplify connecting the Arduino to the other MIDI components.

This should give you a few things to think about and come up with something you can build.

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