MIDI Drum Pad Buttons

Hi there,
I am looking at prototyping and customising drum pad buttons that can read pressure and velocity. What are the components that I would require?

Can I utilise my existing PCB which has traces printed and silicone buttons which have conductive rings? Or will I need to redesign those also?


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Hi @Isaac251544

Welcome; cool idea!!

Do we need to digitize the output of these pads for use with a computer or drum machine?
Will you be using Standard Midi as the protocol?

If I were designing this, I think I would use Piezoelectric Sensors.
Big button press make big force.
Big force make big pressure.

I have seen some drum machines use the Hall Effect to detect the speed of the button.
This just means attaching a magnet to the base of the pad and measuring it’s speed as the user presses the button. Big force equal big acceleration.

I bet there are a lot of ways to solve this problem. :slight_smile:
Maybe someone else has thoughts.

Still haven’t made it to PCBs in my journey (although I’ve been told by some nerds that it’s in my future), Maybe those nerds can weigh in? They’d probably want to see a picture?

Good luck! (And keep me updated, super keen to see this come to life).
Pix :heavy_heart_exclamation:

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I have attached photo of an example of a product that utilises FSR, just wondering how and where to source materials / design requirements.


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FSRs can be made from velostat. That guide is a good survey on the practice.

If you want to get started, we have some available here. Also check out the guide attached to the product page.