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Final Project - Ardrumo - Nick Gentle

My final project was essentially a modified construction of something that had already been created called Ardrumo, which was a series of drum pads wired to the Arduino that would send MIDI information through its USB connection into a program called Ardrumo, which would then communicate the MIDI information through Garageband.

The basic specifications for the Ardrumo can be found here:


* Ardrumo sketch
* Use with the Ardrumo software here:
* http://code.google.com/p/ardrumo/
* This is designed to let an Arduino act as a drum machine
* in GarageBand (sorry, Mac OS X only).

#define LEDPIN 13 // status LED pin
#define PIEZOTHRESHOLD 5 // analog threshold for piezo sensing
#define PADNUM 6 // number of pads

int val;

void setup() {
Serial.begin(57600); // set serial output rate

void loop() {

// Loop through each piezo and send data
// on the serial output if the force exceeds
// the piezo threshold
for(int i = 0; i < PADNUM; i++) {
val = analogRead(i);
if( val >= PIEZOTHRESHOLD ) {
digitalWrite(LEDPIN,HIGH); // indicate we're sending MIDI data
Here is the basic schematic for how everything is wired:


Unfortunately, my Mac crashed/probable hard drive failure (again) so I'm unable to give a screenshot of how Ardrumo is set up in Garageband. However, I can try to describe it textually. It's essentially one track in Garageband; a MIDI instrument/computer generated instrument track. It should be green. Then, under effects, select >Drums, then >Rock Set or >Hip Hop Set, depending on what kinds of sounds you want. That's basically it. Very little tech knowledge needed to run the Ardrumo through Garageband.

The larger, interactive implication for my idea came about during my periods of boredom either in class or sitting at a table trying to pass time. I, coming from a musical standpoint, am constantly in a state of writing music or "playing music". My constant tendencies to begin drumming with my hands and feet on the floor and on tables helped to construct this idea. I decided that it would be awesome if there were a way to bring my random "noodling" around on my "air" drums to life. Enter the Ardrumo. In a perfect world, I would have the peizo sensing pads somehow infused into table or some other inanimate object. This way, you still get the experience of being in a typical/mute/neutral location, while still being able to create audible drum sounds with your hands (where they would be amplified through speakers). Also in this way, the subject matter is always new and personal to the user.

-Nick Gentle