eDrum - Trigger MIDI Converter

Do It Yourself electronic drum controller



This page is about electronic drums. Here you will find detailed information on how to build an electronic Trigger to MIDI Converter module, based on PIC Microcontroller, and how to build the triggers. This project has been developed for many years now, and it is constantly improving. You can expect professional results form your eDrum module. Let's start with the...

Design description

eDrum design is based on PIC16F877 RISC microcontroller from Microchip running at 20MHz, two line (16x2) LCD with backlight, and some operational amplifiers. It has 22 analog inputs, 2 digital inputs, 22 input gain potentiometers, 4 control buttons, one MIDI out and one serial RS-232 out.

The goal for this design was to use easy to find and cheap electronic components, while maintaining results at the professional levels. I also wanted the design to be modular and easily expandable. This has been achieved by using PIC microcontroller and carefully designed firmware, written in assembly language.

It was not my intention to design an instrument that already exist and is relatively cheap, like Alesis DM4 or DM5. Instead, my idea was to take advantage of equipment we already own (computer with soundcard, synth, sampler,...) to produce the drum sound. So, all that is needed is... Trigger-to-MIDI conversion. Because of that, eDrum will not offer any drumkits or sounds.


I've been working on a professional rackmount version of eDrum. This is the latest unit, "ED248":

eDrum 24 channels rackmount version, front side


Here is the list of eDrum main features:


More possibilities

Of course, due to a modular nature of eDrum's design, we can also have a smaller 15 channel version. I made it in a different enclosure. It was a "ED88" eDrum:

eDrum with diy pads eDrum front view eDrum rear view

By the way, the very first version of eDrum is dating from 1999, which was developed using PIC16F84.

Donate to eDrum project

Like this project? Please consider donating to show your support, it takes a lot of time and effort to develop. Any amount is appreciated.