I didn’t like the feel of the Rock Band Drum kit. The pads are to hard, to noisy and no rebound. They were just no fun to play on. So I built my own mesh drum head Rock Band Drum kit.
When you decide you want to really learn how to play drums, This drum kit can also be connected to a drum module.
I cut out the bottom out of a leftover Fleet Farm bucket and then cut a 2″ tall piece from the bottom of the bucket and riveted together. This will be a 10″ diameter x 2″ tall drum. You can make just about any size you like.If you follow this tutorial the diameter of the bucket can be any size you like. If you choose not to make your own hoops and use real drum hoops make sure the real hoop fits over the size of the bucket you make.
I used a router and a homemade circle jig to cut the 3/4″ oak Veneer fiber board paneling into hoops. (Or you can use one of these) You need to cut the outside of circle first. You will need to measure and mark the inside diameter and cut the outside diameter so you will have a 7/8″ wide rim. I cut the inside diameter of the hoops big enough so they will just fit over the top of the bucket. Tutorial here
I took some 1/4 copper tubing and formed it to fit the 1/4″ groove and cut to size.
Sewed on some window screen. The mesh screen head rim now fits perfectly in the groove.Tutorial here
Used a Router to cut a circle for the bottom. I cut 1/8″ deep groove for the bucket to fit down into.
I used a regular 10″ drum hoop as a template to mark the holes.
Placed top hoop over the bottom circle and drilled 1/4″ holes through the top hoop and bottom circle at the same time. After I drilled the first hole. I bolted the top and bottom together and then did the same with second hole to keep every thing aligned then drilled the remaining holes.
On the bottom of each hoop and bottom circle I labeled with a number 1 through 4 next to the hole. That way all holes will line up on their corresponding hoop/bottom.
Increased the size of the holes in the bottom circle to 11/32″ to fit the (Check the package for correct hole size for threaded inserts they may be different for different brands.)
Can find them here.
Threaded Insert 1/4-20
I will now add the mounting brackets tutorial hereI placed the bracket on top the bottom circle making sure not to cover the groove for the bucket and drilled 1/4″ holes through the bracket and bottom circle at the same time. I Increased the size of the holes in the bottom circle to 11/32″ for the threaded inserts
Now I added a Terminal Strip and round wood spacer that will help get the foam block 1/8″ above the drum rim.
Added a layer of 3-M double sided tape .
I’m using piezos I found here on EBay 10 for about $6.00 the price includes shipping. They work very well with the Rock Band controller. Update: They no longer sell these piezos on Ebay. You can find the same piezo sensors here
I used a small screw driver to pry off the top cover. Used a dab of hot glue to secure the wires better so they wouldn’t be accidently ripped off of the piezo.
Placed the piezo still in case on the 3M double sided tape. Added a circle the size of the ceramic of 3-M double sided tape between the ceramic and 1″x1″x1-1/2″ foam sanding block with the sanding surface removed. Connected piezo wires to one side of the terminal strip. Normally I would totally remove the piezos from the case. For the Rock Band game these piezos worked better in the case.If you don’t want to use foam blocks. You can also make foam cones from the foam sanding blocks.
Installed the 1/4″ jack and connected wires to other side of terminal strip. Also added a knob.
Put on the DIY Window screen mesh head and one more layer of screen overlapping about 1 1/2″. That way you won’t have to re-create the mesh head when the top layer wears out. Update: Another option is to add one layer of SuperScreen. I use 20 x17 tiny mesh SuperScreen.Super Screen 36 Inch x 100 Ft Black Tiny Mesh 20/17
SuperScreen link 1
SuperScreen link 2
SuperScreen link 3
How to make the SuperScreen mesh heads quieter with foam circle.
I placed a rubber band over the top layer and pulled the screen snug. It keeps the top layer nice and tight while tightening down the drum hoop. After you tighten down drum hoop you can trim the excess screen.
One down and three to go.
Or maybe four to go. You could add a hi hat to the left of yellow tom1 for those song that use red for the hi hat.