Monday, 26 March 2012

My First D.I.Y. Electronic Drum Pad - Part 1

One of my projects for 2012 is a new electronica outfit called "Neil Fellowes and the Impossible Men" with my good friend Peter Dagg on guitar and my son, Callum Raeburn-Fellowes, on drums and electronic percussion. The one problem we have is that we don't have any electronic percussion because funds are tight to say the least and collectors of electronic music gear are annoyingly artificially inflating prices which puts the stuff we want out of reach for now.

So, not being one for being beaten, I thought I would look into making my own. And I tell you what, it doesn't seem to be as difficult as I first thought it would be which was a VERY pleasant surprise. Anyway, yesterday (Sunday 25th March 2012), I took a trip to our local Maplin and gathered the pieces I needed, which included a soldering iron, a piezo transducer and a 1/4" jack socket - all very nice and cheap thought I. I managed to purloin an unused/unwanted mouse mat and searched, with success, in the shed for a piece wood.

The pieces are now before me and so I guess it's time to get started. And in typical "Neil Fashion", I start with a mug of coffee :-) Now, it has soon became very apparent that my total lack of soldering skills is going to be something of a handicap, as perfectly demonstrated by the completely annihilated piezo transducer lying on the table before me. So, it's back to YouTube to watch some tutorials and also to read some tips just sent over to me by my Internet chum, David Hughes - he builds synthesizers so I would guess he knows a thing or two about soldering. I also need to get the materials again as I have destroyed the originals.

And now that replacement bits have been obtained from Maplin, back to it, but with a more considered and better informed approach.

I can do this. I will do this.

Time for tea now - jacket potato with butter, cheese and beans if you're interested.


  1. Good luck with that-read Wolfgang Flur's description of building Kraftwerk's early "tea tray" drum kit,its fascinating.I used to look at the diagrams and circuits for DIY drums back in the day in Electronics and Music Maker etc but never built one alas.

  2. I recognise the (lack of) soldering skills :-) You're now officially my hero!

  3. I got an m-audio trigger finger to play with, but I'm looking forward to this mate. looking forward even more to your sons Flur/Bartos impressions!

  4. as I put on FB, those Kraftwerk triggers are 12v based and just make a simple circuit though. No velocity etc. etc.


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