Rock Band with Electronic Drums (HOWTO)

Comments

  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008

    Ok--great. :) I'll let you know when I have something for you.

    Multiple notes mapped to a single output is also a good idea, but it
    would be a much bigger undertaking to add (only because of the way the
    firmware is currently implemented). So I can't offer it at this
    time--sorry. But I will be considering it in the future. ;)

    In the meantime, of course, you can tie together multiple outputs and
    achieve this sort of functionality.

    John
    They are going to work on it, but it won't be a quick thing. Oh well.
  • Aelius27Aelius27 Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    That is a non-starter for me, since I currently have 12 outputs:

    Hi-Hat
    Crash1
    Crash1 rim
    Crash2
    Crash2 rim
    Ride
    Snare
    Snare rim
    Tom1
    Tom2
    Tom3
    Kick

    Oh well. *shrug*
  • Aelius27Aelius27 Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Yes, I intend to share the software I wrote once I clean up all the experiments/crap in it, and make it so that its configurable from a text file instead of having to physically change the code and recompile.
  • Aelius27Aelius27 Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Here are some pictures of my finished controller with the DB9 in the side.

    image
    image
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Yeah, I'm just going to make a drumkit that uses the crash1 crashrim and all the other multi-function pads just use a single function for all of it.

    I already did that on my highhat since my highhat pedal is messed up.
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    I gave John a link to this thread.

    Ah, thanks.

    In response to the person with 12 notes that must be mapped to the game
    controller: this could easily be achieved with two MSA units chained
    together. The MSA has built-in MIDI Thru.

    I hope you'll post your results online--I'd definitely link to them from
    the blog. I'll let you know how things come along.

    John
  • Aelius27Aelius27 Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    True, but I have a working system now, and I'm fairly certain that I can roll my own for under the $50 price and was willing to pay it for simplicity and convenience. I'm not willing to pay an addition $50 for convenience though! ;)
  • brianwibrianwi Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Sorry I haven't been posting. I still don't have my mem card to share the vid. I am posting a pic here though of my solder points. The RED marks are the ground. Determining which wire is which pad should be easy as these are the buttons on the key pad that also correspond to the drums, so just look at your keypad. (in other words the top button is Y and it's yellow, etc.)

    Also, on the MSA / MPA, I looked at the website and it wasn't clear how much control you have over individual MIDI notes and responding to a single note vs. a range of notes. Has this been verified? It looks as if any note in a range (as adjusted by the DIP switches) would fire something which won't work because several drum's MIDI notes fall within some of the ranges. But if this did work, it'd be cool (although by the time you buy 2 for 50 and then 30 to have them soldered, you're half way to my easily programmable MIDI R8 price. :)
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  • ZolrenZolren Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Great work on this mod!

    I am currently investigating whether or not it might make sense to develop / build / market an adapter that would allow users to connect their electronic drum kits via midi to a "black box" that would act as a controller and connect to the Xbox 360.

    What I am curious about is whether or not there are enough potential users / folks with electronic drums who also play Rock band that might be interested in this product and then how much they might be willing to pay for such product?
  • rwornerworne Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Zolren;245410 said:
    Great work on this mod!

    I am currently investigating whether or not it might make sense to develop / build / market an adapter that would allow users to connect their electronic drum kits via midi to a "black box" that would act as a controller and connect to the Xbox 360.

    What I am curious about is whether or not there are enough potential users / folks with electronic drums who also play Rock band that might be interested in this product and then how much they might be willing to pay for such product?
    Yes, but Microsoft locks out 3rd party controllers. You will need to obtain a license or possibly a dev kit to develop one. How many of these do you plan to sell? A couple hundred, tops? Do you think that is worth their while?

    You can also cannibalize an existing controller. Does the 360 allow a standard controller to play the drums, or do you need the drum kit?

    Another route to take is to see if Harmonix is interested in such a beast. Then you can sell your design and collect royalties while having someone else do all the work. :)
  • ZolrenZolren Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    rworne;245458 said:
    How many of these do you plan to sell? A couple hundred, tops?
    That's what I am after... is the potential market for such a product in the few hundreds or could it be in the few thousand?

    For those who play drums, how close to the real thing would playing Rock Band on an electronic drumset get?
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    1. The MSA works on single note to single relay if you program it with the external application. (Currently. That might change in a couple months to where you can use multple notes for a single relay.)

    2. As some one else said, to make a box that doesn't involve the current drum controller in some way being torn apart would require a XBOX Hardware Dev Kit. Rather pricey.

    3. Yes, the R8 is a optimal EASY solution, but alas, I can't afford that. Since I can program my drum kit itself to use the same note for multiple pads I only need a single MSA Decoder.

    And last but not least.

    I will be ordering the MSA with the beta firmware as soon as John says it's ready. Hopefully with in the next week.
  • Aelius27Aelius27 Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Interesting. I haven't explored the capabilities of the drum module very well. Seems less than ideal if I want to use the MIDI capabilities to interface with anything in the future, but its worth at least exploring.
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    I set it up as a "Kit" on the module, so when I want to interface with something else, I just select a different kit.
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    That's right zolon! In all these hardware discussions I completely forgot even the lowest-level electric kit lets you customize the outputs per-kit. Then it's as simple as hitting one button to switch back to a more 'standard-output' kit.

    This would surely eliminate the need for extraneous hardware/wiring. Knowing this (and in theory), the MSA is back in the lead.

    This is the drum controller with my drums:
    http://www.roland.com/products/en/TD-20/specs.html

    I did a ton of reading on this module last night - with hopes of finding an even simpler method. I thought the module might already support signal pulses through the indepenant stereo-out jacks. No luck.
  • Jack FullerJack Fuller Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Ok dumb question.....what is an R8 and how does it make it an easy fix???
  • Aelius27Aelius27 Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    MIDI Solutions makes a product called a R8. Its a MIDI to relay box, powered off the MIDI port, and very customizable. Seems like a really slick solution if you are willing to spend the money.

    Its basically the same thing as the MPA boards we are talking about, except way more money and way more features. Most of the features don't really matter, but currently the pulse length and the multi-note to single-relay do matter. Seems like the guys with the MPA board are going to add pulse length, and most drum modules may solve the multi-note to single relay problem.

    If both of these things work out, then the MPA will be roughly equivalent to the R8 for our needs, with the exception that the R8 is MIDI powered and comes in a nice rackmountable box, which is pretty awesome, but doesn't really justify the price difference.

    EDIT: I guess I didn't address the "easy fix" part. Basically either one of these will be an easy fix (in comparison to the various things I have done). Basically they will reduce this mod down to cracking the drums and soldering a few wires to the circuit board. Which, while daunting to some, is significantly easier than hacking cables up and running custom software on a dedicated PC, or similar.
  • Aelius27Aelius27 Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    rworne;245458 said:
    Yes, but Microsoft locks out 3rd party controllers. You will need to obtain a license or possibly a dev kit to develop one. How many of these do you plan to sell? A couple hundred, tops? Do you think that is worth their while?

    You can also cannibalize an existing controller. Does the 360 allow a standard controller to play the drums, or do you need the drum kit?

    Another route to take is to see if Harmonix is interested in such a beast. Then you can sell your design and collect royalties while having someone else do all the work. :)
    Yeah, basically this isn't worth chasing down without official support. I considered this path at length. Rock Band only supports playing the game with the Rock Band drums. Presumably there is specific stuff in the USB firmware that uniquely identifies the drums. There are some solutions out there that could solve this problem, but (I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice!) I'm guessing that the USB firmware would fall under copyright law, and anything you tried that cloned the firmware would make you venerable to legal action. Unless of course you have some form of official approval ala Mad Catz.

    The other option is that once the drums are for sale seperately you could purchase them, hack them up and provide them and the midi controller stuff in a nice box. Presuming MPA is making a decent but not crazy profit on their device, you probably can't get yours for much less. That means ~ $50 for the midi parts, $70ish? for the drums themselves, plus whatever you want to charge for your labor of hack the drums and assembling everything. Which puts you at no less than $150. Maybe there is a market for this, maybe not. I decided there wasn't enough of a market at this kind of price point to pursue. Hence my statement in the initial post that I didn't see a business opportunity that scaled here. I could knock off a few on a case by case basis and make some extra cash, but then I'd have to provide support when things went wrong, etc...
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Which, while daunting to some, is significantly easier than hacking cables up and running custom software on a dedicated PC, or similar.
    I'm one of these people.

    But I'd also love to learn to do this right (the first time). I'm using a test soldering kit now. But it's still not giving me the confidence to just soldiering wires to a real circuit board. I think mainly this is because I don't want to arbitrarily do this - I'd much rather understand how you determined which connections to soldier, etc...

    Aelius or Zolon,
    I know I've been pressing for more documented instructions. But maybe it'd be best if the documentation (video or photos) was a little more instructional. In the sense that, its more of a beginners guide to to understanding (and hacking) controller circuit boards. For example, like you said Aelius, we should test the circuits ourselves with a multimeter. At the very least it would give me (and whoever else) the confidence of knowing that we simply didn't soldier the wrong connection (if something didn't work).

    Anyway - sorry for the ramble. Procrastination 1 : David 0
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Unfortunatly, until I actually start this mod, I can't give step by step instructions.

    As I have written actual technical documents I will be going through my normal process of documentation when I can start this.

    As far as soldering, just keep practicing. If you have a solder wick, you can also practice unsoldering things. If you do that, you can find a broken calculator or computer card and practice unsoldering and resoldering things on it.
  • brianwibrianwi Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Blanko, if you want to solder easily without testing your connections, take a look at the pic I posted. It means you're soldering on the front of the board, but it works the same, and there is a clear pic of which wires are ground and which aren't.

    Also, use FLUX if you are going to solder onto this board. Without it is very difficult (and I'm a computer engineer :) ). Flux made it absolutely as easy as it gets. You can get FLUX at Radio Shack.
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Let me clarify. It's not so much the soldiering I'm conserned with. It's the understanding how how you determined where to soldier. Unless of course it's just as easy as slapping some wire down on the button contacts?

    D
  • zolonzolon Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Actually, it is pretty much that easy. If you look closely at the pictures you will see how the end of the wire meets up with the pins. You can do a fairly easy join here as there is already solder. Practice tinning the end of the wire though so you don't have to add any solder when you tack it to the pad.
  • ThePro2001ThePro2001 Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    I found an easy way to connect a Roland V-Drum to rock Band.
    You just have to tape the piezo on the head.
    So, I just extended the wire of the piezo.

    I have a PD-125, two PD-85 and a PDX-8.
    On some model of V-Drum, you have easy access under the head, like the PDX-8.

    It work very well but it is not as sensitive as the original Roland sensor.
    It won't work on Roland cymbals because they are too soft and the piezo do not detect any vibration.
    A little annoying thing is that when you hit the drum, you can hear the piezo bounce on the head. It would probably be better if I could put a bit more pressure on the piezo to make a better contact.
    For now, its good enough for me to be able to do 5 stars at medium.
    But, I am waiting for my R8 and look forward to play on a full drum.
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  • MasterShakeMasterShake Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    This has to be the coolest mod I've seen yet. Props, bro. And keep up the good work.
  • BlankoBlanko Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Nice solution - but you're right, it's just temporary until you get your r8.
    Also not as useful, but equally amazing: http://gamerscoreblog.com/team/archive/2008/01/08/555720.aspx

    A third-party drum set by ion audio

    D
  • oisuxxoisuxx Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    so i have a pintech roland td-6v drum set. i want to know all the necessary components i need to buy. i have a audigy soundblaster card in my pc that has midi in and out. i just dont get what the breadboard does. i also have a pic programmer for microchip programming.
  • Jack FullerJack Fuller Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Ok guys I love this game way too much :) I now have a set of roland drums and a R8 coming so I can get it all set up and going, Im a bit low-tech so please put up with any dumb questions I might post. First thing ill do is crack the board and wire it up than im thinking ill have the other stuff by then.

    Thanks to all of you for posting this awsome info.

    Ross
  • mikejl46mikejl46 Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    ThePro2001;247109 said:
    I found an easy way to connect a Roland V-Drum to rock Band.
    You just have to tape the piezo on the head.
    So, I just extended the wire of the piezo.

    I have a PD-125, two PD-85 and a PDX-8.
    On some model of V-Drum, you have easy access under the head, like the PDX-8.

    It work very well but it is not as sensitive as the original Roland sensor.
    It won't work on Roland cymbals because they are too soft and the piezo do not detect any vibration.
    A little annoying thing is that when you hit the drum, you can hear the piezo bounce on the head. It would probably be better if I could put a bit more pressure on the piezo to make a better contact.
    For now, its good enough for me to be able to do 5 stars at medium.
    But, I am waiting for my R8 and look forward to play on a full drum.


    For others that would like to do it this way. You could build some diy drums like these http://www.edrums.info and place the piezo disks from the rockband drums under the diy drums foam blocks. If you want some low cost mesh head drums you could build some of these http://www.edrums.info/rock_band.htm
    for about $20.00 per drum.

    image

    image

    Mike
  • brianwibrianwi Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Jack - if you have any questions about the R8 set up, let me know. Happy to help. To speed things up, here are the settings (assuming Roland drums) that works to program the R8. Just copy / paste into an .RTF file. Load it and program away.

    F0 00 00 50 26 00 F7
    { R8 Clear All Settings }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 01 00 16 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel2 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #22 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 01 00 1A 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel2 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #26 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 01 00 2A 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel2 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #42 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 01 00 2E 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel2 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #46 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 00 00 26 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel1 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #38 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 00 00 28 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel1 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #40 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 01 00 30 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel2 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #48 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 01 00 32 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel2 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #50 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 02 00 2D 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel3 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #45 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 03 00 29 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel4 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #41 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 04 00 24 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel5 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #36 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 03 00 31 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel4 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #49 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 03 00 37 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel4 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #55 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 02 00 33 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel3 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #51 on any MIDI Channel }

    F0 00 00 50 26 01 02 00 35 7F 05 F7
    { Program Rel3 of the R8 to produce a CLOSED pulse of 0.040s duration on receipt of Note-on #53 on any MIDI Channel }
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