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DIY Moment – The Fun Arduino Drum Machine

Drum machine is an essential electronic musical instrument, especially for the drum fan that enjoys the drumbeats all day long!

In general, drum machine is a very useful instrument for a wide variety of musical genres, as it’s also a common necessity when session drummers.

Technically, most of the modern drum machines are sequencers with a sample playback or synthesizer component, which is specializing in the reproduction of drum timbres, as well as the sound of other traditional percussion instruments.


According to the history, the earliest drum machines were existed in 1930s, where it’s often referred as “rhythm machines”. Leon Theremin and Henry Cowell were the two inventors who invented “Rhythmicon” in 1932. Their first intention was to create an instrument that can be used to play compositions whose multiple rhythmic patterns.

Today, you’re having the opportunity to develop an awesome Arduino Drum Machine. In this case, you’ll need two 8-way DIP switches (It’s for controlling the beat), a pot (controls the sampling rate) and another pot (controls the time between notes).

For your information, the two DIP switches are connected to the Arduino using 2×4021 shift registers. The sound is output via an 8 bit R2R DAC. BY the way, the two LEDS are used to track the timing: One lights up on every ¼ beat, while the other lights up at the start of every bar instantly! [link]

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