I have some double bass drum pedals. I want to trigger midi notes with them.

I bought a "Yamaha KP65 Electronic Drum Kick Tower" assuming it would have midi out if it was going to call itself an electronic drum. Instead it has an aux cord... I'm pretty sure I have to return it.

Everywhere I search, I can not find what seems like an extremely simple ask: a midi drum pad with one big button.

Anyways, what's the solution here? How do I turn my double bass drum pedals into velocity and note on/off triggers?

  • So far, the best I can find is "trigger to midi converter." They're all like $160 which is insane. It should not be this hard to convert a tapping kick pedal into a button press. Recording audio just to put it through expensive equipment to then finally output midi... I'm missing something here, surely. – Seph Reed Feb 2 at 6:06
  • Drum triggers generally require a 'brain' which is responsible for converting the input voltage into midi. – Tetsujin Feb 2 at 10:40
  • So I have found. It's just strange how expensive they are. I understand for analog components, but I'd think there'd be a ~$15 digital converter out there. It takes so little machinery or code. – Seph Reed Feb 2 at 16:32

A trigger to midi converter is a fairly complex piece of kit so yes, it is expensive. It really isn't a simple ask.

A much cheaper alternative is to use something like this - using KTdrum trigger, which lets incoming audio be turned into MIDI messages in Ableton Live. aside from getting hold of the cheap piezo mics, this is all in software.

  • Thank you. I think it's important to note: there are projects out there using ~$10 arduinos to turn audio into midi messages. It basically entails soldering an audio in and a midi out. I'm also a programmer. This is why I'm convinced that an audio to midi component should not be very expensive. – Seph Reed Feb 2 at 16:30
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    I think it's not so much how expensive it would be to mass-produce, but how little call there would be for a single midi trigger in hardware. The e-drum market already has all the controllers it needs, because each e-kit comes with one. You can get 3rd party triggers to plug into them, for converting 'real' drums etc, leaving not a whole lot left for the majors to sell. – Tetsujin Feb 2 at 16:49
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    Yeah. That's definitely got to be it. I ended up finding a pretty cheap percussion pad that has a kick input and midi out. It was cheaper than any "trigger to midi converter" I could find, with the bonus of four drums and a sample player. – Seph Reed Feb 2 at 17:38

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