Friday, April 10, 2015

Rock Band Drums - Use a REAL Kick Pedal

For those of you tuned into Rock Band video games - you know that Rock Band 4 is due out later this year.

I played the hell out of the original 3 Rock Band games for PS3. What I ran into trouble with was really fast songs that were demanding on the kick pedal. The spring in the stock RB pedals didn't have enough action and I wound up working WAY too hard for beats I could hammer away at on a real acoustic kit. What I found recently was a kick trigger pad from Yamaha that can be hooked up to the stock Rock Band drum set or the Ion Rocker set. There are other brands of kick trigger that will work as well. I already had a pedal for my drum set and any standard pedal will clamp on to the Yamaha KP-65. They are available to purchase all over the place for about $70.

However in order to get it to work with your Rock Band Drum set or Ion Rocker set you need something to convert the signal. If you have any electronics know how it is not too difficult. There used to be a KickBox, a VTI Trigger Box or a Kickwire available from online retailers to do this signal conversion for you. However - since Rock Band's popularity waned after the market was saturated these products dried up.

Here is a schematic that will give you what you need if you want to build one yourself.

Also - here is a parts list with Radio Shack part numbers:

- 555 IC (2761723)
- 386 IC (2761731)
- 100K resistor (2711347)
- 10K potentiometer or 5K resistor (controls pulse width of 555 output)
- 2N3904 NPN (2762016)
- 0.1uF cap (55047626)
- 10uF cap
- 1/8" male mono phono plug (we hard-wired this output to the box)
- 1/4" female mono phone plug (for the drum trigger input)

For those of you like me - who have been getting ready for the release of RB4 - this information should help. I've seen a fair amount of posts recently from people looking for a Kickwire or TriggerBox.

~eMpyre ramireX *IS* sAMPLE tHE mARTIAN


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  2. whats your drum set did you put this circuit? i'm trying it whit RB2 drums, but no results, i'll keep trying

  3. I have used RB2, RB1 and an RB4 Target Red kit. Usually the issues I've seen are the transistor is backwards.

  4. Replies
    1. I should have maybe posted this before. . .someone else asked me for help and this was my response.

      The KP65 signal is very small. I think the most common error I've seen is the transistor. I know that the one that I got from Radio Shack had a reverse pin-out from what the datasheet said. I *think* it is active low. . . if I remember correctly. So with no kick activity - it should be 5v. . .and when you hit the kick it should drop to ground.

      I know the first one I made had a bad ground. My trace ripped off of my kit pcb and I didn't notice it until I troubleshot it for hours. I thought I blew the op amp.

      The output from the op am is 5v too . . The op amp amplifies it from noisy low signal to a quick 5 pulse. The 555 smooths it out a bit and also sustains it so that it is long enough for the RB brain to trigger.

  5. I have some questions about this.

    If i wanted to use a 9v battery instead of a 5V USB are there any changes that would have to be made?

    Also I wanted to add an LED as well in parallel with the power with an additional resistor would their be a recommended resistor to do this.

    1. If you wanted to use a 9v battery you need to buy a "dc to dc step down converter" (9v to 5v) they go for about $3-$4 a piece assembled on aliexpress.

      For a leds use to calculate the resistor values. Basically from ~400ohm to 500ohm resistor, depending on how bright you want it to shine, for a regular diode.

    2. Since you plan using 9v you could also buy lighted button switches on aliexpress for about $4. They natively use 9v-12v standard so all you had to do is connect them in front of a "dc to dc step down converter"

  6. If I wanted to pay to have someone make me one of these, where would I best post the request?

    Thank you in advance.