For the Sesame Street sections featuring Mike Storie's MIDI Waterfountain I
built this custom drum pad.
It uses piezo elements glued to 15 striking surfaces which I made by laminating metal
and a particularly bouncy rubber I found at a local gasket shop. I trimmed each
pad to fit into a large metal housing.
Originally the pads were all white, but the night before the shoot the director
requested a more colorful controller, so I bought some colored vinyl tape, and
now it looks like the illustration above.
The piezo triggers behind the pads send voltage to a Roland PM16 16 input trigger
to MIDI interface. The pads are velocity sensitive, so when kids play it, the
harder they hit, the LOUDER the sound.
The PM16 allows 127 presets, and you can create patches that work well with drums,
marimba, or any other types of sounds. (Of course you MIDI folks out there
already know all this!)
So far this has been an enjoyable and reliable instrument.