Monday, 24 June 2013

Casio SK5 External Drum-pads

A set of Kraftwerk-inspired drum pads that interface with a slightly modified Casio SK5, triggering the four samples assigned to the right-hand set of yellow pads. As per the Kraftwerk design, these work by having metal sticks which complete a circuit when brought in contact with the conductive surface of the pads. 

I traced the tracks on the SK5's PCB to find good solder points, and wired those to four RCA / Phono sockets to the left of the power switch. As you can see the pads are mounted on the top of an A4 box file, which has a lid that can be propped open at an angle using the internal sprung clip, and which also makes a handy carry case for the sticks and pedal, which isn't shown but is an old morse key, inspired this time by the Silver Apples.

The pads are squares of material cut from a neoprene mouse-mat covered with strips of aluminium tape. As you can see in the pix above this got badly pitted very quickly, so I brought some sheet brass and bolted it over the top to give a more durable playing surface. I guess I should really cut the top left corner off each of them to match the shape of the pads on the 5.

The original sticks were lengths of coat-hanger wire, but these have since been replaced by pieces of narrow (2mm) copper tube.

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