Preloader image

Enginursday Teensy Boom Drum Machine

The Teensy Boom is a drum machine built around the Teensy 3.2 microcontroller. The hardware is fairly simple. The heart of it is a Teensy 3.2 with the Audio adapter. The buttons and LEDs are attached to the processor via the SPI bus, using daisy-chained shift registers. Every otherwise unused ADC channel has a potentiometer on it, for a total of sixteen.


The enclosure is a combination of technologies. The control panels are made from laser-cut acrylic, while the wooden ends were milled with a Shapeoko.


The signal processing in TeenyBoom is built out of Teensy Audio modules. They further break down into modules already present in the Teensy Audio libraries, and new ones that were written specifically for this project.


A lot of the “plumbing” is from the Audio library – the filters, white noise source, multipliers and mixers.


Most of the drum-specific tone generation was written for this project based on analog circuit emulation. All of the sound is generated mathematically, and doesn’t involve any prerecorded tones.


The bass drum and tom-tom are two instances of the “simple drum” module. The snare drum is a related module that allows white noise to be added in. The hi-hat, cowbell and cymbal share a central module, the Clatter Generator, with design informed by the TR 808 cymbal analysis paper by Werner, Abel and Smith. (There’s also a related bass drum paper, but I didn’t discover it until after selecting a different implementation). Control over the sound parameters is done with the processor ADC. It reads the potentiometers and updates the corresponding values in the synthesis modules.


Share this post on the following platforms easily:

No Comments

Post A Comment

error: Context Menu disabled!