DIY Touchscreen Drum Machine

This is a cool video demo via audiolemon of an interesting DIY touchscreen drum machine project. The audio & video are a little raw, but you can see this project has potential.

Here’s a high level explanation of how this was put together:

If you want to build one yourself you’ll need MAX/MSP. You can download the demo for a month and give it a go. If you’re a student you can get it for $59 for 9 months and the $211 after that. If you are just a working stiff (it’s normally $700) go over to and find out if you can avail of the special offer for artists (same deal as students!!!)

The touchscreen was $65 from It’s a 5 wire resitive touchscreen overlay. If you buy one from Lava mention this post and I get a free~ish one 🙂 You can find out a lot about touchscreens if you go to Elotouch. They have a great comparison chart that makes it all pretty easy. 5 wire resitive seemed to suit me the best. It is supposed to be good for a million touchs, works ok in heat and cool (venues) and is pretty cheap.

The last piece was Eric Lyons Potpourri externals for Max/MSP. Although there are some problems for me the simplicity of the sample accurate timing wins out over many other concerns. Download it free from

The VST effects I use come from Audio Damage. The Reverence and Dubstation are two of my favourite effects. I just find them easy to use and pretty musical. I could have used a reverb external in Max/MSP or built my own feedback delay but I like the Audio Damage stuff so leave well enough alone for now.

2 thoughts on “DIY Touchscreen Drum Machine

  1. Cheers for picking the vid up. I thought it’d get a bit more interest than it did so thanks for sharing it. Played it out the other night for the first time and it went down well. Had my fair share of techie groupies at the end of the show…

  2. AudioLemon – I think it’s very interesting and a bit sexy, too.

    When you make the jump to touchscreens, though, people may not see the value in a dedicated box vs a computer that runs a drum machine app or Live.

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