Have you (or your dog) ever wanted a drum machine? If so, this project is for you. We will use an Arduino Leonardo, a MPR121 capacitive touch shield, and a strip of sixteen RGB NeoPixels to make a simple drum machine that you can use to control USB MIDI or serial MIDI devices.
This tutorial is based on the same hardware setup used in the Make a Sequencer from a Tree video. The only difference is that the MPR121 capactive touch breakout was used in the video instead of the MPR121 shield we will be using in this tutorial, but they both will work equally well for this project. If you would like to learn more about how the metal buttons were created in that video, you can check out our guide on using metal inlay for capactive touch buttons.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.