Mentoring Session

A project log for DrumKid: aleatoric drum machine

A lo-fi digital drum machine which uses randomness to create unpredictable beats. Runs on Arduino, with audio provided by the Mozzi library.

Matt BradshawMatt Bradshaw 05/24/2019 at 09:180 Comments

I had a really useful mentoring session with Mitch AltmanMajenta Strongheart and two other Hackaday Prize entrants on Thursday. It was really interesting to see how the other entrants approached their projects, and I learnt a lot from talking to Mitch about the development process.

Coincidentally, Mitch has previously built an Arduino-based synth with a lot of similarities to my project. I looked at his schematics before the session and noticed a few things:

This comparison was really interesting and useful - it told me that my approach to the circuit was fairly uncontroversial, but it also suggested that I could do away with the most problematic element of my design, the expensive and noise-producing voltage boost chip. I hadn't previously realised that the Atmega328 could run happily on less than 5V (forum posts had suggested otherwise), so it was very gratifying to hear Mitch confirm that it works fine on 4.5V. Straight after the mentoring session, I hooked my breadboard circuit up to three AAA batteries and was excited to realise that it worked fine, with barely any noise.

A few other things I took away from the mentoring session:

Overall, really happy that I was able to take part in this mentoring group - it helped me with both big-picture thinking and with the specifics of my project.