Hip Bass Drum

Hip bass drum is project brought to you by Craig Anderton. Compared to other drum circiuits it’s very simple (but unique) design. The schematics scanned form Polyphony, October ’83 can be found all over internet (but if you have any problems getting one, call me). It is hard to find any clear demo of the drum, so I made one.

Hip Bass Drum as eurorack module
Hip Bass Drum as eurorack module, named Muten after one of my favourite movie characters


The circuit

The core of the circuit is somehow similar to Rolands 808 Bass Drum and it is build around excited bridged T-network (you can find some more details on 808 bass drum in Roland TR808 Service Manual, page 5). The most exciting things are THUD control and LED limiting circuit – together they can do miracles.

I think it is the most clever and smallest tweakable DIY drum circuit (but my Kraft Drum is also tiny). It uses 2 opamps as only active components. There are some RC / transistor bass drums, but the only thing you can really control pitch and volume :/

I made a small mistake and didn’t threw out the RES (resonance) control, as original instruction says. It is almost unuseful and sometimes works as very unefficient decay control. Also LIMIT control has the biggest impact on sound on first, second and last position – it could be replaced by 3 position switch for more efficient front panel.

The Hip Bass Drum cartoon prototype
The Hip Bass Drum cartoon prototype (the guy on the stamp looks like HP Baxxter from Scooter, but it’s not him)

Finalnny, don’t forget to add 1M resistor to GND on trigger input, it is very important! (It should be marked on schematic you will find).


The demo

The drum sound very “sine-ish” and the CLICK LEVEL control increases the volume drastically, so watch out for your speakers.

If you don’t like the boomy sound of the 808, you should build one! Or you can just include one into your dream modular system on Modulargrid!



3 thoughts on “Hip Bass Drum

  1. Hi! Silly question here. How have you attached the rotary switch to the front panel? I have a similar switch and it’s quiet long. I’ve been thinking for a solution for this but don’t understand your method, which it seems to work!

    1. Hello, a rotary switch is screwed up to 2 mm aluminum sheet, then sheet is connected to front panel via standoffs. Cheers!

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