I'm currently re-thinking the future of DK421. It's the hardware that has become the hang up. I'm 100% sure that the design I have for the pads is physically impossible. In point of fact, the design is mentally obtuse to begin with. A drum stick just doesn't hit down with any reasonable amount of force. To think it could be enough to move a not insubstantial amount of plywood any real distance was silly. More so considering I also sought to compress four springs.
Where that leaves me is with a strong desire to use piezo transducers, or some other cheap, microphone-like option, combined with either a micro controller or some relays or something. The hard part is I don't know any electronics really, I'm just winging it so far.
The vector I'd be most happy with pursuing is using an Ardunio board to read the transducers (voltage? wattage? I dunno...) and when they peak a certain amount, fire off some information over a serial connection. The problems are many for this. One, I don't have a micro controller, and don't know how to program and use them. Two, I've never done any serial port programming, and am not completely sure if it's even a viable option for passing the data. Three, I don't know what to measure on the transducers or how to do so. Four, I think Java might be out of the question with the serial. There is a javax.comm, but I'm not so sure about it.
Regardless, I want to try this way. I've wanted to buy a micro controller to play with for a while now, and the Ardunio is open-source and way cheaper than a basic stamp setup. I also kinda want to get me C++ back, and maybe learn how to use QT or GTK. This is either going to be long and fun, or die in shame. Going to buy the board tonight I think.