After completing my pedal mod I kept reading about what other improvements could be made. I ended up deciding that a full blown electronic drum kit was required. After much deliberation I talked myself into dropping $700 on a Yamaha DTXplorer. Thanks to Flash for distilling 100+ pages of a forum thread into this site I was able to complete the mod.
Instead of soldering to the almost invisible points on the back of the RB circuit board I soldered directly to the button pads. Being careful to keep the wires as far to the outside and a flat as possible kept the buttons working like usual. I also used the USB power to run the MSA to avoid having another power brick.
I think the controller box turned out pretty well. Playing on the real drum pads made a huge difference in response. The base pedal being piezo instead of a reed relay makes it require much less movement to trigger. I have been trying to play the songs using the proper cymbals and toms with required me to go back to medium difficulty for a couple of days. I am back to doing mostly hard now with a couple of songs completed on expert. Overall it has been a very cool experience. It is my first major hack and now that it is done I have to find something else to hack!
UPDATE - 5/22/05
Now that it has been a few week my skills are to back to where they were from before the hack. Playing on a real set is so much better. I really like that I have the ability to use the right pad for the right sound. I saw that Guitar Hero is going to have cymbals and I think Rock Band should have done that to start with. I wish I could say I was rocking on expert all the time but I just cant get my kick speed up. I might just have to add a double bass pedal.
I bought the MSA disassembled. That was a lot of soldering!
I could not get the wire to stick to the points that Flash listed on his site so I decided to use the buttons. The buttons still work and I can use the drum pads for navigation.
I used the usb power to run the MSA. The red is positive and the black is ground.
I dremeled the original Rock Band drum controller down and then epoxied into the project box.