Announcement Module
No announcement yet.

Tom Scarff's Trigger-To-MIDI Product

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
Conversation Detail Module
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Tom Scarff's Trigger-To-MIDI Product

    Hey Folks;

    I've acquired this and incorporated it into my kit. I thought that if anyone else was looking into this option, they may benefit from my experiences - since this is another 'buy before you try' situation.

    First off, this is an 8 channel, velocity sensitive trigger to MIDI device. And that's exactly what it is. Nothing less, and very little more. Each input is designed to accept a single piezo trigger, which is ideal for use with Hart Ecymbals or other single-piezo triggers.

    The device provides for assigning any MIDI instrument number to any of the 8 trigger inputs. That was easy. The most difficult part of marrying this device to the module was coaxing the TD8 to listen to it. Well, actually, that was pretty easy as well - once I fed the Roland manual to my dog and waited for the appropriate biological processing. One wonders why the Roland folks put so much energy into making their manuals useless. Alas, I digress (and my dog digests. )

    The device works faithfully and fast. I've not experienced any triggering problems with it at all. But to achieve that level of satisfaction I had to first embrace its limitations.

    Limitations? Oh yes, it has a couple:

    1) There is no cross-talk cancellation.

    2) While the device does allow for setting the sensitivity and threshold, these settings are device-wide, meaning that all 8 inputs share the same settings. This means, for example, that you cannot increase the sensitivity for one input while dampening it for another.

    3) As mentioned earlier these are piezo-only inputs making it not an ideal device for working with Piezo+FSR pads.

    4) There is no HH Foot control input (as can be found on the TMC6, for example).

    5) No enclosure is provided.

    Ok, so I've painted a fairly bleak picture haven't I? And yet, I am quite pleased with the device. The key, as I've stated, is in embracing the limitations.

    1) I am using this device to trigger all of my Hart Ecymbal-IIs. This works quite nicely since there really isn't a cross talk issue from one cymbal to the next (unless you really lean into those puppies - in which case cross talk is soon to be the least of your worries).

    2) Having the same sensitivity for my cymbal triggers is no limitation at all. To compensate, though, I can adjust the MIDI instrument volume for each if needed. And by having all the cymbals processed this way I can control the volume with the 'Other' slider on the TD8's console (as opposed to the 'Cymbal' slider - which, incidentally, now controls all my 'Other' category pads. )

    3) Well, these cymbal triggers ARE single-piezo pads and, thus, see no limitation in the lack of FSR processing (unless I want a choke, which is another project in the works).

    4) No HH pedal input is not a problem as I am using the TD8 for that anyway. Had this device possessed this capability it would have gone un-used.

    5) With no enclosure provided I am enabled to be creative - and I have a great idea in the works - but more on that later. At the moment the device sits in a small bakelite box on the floor.

    With shipping the device cost me $83. I already had a hand-full of 1/4" jacks laying around, as well as a small enclosure and an adequate power supply (though the device can run on a 9v 'clip' battery), so it was little to no effort to put the device into service.

    The bottom line? This is no substitute for a Roland TMC6 (unless, like me, you cannot afford even a used TMC6). But it is a very good Trigger-To-MIDI device. If you need a few more inputs, don't want to throw more green-backs at the Roland machine and you like to tinker this could be a good option for you.

    It was for me.
    My website...
    VCustom kit,
    TD8 + Aphex Impulse,
    HDI Cymbals.
    A great site:

  • #2
    I too have looked at this site. He mentions a pre-amp for more sensitivity- seems unnecessary for piezos that are wacked by sticks. Does the PCB seem sturdy?


    • #3
      Originally posted by chiggins
      Does the PCB seem sturdy?
      Oh yes, quite so. I don't know if he does the board population himself or hires out to a subcontractor, but whoever is doing it does a nice job.

      One of my plans, though, is to re-design the layout to better suit a smaller container. The PCB is set up for use with several of his projects (makes sense) and, thus, there is some wasted space.

      I haven't been using the preamp, though if I were to rack-mount this I might consider that for individual sensitivity control. Not needed for my purposes, though.
      My website...
      VCustom kit,
      TD8 + Aphex Impulse,
      HDI Cymbals.
      A great site: