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Need advice for an A2E conversion with a Yamaha DTX502 module

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  • Need advice for an A2E conversion with a Yamaha DTX502 module

    I currently have an acoustic drum set and an e-drum kit in my small practice room. I need to get down to just one drum kit because two kits just takes up too much space. Also, I am finding it harder on my ears to play the acoustic drums due to the volume. I like the sound of the e-drums (Yamaha DTX502 module and pads) and it’s great to be able to play along to music using my iPod. However, I love the feel and finesse of playing acoustic drums. As I bounce between the two kits, I keep thinking I wish I had an electronic kit that looks and feels like my acoustic kit but sounds as good as my e-drums (through the headphones) and is quiet to the rest of the occupants in the house.

    So I am considering an A to E conversion to get the best of both worlds. I would like to use the Yamaha DTX502 module for the conversion with mesh heads on the drums. I will use either Yamaha e-cymbals or Zildjian Gen16 cymbals (the Gen16’s appear to be quiet enough for my environment and provide the real reel I am looking for).

    I do not hook my e-drums to a computer. I use my e-drums for silent practice because it’s so much easier on my ears, it doesn’t disturb the rest of the household, and I can easily play along to music. When I want to hear my

    I would like to get some advice from others on this forum. Here are my questions/concerns:

    - If I use the DTX502 module, what are the best triggers to use? I am looking for something that would be very “plug and play” without too much set up on the module. Of course, cost and ease of installation are a factor too.

    - How do you set up triggers on the snare drum to provide two zones – one zone for the head and one zone for rim shots?

    - What are the best mesh heads to use?

  • #2
    Few initial things. (1) will the kit be used outside a practice environment? (b) what's your total budget?
    *** MIDI IN: good. Cable snake: bad ***
    Yamaha & Roland modules. DTX,TM-2, EC-10, EC10m, SP-404. Multi12. TrapKat. ControlPads. Octapad, SamplePad, Wavedrum. Handsonic. Dynacord RhythmStick. MPC. Paiste 2002/Signatures. Cajons. Djembes. Darbuka. Windsynth. MIDI Bass. Tenori-on. Zoom ARQ. Synths. Ukes.

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    • #3
      The kit will be used for practice only and never gigged. I don't have a budget, meaning money is not an issue, but I do want value for my money. That's why I originally bought a Yamaha e-kit, it's a good bang for the buck. Roland equipment seems to be over priced.

      I only need single zone triggers on the toms and kick, but I would like to have at least a dual zone on the snare for rims shots. The ddrum exterior triggers look like they work well with the module, but don't have positional sensing. So far, the Pintech A2E triggers look like the best option I have seen. I don't really want to build my own triggers. Does anyone have experience with the Pintech A2E triggers and the Yamaha DTX502 module?
      Last edited by baxmanol; 04-10-15, 02:42 PM. Reason: I added more info.

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      • #4
        The Yamaha module doesn't have positional sensing, period.

        If mounting L brackets with a piezo and some foam to the side of your shells is too difficult, then look for side mounted triggers like Wronka or Trigerra.

        For the snare, use a tom input to get head and rim sounds (2 piezos). Plug the remaining toms into the last toms and snare inputs. Those will be single zone.

        There is a way to use the snare input if you build a switch into your snare pad, but you don't seem to want to DIY much.

        Pick a pad like TP80 in the module and adjust gain and retrig parameters.

        PS. If you can get triggers with a variable pot, or install one, your dynamics will be vastly improved. The Yamaha modules have quite hot inputs, so just plugging in a piezo might be too loud and restricted in dynamics.

        Good luck!
        DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
        Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

        My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by baxmanol View Post
          The kit will be used for practice only and never gigged.
          Hiya!

          OK, so the comment you made "wish I had an electronic kit that looks ... like my acoustic kit" is confusing as does it really matter what it "looks" like?

          Secondly, have you tried Yamaha's silicon pads? :-)
          *** MIDI IN: good. Cable snake: bad ***
          Yamaha & Roland modules. DTX,TM-2, EC-10, EC10m, SP-404. Multi12. TrapKat. ControlPads. Octapad, SamplePad, Wavedrum. Handsonic. Dynacord RhythmStick. MPC. Paiste 2002/Signatures. Cajons. Djembes. Darbuka. Windsynth. MIDI Bass. Tenori-on. Zoom ARQ. Synths. Ukes.

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          • #6
            electrodrummer: I have an acoustic drum set and a Yamaha DTX drum set with an amp in my small (10' x 10') room along with a keyboard & amp, guitar& amp. So it's too crowded. I need to get down to just one drum kit, but I don't want to give up either, because they both have their unique advantages. I don't gig anymore. I love the feel and look of the acoustic drums, but the volume is getting hard on my ears. I love being able to choose different drum kit voices on my e-drums and the ability to play along to music at comfortable level, but I cannot play with finesse on the e-drums like I can on the acoustic set. Also, I don't care for the feel of the rubber cymbal pads. The Yamaha silicon pads feel good to play, but they are expensive and the sizes are smaller than an acoustic kit.

            So I guess I would like to have it all: the look (yes, acoustic drums look very cool) and feel of acoustic drums, with the ability to choose different drum voices and play along to music at a comfortable volume.

            I'm not afraid of a DIY project, in fact I lick DIY stuff. However, I am nervous about buying and installing triggers that don't work well or getting frustrated trying to tweak the module to get everything to work right.

            I would like to hear if anyone one has used a DTX502 module for an A2E conversion and their experience with the triggers they used. Maybe the DTX502 is not the best module for a conversion, but Roland modules seem expensive and I have not been able to try out a 2box or Alexis, so they are unfamiliar to me.

            Any comments or suggestions are appreciated!

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            • #7
              A DTX502 is a very good module to DIY a kit, as long as you can live with the limited number of inputs.

              I have a DTX700, which is a step up from the 502, and did a very nice DIY conversion. There is nothing more to it than screwing a L bracket to a lug, placing a piezo and a piece of foam on top. Of course, do buy an already made trigger from Trigerra or Wronka if you wish.

              BTW, DIY, even buying an already made trigger, will need a bit more tweaking than buying a pad from Yamaha and plugging it. If you want zero headaches, buy a pad from Yamaha. If you don't mind tweaking some things, than go DIY.

              Like I mentioned, you will need pots on your triggers.
              DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
              Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

              My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by baxmanol View Post
                I would like to hear if anyone one has used a DTX502 module for an A2E conversion and their experience with the triggers they used. Maybe the DTX502 is not the best module for a conversion, but Roland modules seem expensive and I have not been able to try out a 2box or Alexis, so they are unfamiliar to me.

                Any comments or suggestions are appreciated!
                Don't be discouraged by the price of a Roland module or the [seeming] complexity of a 2Box module. I too, like the Yamaha sounds very much, and in fact have an assortment of Yamaha PCY cymbals as they are a good value (and I like the look) as opposed to the Roland cymbals. For my A2E I used a TD-12 but I'm moving along to something more flexible and recent like a TD-30 or 2Box. You can find a slew of nicely conditioned used modules on eBay or Craigslist. You could even get away with earlier models like TD-6V or TD-8 which are flexible enough for A2E's. The fact that the DTX doesn't have positional sensing was all it took to turn me off to it - once you've played with PS, you'll never live without it.

                Like anything new, whether a different TD module or a 2Box, all it takes is to read the manual front to back and ask questions along the way!
                Live Rig: Under Construction!
                Studio Rig: Pearl Mimic Pro | Pearl ePro A2E kit | ATV-Roland-Yamaha cymbals | Customized MDS-20 rack | ATH-M40x phones

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                • #9
                  I did an A2E conversion powered by a DTX502 a little over a year ago and it has been fantastic. You'll have to play around with trigger settings a bit, but I think it is well worth it. I can certainly sypathize with your desire for acoustic aesthetics--my drums look a helluva lot better than my couch.
                  Attached Files
                  Yamaha DTX502 module, Gretsch/Tama shells (K18"/S14"/HT12"/FT14"), 682Drums white mesh heads, Triggera Intrigg triggers, RHH135, PCY155, PCY135 x2, Pearl Eliminator single pedal, and an assortment of hardware and muffling

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