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New AtoE conversion. Have lots of questions, have done lots of searching.

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  • New AtoE conversion. Have lots of questions, have done lots of searching.

    Hey guys and gals. I need to start ordering parts and get the ball rolling on my conversion. An older Pearl Export 5 piece. I've done lots of searching and it's been kind of difficult to find hard answers as there is so much info dispersed throughout the forum. Just a lot of sifting and I still am not sure of some things. Here goes.

    I'm using a Roland TD-9, so:

    What size piezo would be best and where is the best place to purchase them?

    Second, in your opinion should I go with a crossbar, pan or side mount for the trigger? I want to make sure I don't get the hotspot issues and I'm leaning more towards a side mount. I'm not worried about rim triggers for the toms. I will eventually split those channels for more triggers. I will be doing the pan conversion on the snare so I can get positional sensing one day when I have a module that will support it. I know the TD-9 does not.

    Third, what's your favorite way to convert the kick? Is a mesh head on a 22" bass too bouncy? Just a crossbar and trigger in the center?

    I know I'm going to have more questions. I do appreciate any help you can provide! Thanks in advance.


  • #2
    There are guys on here who are far more qualified than I to respond and it will be interesting to see what hey say, but as someone with a semi-operational A2E setup I might be able to offer a few nuggets. I would agree the info is mostly all up here but very tricky to get specifics.

    1. In my experience you should roughly scale the piezo size with the drum head size unless it's for the cymbals (in which case you should get the biggest ones you can), having said that i think my lower tom is 12" and i've got a 27mm piezo on there. The ones with a thicker ceramic area seem a bit unnecessary to me although I'm still in the middle of my experimenting.

    2. I'd say side mount, all mine are crossbars and I'm paying for that decision now.

    3. I've done a 22" bass head and not had huge bouncing issues, just be prepared to spend a lot of time on your trigger settings. Just reinforce the hell out of your crossbar, lots of dampening material around your piezo and make the bridge as adjustable as possible with some kind of spacing nut/bolt arrangement.


    • #3
      Jonts, thanks for the info. Where's the best place to purchase the piezos?


      • #4


        • #5
          A lot of folks on here have done the cake pans with great success, far more than I've ever read as doing side mounts. Just FYI.

          My bands: Alter Ego, Arcanum
          E Kit = Roland TDW-20s kit // Roland SPD-S// Pearl Demon Drives//
          A Kit = Tama Swingstar 5 pc (1981) w/roto toms (orig owner!) //Zildjians
          A Kit = Natal 6 pc with Paiste 2000 & Zildjian/MidiKNights/DrumSplitters


          • #6
            Hmm..that's interesting. From what I was reading I thought the side mount option would help control hot spots. That's why I'm asking though. I want to do it right the first time!


            • #7
              I tried both.

              I stayed with side mounts to not have hot spots. Of course, my module does not have PS.

              Don't bother with getting different size piezo. The size of the piezo according to the size of the shells? First time I read that.

              On a Roland, you'll be fine. If your piezos are too hot, just add pots a pot will also help setting the trigger system just right.
              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


              • #8
                If your module does not support positional sensing, go for side mount. The only way to get rid of the hot spot is to place your trigger somewhere you don't usually hit the head. Even if your module supports PS, the annoyance of hot spots might be bigger then the added value from ps.

                The piezo size is no big issue. I agree with perceval. It's better to have a trigger that is too sensitive, and tune it back with a pot, than having a trigger that is not sensitive enough. Your module can amplify the signal, but you loose dynamic range.

                As for the bounce of the kick... Put some damping material behind the head.
                Brain: mega drum. 5 toms: DIY mesh head, side-mounted DIY triggers. Snare: 14" 682 head, DIY crossbar trigger. 2xDIY beaterless BD pedal. .Cymbals: Crash: 2x 16" brass: 2 zone. Ride: 20" brass: 2 zone. Hi-Hat: 14" 1 zone DIY Control pedal + Pearl H900 stand. + drum rack:


                • #9
                  +1 for side mounted triggers. Easiest to do and surprisingly effective. I reckon 27 mm piezos is the standard size all round, though 35 mm is also sometimes used.

                  Also, in the kick drum, don't put the piezo directly behind where the beater(s) hit because you'll soon damage it. Place it 2 or 3 inches above or below -I suppose you could even side mount it- and as others have said, put some foam behind where the beater hits to dampen the bounce.
                  Megadrum module, DIY A2E pads, DIY 2 & 3-zone cymbals, DIY hall-effect 3-zone hi-hat, El Cheapo buttkicker, DIY trigger beaters on DIY longboard/direct drive modded pedals. DIY IEMs. Some kit pics/history. Check out Jamulus for online jamming!


                  • #10
                    Awesome, thanks guys. Hopefully as I get things going I can post photos and such.


                    • #11
                      Also +1 for side mounted triggers.
                      I have converted my 8" 10" and 12" toms with Roland mesh heads. I also use a TD9.
                      I tried a crossbar, but the result was hotspot-horror.
                      So I experimented with the piezo's (all 27mm) underneath the heads, with the ceramic side touching the head. (I believe this is the 2BOX method ?)
                      It works very well for me, after messing around with the head tuning, sensitivity, threshold, retrig cancel etc!

                      Good luck with your project !
                      Ludwig Epic, Roland Mesh-heads, DIY Cymbals, Roland TD-9, EZdrummer2 + EZX


                      • #12
                        Dreamdrummer, can you elaborate more on your trigger? Are you using a cone or touching the head directly with the piezo?

                        Ok, I didn't realize that 2box had conversion triggers. I just looked one up on Bing images and noticed that the piezo is touching the head and the foam is underneath. Interesting. You've had good results with this?


                        • #13
                          Direct contact of the piezo to the head seems like a good way to destroy the piezo and break the wires off connected to it.
                          Never done a conversion but I am considering it.
                          "It makes sense if you dont think about it"

                          Mimic Pro, SPD-SX, 2-QSC K-10s, K-sub, Yamaha mixer, and a bunch of other expensive cool things!


                          • #14
                            I *think* that in 2Box pads it touches the head directly, though I'm not sure about having the ceramic side facing upwards - I have the brass side facing the head for a flatter contact, though I do also have a thin piece of foam (1-2 mm) between the piezo and the head. The foam under the piezo is to isolate it from the shell and avoid crosstalk. Mine press firmly against the head, not enough to cause a bulge, but more firmly than a regular cone would.
                            Megadrum module, DIY A2E pads, DIY 2 & 3-zone cymbals, DIY hall-effect 3-zone hi-hat, El Cheapo buttkicker, DIY trigger beaters on DIY longboard/direct drive modded pedals. DIY IEMs. Some kit pics/history. Check out Jamulus for online jamming!


                            • #15
                              I have done several kits using Quartz Percussion cones/piezos. The product has been good and inexpensive.

                              I used single zones and a 1" aluminum crossbar and L brackets to mount the triggers.

                              I center mounted the triggers (TD 20) and very rarely have a hot spot hit.

                              I use Remo Silent Strokes and the are very durable.

                              There are some pics here.