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Which piezo to use for a DIY cymbal?

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  • Which piezo to use for a DIY cymbal?


    I've built me a basic cymbal from a beech multiplex board with a sponge rubber layer as the playing surface. In order to avoid a hot spot I mounted a second board with a spacer under the main board using four screws. That second board (the piezo board) is where I've put a 32 mm piezo. Actually, this works decently to avoid a hot spot. Now, I've connected the piezo to a TD-10 controlling SD2.0 and tested.

    Although I set the threshold to zero and the sensitivity to max (32) I still have to hit harder than I expected to trigger a sound. More oddly, at the minimum force required to trigger a sound not the softest sound is triggered but a mid volume sound. It is very easy to reach PEAK once that minimum force stroke is exceeded. So I lowered the sensitivity down to 22 and found that the minimum force required to trigger a sound has not changed -> threshold seems to remain unchanged. I did change the velocity curves both in the TD10 and in SD2. I found that SD2 seems to filter out all volume levels below 20 by default. Still, it displays the default velocity curve as a straight line beginning in the origin. However, after bending that curve really hard I could achieve that the low volume sounds were being triggered at the minimum force stroke. So far, so "good".

    Another thing I have found, sometimes a "rogue" strong signal seems to get through resulting in a loud sound when I play a series of even strokes. That is independent from the position.

    I have a few questions here...

    1) Why does the threshold not change (by much at least) when I change the sensitivity? If I turned down the sensitivity to 1 and the threshold to 0, should not the trigger behave basically like a brick whatever the threshold setting?

    2) Do piezos have their own velocity/transmission curve? In general, what is the shape? Can it be changed with some electric element?

    3) In my early attempts to build cymbal pads I had a piezo that came with a housing, and in the wires there was a very simple electric coil with a magnetic core. As far as I recall from school a coil filters out high frequencies and lets low frequencies pass with AC current. Does that help any with drum triggers?

    4) I bought piezos without wires. I have read elsewhere that it is important which wire is connected to what part of the piezo. I dont understand that as AC is being generated. If I should have soldered the wires the wrong way, what would be the result?

    5) Is there a figure with piezos that tells me about the sensitivity? Can the sensitivity be increased? I could not find any bigger than 35 mm. Would the sensitivity get bigger if I wired two piezos in parallel? I imagine I could as well use more screws to firmer connect the piezo board to the main board.

    6) I understand in mesh head drums the piezo receives strokes through a foam cone or cylinder. The piezo itself is sitting on a foam pad that is smaller than the diameter of the piezo disk, so the stroke through the foam element bends the piezo disk producing a much stronger input than just a vibrating board and a piezo glued flat onto it. Unfortunately, this creates the infamous hot spot. Anyone came across a way to apply this concept to a cymbal pad?

    Thanks for your attention

  • #2
    without pictures I really don't understand your set-up
    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: