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  • El Cheapo buttkicker

    Hi,

    I made myself a cheap buttkicker for my drum throne using a bass shaker that's normally used for home theatre systems and video games. While probably not remotely as powerful as a buttkicker or throne thumper, it still does give a nice thump for your throne to give you that tactile feedback - maybe not enough for a live situation but more than suitable for home use.

    The bass shaker I bought is this one: https://www.amazon.de/Zisaline-Lauts...rds=bodyshaker
    It's 4 Ohms and rated at 100W but I suspect that's the maximum output, so I think it's safer to assume it's more like 50W.

    Then you need an amplifier for it. I found this nice little board: https://es.aliexpress.com/item/DC12-...608.0.0.yHevpq, which is for subwoofers. It has stereo input and mono output, puts out 48W into 4 Ohms when supplied with 19v, and has a gain pot and a pot to regulate the cutoff frequency (20 - 180 Hz) - perfect for this project.

    So, I bought a nice little aluminium box to put the amp in and put that together:
    amp_1.jpg
    amp_2.jpg
    I power it with a 19v DC laptop power brick.

    And then I bolted the bass shaker to the drum throne. The shaker is connected to the amp with an RCA cable:
    bass shaker.jpg
    The shaker needs to be separated by about 1 cm from the surface to let the voice coil vibrate and prevent it from banging against the stool.

    And that's it. I connect the amp to the subwoofer output jack of the PC sound card and route separate outputs from the bass drum and toms in AD through a frequency filter and noise gate to create a more defined thud - otherwise e.g. fast double bass playing turns into a kind of rumble. The master outputs go out through an external sound card, which means that the bass shaker has its own separate output with its own effects.
    You can also install several shakers for more vibration but I find one to be enough for me.
    MegaDrum module, DIY A2E pads, DIY hall effect 3 zone hi hat, DIY 1, 2 & 3 zone cymbals, DIY kick beater triggers on DIY modded longboard, direct drive pedals, DIY triple driver IEMs, El Cheapo buttkicker. Various VSTs running in a tweaked Linux Mint. kit pics thread

  • #2
    Cool!
    DTX700, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH Kit Pix

    My new venture: voglosounds.com

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    • #3
      Great work. I was able to get a butt kicker for a very cheap price from a colleague who tough the amp was broken. Turned out it wasn't broken and worked fine. While I think it will give more punch than your version. I don't think that is really necessary. I have dialed my amp back to about a 10% of the maximum output. Your solution is also much more stealthy, and it being fixed directly to the sitting part of the throne you probably have a better acoustic feed trough than the butt kicker, which is mounted to the stem. This might also be a reason why lees power is required. Also the amp of the butt kicker is much bulkier.

      I might even try to build one myself...... once all other projects I have in mind are finished.
      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:

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      • #4
        Thanks! Yeah, I reckon more vibration gets to you as there's more direct contact with your backside as opposed to attaching it to the stool shaft. The thing is, my stool is kind of DIY and I didn't have a problem with drilling through it - if you don't want to do that you might have to look at other ways of mounting it. I don't use this at full power either because there's a point past which it's uncomfortable. Also, I had to fit pads on the feet of the stool because the vibration was going down through the wooden floor in quite a big way.

        I have a question, as I've never tried a "real" buttkicker: when you hit the kick, does the buttkicker produce a distinct, single thud, or does it produce a kind of thick, rapidly decaying buzz? It's taken me quite a lot of tweaking with software filters to get a distinct thump and I was wondering whether that's they way they are or if it's because the shaker I'm using is more oriented for other uses.

        And here's a tip if anyone wants to use the same amp: if you use a metal enclosure, either use a plastic DC socket or make sure it's insulated from the case. When I first put it together it wasn't working and I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I realised that the audio output RCA jack was sharing ground with the DC socket through the metal enclosure. In other projects that's not a problem but in this case they need to be separate. Another solution would be to just use a plastic enclosure.
        MegaDrum module, DIY A2E pads, DIY hall effect 3 zone hi hat, DIY 1, 2 & 3 zone cymbals, DIY kick beater triggers on DIY modded longboard, direct drive pedals, DIY triple driver IEMs, El Cheapo buttkicker. Various VSTs running in a tweaked Linux Mint. kit pics thread

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ignotus View Post
          I have a question, as I've never tried a "real" buttkicker: when you hit the kick, does the buttkicker produce a distinct, single thud, or does it produce a kind of thick, rapidly decaying buzz? It's taken me quite a lot of tweaking with software filters to get a distinct thump and I was wondering whether that's they way they are or if it's because the shaker I'm using is more oriented for other uses..
          There is a distinct single thump. even when playing double base, it feels like every hit gives a single thump. The only filtering I have to do is the cut-off frequency. You basically want to imitate the feeling of the base drum vibrating, not the low toms. That gave me some issues with the kit I had selected because it seemed to have a lot of low frequencies in the floor toms.

          The fact that you only want to simulate the feeling of the base in your gut (which is normally due to the displacement of air) is the reason that I have dialed the amp way down. Anything more feels unnaturally.

          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:

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Viperr View Post

            There is a distinct single thump. even when playing double base, it feels like every hit gives a single thump. The only filtering I have to do is the cut-off frequency. You basically want to imitate the feeling of the base drum vibrating, not the low toms. That gave me some issues with the kit I had selected because it seemed to have a lot of low frequencies in the floor toms.

            The fact that you only want to simulate the feeling of the base in your gut (which is normally due to the displacement of air) is the reason that I have dialed the amp way down. Anything more feels unnaturally.
            Ok, thanks, I suspected as much. I have managed to make the vibrations more defined with filters, but like you say, stronger vibration isn't necessarily better. If I turn mine up to full power I can even feel the vibration in my face. If I dial it down the kick produces a pleasant thud that rings less and feels more realistic. I do like to faintly feel the rack toms tap and the floor tom thud and ring though - it feels like you can actually hear the enhanced bass. Very happy overall with the result.
            MegaDrum module, DIY A2E pads, DIY hall effect 3 zone hi hat, DIY 1, 2 & 3 zone cymbals, DIY kick beater triggers on DIY modded longboard, direct drive pedals, DIY triple driver IEMs, El Cheapo buttkicker. Various VSTs running in a tweaked Linux Mint. kit pics thread

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            • #7
              DIY Vdrummers never cease to amaze me. Awesome job. I think I will try this when I have some free time. Do you have a link to the housing for the amp? Thanks for posting.

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              • #8
                There you go: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1-PC...608.0.0.ZpBigx
                As I said above, make sure the DC socket is insulated from the housing. I also used a thin sheet of rubber under the PCB to insulate it too. Also. there's only about 2 mm of clearance above the big capacitor so you have to make sure you make the holes for the pots and input socket on the front panel at exactly the right height - other than that it's a perfect fit. Good luck if you decide to make one!
                MegaDrum module, DIY A2E pads, DIY hall effect 3 zone hi hat, DIY 1, 2 & 3 zone cymbals, DIY kick beater triggers on DIY modded longboard, direct drive pedals, DIY triple driver IEMs, El Cheapo buttkicker. Various VSTs running in a tweaked Linux Mint. kit pics thread

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                • #9
                  Thank you!

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                  • #10
                    wonder if this amp will work ? https://www.amazon.com/SMC2-100-100-...Mini+Amplifier

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tivi View Post
                      It would, but 100w is the max rated power, and split between 2 channels (I wouldn't try bridging them), so you're looking at much less per channel. If you look at the comments they say it's probably closer to about 15w per channel. The nice thing about the amp I used is that all the power goes into a single channel, which is all you're going to need. That, and the fact that it's specifically for low frequencies, which is what you want. If you don't want to faff around with bare boards, look for something specific for subwoofers.
                      MegaDrum module, DIY A2E pads, DIY hall effect 3 zone hi hat, DIY 1, 2 & 3 zone cymbals, DIY kick beater triggers on DIY modded longboard, direct drive pedals, DIY triple driver IEMs, El Cheapo buttkicker. Various VSTs running in a tweaked Linux Mint. kit pics thread

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                      • #12
                        thanks ignotus, how about this ? https://www.amazon.com/Amplifier-ELE...+for+subwoofer

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                        • #13
                          Pretty much the same power specs per channel, though as it has a subwoofer output it might filter out higher frequencies. I reckon it should work fine.
                          MegaDrum module, DIY A2E pads, DIY hall effect 3 zone hi hat, DIY 1, 2 & 3 zone cymbals, DIY kick beater triggers on DIY modded longboard, direct drive pedals, DIY triple driver IEMs, El Cheapo buttkicker. Various VSTs running in a tweaked Linux Mint. kit pics thread

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                          • #14
                            Tivi,
                            Keep us posted with your project. I may want to try something like this.

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                            • #15
                              For those of you in the US, this bass shaker: https://www.parts-express.com/auraso...ducer--299-028 would probably be a better candidate than the one I used. It's a bit more expensive, but over here in Europe they cost twice as much, and those who've used them for video games and home theatres seem to be quite happy with them.
                              MegaDrum module, DIY A2E pads, DIY hall effect 3 zone hi hat, DIY 1, 2 & 3 zone cymbals, DIY kick beater triggers on DIY modded longboard, direct drive pedals, DIY triple driver IEMs, El Cheapo buttkicker. Various VSTs running in a tweaked Linux Mint. kit pics thread

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