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  • Trigger foam from makeup sponge

    After converting my DM10 pads to mesh with the 682 Drums product I decided to convert a 10" steel timbale into an e drum for a snare. Having done other DIY drum stuff before I thought It would be fun.
    I made a cone out of a blue foam yoga block that I've had for years. It worked pretty good. Then i tried the sanding block foam and got good results also. i noticed that these foams are a lot firmer than the orange cones from 682 Drums which are super soft. I know Poron is the preffered foam for this application so I've been seeking a product that is made from Poron. My wife being the wonderful woman that she is came home from shopping and gave me this really cool orange makeup sponge that happens to be just the right diameter and shape for a cone. It's really soft and squishy like the cones from 682 Drums and bounces back super quick. Has anyone messed with this stuff before? I really don't know what it's made of but if anyone is interested I'll post some pics and let you know how it works out. Its really strange to work with so far. You cant sand it or cut it with any success with anything but scissors.
    (I know I could just buy some pre-made cones or buy some Poron. But where's the fun in that?)

    Regards,

    digitalstring

  • #2
    Yep, post the pictures please. I know the orange 682 cones, I decided on sanding blocks for all my triggers, but i'm tired of shaping them. A good alternative is welcome.

    >>(I know I could just buy some pre-made cones or buy some Poron. But where's the fun in that?)<< Completely agree on that
    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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    • #3
      Digital, the brand of the product would be helpful (pic of packaging if you still have it).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by digitalstring View Post
        (I know I could just buy some pre-made cones or buy some Poron. But where's the fun in that?)
        IDK in other countries but at least here in Italy I see no fun at all spending around 12/15 euro for a Roland cone or about 100Ä for a MOQ of a square meter of Poron...

        Roland TD-12 module, DIY DareStone CLDRUMWH A2E drum conversion, DIY rack using Dixon clamps, Pearl P-932 double pedal.

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        • #5
          Here are some pics of the foam. I cut it as best I could with a long razor knife. Very weird to cut. Putting coconut oil on the blade helped. It really sticks to the blade kind of like soft rubber would. Then I heated it on an iron and pressed it down on a piece of tile until it cooled. It's pretty flat. Not perfect but it should work fine. Perhaps a pvc pipe cutter tool would work to cut it but I don't have one. Doesn't cut well with a band saw either. It sticks to the blade really bad. Maybe if you stretched it while you cut it it might work.
          I'm planning on working on this tonight. I let you guys know the results.

          Regards,

          digitalstring

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          • #6
            So I mounted it up and tried it out. I can't say It works better than the grey sanding block foam but it works fine. I set sensitivity to 27 for this but only 14 for the grey sanding block foam.
            I think it's a viable solution for anyone that doesn't want to sand a foam cone. I'd bet this foam will last longer too.
            I'm still working on my overall design and may end up doing a different kind of mounting bracket. I'm not getting enough separation from the head and rim triggers. I prefer the head trigger to be near the edge since my DM10 doesn't do positional sensing. Next I'm going to try a piece of the blue foam between the rim and the rim piezo and see if that helps. If that doesn't work I'll probably do a platform between two brackets still close to the edge. Its been fun trying different foam cones and sizes of cones and noting how they react.
            I hope this helps anyone trying their hand at a DIY A to E conversion.

            Regards,

            digitalstring
            Last edited by digitalstring; 05-08-18, 10:05 PM.

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            • #7
              The sensor cone is a crucial determinant of trigger performance and I believe itís worth spending a few dollars to get ďthe right thingĒ. In my opinion, itís not worth jeopardising your performance when ready-made, reliable and dependable options are available.
              . digitalDrummer
              Review index

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              • #8
                You're using relatively heavy wires between your piezo and your connector. There is a huge chance that your solder joints will break this way.
                My advice: Use thinner wires, and secure them is such a way that you get some sort of strain relief. Also adding somehot glue over the solder joint will help
                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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                • #9
                  Originally posted by allanjohn View Post
                  The sensor cone is a crucial determinant of trigger performance and I believe itís worth spending a few dollars to get ďthe right thingĒ. In my opinion, itís not worth jeopardising your performance when ready-made, reliable and dependable options are available.
                  The cone is crucial but I have tried all sorts of different foam and they have all triggered as well as the real thing. I think the real thing is just an excuse to get a lot of money for something worth next to nothing. Apart from all that itís good fun
                  Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

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                  • #10
                    For some who perform reliability is crucial no doubt. For others itís more about availability and cost. For me and others itís more about learning and having fun with DIY. Iím a guitarist but I enjoy playing drums and I want a decent set in my home studio. If something I make breaks itís no big deal to me. Iíll just fix it.
                    I may still purchase some Poron just to see what itís like and how it compares to the other foams Iíve tried

                    digitalstring

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                    • #11
                      I can only advise to check the piezo outputs on a scope when fiddling with cushions and mounting, to get a feeling for the lowpass effect and inertia a cushion causes. This makes it very easy to compare material properties and proper ways of mounting and decoupling. Just banging on the head and adjusting module settings is still steering blindly. An entry-level digital desktop scope is cheap these days, as are handheld scopes. If none available, check the waveform in a DAW (although it's DC-decoupled then, telling you nothing about polarity and low-frequency coupling issues).
                      I second the comment on wire gauge, use thinner ones, and keep the solder point on the ceramic part as small as possible.
                      MarkDrum YES e-kit highly modified (DIY hall-sensor based hihat, low-volume trigger cymbals, 16" DIY kick, 12" DIY snare + tom 3), Triggera 10" splash
                      Gibraltar 9607NL-DP Legless Hi Hat, Intruder Double Pedal
                      Shure SE215 in-ears w. CustomArt silicone tips

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                      • #12
                        okay. So I found some smaller makeup sponges. These are about the same diameter as the ceramic part of a 32 mm piezo. I cut the top cone shaped portion off and prepared it with a hot iron as before. I tried two different decoupler foams and mounting methods. The one with the black foam and 3mm mounting tape ring was almost twice as sensitive as the one with the blue foam decoupler with a sensitivity setting on the DM10 of 18 as apposed to 31. This is pretty soft foam so leave it about 3/16" to 1/4" above the bearing edge of the shell so that it compresses a good bit when the head is tightened down. the decoupler foam I used was 5/8" thick
                        The nice thing is that you don't have to sand any foam and I believe these makeup sponges are fairly easily available. I've seen them at CVS and Walgreen's as well as Ulta. Price was $4.99 for a package of 2.
                        Next I'll be trying another foam sponge that I found. This is a makeup remover sponge. It's black about the size and shape of a large egg and it really looks like the same foam I've seen in pictures of Poron. Feeling of it, it seems to have the right properties. I wouldn't be surprised if it is the same Poron.
                        I hope this may help anyone doing or wanting to do an AtoE conversion. This will make it a lot easier so I encourage anyone who may have been hesitant to try a DIY Project to give it a shot. I have to say it's a lot of fun to jam out on an electronic set with ezdrummer or addictive drums. The sounds are killer. It's also a lot of fun, for me at least to do this DIY project.

                        Regards,

                        digitalstring

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                        • #13
                          The output signal of a piezo is directly related to how much the piezo bends. Sensitivity is for a large part influenced with how easy the piezo can flex.
                          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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                          • #14
                            My only worry looking at the pictures is that you are not covering all the piezo. I would think you need to transfer the energy to the full size. I donít know the technicalities so could be totally wrong. When I built mine I covered the piezo completely.
                            Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

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                            • #15
                              The previous makeup sponge covered the whole sponge and I tried different things under the piezo. This one actually triggered better. Several factors at play here. With this foam it works better if itís more compressed under the head. It worked nicely. Even the lightest hits to pounding it.

                              Digitalstring

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