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Electronic switch to physically isolate multiple zones

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  • Electronic switch to physically isolate multiple zones

    As some of you may know I have a Trigger IO. I've been building my cymbals as such:

    > 1-zone-plus-choke by installing a piezo in a project box wired tip/sleeve and a Hellfire choke wired ring/sleeve. Works great, there's not multiple piezos to worry about isolating in the module. No brainer!
    > 2-zone-plus-choke by installing a bell and bow piezo wired to one TRS. Hellfire choke wired to the tip of a second TRS. Isolate the two piezos via trigger threshold and crosstalk settings. Choke utilizes half of another Trigger IO input. Works fabulous. No complaints, works great. And I'm happy with a 2-zone ride.

    But I know a 3-zone ride exists, Addictive Drums supports it, and it makes me want more More MORE!!!

    However, I don't see any way possible to squeeze a third zone in there for a 3-zone-plus-choke using the Trigger IO. It's just not possible from what I can tell to stick a third piezo on the edge and get JUST an edge sound. The bow rings as well. The module cannot isolate the two piezos so close together when you're whacking the edge of the cymbal. At least I haven't personally been successful.

    I'm not even sure you could do it with an edge switch, though I haven't tried. But I'm assuming any hit strong enough to trigger a switch would trigger the piezo(s) on the cymbal simultaneously. Plus with an edge switch on a Trigger IO you would only get a on/off edge trigger with no variable velocity. I'm not a real drummer so I'm assuming you're only whacking the edge for a loud crash sound anyway so maybe sacrificing the velocity isn't critical, but I'd think you'd want it. And then I'd give up the choke for an edge hit as the Trigger IO can only handle one MIDI NOTE output per switch/piezo. But along that same line of thought if I could live without variable edge hit velocity I could split the Hellfire choke switch in HALF, leave the front edge/lip of one half un-buffered by leaving out that part of the separator so I could strike over that area to engage the switch via a stick hit. And the other half functioning as a choke. I haven't done that but I see no reason why I couldn't put them side-by-side wired to a TRS using a full TRS on the Trigger IO. But it'd be a pretty big downside only having a 5" wide max area to get the edge trigger, and 5" wide area max for the choke. You'd have to really think about what you were going to do while playing. Sounds wayyyy too annoying all around for me to even bother trying it.

    Which brings me to my morning coffee induced idea, which happened this morning, even though I'm writing this tonight. I thought there MUST be some simple electronic circuit similar to the Raper that could provide physical isolation on the cymbal. Thus removing the Trigger IO from having to manage crosstalk across 3 piezos at all. But that's about as far as I got with that thought as I have no actual electronics experience other than someone telling me what to solder where.

    But what I was thinking was that somehow I could jam an edge, bow, and bell piezo on the same cymbal. Wire them all to a little circuit board, and have the circuit manage the crosstalk by comparing the relative output of each piezo, whichever has a higher output, assume that was the active piezo, physically allow it's output to the jack but suppress the other two piezos output.

    Ride the bell, it outputs only the bell piezo signal, crash the edge, it only outputs the edge piezos signal, then ride the bow and it only outputs the bow piezo signal. Physical isolation via the circuit. And you could still stick one of Hellfire's chokes on there as well, thus eating up two full TRS jacks and two full inputs on the Trigger IO.

    Seems reasonable to me! Or I'm over-thinking the whole thing and there's a simpler solution? Or I don't understand the proper function of the Raper circuit and that circuit as designed will do exactly what I want? Or I think too much? And/or type too much? Or D) All Of The Above!

    Not terribly related but from what I've read on the MegaDrum forum the latest firmware seems to be able to "group" multipe contiguous TRS inputs to perform this exact physical isolation on the module. It can basically perform successfull crosstalk across multiple inputs not necessarily on the same TRS jack. Thus 3 actual inputs are restricted to only ever outputting one MIDI NOTE simultaneously. At least based on what I've read. But I don't have a MegaDrum (future project for me) so it's moot when discussing my Trigger IO. But thought I'd share that tid bit anyway.

    As usual, I welcome your thoughts.

  • #2
    CLIFF NOTES VERSION OF THIS THREAD: "We need a circuit that can determine which piezo is closest to the strike and then momentarily disable the other one(s)"


    • #3
      OK, first an admission. I did not read your entire post, just skimmed it, and I don't know my way around the Raper circuit, but I have opened up a Roland 3-zone cymbal, and it works using a single piezo, a switch at the edge, and a switch at the bell. It hooks up via two TRS connectors. Perhaps this will give you another clue in your search.


      • #4
        Just to clarify this is for use with an Alesis module. The Roland modules can do the necessary processing in-module, the Alesis cannot. The solution would be an electronic circuit to function as some sort of switching gate to physically only allow one piezo to output at any given time on the same cymbal.


        • #5
          I'm sure there's a variety of ways to tackle this. Re-reading the Raper thread and the various 3-zone Roland cymbal threads it seems that Roland's logic would be ideal. Less piezo, more switches.

          To accommodate a similar implementation with the Trigger IO the switching would just need to be done on-cymbal and configure the switches to simply route the piezo output to different physical jacks in the project box.


          • #6
            Gastric, the 'electronic switch' idea is of interest to me in a non-cymbal application I'm working on..can you please let us know how/if this progresses? I will try to put some more thought into this myself over the next few days and report back.

            Cheers from Here