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  • DIY Magnetic Hi-Hat Controller

    Hi all--I posted this in another forum, but this DIY forum has been so helpful over the last few months, I wanted to share it here too:

    I know there are about a billion DIY HH switches out there, but I have not yet seen one using this method, so I thought I'd post it.

    So, I took the plunge and bought an Alesis DM5 for a great price on eBay. While waiting for it to be delivered, I was trying to figure out how to use my acoustic HH stand as the HH pedal switch with that brain.

    As many of you know, the DM5 uses a momentary footswitch for HH control. So I was searching for a switch that I could attach to my HH stand and I came across this:

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2419298


    Its the sort of magnetic switch used for alarm systems. That got the wheels turning. I figured there must be a ton of ways to mount this on the HH stand and use it with the "natural" movement of the stand.

    So I got one and here is the result:


    Please excuse the ghetto-ness of its current state. I temporarily attached one side of the switch to the end of the pedal with zip-ties in case I needed to make adjustments. The project box housing the 1/4" mono jack is attached by the screw/spike thingy on the HH stand.

    Here it is with the pedal held down (with law school books):


    It works PERFECTLY. The best thing about it is that the magnets are actually very "forgiving". By that I mean that they don't have to be perfectly positioned next to each other for the switch to work.

    In fact, on my set up, nothing on the pedal touches any part of the other side of the switch. Therefore, there are no parts to wear out. Theoretically, you can mash away on the HH pedal and the only limitation is the strength of your HH stand.

  • #2
    That is an awesome idea. Can you tell and show how you wired everything. Excuse the noobiness but can you use it for variable HH use? Also do you have a pic of the whole HH stand?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by superbad71 View Post
      That is an awesome idea. Can you tell and show how you wired everything. Excuse the noobiness but can you use it for variable HH use? Also do you have a pic of the whole HH stand?
      Unfortunately, this is open/closed/foot splash only (as that is all the DM5 allows). The wiring is very simple, you just wire the negative (collar) terminal on the 1/4" output jack to the control terminal on the magnetic switch, then wire the positive (tip) terminal on the jack to the Normal Open terminal on the magnetic switch.

      The DM5 is supposed to automatically detect the polarity of the switch. Not sure if other brains do this too. If the switch is acting "backwards" (i.e. playing open note when switch is closed), then just use the other positive terminal on the switch (Normal Open or Normal Closed).

      I'll try to get a pic up of the whole stand soon.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the wiring info.

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        • #5
          good thinking theflash0000, I too have a DM5 and I used a magnetic reed switch for the hi-hat pedal, works great if you dont need variable. As you mentioned the nice thing about the DM5 is that it sense's whether you have a normally open or normal closed foot pedal. what every it detects on start up is assumed to be open high hats. looking forward to seeing some pictures of you kit.

          Dave
          Remo practice pad mesh conversion, Pearl Export A2E mesh, Pintech and TKO A2E cymbals, Roland TD-8, 1.5 eDrum trigger to midi converters (edrum.info), Alesis DM5's, Tama Iron Cobra double bass pedal. 6 200watt EV SH1502 speakers, 200watt Crate Bass amp, ASUS P5Q Mobo, 8Gb ram, q6600 Core2 Quad, 3 TB's of hard drives, ATI 3870 video, dual 22" monitor's. This stuff is FUN!

          one of my kits http://vdrums.com/forum/showthread.p...hlight=zdavesf

          Comment


          • #6
            Law books.. Now that is a new twist on throwing the book at you.
            Nice work and great idea - thanks for sharing
            TD-20 (non expanded), acoustic look DIY a to e conversion - some cake pan/ some crossbar method. DIY cymbals, VH-12 :-)
            .
            Psalm 150
            had the best times with this band https://www.facebook.com/SaintHooliganMusic
            YouTube video postings: https://www.youtube.com/user/racer52online/videos
            Vdrums Photo Albums: http://www.vdrums.com/member/26923-racer52/media

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            • #7
              Wow...you could have just answered my problems if I actually knew how this worked. How many different levels are there? I need there to be a splash sound(stepping on and releasing the pedal very quickly), a regular closing sound(just stepping on the pedal and not bringing up your foot), a closed hi-hat strike, an open hi-hat strike, and a half open hi-hat strike. If it offers those things and It looks like this is a pretty cheap project that would be awesome.

              Comment


              • #8
                its the same as a momentary on off switch...

                Dave
                Remo practice pad mesh conversion, Pearl Export A2E mesh, Pintech and TKO A2E cymbals, Roland TD-8, 1.5 eDrum trigger to midi converters (edrum.info), Alesis DM5's, Tama Iron Cobra double bass pedal. 6 200watt EV SH1502 speakers, 200watt Crate Bass amp, ASUS P5Q Mobo, 8Gb ram, q6600 Core2 Quad, 3 TB's of hard drives, ATI 3870 video, dual 22" monitor's. This stuff is FUN!

                one of my kits http://vdrums.com/forum/showthread.p...hlight=zdavesf

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by theflash0000 View Post
                  Hi all--I posted this in another forum, but this DIY forum has been so helpful over the last few months, I wanted to share it here too
                  This is a very cool project. Good job theflash0000. BTW, what other forum did you post this at?

                  Originally posted by one2many View Post
                  Wow...you could have just answered my problems if I actually knew how this worked. How many different levels are there? I need there to be a splash sound(stepping on and releasing the pedal very quickly), a regular closing sound(just stepping on the pedal and not bringing up your foot), a closed hi-hat strike, an open hi-hat strike, and a half open hi-hat strike. If it offers those things and It looks like this is a pretty cheap project that would be awesome.
                  One2many, what module are you using? I ask because, typically the modules that do what you describe use two momentary on off switches. So, in theory you should be able to use magnetic switches as well.
                  alesisDRUMMER.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Very cool idea! Now if there were only a way to incorporate this with a variable controller. I have read that Roland R&D guys experimented with magnets while they were designing the VH-12... I wonder if Roland has developed something that they are just sitting on for awhile.

                    one2many, a momentary switch means that the hi hat sounds are either fully open or fully closed, there are no in-between sounds.
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cheapthrill View Post
                      Very cool idea! Now if there were only a way to incorporate this with a variable controller. I have read that Roland R&D guys experimented with magnets while they were designing the VH-12... I wonder if Roland has developed something that they are just sitting on for awhile.
                      If this is true, one would just need to search the patent records. Roland patents everything, even if they don't use it.

                      Originally posted by cheapthrill View Post
                      one2many, a momentary switch means that the hi hat sounds are either fully open or fully closed, there are no in-between sounds.
                      Normally you would be right, but modules like Simmons use a pedal with two momentary switches in them. The second switch is used to get the half open sound. That is why I asked which module he was using.
                      alesisDRUMMER.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hellfire View Post
                        modules like Simmons use a pedal with two momentary switches in them. The second switch is used to get the half open sound.
                        Weird! I had no idea Simmons did that, sorry.
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          i know this is getting past DIY for most but...
                          if someone spent some time a capacitive sensing solution could be a possibility.
                          cypress semiconductor and microchip make some really great IC's but programming knowledge is involved. Yes this would have to be powered but it's a possibility. I dont have time right now but I some one with electronics knowledge is interested i could point them in the right direction. a kit could be assembled and sold to all the diyers out there...

                          or maybe not

                          Dave
                          Remo practice pad mesh conversion, Pearl Export A2E mesh, Pintech and TKO A2E cymbals, Roland TD-8, 1.5 eDrum trigger to midi converters (edrum.info), Alesis DM5's, Tama Iron Cobra double bass pedal. 6 200watt EV SH1502 speakers, 200watt Crate Bass amp, ASUS P5Q Mobo, 8Gb ram, q6600 Core2 Quad, 3 TB's of hard drives, ATI 3870 video, dual 22" monitor's. This stuff is FUN!

                          one of my kits http://vdrums.com/forum/showthread.p...hlight=zdavesf

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hellfire View Post
                            This is a very cool project. Good job theflash0000. BTW, what other forum did you post this at?
                            Glad you like it. I posted it over at this forum. Its a Rock Band mods forum.

                            I can't really see how to get a good variable solution out of this, unless perhaps you get a few of these and stack up the "control" halves into a column. Then you'd have magnetic "zones" that the other half of the switch would pass through.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              thats very cool. i have a d4 and was looking for a way to do this. seems pretty cheap too. do you have a picture of the insides??
                              Pearl Forum 5 Piece A to E Conversion
                              http://community.webshots.com/album/570355073WjmaEA

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