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A few DIY links for a newbie

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  • A few DIY links for a newbie

    Hey everyone!

    I am a bassist and I would really like to start drumming but I have no experience and no drumset.
    I've been redirected to this forum by some folks on drummerworld.com since they said that making a DIY electronic drum set is much cheaper than buying one. The reason I was thinking about an electronic drumset is the usual : I can't make too much noise.

    I have some experience with eletronics, soldering, etc... already, so I thought the DIY approach was worth a shot.
    I have browsed the forum a bit, especially this section, but I really can't understand much of it, since I guess this stuff is mostly for people who already know what's going on.
    So here comes the question : do you have any links, tutorials or anything really for a newbie to understand the process I have to go through in order to transform an acoustic set into an electronic one?
    I still have to understand if there's a way to transform cymbals as well, but must things I have seen are about snares, toms and the bass drum.

    Thank you for your time!

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum CaptainTuna. If you can provide some information about what you want in a drum kit, or what you need it to do, I'm sure others will chime in to help. I wouldn't want to discourage you from taking the DIY route (eventually) but while you are trying to gauge your long term interest in drumming, I can't recommend it either. Before I tried the DIY route, I owned an Alesis DM-8 USB kit (purchased new for $540). It was a decent little kit and served it's purpose. Once I proved to myself that my interest in drumming wasn't a passing fad, I started to experiment with DIY projects. I made several pads (with skills learned here) for my Alesis kit before eventually buying a Roland module and creating an entire kit with DIY trigger pads. I should say that my motivation for taking the DIY route was to save money, but in the process I've learned that I enjoy the DIY aspect as much as I do playing drums. Building an electronic drum kit won't necessarily be cheap to do. Having an acoustic drum kit to convert can certainly help but starting from scratch can be an expensive endeavor. Consider this, my Roland TD-12 module, purchased used on eBay, cost $200 more than my entire Alesis kit did. Of course it doesn't have to cost a ton of money either. One fun place to visit, with some "alternative" DIY kits, is www.edrums.info. Whatever you decide you'll find all the advice and support you will need right here among friends. Keep us posted.

    P.S. You should stop by the Foyer and introduce yourself to the community.
    Last edited by bwilburn79; 03-03-14, 11:49 AM.
    Roland TD12 module / DIY Kit in progress, Gretsch Blackhawk A (soon to be E) kit.

    Comment


    • #3
      i think we need to know your absolute maximum you can spend then we can start and work out the sort of kit for you, DIY is not necessarily the cheapest option, in my case its the best option ie more realistic playing area not small pads,so give us an amount please...Duncan
      .

      Comment


      • #4
        There are tons of walk throughs on builds posted here over the years...you just have do your homework and lots of reading. Try this search engine....it bears much better results than the forums. It was made for us by a member.

        https://www.google.com/cse/home?cx=0...85:ld78rt83m3w

        Once you find something that strikes your fancy...and budget....you'll be able to communicate more specific questions that we can help you with. DIY is great fun and can be fairly painless as long as you are prepared. BTW...welcome to the forum. Have fun!
        8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
        http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

        Comment


        • #5
          Converting a nice quality acoustic kit to a nice quality electric kit isn't that much cheaper than buying a nice quality electric kit. Say you are converting an acoustic kit to something the level of a TD-30KV. If you want to compare apples to apples, you have to get the TD-30 module, the VH-13, CY-14's/15 in metallic grey, etc. that right there is over $3000. Throw in a decent 6 piece kit that has a nice finish, hardware (cymbal stands or a rack), mesh heads, triggers, pans, clips, washers, screws, brackets, tools, etc and you have almost another $2K right there. How much is your time worth? Converting an acoustic kit to electric is not a quick thing. Its not overly difficult, but there is lots of wire cutting, soldering, trimming, grinding, painting, etc. You are already at ~$5K in materials with what I have mentioned. If your time is worth something, you could easily spend $1K in your time trying to build the kit. Add in trouble shooting if you are not that up to speed on e-kits and you could end up with a nightmare project that makes you never want to drum. If that's the case, a TD-30KV could be considered a "cheap" option.

          Of course you don't have to go with a TD-30KV style kit. You could do a simple 5 piece with a TD-9 module and save lots of money, but at the same time, a used TD-9 can be had for less than $1000. Is it worth it to do a conversion when a ready made kit is available at such a price? Materials plus your time can easily exceed $1K even on a simple 5 piece kit made with used parts.

          Nothing against the people at drummer world but one they don't really know much about is electronic drum kits. The great majority of them are acoustic kit guys and absolutely despise electronic kits. Vdrums is a much better community if you are looking to get advise on electronic kits.

          Welcome to the party.
          I think my work is done here.

          Comment


          • #6
            Tommy, I think you may 'prattled away' right here...:


            Originally posted by Tommy_D View Post
            Throw in a decent 6 piece kit that has a nice finish, hardware (...) and you have almost another $2K right there
            ...and...
            Originally posted by Tommy_D View Post
            Its not overly difficult, but there is lots of (...) painting, etc.


            I have to be so bold, now:
            Would you actually invest $2K in a kit which *has* a nice finish to begin with, only to then start *painting* it...? That would be somewhere between close to a sin, a whacky act, or just plain decadence.... Money to burn, anybody?




            Before I forget:
            Welcome to the forum, CaptainTuna!



            HTH
            Last edited by hairmetal-81; 03-03-14, 08:13 PM.


            "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

            http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by hairmetal-81 View Post
              Tommy, I think you may 'prattled away' right here...:



              ...and...




              I have to be so bold, now:
              Would you actually invest $2K in a kit which *has* a nice finish to begin with, only to then start *painting* it...? That would be somewhere between close to a sin, a whacky act, or just plain decadence.... Money to burn, anybody?




              Before I forget:
              Welcome to the forum, CaptainTuna!



              HTH

              Perhaps you mis-interpreted what I was saying. It's easy to do. I dont speak very clearly sometimes.

              A 6 piece kit with a nice finish is ~$700
              Cymbal stands or a rack will be somewhere in the $300-500 range
              Mesh heads are $~175 (if you go Roland: ie. TD-30KV equivalent)
              Triggers and jacks are ~$150
              Pans are ~$70
              Screws/nuts/bolts/washers/spacers/etc are ~$75 (No joke. This crap adds up)
              Tools can add up if you don't have the right stuff
              Paint (and tape) would be for the underside and interiors of the pans for noise suppression and visuals - ~$15
              Killer Red Tape. Oh my GOD!!! KRT is so stinking expensive. Take a look and you will be lucky to find a roll for less than $35
              Add in a foam pad, any rails or backing you build for the bass drum, random clips and all the little crap and you have another $50-100
              Do you need any cables to connect your drums to the module? Yep. Those are $6-10 each depending on the length you need. A 6 piece plus cymbals will be in the $100+ range

              This stuff adds up really fast. And $700 for a 6 piece kit isn't really breaking the bank. Thats relatively cheap for a new kit that has a nice finish on it. I'm not talking about some crappy CB Percussion kit. A beginner/intermediate kit from any of the major manufacturers will sell for around this price.


              I think my work is done here.

              Comment


              • #8
                Unless it has to be for dirt cheap, go for the a to e and if you aren't real handy buy some triggers, mesh heads, and cables, etc.There are always people selling good used stuff on the bay or c list or right here on this and other forums. I agree that it is not neccesarily cheaper to go the a to e route, but if I am going to play drums why not play real drums and get all the e drum advantages like tons of different sounds and the ability to play in an area that requires quiet!
                . As has been said here, listen and read a lot in the diy sections of v drum forum, 2 box forum. etc.. I still don't have technical skills in the least, but what's nice around here is that there of plenty of guys here that do, like Jman, Fulmr, Hairmetal,allan(digitaldrummer) ,Jammin, Danoh, just to mention a few of many. and they are only too glad to help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You can get a used noname A kit really cheap. Or just a couple of toms and cut them in half to double the number of pads.
                  Triggers and mesh heads are also very affordable.
                  electronic drum triggers >>> | electronic cymbals >>>

                  Subscribe to our FB page

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tommy_D View Post
                    Perhaps you mis-interpreted what I was saying. It's easy to do. I dont speak very clearly sometimes.

                    THanks Tommy!
                    I recalculated this, and it sure does add up to something like $1800 , or "almost another $2K right there." Add in MG-cymbals, and you've spent another $1000. Factor in a TD-30 module, and that's another $1800+ less inside your wallet...


                    So where are we...? At around $4600...? Slightly discouraging for the starting DIYer, don't you think?


                    ...makes something like this (...a Drumtec 'Diabolo series' ...in silver sparkle...) suddenly seem somewhat of a 'bargain'...


                    "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

                    http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by triggera View Post
                      You can get a used noname A kit really cheap. Or just a couple of toms and cut them in half to double the number of pads.
                      Triggers and mesh heads are also very affordable.
                      THIS!

                      You never need an expensive kit to start a project. In fact unless you already own a top end kit or need a nice acoustic for some reason...it kinda foolish to buy something high end or even "mid" end for a conversion. Even Low end Pearls or Luddies can be bought new or used for under $300 if you hunt for a sale. Besides that...Junior kits are great for DIY projects. Old used kits can usually be had very inexpensively and if you don't like the color and can't paint...wraps are not all that expensive and very easy to install. Pasts are really inexpensive if you go with Quartz Percussion parts.

                      Oh...and Roland modules are not the only player out there depending on the quality of sound and response you are looking for. 2Box is just above half the price of a TD-30...even with the HH purchase and works with other brand gear also.

                      Like I said before.....Lots of choices. It's best to do your homework and make an educated decision based on the multitudes of info and builds out there that suits you, rather than listen to a bunch of opinions....even mine.

                      That's why I said to you need to pour through the info and find something that intrigues you. Unless you find a build that "does it" for you...you will waste money and lose interest.

                      Also...do yourself a favor and research the modules first. Your build design will depend entirely upon the the module you choose. Oh...and don't buy the cheapest option out there for the module either...this is where you want to spend most of your budget. Kenster likes to say "Buy your second module first"...and it's a good practice. You'll save money in the long run by getting something a little more advanced to begin with rather than the lower end module with less features....no matter what brand you decide on. Be patient...take your time researching and explore all your options befor you buy a single component....you'l have a much better DIY experience that way.
                      8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
                      http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Of course you can go really cheap on an acoustic kit, but that saves you only a few hundred bucks over the whole project. Everything else is still pretty expensive. I'm not trying to discourage anyone from doing an A2E conversion, but I think its good to let people know that its not this insanely cheap thing to do. At least not if you want it to look nice, or play well, or last any significant amount of time. All that stuff I listed above still needs to be purchased, and its lots of little things that just add up quickly.

                        Again, its also time consuming building your own kit. If you want to just play, then buy a pre-made kit and get right to it. If you like to build and tinker, A2E is awesome. If you are not mechanically inclined, or have no idea how to use tools, solder, or have and concept of how to build things, then DO NOT build an A2E kit.

                        You don't have to use a Roland module. There are lots of different modules out there. I used the TD-30 as a means of a cost comparison with a TD-30KV. Yes the TD-30KV is expensive. Many say it is ludicrous that Roland would charge so much for it. However, when you look at converting an acoustic kit to the same build quality and same components, its really not an outrageous number considering that Roland needs to make some sort of profit on the sale. Factor in marketing, manufacturing equipment and facilities, employing people to design and build the kits, international shipping, etc, and they probably aren't making the killing that lots of people think they are making.

                        Edit: Here are some links.

                        http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/ad...heaven-or-hell

                        http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/ad...ezo-attachment

                        http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/ad...-new-pd108-128

                        http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/ad...igger-assy-mod
                        I think my work is done here.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tommy_D View Post
                          Of course you can go really cheap on an acoustic kit, but that saves you only a few hundred bucks over the whole project. Everything else is still pretty expensive. I'm not trying to discourage anyone from doing an A2E conversion, but I think its good to let people know that its not this insanely cheap thing to do. At least not if you want it to look nice, or play well, or last any significant amount of time. All that stuff I listed above still needs to be purchased, and its lots of little things that just add up quickly.

                          Again, its also time consuming building your own kit. If you want to just play, then buy a pre-made kit and get right to it. If you like to build and tinker, A2E is awesome. If you are not mechanically inclined, or have no idea how to use tools, solder, or have and concept of how to build things, then DO NOT build an A2E kit.

                          You don't have to use a Roland module. There are lots of different modules out there. I used the TD-30 as a means of a cost comparison with a TD-30KV. Yes the TD-30KV is expensive. Many say it is ludicrous that Roland would charge so much for it. However, when you look at converting an acoustic kit to the same build quality and same components, its really not an outrageous number considering that Roland needs to make some sort of profit on the sale. Factor in marketing, manufacturing equipment and facilities, employing people to design and build the kits, international shipping, etc, and they probably aren't making the killing that lots of people think they are making.

                          Edit: Here are some links.

                          http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/ad...heaven-or-hell

                          http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/ad...ezo-attachment

                          http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/ad...-new-pd108-128

                          http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/ad...igger-assy-mod
                          hehehehe....These links seem to concentrate mostly on experimental "new" territory when the TD-30 first came out....and even have the answers that eventually solve the issues. Thus like every other build...the real work has been done by the pioneers that bit the bullet and jumped in for the benefit of everyone else. All one has to do is follow the same formula to get results.That's why I always say "do your homework and find a tried and true successful build that suits you" before embarking...that includes pricing out your build parts options for your particular budget. There are much friendlier builds out there than for the TD-30...as it's components need special attention and specificity of design to work correctly. As noted in one thread...the TD-30 needs extensive tweaking even with it's own stock pads. Unless the TD-30 is in the budget...these probly won't help much to get a general idea of the basic successful formula of most DIY projects.

                          On that note "insanely cheap" is a subjective phrase anyway. When you compare getting a full size A2E build for the TD-30 module and only have 1/2 the cost involved of the "boxed" kit...then even $2500 is "insanely cheap" Even saving $1000 on the overall cost would hit the insanely cheap category for some.

                          Depending on the module you decide on there is almost always a build project out there to suit almost any budget while saving more money than you would on a "boxed" kit...especially if you a frugal and patient enough to search out reliable used gear purchases for your project.

                          I will say that in all DIY...you need to be prepared for anything. Trouble shooting skills are a must. However with a great community such as this help is usually very near when a problem arises and needs solving.

                          BTW Tommy...I wasn't implying that your links were not useful at all...It's just that threads experimenting to try and break new ground and crack new tech is probly just a bit too daunting for newbies looking to embark on their first basic DIY build.
                          Last edited by fulrmr(Daniel); 03-05-14, 12:26 AM.
                          8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
                          http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Those links were invaluable to me with my build. Most of the other "sticky" threads with cake pan builds are right at the top of the DIY section. If someone doesn't want to do a cake pan build, they can always use triggera triggers, or go with Quartz's pre-made "strap" setups. That's super easy.

                            Many people go with almost the exact same setup, they just use slightly different components, or try to make their own components out of crap they have laying around their house. I used all pre-made parts and assembled them to work with my kit. It may be the slightest bit more expensive to do this than use old left over CD's for trigger platforms, or make my own cones out of old mouse pads, but I knew I was purchasing things that were guaranteed to work and gave me the best quality and least amount of frustration and trouble shooting issues.

                            One day I will actually get photos of my setup. I don't think I will put up an instructional guide on how to make the same kit I made, but its pretty easy to see from the images how things are wired and what components were used. I will admit, my setup wasn't "cheap". I never wanted it to be cheap. I wanted a quality build that would last a long time and look professional. I believe I achieved that, but it still cost a lot of money. It may be a bit cheaper than a TD-30KV, but there was lots of time involved, and with the little bit of re-tuning I have to do to get the triggers working as well as my KV set, it adds a bit of frustration to the process. Despite all my efforts to make the kit as nice as I could, I still feel the KV pads have the slightest bit better response. They also feel just a touch better. My drums feel a bit "softer" so-to-speak than the PD-108/128 pads. I think this is because the cake pan has the slightest bit of give to it when struck, and the Roland basket is rock solid. That's just my observation at this time.
                            I think my work is done here.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tommy_D View Post
                              Yes the TD-30KV is expensive. Many say it is ludicrous that Roland would charge so much for it. However, when you look at converting an acoustic kit to the same build quality and same components, its really not an outrageous number considering that Roland needs to make some sort of profit on the sale.

                              Yep, you're right! - Roland needs to make a buck...






                              I will tip my hat to the first forumite who comes up with a DIY sampler/sample-player to be hooked-up to the TMI-section of a MegaDrum.

                              We already know most things pads and cymbals, anyway (!!)



                              HTH


                              "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

                              http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

                              Comment

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