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V-Drum Set-up tips: Post 'em here!!!

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  • V-Drum Set-up tips: Post 'em here!!!

    Thought I'd start a thread for posting tips on setting up V-Drum kits. Little handy things that you've done to make things work/look/sound better. (Mostly physical set-up tips, please--the Technical forum covers the brain issues!)

    Here's a few to start:

    Cables-they're too long! I used the shorter cables for the longer runs (ride, Tom 3, etc.) I then sized the other cable runs (allowing 2-4" of slack when routed along the frame and up to the TD8), cut them (keeping the L-shaped jack), and attached new stereo phono plugs to the other end. (They're sold 2/$3 at Radio Shack.) The red wire attaches to the center lug, white to the outer lug, shield wire to the frame. I wrapped the soldered leads in a few layers of tape so the outer plastic cover fit more snugly. Cables are all very neat now, running along the frame and almost invisible. (See other cable thread in this forum for more discussion here and a neat 'multicable' idea.)

    Kick pedal: My kick pedal (Yamaha) wanders on my wooden floor, despite the rubber base. Even dropping the spikes didn't help (and left scratches!). To fix this, I took a foam computer mouse pad, peeled off the fabric surface, and put squares of this under the heel and the 2 front legs of the KD-80. This gives a great no-slip base and nothing moves now!

    Cymbal clamps: I added an extra PD7 crash to my V-Customs. Gibraltar makes a nice clamp-on cymbal arm that works great and is half the price ($30) of the Roland arm ($60). Also, the Gibraltar clamp is split, so it can be removed from the frame just by loosening it; you don't have to disassemble the frame and slide it off the end!

    That's a start--any more tips out there? $^)

  • #2
    One thing I wanted with the VDrums was speed during set-up and tear down. I have marked all of my mounts, brackets, and adjustable points with white correction tape on both sides of the adjustments. I also have a mark on each mounting stem for where the drums should align to. What used to take 10 - 15 minutes of adjusting now takes < 3 minutes to set up the frame and all the mounting angles. Sorta like memory locks without the hi-tech.

    I have also wrapped all of the cables into cable wrap, and then tie wrapped the bundles to the frame. You can get the black corregated cable wrap (pre-slit) from any ACE hardware store (or equivalent). I used 2 - 20 feet 3/4" and 1 - 20 foot 1/2 cable wrap. Set up the set how you want it and attach all the cables, and then double them back into the cable wrap as needed to take up the slack. the 3/4" wrap will hold 3 - 4 cables depending on how much slack you double back into the wrap. Some black electrical tape on the cable wraps holds them tight. The end result is a sharp looking setup. Be patient and experiment with the cable layout before you tie wrab everything down to the frame. Don't forget to leave enough slack for when you fold up the frame. I've numbered the ends of the cables to speed up the TD-10 patch-in. Hope this helps someone else. Being an engineering type geek, I'm rather proud of the cable job - very professional looking. Total cost for supplies : ~ $20.
    Driving a great song is better than driving a great car!!



    • #3
      this sounds good but there is one thing I can't get a clear picture. You tie the cables to the rack, but still tear down the rack, or am I not getting this right? And if your not tearing down, aren't the cables getting damaged during transpotation? I assume there still are ends of cable/jacks that are not tied.
      I also tought of this kind solution like you did, cause I just fold the rack during transport, but was afraid of damaging the cables/jacks. Please help me out and thanks.



      • #4
        A picture is worth a 1000 words. Yes I tear down (fold-up) my rack for movement. All the cables stay put on the rack. The cable wraps are tie wrapped only to the center portion of the rack. When set up the cable wraps are held to the side extensions using the cable clips or the velcro strips. On the left side I had 3 mini-snakes for the TD-10 input, and I tie wrapped these together to make one big snake. One mini-snake for the HHC, snare and KD-7 (lays on floor) and one mini-snake on right side for my PD-9s and 1 Tom. I can send pics via regualer email. Reach me at [email protected], and I'll send you pics.
        Driving a great song is better than driving a great car!!



        • #5
          This seems to have turned into the "what to do with my cables?" post. Well you guy's have come up with some pretty good ideas! Sure beats my 50+ velcro wraps mess. I went right out and looked for the corregated stuff but being after 10pm my only choice was Walmart. They didn't have the corregated but did have spiral wrap (in the auto dept.). Fits bundle diameters of 5/16" to 3" at 6' in length and worked great. Two packages at a little over $4 total wrapped every bit of my cable, I believe it went farther than advertised (2 modules, 19 triggers, and even had enough left to do my outputs to mixer cables!). This stuff wraps around the cables and stays tight as the bundle varies in diameter. You can easily stop wrapping a wire at each trigger you come to and as you said folding back the excess into the wrap took up all the extra slack. Made for a nice, clean and tight snake. Too cool!


          drmoze, you might check out my floorboard page for another option on your pedal problem. http://members.aol.com/btnkbndt/floorboards.html

          [This message has been edited by BtnkBndt (edited March 12, 2000).]


          • #6
            I'm going to try that with the cable wrap, that sounds great, they sell a similar product at MARS music, but it's fairly expensive. I'm definately hitting my local ACE.

            For quick setup of the wires, I bought colored electrical tape and put the same color "collar" at each end of the wire, every wire has a different color. My kickdrum [1] has white, snare[2] has yellow on both ends, tom1 [3] has red, etc. I know you can buy little white labels at Radio Shack, but I didn't want to be trying to read microscopic type while trying to set up quickly in a dark club.
            You may have noticed by the two examples that I have them going basically light to dark in order from right to left. I can't stress enough how much of a no-brainer this is to set up when I plug in the wires. After a couple times, I don't even have to look at them really.
            Has anyone done anything similar?

            [email protected]


            • #7

              Another variation is to make labels with the new type label makers that "burn" the characters into the thin peel & stick plastic film. I used the 3/4" bright yellow film and put number designations on the module ends that correspond with the input jack numbers and letter/number designations ("S", "T1", "C1", "R", "H", etc.) on the pad ends that correspond to pad type. This along with bundling everything into a single snake with the black plastic zip ties makes reconnecting really simple.

              If you use this type of label, you want to print your characters out on a single piece of tape with approximately 8-10 spaces between each set of characters... then snip each individual "tag" loose at a point just to the left or right of the set that follows.
              This gives you enough label to wrap the neck of the cable (just below the plug) several times. Then take a 1" long piece of 3/4" wide scotch tape and wrap over the label to keep it from trying to come off... the small diameter of the cable tends to make the label material want to flare-up at the end, but the scotch tape holds it down nicely.

              Takes a little time to do this, but it is a nice neat way of saving some time and aggravation later.


              • #8
                I'm looking for a V-drum setup tip...

                This may sound like a dumb question, but I'm a left-handed keyboard player trying to learn drums. I just purchased a V-Custom kit plus extra PD-120 pad for snare and I'm trying to find the optimal physical setup of all pads. Since I'm lefthanded...I hit the snare with my right hand and cymbals with my left, where should I place the crash and ride cymbals so I don't have to "crossover" to play them? Since I'm a lefty, I assume I should place the toms to my left side instead of my right...so I can lead with my lefthand... correct?? I'd sure appreciate your suggestions on how to best setup my new V-drum kit for a left-handed player. Also, Since I purchased an extra PD-120 12" pad to use for my snare (on a snare stand), I'll have an extra PD-80R pad I can use for some other sound...any suggestions on what sound to trigger with the extra "dual" pad??


                Regards, Sandy
                [email protected]


                • #9
                  I'd go along with the suggestion posted on the technical board. Set up your Customs in standard form and play the hi-hat/snare open-handed. Put the ride above/left of the hi-hat. Perhaps move the brain to the right arm.

                  As for your 80R pad, I'd set it up as the first (closest) tom, and use the rim as a second trigger for a woodblock or cowbell (i.e., not for a rimshot response but as a separate sound).


                  • #10
                    I also wrap my cables and leave them on the rack at all times. My suggestion is to start at the drum then run back to the brain. Tie all the access cable near the brain. MAKE SURE you leave enough room for the cables to fold with the rack. This may take a couple of times to get just right. Another thing that helps me is keeping the top channels(Kick, Snare, Toms) and the bottom channels(Hi-Hat, Cymbals, etc.) seperated(Cable tied for two seperate "snakes") this makes for faster plug ins at the brain. To mark my cords I have used a brother label printer that actually prints the name of the trigger on a 1/2 inch plastic coated tape. It really works great. To help speed up the rest of my set-up I have got some Gibralter memory locks and clamps which come off the rack alot faster and I set them in the case without folding them down. The 2 cmbals that use the Roland clamps I have marked the spot were the cymbal holder slides into the clamp. Also I have my rug(The most important part of your kit and the most over looked) marked with tape and marker where all the pedals, rack, and stands go. Every drummer should carry a rug not only does it speed up set-up it also stops your pedals from sliding away!! I have been using the same rug for over 12 years and I only spent $20.00 for it. Go to your local hardware store and buy a chunk of rug that will fold small but keep your drums from running away. I use permanent marker to mark all the cymbal arms in there correct position. Brasso with clean the marker of with no problem. I recomed red just because it is the easiest to see in a low light setting. I hope this helped and good luck. :-)
                    Ted H.


                    • #11
                      Set up tips ? here is some for Customs, but boy I could use some myself!! I change things around almost every day but I am not satisfied. As soon as I turn myself loose, I always seem to collide with something and a stick goes flying!!! Too used to my spread out acoustics, I guess. Anyway...

                      I used string tags on all my wires, but I'm seriously thinking of going to the store and getting a few dozen plugs and a roll of wire to make leads that fit, with no slack. But its neat, all the tags jingle like a tamborine near the brain!!

                      I can't seem to get the snare pad out far enough for my liking - I would like it to be between the toms, maybe I'll take off the longer right arm, for tom 3, and switch it and see.

                      Also, I think that some kind of pad holder should have been provided to go on the sides of the cymbal stands, since these stands are over-kill. They can be set 6 feet high but you can't hit the pads up there!! I would like to keep real cymbals on them, and the pads lower down. When using the real cymbals the pads could be set to things like bells and crosssticks. And when you want quiet, set them to cymbals. Also - I think I'll move the stands to the lower cross arm, so I can move the toms around more. Now they interfere.

                      For the kick, I put a 1/2" black aluminum bar I had along the bottom, on the legs, to keep the pedal from sliding away. I used the velcrow strips to secure it. It contacts the flat vertical flange of the KD80, and so far I have had no cross-talk problems.

                      Last - I'm not sure I like the hihat position, maybe it should be in the more real position, but where to put the brain? I wish the arms were telescopic!!


                      • #12
                        Leo, 2 alternatives that work for cutting down on excess slack in the leads have been covered here. One is to ise the plastic split cable cover for the main groups of cables across the front, doubling the cables back inside to take up the excess. The other, which I did and is a bit more laborious, is to make the cables shorter. To do this, though, you can just cut off one end of the existing cables and add a single plug to the cut end. This will save some efffort from making completely new cables. First, though, use some of the shorter stock cables for pads that are further away to cut the slack. Doing this, I had to cut and replace only 5 stereo plugs for my whole kit. Keep a few extra inches because you can't make them longer once they're cut!! $^)

                        Nice idea with the bar to hold the KD80. I think I'll try that!! As for the overkill cymbal stands, yup they are! But check out a music store. You can get other mounts that will clamp onto the cymbal arms and I'm sure some will fit L-bars for pads, which is what you're looking for. Also, you can buy Gibraltar cymbal stands for about half the price of the Rolands, and they have split bar clamps so they can beinstalled and removed without having to disassemble the rack!

                        You might be able to find a longer clamp for your snare too, perhaps attaching it to the front center of the rack. The hi-hat is in a normal place for me. Perhaps you could slide the TD-8 clamp to the end of the bar, or more towards the front of the kit, or relocate it to the right side?

                        Good luck!!!


                        • #13
                          "Has anyone done anything similar?"

                          Yes, I did the same thing with ordinary colored tapes. My snare is red+red, Tom1 is yellow+red ...

                          It's very usefull because I can carry the wires as a multi-cable.



                          • #14
                            I went to Radio Shack and purchased two packages of Write-on Self-laminating Cable Markers

                            Cat.#: 278-1616

                            Mark surface, wrap around cable and seal with attached transparent strip. 1x2-1/2". pkg of 24

                            I bought two packages of these things...GREAT , also they are small and
                            un-noticable when you step away.


                            • #15
                              Yes, I use the same self-laminating cable labels too (from Radio Shack). Once both ends of the cable were labeled (eg. S3, T4, T5, R10, H7, etc.) it really sped things up in both set-up and set-downs. They're perfect!

                              [This message has been edited by rpg (edited April 25, 2000).]