Author Topic: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion  (Read 21492 times)

Offline Trondster

Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« on: January 20, 2012, 06:26:45 PM »
I have upgraded my drums to mesh heads, Hellfire style, and though I'd share some images of the process.

This conversion is based on Hellfires "standard" conversion, as shown in Hellfires stickied thread.

Feel free to suggest changes or clarifications - I'll be happy to update this post. :)


So - here we go:

You will need:
Tools :
Required: Scissors, drum key, Philips #2 screwdriver, sharp knife, soldering iron.
Nice to have: Glue, glue gun, third hand, tin suction device, pliers, power drill.

Materials:
New mesh head, 2-3mm thick craft foam large enough to cover the drum interior, a bit of tape, soldering tin.


Remove the drum from the drum rack.
Loosen, but do not remove, the screws holding the rim.


Flip the pad over and remove the screws holding the bracket. Remove the wing nut at the end of the bracket.


Slide off the bracket. It may be a bit stuck - if so, coax it with a flat screwdriver.


Remove the jack. Gently. Do not pull hard on the wires. There may be resistors or not. (I had resistors on my 8" pads, but not the 10" ones.)


If the jack is stuck, because of too little slack in the wires, you may have to unscrew the rim screws, dismantle the drum and shift the foam pads to be able to remove the jack. I had to do this on the two 10" pads and the 8" base drum pad.


Unsolder the wires from the jack. This is actually not hard at all - touch the soldering joint connecting he wire and the tip with a soldering iron, and it comes apart quite easily.

The point of desoldering (and later re-soldering) the wires is to remove the wires so that you can rearrange the foam without cutting the foam to pieces.

Desoldering is actually very, very easy. If there is any excess tin on the wires and/or tips after desoldering - remove it with a tin suction pump - just melt the tin and suck it up.


Desolder and remove the resistors as well - you will not need them anymore.
The point of removing the resistors is that you no longer have to reduce the piezo sensitivity. In the default configuration you have the piezo very close to the drum head, and thus the resistors are there to stop the signal from the piezo being too "hot" for the module. When you perform the mesh conversion, the piezo is no longer close to the head, but deep inside the pad, and thus you can remove the resistors to increase the sensitivity.

(For anyone interested, the were two resistors on the head piezo - one 82kΩ in serial with the piezo and one 150kΩ in parallel.)

The wires are now free.


Unscrew the rim screws using the drum key - remove the rim and the mylar pad.


Disassemble the pad. From the bottom up, the order was: drum base, thick soft white foam, thick black foam, thin foam with steel plate and resonator (resonator plate down), Mylar pad, rim - the foam layers stacked inside the wooden drum shell. The thick black foam may or may not have a hole - it doesn't matter.
(The picture does not show the correct order.)


There may be glue remnants holding the foam pads, wires and/or drum base together when you try to disassemble the pad - if so, carefully cut the glue strains with a sharp knife and trim the excess glue. Again - do not pull on the wires.


To avoid any problems with squeezed wires - drill a hole through the side of the center - we want the wires from the rim piezo to go out where they should without being crushed against the drum base.


..Now isn't that much prettier? Make sure that the wires go in the slot in the base to avoid getting crushed - when we reassemble the drum, all the wires will go through that slot.


Tape some of the excess wire with gaffer (or other) tape - the wires through the hole to the jack should be just long enough to solder them back on - if they're too long you risk jamming the excess wire against the base when reassembling the drum pad later on.

("If you can't solve it with gaffer tape - you haven't used enough!" :D )

Let's prepare the foam pads. Using a CD as a guide, draw a circle on the white soft foam.


Cut the foam with scissors after the line you drew on the CD - make sure that the hole is large enough for the resonator plate to avoid touching the foam.


Put the foam plate with the resonator plate inside the wooden shell - if the foam does not clear the edges of the wooden shell - trim a couple of millimeters all around the edge. If the metal plate is decentered - use this opportunity to trim selectively on one side, centering the metal plate.
Note: We're not yet mounting the plate - we're just temporarily placing it inside the wooden shell to check for size.


Now we want to make round craft foam inserts to place below the white foam. We want 3-4mm of foam - Hellfire used a single sheet of 3mm foam - I ended up using two sheets of 2mm foam.
Using the inside of the round wooden drum shell as a template - draw a circle a sheet of the craft foam and cut. When done, cut a single slit toward the center of the craft foam for the wires. Use one slice of 3mm foam or two slices of 2mm foam.
This is how the drum now will be assembled - shown bottom up:
The freshly cut craft foam with wire slit, white soft foam with cut circular hole, thin (trimmed) black foam with resonator plate, thick black foam (with or without hole).


The assembled sandwich - still upside down. (Note: this picture has only one layer of 2mm foam - I ended up with two layers of 2mm foam.)


Trondsters "Bling" version - as I also will be using the drum kit for Rock Band, I'd like to have some extra color in the drum pads. Using the hole in the thick black foam as a guide, I cut a circle from colored craft foam to place in the centre. As I was using my (very rare) Munchkin pen, I also added "+1" - now my drums are not normal drums - they're now +1 drums! Mwhuahhahaa! Uhm - sorry - a bit of dorky nerd humor there..  ::)  :P



Stack the sandwich on the drum base. The order is (from the bottom):
Drum base, 2x2mm thin craft foam, white foam with hole, thin black foam with steel plate and resonator (steel plate and resonator facing down), thick black foam. Rotate the resonator plate with the wires towards the bracket.

(I also centered the thick black foam, and glued the small round colored craft foam to the center of the thin black foam.)


The complete sandwich, with two layers of 2mm craft foam and mesh head:
From the bottom up: Drum base, two sheets of 2mm craft foam, white soft foam, thin black foam with resonator plate, thick black foam, mesh head.




Special consideration for the kick drum:
As the kick drum is a bit of a special case, with several people reporting good results from adding a mouse pad at the top of the kick drum stack, closest to the mesh head, I decided to add some extra craft foam at the top. Using the inside of the wooden drum casing as a template, I cut a circular slice of 6mm craft foam and put that on top.
The stack for the base drum is thus, from the bottom up:
Drum base, one sheet of 2mm craft foam, white soft foam, thin black foam with resonator plate, thick black foam, one sheet of 6mm craft foam, mesh head.

I tried the above recipe, adding a thick layer of foam on top of the kick drum. It did not work well - I ended up with a dead spot in the middle of the drum, where hits not always were registered - this worked particularly bad with a special silenced beater - I found out that it was worsened by my way too high retrigger setting.
Solution: I changed the kick drum, changing it to a "normal" conversion, with some extra foam at the bottom of the stack, just like the other pads. And it worked much better. Now my kick drum can handle anything I throw at it - even double beaters. :)
Kick trigger settings:
I strongly suggest using a log curve for the kick - keep the retrigger, sensitivity and threshold rather low - I'm currently using log4, sensitivity 18, threshold 35 and retrigger 20.
I tried having using a spline curve and higher threshold and retrigger settings, and got mistriggering - hard hits with the beater that did not register in the module. A log curve, along with lower threshold and retrigger values, solved those issues. :)



Make sure that all the wires go in the slot in the drum base, with no risk of getting squeezed against the drum base.


Gently slide the drum shell over the sandwich (it might be easier to remove the thick black foam when doing this). Make sure that the shell lies on the drum base itself, without any craft (or other) foam caught in between. Make sure that the thin black foam with the resonator plate is centered, and is not touching the drum shell.


Add the thick black foam. The top of the foam should be slightly above the edge of the round drum shell.


(The purpose of the thin craft foam at the bottom is to elevate the stack - it does not matter if it is 1, 2 or 3mm thick - the foam dense enough not to sink into the drum base as the white soft foam did.)
Updated: I first assembled the pad with the stock Mylar heads - I had ordered mesh heads, but wanted to convert the pads before the mesh heads arrived. After using the Mylar heads for a short period of time with only one layer of 2mm foam at the bottom, when I opened the pad to mount the proper mesh heads, I found that the top of the foam had sunk down to the rim. Because of this, I decided to have not just one, but two layers of 2mm foam at the bottom. The foam should press up against the mesh head for the best possible pad performance, and it seems that 2mm was a tiny bit too little. Well - it could be that the Mylar heads were compressing the foam more because of a tighter fit, but in any case I decided to go for 2x2mm foam at the bottom.



It's time to put this baby back together. Put the head back on. If there is a logo on the mesh heads - remember that the bracket is facing up on the regular drums and facing down on the kick drum.

As well - add the rim and fasten, but not tighten, the rim screws. (It is much easier to loosely assemble the sandwich first, rather than trying to hold in together with your hands when turning it over.)


Turn the drum pad over - let's solder her up. Solder the wires in the correct places. When soldering - try, as Hellfire says in his video, to solder the wires straight up from the jack. In particular, make sure that the yellow and red wires are not soldered facing away from the blue wires - you'll have a hard time putting the jack back in its slot.


Soldering done.


Using Hellfires pro tip - add a dab of glue with a glue gun, covering the solder - do not add much glue.


Slide the jack back in its slot. Make sure that the wires lie flat, and won't interfere with the bracket.


Slide the bracket back on - make sure that you do not squeeze any wires. You may also have to push the craft foam a bit out of the way to slide the bracket properly in. If the resistance is soft, it's the foam, and if it is hard, then it's the screw you must guide through the hole in the bracket.


Insert and fasten the two screws for the bracket, tighten the rim screws and add the wing nut. The pad is now reassembled and is ready to be installed in the drum rack. :)



Whohoo! Mesh heads!!!


Caution: If you have converted the bass drum head - do not use a felt beater, as it will damage the mesh head. Turn the beater around to the rubber side of the beater:

Never ever use a felt beater on a mesh head - it will melt, fuse with and eat into the mesh head.
However - if you add a drum patch to the mesh head, you can use a felt head as much as you like, as long as the felt beater is hitting the patch and not the mesh head. :)


Conclusion:
And is it better? Will a newbie like me notice any difference?
The answer:
A resounding YES!!!

The pads are so much more quiet, and the feel is way better. And the crosstalk, that I already had reduced quite a bit (calibrating with the hellfire converted pads with mylar heads still on)? Gone. Just gone. Now I can actually reduce the crosstalk settings!! I guess this is because the resonator plate and resonator plate foam no longer is on contact with the wooden casing or a stiff mylar head transmitting vibrations - mmmh.

To compare the sound - here is a clip comparing my two Hellfire converted 8" pads - one with the stock mylar head, and one with a mesh head. This is a fair comparison - the pad sounded about the same both before and after the conversion, as long as the mylar head was still on.
I had to use a constant volume level when recording, and thus my voice is a bit low - when I used auto audio leveling in my first attempt, the camera compensated for the change in volume, rendering the comparison useless.
And - I am hitting both pads just as hard - it only sounds like I'm hitting the mesh heads with a fraction of the force I'm using on the mylar heads.. :)




Soldering:
Soldering is really not that difficult - this is a short YouTube clip from me soldering the two blue wires to the jack. :)


Read this: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-solder/
Always keep the tip of the soldering iron coated with a thin coating of tin. If it's burnt and dirty, the tip won't transfer enough heat, and the tin won't even melt.
If you need to strip new wire - give the tip of the newly stripped wire a thin coating of tin before soldering - it will make it much easier.
Heat the items you'll be soldering for a few seconds and then touch the soldering tin to the items you are soldering to melt the tin - not the soldering iron itself. If you only touch the tin to the iron, and the items you are soldering are not warm enough, you will create an unreliable "cold soldering joint".
Remove the tin before removing the soldering iron - otherwise the tin might get stuck to the soldering joint. :)
If there is any excess tin - melt the tin and use a tin suction device (or braided copper wire) to suck up the excess tin before making the actual solder.


Cheers, and happy DIY'ing! :)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 01:14:20 PM by Trondster »
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline einarabelc5

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 06:47:35 PM »
I think this post is actually a GREAT extension of HellFire's video. With both, NO ONE should have a problem.

Offline Hellfire

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 06:50:19 PM »
Awesome! you are a damn good photographer.
For more edrum info, be sure to visit my web site at:
          www.HellfireDrums.com                    
My current set-up:  Alesis DM10 and Trigger I/O with modified & DIY pads

Offline vtdrummer

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 06:57:15 PM »
Am I seeing this right, and you put the reflection plate and it's accompanying thin foam at the BOTTOM of the stack, and the thick white and thick black on top of it?

Is this a modified version of Hellfire's, or did I miss something with Hellfire's along the line?

I thought the reflection plate assembly was on TOP of the white in Hellfire's, then the black with hole on top of that?  (reflection plate sandwiched in the middle between white and black)...
DM10 Studio 2011 w/Surge Cymbals added, BB Mesh head conversion w/rubber muffs at bottom, one 12" A-E pad, Simmons DA200S, sometimes using 2 satellite speakers... Simmons SDMP-1 Multi-pad.
See my DIY 12" Acoustic to E-Drum project post here: http://www.dmdrummer.com/index.php?topic=1227

Offline Trondster

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 07:10:45 PM »
Am I seeing this right, and you put the reflection plate and it's accompanying thin foam at the BOTTOM of the stack, and the thick white and thick black on top of it?
No, no - the foam at the bottom of the stack is the craft foam, the "funky foam", if you will. :)
The order of the foam layers are just like in Hellfires conversion.

And - thanks for the comments! :)
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 07:16:19 PM by Trondster »
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline Gerdy

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 02:46:11 AM »
Ií am absolutely deeply impressed. You joined the forum about two weeks ago and now look at this !
Your fantastic and fully illustrated step by step article reflects you as an ambitious musican.
For me it is great to see how quickly you dived into the world of e-drumming, identifying yourself with your drum kit (thatís the most important point !) and the way you are setting it up / personalizing it to your style to get the most out of it.
This is exemplary to all of us.
Thank you very much.

Greg

  • Guest
Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2012, 04:33:04 AM »
Thanks for taking the time to record all this. Very professional.
  I've already done the conversion but didn't remove the resistors. It looks easy but my sensitivity is fine with the resistors still in. I tweaked the module abit after the conversion and have had no problems.

Offline vtdrummer

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2012, 11:14:27 AM »
Quote
No, no - the foam at the bottom of the stack is the craft foam, the "funky foam", if you will.

Ahhhhh... sorry... I missed where you wrote this, and couldn't quite see it in the photos (though they are great photos).  Went back after your reply and re-read it.  I feel better now!

And... I won't have to rip all mine apart and try this now!   ;D ;D
DM10 Studio 2011 w/Surge Cymbals added, BB Mesh head conversion w/rubber muffs at bottom, one 12" A-E pad, Simmons DA200S, sometimes using 2 satellite speakers... Simmons SDMP-1 Multi-pad.
See my DIY 12" Acoustic to E-Drum project post here: http://www.dmdrummer.com/index.php?topic=1227

Offline Trondster

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 02:52:31 PM »
Thanks for the replies! :)

@vtdrummer: I tried to clarify the bit about putting the foam with the metal plate attached into the drum shell; that that step only is for checking for the size of the foam, if it needs to be cut or not - that it is not the first step in reassembling the drum pad. :)

@Gerdy: Thanks - I have also ordered a second crash cymbal - I think I'd like two. I just need to get more time to practice the actual drumming - assembling and modifying is the easy part - drumming is the hard bit.. :)

@Greg: Do not be afraid of a little soldering - it is actually not that hard!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 05:05:49 PM by Trondster »
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline einarabelc5

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2012, 07:59:10 PM »
Thanks for the replies! :)


@Gerdy: Thanks - I have also ordered a second crash cymbal - I think I'd like two. I just need to get more time to practice the actual drumming - assembling and modifying is the easy part - drumming is the hard bit.. :)


I agree, you want something that doesn't get in the middle of drumming. I don't know that much about Alesis. But definitively holds the crown when it comes to DIY. Now the question is do you want to DIY or do you want to drum?
My modded Kit is still somewhat loud and creates enough annoyance to have to make me compromise with my drumming schedule.
From that point of view, Alesis DOES get in your way somehow.

Offline Trondster

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2012, 05:07:11 AM »
Luckily, I live in my own house and have installed the drum kit in the basement, so any noise will only bother myself. As long as I can modify the pads to dampen the noise just a little bit and get a better "feel" from the bounce, as well as tweak the kit to get a nice response and eliminate the crosstalk - I'm a happy puppy.
The cymbals are a bit noisy, but I can live with that - they do look the part, though.

If I get into serious drumming, I'd might want to upgrade the kit some time in the future after a few years, but for my current needs the Dm10 Pro is more than adequate, and is possible to tweak in more ways I'll need for the foreseeable future. It's good to have a kit I can "grow" with.

Now I'm just anxious to get my mesh heads and try out what the kit will feel like with proper mesh heads - my only reference is that "everyone" on this forum says that the "feel" will be much better.. ;)


Regarding DIY and drum kit setup, I think I'll add some light thread-locking fluid, some insert or similar, to the cymbal screws - the cymbal tighteners seem to work themselves more loose over time (especially the one for the hihat), and I want them to stay in the correct position. And - I definitely need a drum carpet - both for insulating my feet and keeping the pedals in the same place. ;)
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 05:15:37 AM by Trondster »
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline Trondster

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 04:09:03 PM »
Finally - I have the mesh heads! Whohoo!! :D :D :D


Updated:
I split the rack changes to a thread of its own: http://www.dmdrummer.com/index.php?topic=2527.0

I installed the mesh heads (pictures and descriptions are updated in the main post), added a sound comparison video (see link to the video in the main post) and added extra description and a picture for the kick pad conversion.

I found that a single layer of 2mm craft foam at the bottom may have been too little for the regular pads, and have now two layers of 2mm craft foam at the bottom - the post has been updated accordingly.


Check out the video with the sound comparison! :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKbjrQC4PTU&hd=1
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 04:17:42 PM by Trondster »
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline MechanEvil

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2012, 04:28:56 AM »
Great photos and instructions! I don't have an issue with my DM10 noise levels at present, but if I ever do, I will be sure to try out Hellfire's mod.

- Reggae Mangle
Warrior poet, guitar vocalist bassist drummer
... and inventor of the three-legged setup

Offline Trondster

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2012, 04:51:11 PM »
I'd recommend doing the mesh head conversion not only for the noise, but even more for the feel, the rebound, the sensitivity and not least the crosstalk - or lack thereof.. :)



Anyway - I tried a slight variation of the mesh head conversion, inspired by recklessrogs experiments, and here are my findings:


The failed experiment.

The theory was that the metal plate is resting on top of the soft white foam, and that the soft white foam maybe hindered the metal plate from vibrating. Of course - the main point with the reflector plate is to let the plastic reflector plate vibrate, but maybe the metal plate should be able to vibrate freely as well. The theory is to add a thin round "doughnut" of craft foam to the mix, forming an insulating "ring" outside the metal plate, sitting between the thin black foam above the reflector plate and the white foam below, allowing the metal plate to vibrate more freely, as some of its weight should be taken off the white foam. In theory, at least.

However, when I saw the insides of the pad first hand, I started to have some doubts - could this not result in that some of the impact would be transferred down through the new foam ring around the metal plate, bypassing the plate and hindering the sensor to pick up part of the vibration?
I decided to add the extra foam doughnut to one of the 8" pads and one of the 10" pads - it would be easy to add/remove the doughnut later on if I changed my mind, as the hole would be more than large enough to be stretched over the circular thin foam above the resonator plate.

When making the conversion, I pressed the metal plate against a thin sheet of craft foam, making a slight temporary indentation in the foam, and cut a circle along the indentation.

I installed the extra doughnut in one each of the pads, and promptly forgot about it.

Later on, today, when the mesh heads proper were installed, I decided to retweak the trigger settings on all the pads. I discovered to my delight that the hotspotting was much less noticeable than in the stock drums, and that the crosstalk settings could be reduced.
However, I could not help but notice that one of the 10" pads and one of the 8" pads were not quite as sensitive on the edges of the pads - one of the pads could be plaayet almost to the rim, and the other could not. I also noticed a teensy bit more crosstalk in the "trouble" pad. How could that be, as they were the same pads? The pads were not bad, by all means, but compared to the other of the pair, one of the pads were slightly better than the other.

Suddenly, I remembered adding the extra foam doughnut to one of each pad - I could not quite remember which one, but went out on a limb to guess that the "trouble" pads were the ones with the extra foam. I opened the pads, and sure enough - they were. I removed the extra foam and tried again, and yes - now the pads played slightly better near the edges, and I could reduce one of the crosstalk settings one notch on the 10" pad.

So - for me it was better off without the extra foam.

Worth a shot, anyway, and I thought I could share my findings. :)


But, when I now go back and read recklessrogs thread again, I see that I misunderstood his idea - his point was not to have a foam ring around the metal plate, below the thin foam above the metal plate, but to have a foam ring around the resonator plate, below the metal plate. Oh well. :)
I do not think that my white foam is in contact with the resonator plate anyway, but I might give this idea a shot - later. ;)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 04:58:55 PM by Trondster »
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline gorgatron

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Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2012, 07:01:37 PM »
Trondster - this thread and the thread you have on dampening your rack are really insightful, especially for people like me who are really new to both drumming and eDrumming. i think at the moment, i'd be far too timid to make such broad modifications, but in your explanations and discussions, several things just about the *mechanics* of the kit began making sense. i had recently started to notice how my rack lends itself to producing crosstalk from certain pads, almost regardless of my settings. the worst offender is the rim of an 8" tom pad that loves to trigger my ride bell. i use the DM10 Studio, and the main crash near the hi-hat is also the source of constant irritation. i've tried several combinations of settings, as it seems easily influenced by the kick and another 8" tom. either i have to adjust values so it becomes very responsive (which increases the chance of crosstalk) or adjust so it wards off crosstalk almost all together, but is not always responsive, exacerbating the issue of an absent cymbal at the end of a fill when the crash and bass are triggered simultaneously.

i can see how a mesh head would reduce the vibration to the rack, and dampening the rack...well, that just makes sense.  ;)  your two threads will really come in handy later on, once i'm at a point where it makes any sense for me to worry about such details. a well-modified kit won't do me much good if i can play worth a crap!!! lol  and i took your earlier suggestion from one of my threads, and picked up BFD2 while it was at half price. i will eat noodles for a month, but am over-weight as it is, so if the result is a few pounds shed, i'd say it's a pretty good bargain. lol

anyhow, thanks for the very informative and detailed threads!
Alesis DM10 Studio - modified Trondster dampened rack, Hellfire mesh head conversion on toms and kick, converted 1971 14" Ludwig 303 snare w/ aluminum shell - cone + rim piezo conversion; alternate between Stock and Blue Jay Roms, BFD2, Reaper, Reason 6.5

Offline Trondster

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2012, 04:38:42 AM »
Thank you very much, gorgatron. I'm a newbie to drumming and edrumming myself, having owned a (e-)drum kit for only a couple of months. :)

I also had issues with the tom rims triggering other triggers, and the ride bell being triggered a lot - I solved this by angling the toms and cymbals, as detailed in my rack tweaking thread, and changing the trigger settings for the Ride trigger.
On the ride trigger, I sacrificed dynamics to get less crosstalk. The trigger was triggered by other triggers, and while hitting ride rim patterns, I once in a while got an extra bell hit triggered.
What I did was to increase the threshold of the ride and decrease the sensitivity of both the rim and bell triggers - especially the bell trigger. To compensate for the lowered sensitivity, I set the curves higher, to log3/log4.

Try to eliminate crosstalk with threshold and sensitivity first - xtalk settings second.

And now it works much better - no crosstalk. :)

Regarding the tom rim crosstalk - I had a tendency to hit the top of the tom, straight above the bracket. Hitting directly above or on a bracket is asking for trouble - the vibrations will transfer directly into the rack and cause other triggering issues. After angling the toms (as described in my rack thread) - that problem went away. :)
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline Trondster

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2012, 02:39:34 PM »
The second failed experiment

First I tried some extra fancy conversion for the kick drum:
As the kick drum is a bit of a special case, with several people reporting good results from adding a mouse pad at the top of the kick drum stack, closest to the mesh head, I decided to add some extra craft foam at the top. Using the inside of the wooden drum casing as a template, I cut a circular slice of 6mm craft foam and put that on top.
The stack for the base drum is thus, from the bottom up:
Drum base, one sheet of 2mm craft foam, white soft foam, thin black foam with resonator plate, thick black foam, one sheet of 6mm craft foam, mesh head.



This did not work out well - I tried the above recipe, adding a thick layer of foam on top of the kick drum. I ended up with a dead spot in the middle of the drum, where hits not always were registered - this worked particularly bad with a special silenced beater - I found out that it was worsened by my way too high retrigger setting.
Solution: I changed the kick drum, changing it to a "normal" conversion, with some extra foam at the bottom of the stack, just like the other pads. And it worked much better. Now my kick drum can handle anything I throw at it - even double beaters. :)

I have changed the the main post, detailing the failed experiment. Oh well - it was worth a shot. :)
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline immortalx

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2012, 03:47:25 PM »
I have previously converted only the snare of my DM10 and today i decided to convert the rest of the pads. I followed your guide step by step and i can only say one thing : Hats off to you Sir! Your attention to detail in the presentation is remarkable! It works like a charm and i couldn't believe that the noise level (especially that of the kick pad) could get so low. Triggering is vastly improved and it finally feels very close to a real drum kit.
My deepest appreciation both to you for taking the time to document the process so well and to Hellfire for pioneering this mod  :)

PS: When i converted the snare some months ago i did put the foams and plate in a different order than HF's method and  I also placed the piezo facing up. Today i re-modded the snare too, following the guide and it's even better than before!

Offline Trondster

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2012, 03:59:51 PM »
Why, thank you, immortalx! :)

And yes - hats off to Phil (Hellfire) for making the amazing and easy recipe for mesh conversion. I merely documented it. The only place I really deviated from Phils marvellous video is that I didn't remove the rim screws all the way until after I had removed the bracket - I found it easier to turn the  pad over with the rim screws still attached. In other words - for all practical purposes I did exactly as he did. ;)

Enjoy your mesh head pads - I know I ain't looking back! :)
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline gorgatron

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perparing to try out the mesh head conversion - preflight check ;)
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2012, 02:16:40 AM »
Tondster - okay, i'll be ordering the new heads for the conversion either this weekend or early next week. i want to go with the Roland replacement heads, since they are easier to find and are less expensive than Hart Dynamics. everyone seems pleased with the Roland pads. This is an example of the Roland heads i'm getting. looks like what you've used. I just want to confirm that this is so.

oh, hows the bass drum patching working? i have to think about that now, since i'm now about to go ahead with the conversion a few months earlier than planned.  was also thinking about getting the third-party snare, but will wait a bit. hope home EU vendors will ship reasonably to the US. there isn't much here.

thanks in advance for the confirmation!
Alesis DM10 Studio - modified Trondster dampened rack, Hellfire mesh head conversion on toms and kick, converted 1971 14" Ludwig 303 snare w/ aluminum shell - cone + rim piezo conversion; alternate between Stock and Blue Jay Roms, BFD2, Reaper, Reason 6.5

Offline Trondster

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2012, 03:53:44 AM »
The Roland heads are all equal, the difference being size. The bass drum patch works flawlessly - I can't really notice that it's there.
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline gorgatron

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Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2012, 04:24:03 AM »
cool! i obviously notice the different sizes :D lol  just teasing you - i know what you meant. that's good about the patch, since i'd rather spend a few dollars on a patch than have to buy another beater.

thanks!
Alesis DM10 Studio - modified Trondster dampened rack, Hellfire mesh head conversion on toms and kick, converted 1971 14" Ludwig 303 snare w/ aluminum shell - cone + rim piezo conversion; alternate between Stock and Blue Jay Roms, BFD2, Reaper, Reason 6.5

Offline Trondster

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2012, 12:41:13 PM »
Hmm - I tried to update my main post, but I just get a 500 server error.
Oh well - here's what I wanted to write:

Soldering:
The point of desoldering (and later re-soldering) the wires is to remove the wires so that you can rearrange the foam without cutting the foam to pieces.

The point of removing the resistors is that you no longer have to reduce the piezo sensitivity. In the default configuration you have the piezo very close to the drum head, and thus the resistors are there to stop the signal from the piezo being too "hot" for the module. When you perform the mesh conversion, the piezo is no longer close to the head, but deep inside the pad, and thus you can remove the resistors to increase the sensitivity.


The kick drum
I strongly suggest using a log curve for the kick - keep the retrigger, sensitivity and threshold rather low - I'm currently using log4, sensitivity 18, threshold 35 and retrigger 20. I tried having using a spline curve and higher threshold and retrigger settings, and got mistriggering - hard hits with the beater that did not register in the module. A log curve, along with lower threshold and retrigger values, solved those issues. :)


Edit: With the "simple" editor I was able to successfully edit the main post. :)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 01:15:27 PM by Trondster »
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline Liastrae

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2012, 07:58:38 PM »
Unfortuately, I am not gutsy enough to do soldering stuffs.  Nomatter how easy, I am sure I will screw up somewhere.  Other than that, a very interesting post, the photos are very useful, too.  I like how people vary their own conversions, so they differ from the 'standard' Hellfire one.  Great read, and a lot of effort put in.  Thanks.
DM10 Pro, Mapex 500s Double Pedal, Mapex Drum Throne, Dampened Rack and 682 Drums Mesh Heads with the Hellfire Drums conversion.

Offline humpty27

Re: Trondsters illustrated Hellfire mesh head conversion
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2012, 02:09:28 AM »
what the different in converting mesh drum by hellfire with this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=vLj1kWjmHu4&NR=1

any coment??