Author Topic: Piezo positioning  (Read 701 times)

Piezo positioning
« on: July 07, 2023, 03:17:31 AM »
?Ello! I am rather new to this drumming malarkey, having owned my Nitro Mesh kit for less than three months. I have added a couple of the Millennium cymbals (which I built splitter boxes for), but was having trouble where they were being triggered when other drums were hit. I believe this is called crosstalk, but I don?t know if that means between drums, parts of drums (pad and rim) or both. Changing the settings made the cymbals too unresponsive to be useful.

I took the cymbals apart to try different resistors, to try to tame them that way, but not with much luck. In the end I discovered that the best way to fix the problem was to move the piezo from the back of the cymbal, to the front position. This is fine for the two zone, 12?.

The problem I am having is with the three zone, 15? cymbal. The bow piezo and the choke switch work, and the piezo in the front position is definitely an improvement. However, there are a couple of things I would like to try?
There?s a lot of real estate on the 15? cymbal and some of it doesn?t really register when hit. I was wondering if adding a second piezo, in parallel, in a different position (same distance from the edge) would be feasible? Would this work to spread the contact points? What would the downsides be? Is it possible that both could trigger at the same time and cause problems? Would having them in parallel change their sensitivity (I have no experience with piezos)?

Also, because the bell switch doesn?t work with the Nitro module, I would like to add a third piezo (assuming the above idea would work. Otherwise it?d be a second?) by the bell. I?m thinking that it?d go to the ring of the TRS jack.

Is there a way to make it so that triggering the bell piezo would not also trigger the bow piezos, and vice-versa? I believe that, as the bell piezo would count as a rim, that this would be how it normally works anyway, but I?m not positive.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate any and all help I can get, thank you.

Re: Piezo positioning
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2023, 02:01:16 AM »
Is this a case of where what I am asking is so erroneous that people don?t know how to start telling me how wrong it is?

A couple of things?

In the first paragraph, where I talked about crosstalk and changing settings. I wasn?t clear about the settings I changed. The crosstalk setting doesn?t seem to have any noticeable effect at all. The settings I was messing with were sensitivity and threshold. Bringing the piezos to the front of the cymbals allowed for a better balance of these settings.

The other thing? Why did most of my punctuation (apostrophes, inverted commas and ellipsis) get changed to question marks? This must have made, what might have already been a confusing post, even more frustrating to read.

Another problem I seem to be having, though not related to the above one I thought I would tack it on here rather than start another thread?
When splitting the stereo jack to two mono jacks, and going into two identical drums, I am finding that the ?rim? drum is far, far hotter than the ?pad? drum. Is this normal? It seems odd, to me, that it is that way around.

If it is normal, what is the best way to deal with it? Just lowering the volume for the hotter drum? This means that I have to lower the volume of the whole kit to match the weaker drum, which seems a shame. Or would I be better off going pad into drum, rim into cymbal? Or something like that? Or maybe crack out the resistors again? If the resistors, what sort of value should I expect to find useful for this?
« Last Edit: July 10, 2023, 02:05:52 AM by KingBollock »

Offline Chaser

Re: Piezo positioning
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2023, 03:58:53 PM »
?Ello! I am rather new to this drumming malarkey, having owned my Nitro Mesh kit for less than three months. I have added a couple of the Millennium cymbals (which I built splitter boxes for), but was having trouble where they were being triggered when other drums were hit. I believe this is called crosstalk, but I don?t know if that means between drums, parts of drums (pad and rim) or both. Changing the settings made the cymbals too unresponsive to be useful.

I took the cymbals apart to try different resistors, to try to tame them that way, but not with much luck. In the end I discovered that the best way to fix the problem was to move the piezo from the back of the cymbal, to the front position. This is fine for the two zone, 12?.

The problem I am having is with the three zone, 15? cymbal. The bow piezo and the choke switch work, and the piezo in the front position is definitely an improvement. However, there are a couple of things I would like to try?
There?s a lot of real estate on the 15? cymbal and some of it doesn?t really register when hit. I was wondering if adding a second piezo, in parallel, in a different position (same distance from the edge) would be feasible? Would this work to spread the contact points? What would the downsides be? Is it possible that both could trigger at the same time and cause problems? Would having them in parallel change their sensitivity (I have no experience with piezos)?

Also, because the bell switch doesn?t work with the Nitro module, I would like to add a third piezo (assuming the above idea would work. Otherwise it?d be a second?) by the bell. I?m thinking that it?d go to the ring of the TRS jack.

Is there a way to make it so that triggering the bell piezo would not also trigger the bow piezos, and vice-versa? I believe that, as the bell piezo would count as a rim, that this would be how it normally works anyway, but I?m not positive.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate any and all help I can get, thank you.

Welcome to the Forum !

The Nitro/Surge (Medeli DD512) Module (also the Short Lived DM7X) is an entry level module with limited settings so compatibility with other triggers becomes an issue as you can't make all the proper adjustments that may be necessary/required.

Typically..Drums use 27mm for the Head and Rim ....Cymbals 35mm (which is why they are placed in the back) and switches for Edge/Bell.
There are a few exceptions based on surface size.
The Cymbals the Nitro/Surge (Medeli DD512) came with were designed to work with that algorithm/Firmware and are smaller 10" with 27mm in the front.
Compatibility with other Brands/Manufactures/different cymbals with larger Piezos is trial and error since most entry level modules were specifically designed for the configuration they came with , while more advanced modules came out in different kit configurations/trigger sizes and more input from the community as sizes/Brands are tested.Yamaha triggers are to be avoided for anything other than Yamaha.

The Nitro/Surge/Medeli DD512 Module does not support multiple zone cymbals which use switches and resistors to separate the zones while being tied to the Piezo in a circuit.
Moving a 35mm Piezo in an existing cymbal to the front not only has more sensitivity/Hotter Signal and a 35MM creates more voltage so a greater chance for crosstalk with a module that wasn't designed for the Hotter Signal.It may also create an unwanted Hot Spot and the Modules Firmware may have a harder time interpreting the Hotter Input so all you can do is lower the sensitivity..increase the Threshold,adjust the Crosstalk (Too High and you'll lose Dynamics).
The Nitro/Surge (Medeli) Module does not have the feature to change switch types on an input/zone so you can't just mix and match trigger types and except complete success..even if the module recognizes the hit from a different trigger type at all.
EXAMPLE: Alesis Surge Cymbals (Smart Trigger) were Piezo/Bell and not compatible with the STRIKE Module which has the Trigger Type change feature.

Tom inputs are generally Piezo/Piezo for the Tip/Ring..NO Choke support.
There are  modules that use a switch for the rim (Older Roland/Yamaha).
Cymbals and thier inputs are Piezo/Switch..switch is always on the ring...resistor separates the Bell/Edge.(Rides can be single or Dual cable).
There is also the issue with splitting an input (Zone).
Splitting a Zone you cannot strike both triggers simultaneously or they will cancel each other out...Doesn't matter what Brand or Trigger.
There are specific Splitter cables offered on the Market that have a resistor on one cable to delay it instead of just the typical TRS to TS Y cables.
There are some modules that have a Zone Crosstalk adjustment.(most don't have this feature)

Even though the Medeli DD512 Module has been out for over a decade you are not going to find much anywhere in the form of a Trigger compatibility List,DIY or Upgrades for it or the Nitro/Surge other than do a web search for "Demonic Sweaters" as the individual went down the Rabbit Hole for the Nitro Kit (not as far as re-wiring re-configuring trigger internals..but the only user I am aware of that dedicated so much time with it)...eventually moving on.

The Millenium (Medeli) Cymbals are the older DMPad style Alesis that is still offered on one Alesis Kit today...the DM10 MKII Pro which has been out for a few years and is reaching E.O.L..Millenium in Europe is basically Medeli Rebrands that are Alesis in the US..
The Millenium line is similar if not the same as the Older Alesis Line.

There are a large number of Topics/Posts in the Search (Upper Left) for DIY Piezo/Wiring etc,also all over the internet, but since there aren't/weren't that many trying DIY cymbals with this specific module it will be a guessing game/trial and error as far as determining exact resistor values to cool off the signal "precisely" for the Firmware to Interpret and for the Trigger to function properly...
Mixing Trigger Brands/wiring etc Plug-n-Play may seem to work (a paper plate with a Piezo will work)but getting them to work well is always the battle.
You'll constantly see battles with Hi Hat Controllers...

The Nitro Mesh Kit was designed to be an affordable , Entry Level Kit with Mesh Heads...The best Bang for your Buck Kit.
It has an unconventional Rack with multiple tubing sizes/specific clamps/mounting.
The Time and Effort spent (Risk to Reward) for upgrading some Kits/Modules just isn't there..this Kit/Module is one of them.
Enjoy it and once you have determined you want to pursue e-drumming,(eventually you'll /need/want more features) sell it..upgrade to a Kit that has a more advanced module with more features and uses an industry standard rack..then you have less compatibility issues,more Features and can dive into DIY etc.

The Medelli DD512 manual is more in-depth than the Alesis User Guide and will help you get the most out the module especially being New to "drumming malarkey"

As far as the punctuation display..probably something in the Simple Machines Code

EDIT:
Added Links
« Last Edit: July 10, 2023, 04:08:42 PM by Chaser »

Re: Piezo positioning
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2023, 11:42:19 AM »
Thank you! And thank you!

I know the kit I?ve got is a budget kit, but I?m fine with that. I have far too many hobbies as it is, and I like collecting, adding and tinkering with the things I play with. So starting cheap is fine by me. I got the kit second hand at a really good price.

I have already replaced the rack with a 1.5 inch set (actually two of them), and added three cymbals.

I am considering getting a second module if I can find one cheap enough. Maybe a Millennium one, specifically for the extra cymbals. I also want to make some extra, erm, things, from scratch, that would be cowbells, tambourines, rattles, stuff like that. I don?t know, I am in no hurry, I shall just see how things go. You never know, if I really get into it, I might end up buying a nice Roland kit!

I will never be a proper drummer. I have mostly started for its health benefits, with the hope of helping with some of my many maladies.

I am actually a bass player. Since moving to where I live now, I only know two other musicians and they?re both (very good) drummers. Having a kit here means that they don?t have to bring their own if they fancy a jam. Which is nice.

Like I say, I love tinkering with things, so I don?t mind having to experiment to see what works and what doesn?t. I just thought I?d ask to see what I could skip over and see if there is anything I really shouldn?t do in case I damaged something.

Thank you for your in-depth reply, it is very much appreciated and has given me much to consider.

Offline Chaser

Re: Piezo positioning
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2023, 11:16:13 AM »
Thank you! And thank you!

I know the kit I?ve got is a budget kit, but I?m fine with that. I have far too many hobbies as it is, and I like collecting, adding and tinkering with the things I play with. So starting cheap is fine by me. I got the kit second hand at a really good price.

I have already replaced the rack with a 1.5 inch set (actually two of them), and added three cymbals.

I am considering getting a second module if I can find one cheap enough. Maybe a Millennium one, specifically for the extra cymbals. I also want to make some extra, erm, things, from scratch, that would be cowbells, tambourines, rattles, stuff like that. I don?t know, I am in no hurry, I shall just see how things go. You never know, if I really get into it, I might end up buying a nice Roland kit!

I will never be a proper drummer. I have mostly started for its health benefits, with the hope of helping with some of my many maladies.

I am actually a bass player. Since moving to where I live now, I only know two other musicians and they?re both (very good) drummers. Having a kit here means that they don?t have to bring their own if they fancy a jam. Which is nice.

Like I say, I love tinkering with things, so I don?t mind having to experiment to see what works and what doesn?t. I just thought I?d ask to see what I could skip over and see if there is anything I really shouldn?t do in case I damaged something.

Thank you for your in-depth reply, it is very much appreciated and has given me much to consider.

I understand the budget and DIY works especially for those with more time than money and being a "Boomer" I grew up understanding the value of a dollar so I fabricate everything I can.
ALL drum modules are TMI..(Trigger to MIDI Interfaces)..
The Waveform/Voltage is interpreted to MIDI (the more advanced the module..the more control) ..which is then assigned a Sample/Sound.
There are modules with built in Sound Engine and have on board sounds..not the greatest as one would expect and that hasn't kept up with the pace..even for the Hi End modules which is why a large number use Drum Vst/Software..there is a huge market these days that didn't exist just a few short years ago,same with e-Kits.
Older modules tend to have more in the way of MIDI compared to the newer modules as the market caters more to new users with little experience/understanding  with e-drums or MIDI so a lot of those additional features which were mainstream have been removed and/or only available on some of the High End modules.
Roland had a 20 year Patent for the 2 ply Mesh Head and when it expired the market opened up and you can get a Mesh Kit for a great price..not long ago $300-$500 didn't get you very much.Today you can get Kits up to $10K USD +..and Roland acquired DW which has a "wireless" kit due out this year.
It doesn't use a module but more of a computer interface so you will need to use Vst/Software.
There are also modules that can load your own or "user" samples and modules that are just TMI interfaces with NO sounds.
So that is something to consider in the direction you want to go...onboard sounds..or Vst/Software.
The other factor to consider is your environment (Apartment..House).."Acoustically" some e-kits/triggers are physically loud
and you'll see many posts about neighbors and noise..especially kick/pedal transference ( Floor vibrations etc).Hard plastic and metal cymbals have a "whack' to them..mesh heads helped a lot.
If you really want to tinker and DIY your own triggers..consider the eDRUMin.
It is for advanced users so you need a good understanding of how Drum Modules and MIDI work together.
It also uses individual cables instead of the DB25 trigger Harnesses that have started to become mainstream except for High End Modules.
The eDRUMIN 4 and 10 are hard to find these days as because of the chip shortage and COVID there have been delays.
The last eDRUMin10 batch took about a year and sold out in less than a week so Rob chose to change to a different chip but had to lower the inputs from 10 to 8.
The New model is due out shortly..

The eDRUMin does NOT have onboard Sound Engine as it was designed mainly for Vst/Software and many have sold off their High End modules and replaced them with an eDRUMin as they were dissatisfied with the onboard sounds and using Vst/Software anyway.
The eDRUMin inputs can be split and there are adjustments you can make to get more than one articulation from a single Piezo

eDRUMin - Using Edge Sense to get two articulations from a single zone pad

eDRUMin - Transient Scanning Controls

ADDITIONAL VIDEOS

The eDRUMin Forum is filled with DIY as the eDRUMin can dial in just about anything and there are many trying anything/everything possible
as far as mixing Brands..trigger types and combinations...trial and error.
The advantage being everyone is using the SAME module which is constantly being improved/updated compared to waiting/saving then reselling in hope the next years model will be better or a New "Flagship" will arise.
The Focus for e-drums has shifted from compact kits to a lot of A-E conversions.You can pickup an old drum kit cheap ..and DIY everything from re-wrapping to triggers etc and Acoustic Players seem to adapt better to it.Youll find a number of companies are now producing A/E kits ..but for a much higher price.If one has the ability time/resources you can build one for less..just have a direction or plan.I have seen many over the years dump thousands and thousands into something that ends up having little or no resale value.
So be prepared...
Visit Hellfires other drum site he started in 2007 Hellfire Drums years before starting this one..DIY was common place at the time as there wasn't much available.Yamaha had a lot going on and there was the Keith Raper Circuit (popular at the time..not so much today) for Piezo/Piezo triggers to work on Piezo/Switch inputs.There is a large amount of Excellent DIY/Concept info there..a lot of it has been "Borrowed" for Trigger designs (well...stolen) over the years for the profit of others..

EDIT:
Added Links

UPDATE:
eDRUMin 8 due  SEPT 2023
« Last Edit: July 12, 2023, 09:03:53 PM by Chaser »