Author Topic: Is edrum DIY dying?  (Read 2494 times)

Online Hellfire

Is edrum DIY dying?
« on: December 23, 2020, 10:49:41 AM »
I don't mean just on this forum. I mean in general. I've notice that most DIY projects that people do are very simple modification such as "I've added a second cymbal trigger to my rack" or "I added a bass drum patch to my kick trigger". I mean come on, that isn't really DIY. That's how this equipment was designed to be used.

Don't get me wrong, I've seen some pretty nice DIY in the last month or so. I've seen a couple of guys using 3D printers to make their own edrums. That's cool stuff, but it seems that the flood of people wanting to DIY edrums to save some money is dying. I'm guessing it has to do with the price of edrums dropping over time.

I only bring this up, because DIY is how this forum started back in 2009 and we weren't the only ones that started this way.

What do you guys think?

Offline Iggford

Re: Is edrum DIY dying?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2020, 12:42:08 PM »
I have a 3-year-old Strike Pro, and an 18" bass drum that's been converted from acoustic to electric.  I didn't personally do the conversion, but I had always though of going even a bit larger and doing one myself.

I was about to start a low-volume cymbal conversion, but with some purchased triggers rather than making my own.  I did put that on hold for a bit because I was surprised with an acoustic set for Christmas that will likely become my stage set.  Once I get everything I need, I'll go back to my Strike and see what I can get into.  Now that it will be a primarily home/studio setup for me, I may eventually tackle a full A2E conversion.  I've been wanting to do that for some time.

I love resources like this one, and actually this one in particular, because of the sense of community and the willingness of people to answer a question or two (or more!) in the middle of a project.  I never realized the existence of the DIY possibilities until I found this group.  So far, most of my personal projects have been adding pads/cymbals and splitting inputs, but I hope to take that to another level soon!!

Re: Is edrum DIY dying?
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2020, 11:05:05 AM »
I agree. The wide-eyed enthusiasm that was around say 15 years ago is long gone. It's been a gradual process, but now that I think about it, it's been quite some time since I saw someone e.g. come up with a new trigger design. 90% of "DIY" conversions these days consist of buying off-the-shelf triggers and installing them in drums...

I don't know if it has to do with lower prices - have they really fallen that much? I mean, there are loads of crappy cheapo kits on offer, but anything half decent still costs over a grand. I'm a member of forums in other countries, for other instruments, and it's the same across the board - they all used to have a thriving DIY section that nowadays is practically dead. I think there's been a cultural shift towards viewing every consumer item as ephemeral and disposable, and while a few years back a functional, home-made Frankenstein kit gave you cred, now it makes you look like a stingy nerd. What's cool now is the newest, shiniest thing on offer - to be replaced in a couple of years with the next shiny thing.

Just so you know @Hellfire - you were one of the people who all those years ago drew me into the DIY scene. Thanks to people like you, my entire kit is DIY and still going strong!

BTW, have a nice xmas guys and gals and take care!

Re: Is edrum DIY dying?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2021, 09:51:02 AM »
I have now had 2 hobbies where I got into DIY and modification. The first was the "car scene" about 10 years ago. I modded the hell out of my VW GTI. Suspension, turbocharger, wheels, brakes. All done by me. But it got to a point where I spent more time under the car than behind the wheel. It was on jack stands every weekend.

I'm starting to find the same thing with e-drums. More time spent tinkering than practicing and learning. When I started my A2E, I gave a good shot at my own internal triggers but they triggered like absolute ****. I just could not solder them properly, I imagine, as my trigger design was similar to the multi-spoke R-drums trigger. Years ago I tried installing my own guitar pick-ups and it was the same thing. Terrible sound and pick-ups cutting in and out. I've thrown in the soldering towel. I skip the soldering for plumbing too, SharkBites for the win.

I'm happy with my A2E. Way I see it, I've went out to the store and bought all the raw ingredients needed to bake a cake. What I didn't do was raise chickens and harvest their eggs, grow wheat and grind it into flour, or raise cattle for their milk.

That's just me, there may be others with this mindset. The actual hobby, like cars or drums, gets overshadowed by the need to just tinker with things.

More generally speaking, I'm not sure. I've only been around for 3 years but what I've garnered is that the means by which we trigger the drum, the piezo, is a simple piece of equipment. Have we reached the pinnacle of what can be done with that? Is anything else just design overkill? I think hands down the best DIY item I've seen come around is the eDrumIn. If that 10 input unit was around last year I think I'd have gotten that plus a 4 instead of the Strike module.
A2E 5-piece | Bum Wrap Drum Co maple burl wrap | Jobeky & UFO triggers | Drum-Tec real feel heads | Strike module | VH-11 + Strike cymbals | EZD2 + EZXs

Re: Is edrum DIY dying?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2021, 05:18:02 AM »
I suppose one of the things that helped bring about the change from people DIY-ing their kit from scratch has been the increasing availability of trigger kits for conversions. It's true that getting a fully DIY setup to trigger satisfactorily can be a very frustrating process with lots of trial and error, and kits make the process much less painful and far simpler.

But back in the day DIY wasn't just (or even) about saving money - a lot of it was seeing the DIY process itself as part of the hobby; the realisation that e.g. Roland's vastly overpriced pads didn't contain some kind of magical electronic wizardry but were largely based on components that literally cost pennies. The tricky part was physically putting those parts together to achieve the delicate balance required for good performance, and there was loads of creativity, enthusiasm and support in the DIY community.

I will be honest though - I too tired of endless tinkering and eventually settled on a setup that works, which has remained unchanged for a few years now. I'm also weary of questions like "what polarity should I wire my piezos with" or "what foam should I use for cones" and have largely retreated from the DIY edrum scene, a process I imagine others have gone through too. But since DIY in itself is a hobby for me, I simply redirected it to other pursuits - I took a battered old, cheap stratocaster a friend gave me years ago and replaced the pickups, refretted it with steel frets, installed an internal active preamp circuit, cut a bone nut, installed push-pull pots for a ton of pickup combinations and made a couple of MIDI controllers (a third is in the pipeline) to use with guitar VSTs... and then started to learn how to play the damn thing ;D

With all that said, I have nothing against people doing conversions with kits or adding another pad to their stock kit and calling it DIY - I just agree with the observation that what we used to understand as DIY has gradually petered out. Those of us who like tinkering with stuff are still free to do so, it just seems that there are fewer of us.

Offline orion32

Re: Is edrum DIY dying?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2021, 11:29:07 AM »
I haven't seen anything in recent times either.  Most DIY's I see is like @ignotus mentioned...... it's people buying stuff off the shelf and putting it together with maybe a slight variation of the product they purchased.

My low volume cymbal project I started and posted here many moons ago was just that.  Cheap off the shelf trigger, a few clips and some foam and done....... nothing earth shattering.   

I would love to see someone do an Alesis Strike Ride DIY Product Improvement!  Rip out the guts and get a stable working non-breaking permanent fix. I thought about it as I have a dead ride all torn apart but I just didn't have the time to invest, which is mostly my obstacle.
Alesis Strike Pro
A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china

Re: Is edrum DIY dying?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2021, 01:55:07 AM »
It reminds me of Ham radio.
Years ago, the thing to do was build your own rig, amp, antenna etc. and see how far you could reach.
Now it seems the thing to do is open the ICOM, Kenwood or Yaesu box, plug it in and go.
The "tinkering" was as much of the fun/hobby as making actual contacts.
I'm guessing it has more to do with time constraints as orion32 pointed out plus we seem to now be the "microwave generation" where we want it NOW!
I know I'm beginning to fall into this trap. Just today I'm trying to heat up water in the microwave for a cup of coffee and I'm standing there tapping my foot wondering wth is taking 2 minutes so long?


Re: Is edrum DIY dying?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2021, 09:00:05 AM »
It's not GONE... maybe diminished?  Case in point...

I figured I would try my hands a drums around the first of the year.  After a little research,  I decided on an Alesis Nitro Mesh kit.  I figured E-Drums would save my marriage and friendships with my neighbors versus an acoustic kit...

I received my package January 20th of this year.

Thats like... 70(ish) days ago.

Since then I have:

(1) Bought and added a 10" Snare from the Surge kit.  I moved Tom 2 to Tom 4 and the 8" snare to Tom 2 to use the rim...

(2) Bought and added a 14" Strike 3-zone snare... that I learned (the hard way) only works with 1-zone on my Alesis Nitro Kit.  Oh well... I got it for a decent price ($99) and maybe I will be able to use it to it's full potential when I upgrade (I am already looking seriously at a Crimson II kit)...

(3) I was disappointed to see so few "bell" options out there... so I made my own.  I bought plastic 2-bell gizmo from Amazon... I added a piezo to the inside top of the bell,  ran the wire out the back... filled the bell with spray foam... then covered the top of the bell with 1/8" Neoprene Rubber.  I also made caps out of the rubber so as to not see the foam inside.  It works fantastic!  My first attempt didn't come out as visually appealing... I figured I would do the exact same,  but rather than use the neoprene rubber,  I would coat the whole bell with "Flex Seal"...  not the best idea.  Messy and while it WORKS,  it's pretty damn ugly.   It's much better just sticking with the plastic then using the neoprene rubber for the "pad" at the top.  I made a thick rubber washer for each to isolate the vibrations as well... works great!  I can hit each trigger next to each other and not hear the other.... you can see in the video below the purple "bell"... that's the end result.  The black ugly thing next to it is the Flex-Seal attempt... that was a yellow colored bell.  I will probably replace that eventually with a wood block trigger of some sort (I like making triggers of what sound I want from them).

(4) Being as disappointed that I could not get the bell sound from that 3-zone ride on this kit,  I decided to take things in my own hand.  I'm NEARLY DONE with this one... should be tonight.  I picked up a 4" cymbal (2 actually) from a Chinese vendor on Amazon... the plan is to cover one in neoprene rubber,  add a piezo to the bottom... run the wire down the through the ride cymbals center post... and then using a foam washer to isolate it from the cymbal,  I plan on stacking it on top of the ride... giving the pad a "ride bell" sound... so I will have my bell!   I've already tested it out and it works great... just waiting for the glue to dry on the neoprene rubber pad, etc.

...and I am just getting started.  :)

Anyway... here is a video of my drumming (at 62 days total) ... note the purple "bell"... I play it a little toward the middle-end...

I'll post the results of my cymbal ride idea tonight when I get it completed.

Re: Is edrum DIY dying?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2021, 10:25:37 AM »
Oh,  and here is a photo of my first ride bell cymbal pad... you can also see my bell pads to the left...