Author Topic: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017  (Read 4299 times)

Offline Dobly

DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« on: May 14, 2017, 09:03:44 PM »
(I am modifying this post as all the images stopped working thanks to Photobucket's recent money grab on what was a free service for years)

Some time ago I made what I thought was the final mod to my DM10X pads.  You may if you are a regular on this forum remember that . ..

1. I have made my shells taller by around 10mm.
2. I used something a little bit like the rubber rod method that is on the Strike kit


This system worked fine for months and months. However I started to notice that one of the 12" toms was double triggering.  Seems that over time (and pounding) the rubber 'rods' of KFlex I used were getting squashed, and not returning to original height. Therefore some of them were not making proper contact with the head. That and the inexact science of cutting K-Flex with a razor blade.

There has to be a better way.  And I think I have found it (90% sure). This is a work in progress.

It was an annoyance to me that something as simple of the Jobeky dual zone side trigger could turn any drum into a working and responsive edrum pad,



yet I had to have foam, a circle of metal, much double sided tape and several rubber rods.

Before you read on note, my DM10X pads are taller than standard. If you want to try this at home extend your pads first.

I did this the hard (what was I thinking?) way..

http://www.alesisdrummer.com/index.php?topic=5348.0

And the easy way with wooden embroidery hoops.

http://www.alesisdrummer.com/index.php?topic=6833.0

This is a good time to recover you shells anyway. :)

 Now that that is out of the way, here is the state of my experiment with a side trigger on a 12" DM10X pad.


(I striked out the lines above as I reckon the solution below would work on a regular 12" pad. )

First as a test I took off all the rubber 'rods' and moved the peizo to the top. Then I mounted it on a little circle of rubber, with a little square of rubber on top.



This idea came from my bass drum fix.




More about that fix here
http://www.alesisdrummer.com/index.php?topic=6785.0


As a test this worked very very well. Great in fact.. The sensitivity was down from around 55 to around 30 and the head was responsive to the most gentle hits. I am on to something.

But I got thinking. Why do I need a circle of metal at all?  Time to hack.

First I removed all the foam and metal. Back basics.




Then cut a square of foam and put it ...... You'll see in the image below.



(this was a mistake!!!)

That is a square of double sided tape on top.

This next shot shows the final mod. 



And the money shot..



So. how does it play. Amazing. However, I should NOT have put the foam inside the void. I can't play the top head without triggering the rim and no amount of settings for send , receive or threshold fixed the issue.   
The top head was so good I was tempted to disable the rim. But no. I'll get it working.

Here is how i plan to fix it.

1. The mod needs to be mounted on top of just 2 or 3 of the ribs and not down between 2 ribs. The purpose of those ribs on the base is to reduce the amount of impact from the top (This is why the original design had a donut of foam sitting on the ribs ). The way I have it the hits are traveling directly to the base of the pad.

2. I need to alter the rubber holding of the peizo. The top piece is around 8mm above the bearing edge before I put the head on.. So the whole mod gets squashed down when you put the head on. The mod should only be 2mm or so over the bearing edge. Gently does it.

A little fine tuning and tidying up and this mod will be a winner. (and FINAL. Really. Enough already) ;)

One of the thing I am hoping for with this mod is to allow different head tensions without altering the performace of the pad. Imagine having the 4th tom head loose like a big floor tom and it still triggers. Time will tell.

More on this mod soon.

« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 09:12:21 PM by Dobly »

Offline Hellfire

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 10:19:52 AM »
Great post Dobly!

If you are interested in making your foam a little more round you might want to have a look at this:

Sensing The Vibes

You don't have to do the composite thing, but I think you will find the pipe foam cutter interesting. If you want a larger foam cut-out just use a larger piece of pipe.

I hope that helps.
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 korakios

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 12:11:29 PM »
Nice work Dobly, but does it play even ? Meaning there should be hotspot compared to your previous design

Offline Dobly

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2017, 06:42:53 PM »
Nice work Dobly, but does it play even ? Meaning there should be hotspot compared to your previous design

Preliminary testing and the drum is the best I have ever played. Perfectly even all over from the softest hits to the hardest. The exception of course to directly above the piezo.  But if i am playing that close to the edge I have bigger problems.  :)

Offline Prism

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 07:07:55 PM »
Hellfire - Love your expertise

Dobly - Watching very closely.

I've experimented outside of foam but may be coming back to it.

Prism

Always thinking outside the | box |

Offline Dobly

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2017, 07:32:18 PM »
Great post Dobly!

If you are interested in making your foam a little more round you might want to have a look at this:

Sensing The Vibes

You don't have to do the composite thing, but I think you will find the pipe foam cutter interesting. If you want a larger foam cut-out just use a larger piece of pipe.

I hope that helps.

Thanks Hellfire.. Yes, nice method for cutting foam. I have used K-flex rubber on top of the piezo. But I reckon that is a bit too tough. Perhaps less dense foam is in order. Less dense foam means less force downways.

Thanks to the way I am mounting this, I can set the vertical position of the piezo wherever I need it. I'll aim to get it pretty close to the head.  maybe 5mm or so. It's not as if the head out at the edge there moves that much,  Therefore the foam on top could be more like a disk than a rod.  Your pipe system will be very handy for cutting disks of foam.

As for mounting it, I am thinking of some way to mount something onto top of the ribs. Perhaps mount it across 4 of the ribs (to spread the impact) and mount the piezo between  ribs 2 and 3. Whatever is mounted there needs to be soft yet not to flexible. Plus I need to mount it on something soft.

Perhaps the mount is glued with silicone to ribs 1 and 4. While ribs 2 and 3 have foam on top.  <off to draw something>

Something like this.



« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 09:14:01 PM by Dobly »

Offline Hellfire

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 08:04:43 PM »
Therefore the foam on top could be more like a disk than a rod.  Your pipe system will be very handing for cutting disks of foam.

Yes, it is. I use it for both rods and disks. That's how I cut my double sided foam tape and EVA foam spacer disks.
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 ignotus

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2017, 04:42:02 AM »
Hi there,

I don't own an Alesis kit but as an avid DIYer I sometimes drop by the DIY section to see what's going on :)

I also went from central triggers to side-mounted in my pads and I never looked back. They're so much easier and cheaper to make, are much more forgiving when dialling them in, perform great, and no more hotspot problems. I just thought I'd share a pic of how I make mine in case you want to try it out.

The piezo is just supported underneath at opposite edges, and on top in the centre there is a small, 0.5 cm thick, 1 cm diameter circle of medium-density foam (same foam underneath). The minimal amount of foam underneath isolates the piezo really well, and together with the small dot on top it creates a fulcrum effect making the piezo very sensitive. This means it barely needs to press against the head, which also means less force travelling down through the foam. As you can see, the rim piezo is right there underneath it, but there are no mistriggers of the rim when hitting the head (and vice versa).

Hope this helps!

Offline Dobly

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2017, 07:47:31 AM »
Hope this helps!

Sure does. Thank you for posting this. I just tried 3 different configurations tonight but none worked 100%.

Looks like you have way more room in your drum than I have. Still, I like how you have the piezo 0.5cm from the head. I don't think i have the right foam. I have K-Flex which is that rubber like stuff you put around pipes to keep the water hot (or stop them freezing) and have this form that is softer than medium and finally some very airy acoustic foam.

You've given me food for thought. Thanks again.




Offline Dobly

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2017, 07:56:10 AM »
What is that stuff on the bottom of your peizo? Just some sort of tape? Do you need it there? My piezo has nothing under it. Just bare metal.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 07:58:02 AM by Dobly »

Offline Dobly

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2017, 08:50:57 AM »
It WORKED!!!

Thank you again ignotus.. The key to the success was the fulcrum idea. It really isolated the top piezo.

I didn't have the neat bits of medium foam that you had. I had a razor blade and K-Flex. .

First I cut a block of it to get the height I needed. (NOTE: Looking at this final solution I reckon you would not need to extend the shells on your 12" pads to do this).

Next I put two small slices of K-Flex.



On top of each of them I put a small piece of double sided tape. I then put the piezo on top. Finally I added a block of K-Flex to a few mm higher than the bearing edge.



It is not pretty.. But gosh darn it's working PERFECTLY.

Sensitivity on the top head is 15. On the rim 25. There is absolutely NO cross talk between the top and edge. Nothing. Not a peep no matter how hard i play on the pad.

And best of all. I got my wish and have the head loose like a floor tom or tight like a snare. It just works.

The fulcrum was the key here. Having the piezo supported just on two edges.

You are a champion ignotus.


« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 09:16:38 PM by Dobly »

Offline ignotus

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2017, 09:56:59 AM »
Glad it worked for you!

What is that stuff on the bottom of your peizo? Just some sort of tape? Do you need it there? My piezo has nothing under it. Just bare metal.
It's because of how I attach leads to the piezo, using copper tape and duct tape. See here: https://www.vdrums.com/forum/advanced/diy/1096176-solderless-piezo-leads. It's a method that doesn't require solder and which I think is more durable than having soldered leads on the piezo.

The foam I use is poron. I got an A4 sheet on Aliexpress a few years ago but I can't find any suppliers any more - it's a shame because it's the best foam to use for these applications. The key is to use a foam that doesn't lose its shape over time and poron is great for that. Soft stress balls are also good, you might want to check those out, they're also cheap.

Enjoy!

Offline Dobly

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 07:08:28 PM »
See here: https://www.vdrums.com/forum/advanced/diy/1096176-solderless-piezo-leads. It's a method that doesn't require solder and which I think is more durable than having soldered leads on the piezo.

Now that is neat. I plan to do all my pads with this 'fulcrum' method but with a much neater and repeatable method. Part of that will be your solderless piezo leads.

The foam I use is poron. I got an A4 sheet on Aliexpress a few years ago but I can't find any suppliers any more - it's a shame because it's the best foam to use for these applications. The key is to use a foam that doesn't lose its shape over time and poron is great for that. Soft stress balls are also good, you might want to check those out, they're also cheap.

Enjoy!

Good stuff.. Knowing what to look for saves so much trial and error.. I tried 4 different systems last night before you posted your solution. Gets a tad tedious. Head off, mod, head on, test, head off, mod and so on.

Have you also found that this system lets you tighten your drum heads any way you like?  Do you set their tension to match what a acoustic set would be like?

Offline Dobly

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2017, 07:11:17 PM »
Seems there are MANY types of Poron foam.

http://www.algeos.com.au/html/products/poron/poron.html




Offline Dobly

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2017, 08:34:54 PM »
I thought I had seen you name before ignotus! You are the dude who did the awesome 3 zone Cymbal mod on the vdrums forum.


https://www.vdrums.com/forum/advanced/diy/1122419-diy-3-zone-cymbal-v2

Offline ignotus

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2017, 04:34:25 AM »
Have you also found that this system lets you tighten your drum heads any way you like?  Do you set their tension to match what a acoustic set would be like?
Yeah, I can vary the tension, but with mesh heads and 10" pads there's only so much you can do - I suppose a full-sized kit with mesh heads could be made to feel more realistic but I don't have the space :(

Seems there are MANY types of Poron foam.

http://www.algeos.com.au/html/products/poron/poron.html
I couldn't say which one of those would be suitable. I found this: https://www.amazon.com/Poron-Sheet-Flame-Rating-Black/dp/B013JN45F0 which is the right stuff, but I don't know what the shipping costs to down under would be. It's impossible to find in Spain too - I got lucky with a seller on Aliexpress who sold me a sheet really cheap but he's not there any more.
I thought I had seen you name before ignotus! You are the dude who did the awesome 3 zone Cymbal mod on the vdrums forum.


https://www.vdrums.com/forum/advanced/diy/1122419-diy-3-zone-cymbal-v2
Yep, that's me :)

Offline Prism

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2017, 02:24:00 PM »
Ignotus, good job!

This is the method employed by newer electronic drums. The sensitivity is unmatched. The head will trigger simply by dragging a wire across it with very little pressure while conversely eliminating cross talk.
Always thinking outside the | box |

Offline ignotus

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2017, 03:51:04 PM »
Ignotus, good job!

This is the method employed by newer electronic drums. The sensitivity is unmatched. The head will trigger simply by dragging a wire across it with very little pressure while conversely eliminating cross talk.
Thanks for the compliment!

Are they really using this method for the trigger assembly? All the side mounted triggers I've seen use a foam column or block at least the diameter of the piezo; I've yet to see a commercial trigger use the 'fulcrum method'. Hmm, maybe I should have patented the idea before blabbing about it all over the interwebs ;)

I've tried it all, you name it (except buying triggers): crossbars, reflection plates, cake pans, magnets, cones, columns, spheres, harnesses... the works. As is often the case, the simplest solution can be the most effective.

Offline korakios

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2017, 05:47:20 PM »
If you don't mind hotspots, then earplugs are great.
 At the bottom of the piezo I suggest using the softest foam you can find (eliminating crosstalk)

Offline Dobly

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2017, 05:58:40 PM »
If you don't mind hotspots, then earplugs are great.

Who likes hotspots? They are 2nd only to dead patches.


At the bottom of the piezo I suggest using the softest foam you can find (eliminating crosstalk)

Agreed. I think the beauty of this method is the there is so little of anything at the bottom of the piezo. It is just not possible to get too much force going down ways through those two little bits of rubber the piezo is sitting on. Likewise, those two little strips would do a rubbish job of transmitting rim hits back up to the head piezo.  I think I would be hard to get crosstalk on this method even if you tried.

Offline Prism

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2017, 11:21:57 PM »
Ignotus, good job!

This is the method employed by newer electronic drums. The sensitivity is unmatched. The head will trigger simply by dragging a wire across it with very little pressure while conversely eliminating cross talk.
Thanks for the compliment!

Are they really using this method for the trigger assembly? All the side mounted triggers I've seen use a foam column or block at least the diameter of the piezo; I've yet to see a commercial trigger use the 'fulcrum method'. Hmm, maybe I should have patented the idea before blabbing about it all over the interwebs ;)

I've tried it all, you name it (except buying triggers): crossbars, reflection plates, cake pans, magnets, cones, columns, spheres, harnesses... the works. As is often the case, the simplest solution can be the most effective.

I don't blame half the people for not patenting things as the gov website is highly unintuitive even after a recent update.  To answer your question, it's a slightly different method but the same concept. (Sided mounted rim sensor and a fully isolated floating center stack like you show).
Always thinking outside the | box |

Offline Dobly

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2017, 07:48:21 AM »
After sourcing suitable materials I got to work using ignotus' awesome 'fulcrum' method (I'll keep saying it just in case you end up on a patent dispute) here in May 2017. :)

Finding the rubber he used proved tricky.. in end I found what needed in the most unusual place.



In case you don't know that is the edge piece off one of those cheap rubber floor mats. The rubber is light and springs back nicely. Not foam, but I felt good about giving it a go.

This time I worked on my two 10" pads.

Here is the modification.



Note: the left support is higher than the right one because the K-flex is not cut straight. (is difficult to cut straight) and I used two rulers to measure the height to the rim and cut each to size. Then I cut the block for the top to be 2mm above the bearing edge. No more, not less.

In the shot above you can see the embroidery hoop that I am using to make my shells taller. Judging by the size of the K-Flex block, this mod would work on a standard DM10 10" pad.

The piezo up there is so isolated the force from the head being stuck would be tiny going down through the rubber, then the K-Flex then onto the base, which is supported on two of the ribs, and has a little bit of foam under it to help with it's springiness.

Here are both my 10" pads with the mod



 You can't tell from looking at that image but the left tom is tuned tighter than the right one.  (Video to come when I have finished this mod). This changes the feel of the pads.

And how do they perform?? PERFECT. Tuning them into the module took seconds. Zero crosstalk between the rim and head. Not to mention they feel amazing to play. The don't feel like practice pads any more. They feel like DRUMS!

« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 09:18:44 PM by Dobly »

Offline Dobly

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2017, 07:14:03 PM »
Another thing that user ignotus was right about. The head piezo need to be a little more robust sitting up there.

I needed to dismantle my earlier prototype attempt. With the usual amount of care I tried to remove the piezo from the stack.



That black wire is suppose to be soldered to the piezo. My first thought was to solder it back on. Then I remembered what ignotus told us about encasing the piezo in gaffa tape (duct / cloth tape)

First i ripped of a piece of tape and placed it face up on the board. (Sounds easy enough but it is sticky stuff)

Then I got a new piezo and places it face down on the tape



Next I ripped off another piece and stuck in face down on top. Finally i used scissors to carefully cut around the piezo and wires.



Installed it looks like this.



You can see on there I soldered on the wires and adding some electrical tape I extended the gappa tape to keep is neat and secure.

You can see also in this shot I have moved the rim piezo to the far side. The reason I did that am getting resonance issues when my band gets loud on stage. I'm going ot a add a block of rubber to be middle of the base. The piezo there had to move.

I put this pad together and tried it out.

I'll not bore you with the superlatives. Suffice to say the sensitivity on the top head is set to 12.

12!! The gaffa tape has next to no effect on the sensitivity of the piezo in this configuration. .

The base piezo on the other hand is a differnt issue. I had to get it's sensitivity to 71. The piezo is directly under were I would be playing the rim.

Seems that the design of this base relies on the open base in the middle, which is thin, resonates and causes mis-triggering on loud stages but allows the rim to work all around. I can live with 70 sensitivity.  If it was 90+ I would look for a better solution for the rim piezo.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 09:22:57 PM by Dobly »

Offline ignotus

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2017, 03:10:46 AM »
Good stuff!

As I'm also a fidgety tinkerer who can't leave things alone, when I assemble my piezos with the copper and duct tape I use jumper wires.

I attach two wires with male connectors to the jack, and two wires with female connectors to the piezo. That way, swapping piezos in and out is easy and no soldering is involved.

Regarding the rim piezo, I can't really see, but it looks like you stick it flat onto the surface. To make it more sensitive, leave about half (or 2/3) of the piezo floating. Use something hard (not foam) between the surface and the piezo, contacting about 1/2 - 1/3 of it. I use hot glue. I dab a small blob on the surface and stick the piezo on, making sure one side is stuck and the other floating. You could even try sticking it to the side of the base instead of the bottom to further isolate it from resonance.

Here's a (crappy) video of the separation between my head and rim piezos. As you can see in the image I posted a few days ago the rim piezo is right under the head one, but the rim triggering is pretty even all around. In the video the trigger is at the 6 o'clock position but you wouldn't know.

https://youtu.be/Ng0t443K_FY

Offline Dobly

Re: DM10X Pad Upgrade (again) 2017
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2017, 08:37:54 AM »
Regarding the rim piezo, I can't really see, but it looks like you stick it flat onto the surface. To make it more sensitive, leave about half (or 2/3) of the piezo floating. Use something hard (not foam) between the surface and the piezo, contacting about 1/2 - 1/3 of it. I use hot glue. I dab a small blob on the surface and stick the piezo on, making sure one side is stuck and the other floating. You could even try sticking it to the side of the base instead of the bottom to further isolate it from resonance.

Once again you have given me food for thought. I just did the third 12" pad is the sensitivity on the rim was 89. (while the head is set to 12)  That said, at least it IS 89 and not impossible to set. I have no crosstalk between the head and rim. Nothing. Zip. Zero. And hearing your pad on that video, mine is the same. The smallest buzz from the stick is there.

I'm going to put my neck out and say, while I have not used every edrum in the world, while mine might not be the best, there is none better (ok they are just very good) ;) .  The heads are perfect. And the feeling of hitting a floor tom and it FEELS like a floor tom is something I have missed for so long.  When I can improve the sensitivity of the rim I can't imagine what more there is for a pad to do.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 06:56:29 PM by Dobly »