Author Topic: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?  (Read 5266 times)

Offline rhysT

How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« on: January 18, 2018, 11:24:20 PM »
The ongoing saga in this topic (http://community.alesis.com/alesis/topics/strike-pro-hi-hat-behaving-erratically) has me wondering what's different about the Strike Hi-hat controller compared to the Goedrum GHC and Roland VH11 which apparently function better with a Strike module.

I assume the sensor used in Strike's controller is similar to the FSR type in this DIY hi-hat controller: https://cults3d.com/en/3d-model/various/hi-hat-controller-ver-2

Does the Strike controller have a more limited sensor response than the GHC or VH11 and has anyone tried an Alesis Realhat pedal to check how it performs?

Alesis are unlikely to acknowledge that their Hi-hat controller has a problem, so maybe Strike users can improvise some low cost improvements.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 12:11:53 AM by rhysT »

Offline dino_jr

Re: Can the Strike Hihat controller be improved for minimal cost
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2018, 03:29:12 AM »
Hi.

The Goedrum controller you mention is very cheap compared to others, and various reviews on the web say it fixes all the Strike Hihat control issues.
I have ordered one from Amazon, awaiting delivery right now.

Offline Iggford

Re: Can the Strike Hihat controller be improved for minimal cost
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2018, 12:53:26 PM »
I have been wondering if the Strike HiHat is any better than the Pro-X.  I have the Pro-X with my DM10 kit, and am upgrading to a Strike next month.  I was also looking at the Goedrum controller, still unsure of what to do.  I just bought a set of Zildjian Gen16 AE cymbals to use instead.  I still may look at improving the Strike HiHat, as it will likely be moved to my DM10 kit once I bring it home.  The Gen16's will stay with the Strike once I upgrade.


--
Shawn

Offline Blargomite

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2018, 12:50:44 PM »
I just got my Go edrum controller this weekend and it is a HUGE improvement over the POS the strike uses. Definitely recommended.

Offline rhysT

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 08:24:35 AM »
I just got my Go edrum controller this weekend and it is a HUGE improvement over the POS the strike uses. Definitely recommended.

So does anyone know what's different about the motion sensor in either Go edrum or VH-11 hi-hat controllers compared to the Strike & Pro-X sensors.

FYI, this Strike hi-hat setup guide is provided by Alesis: http://www.alesis.com/kb/article/2386
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 08:36:47 AM by rhysT »

Offline rhysT

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2018, 02:38:39 PM »
Here's some useful info about  DIY hi-hat controller options (like FSR) in this Vdrums topic: https://www.vdrums.com/forum/advanced/diy/981970-diy-hi-hat-controller-options

Offline dino_jr

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 12:39:39 PM »
Hi, my GoEdrum Hi Hat Controller arrived recently (Stuck in Chinese customs perhaps?)... Not dialled it in yet, but it is LEAGUES better than the Alesis controller already, as Blargomite already said...  Give it a go, its pretty cheap too!

Offline dino_jr

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 12:33:29 PM »
Hmmm. Well I jumped the gun a little bit.

Despite the GoEdrum controller operating more constant, I STILL can't get a reliable hihat control from the pedal...

1. Does anyone find the pedal settings even do anything... I've tried the dials at 1 and at 99, no apparent difference!?!? Also the log and exp curves have no effect, seemingly. I have to lift my foot ~0.5 sec before striking the hat, or no "open" sound. Even at EXP4 setting!
2. Stupid question... What's the difference between a chick and a splash?

Offline Purpledc

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2018, 08:39:41 PM »
My hi hat issue is completely resolved.   My issue ended up being a spring for my hi hat that was way too short.   This meant that even in the fully closed position my hi hat controller had movement and thought it was part way open.  This caused odd double triggers and inconsistent closed sounds, missed hits etc.    I simply took a felt washer that is used for holding your lower hi hat cymbal and I put that on top of the spring assembly and it was like the sky parted and light shown down on the hi hat.  I was even using settings that were not optimal and after adjusting the settings further I have zero issues now.  I cant tell you how much more fun the thing is to play.


My theory is that when the cymbals were redesigned and they gave them all a deeper more pronounced bell shape they changed the depth of the cymbal but not the length of the spring to support it.  So in some cases with varying tolerances some are just off enough to cause major issues.   I was absolutely shocked and still am.   I literally went from browsing amazon and ebay for new hi hat options cursing the old gods, to sitting playing for two hours straight TRYING to get it fail on me and it works perfectly.   Im still shocked.

Offline rhysT

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2018, 09:03:59 AM »
My hi hat issue is completely resolved.   My issue ended up being a spring for my hi hat that was way too short.   This meant that even in the fully closed position my hi hat controller had movement and thought it was part way open.  This caused odd double triggers and inconsistent closed sounds, missed hits etc.    I simply took a felt washer that is used for holding your lower hi hat cymbal and I put that on top of the spring assembly and it was like the sky parted and light shown down on the hi hat.  I was even using settings that were not optimal and after adjusting the settings further I have zero issues now.  I cant tell you how much more fun the thing is to play.

Well done Tim for finding a simple way to fix the frustrating hi-hat problem which is what I was kinda hoping for at the start of this topic with a challenge: "Alesis are unlikely to acknowledge that their Hi-hat controller has a problem, so maybe Strike users can improvise some low cost improvements."
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 03:24:35 PM by rhysT »

Offline AlanK

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2018, 09:40:28 AM »
Wow that's incredible. A felt washer. So I wonder if that would help for us with the DM10's (sorry if I lost track, you're using the Strike hi-hats right?). I'm going to try anyways, anything that helps a bit is a gift.

By the way, dino_jr, a chick is the closing of the hats and a splash is closing them quick and lightly and reopening, gives that effect like the orchestra cymbal crasher (hmmm, not the best explanation.. you know those monkey figures that have the two cymbals...) that kind of sound

One last thing, you mentioned the .5 second early lifting of the foot to bark the hi-hats.. it's just something you have to get used to on edrums.. if the hats are closed and you hit them wanting to open the pedal to bark, it translates the hit so fast that when you lift the pedal the sound from the hit has already played so you have to hit just as you're opening up the hats in order for it to register as partly opened. Timing is a bit more forgiving when you hit the metal cymbals of real hats, there's more sustain in the transfer of energy compared to the dampening of plastic on plastic.

Not sure if that made any sense, but I've noticed the effect myself and had to train my mind and muscles to offset the lifting of the hat pedal by a millisecond prior to hitting the hat in order to get a good bark. When I first got my kit (and once in a while still) I spent like an hour just hitting the hi-hats with various timing to see how to get an effective bark going. Also find the chicks come through better or worse depending on where I've got my foot placed or how I step down.. seems more pronounced and get better success stomping down with the ball of my foot and/or toes to get fast defined chicks.. to get subtle nuances (yeah right!) with slight opening and closing of the hats I'll use my foot flat on the pedal and hinge it with the heel down.

I'm trying to use that concept around the kit to see how to get a better sound and feel.. whether it's testing out the ride bell by smackin' it with the shoulder of the stick right on the bell to hitting it slightly off the bell directly with the tip.. to finding where on the rim of the snare I get the best result of a cross-stick or rim shot.. to how does my kick drum react with various force and foot placement. The dynamics are crazy and I've found (and I'm sure most have) that playing an electronic kit takes a certain amount of adjustment and testing out styles compared to acoustic sets. I need to play the set differently than I would an old school drumset.. you adjust your timing in the slightest, it's bizarre but eventually you get used to it.
DM10X with Addictive Drums 2, Pro X hi-hat, 4 crashes, 682 white mesh cone conversion, Laurin Drums snare and kick, Mapex P710W double kick pedal, Tama saddle, Panasonic noise cancelling headphones, Behringer 8 channel USB mixer, Tascam 144MK AI, Samson Expedition Escape powered speakers

Offline Purpledc

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2018, 02:35:21 PM »
Wow that's incredible. A felt washer. So I wonder if that would help for us with the DM10's (sorry if I lost track, you're using the Strike hi-hats right?). I'm going to try anyways, anything that helps a bit is a gift.


Well I would say take a look at your assembly.  If when you put that top cymbal on it doesnt make any contact with that spring then I would say that could definitely be the issue.   And the difference was immediate.   I mean when I didnt have the felt washer in there when in the closed position I had to have the splash cranked to prevent it from happening randomly.  I had the tightness cranked as it was the only way it would ever register that my hi hat was closed and the sensitivity it was messed up.   Put that washer it and it seriously eliminated all the problems and it allowed me to dial in any settings I wanted and the thing works great.   Im still seriously baffled yet very thankful as it was my only hang up on this purchase.   I would love it though if they found this was the issue and all they had to do was send out a longer spring assembly for people.

Offline Kevin Head

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2018, 08:32:01 PM »
Another guy solved his STRIKE hi-hat issues. He took the black cap on top of the spring off, flipped it over, and put it back on. This way it adds length to the spring essentially. Then, he was careful to NOT LET THE WEIGHT OF THE CYMBAL PUSH THE SPRING DOWN AT ALL. Just slide the top cymbal down until it touches the top, then tighten it there.

I tried this, and I've found it is indeed better, and I can finally get the "in-between" sounds between open and closed, both edge and bow. I've never had them before.

Offline Iggford

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2018, 09:26:04 AM »
This isn't necessarily related to the controller, but it is hi-hat related, and while I was able to fix the open/closed issues I was having using the felt washer, this one is still lingering. 

Is anyone else having issues with the hi-hat cymbal itself being unresponsive at times?  The edge zone seems to not want to trigger all the time.  I've adjusted the trigger settings, and it may just be that I haven't quite found the right ones.  It just seems to be a tough one to crack.

I did notice, by accident, that if the cymbal spins around with the logo facing me, I get a bit better response from hitting it.  However, I lose some of the dynamics, so no matter how hard I hit the cymbal, it produces a fairly constant sound. 

I'm going to continue to work on trigger settings to see if that is what's ultimately causing the issue, but I just thought I'd bring it up here in case I'm missing something.


--
Shawn

Offline Purpledc

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2018, 08:29:32 AM »
yeah.  I may have spoke too soon when I said 100% resolved.  The open closed all that works.  But the edge sensor is pretty bad.  Many disagree with me but I think alesis made a fatal error when they put all the cymbal chokes on the top of the edge where you strike the cymbal.  Even on the hi hat the edge has a choke that wont actually work as a hi hat but operates if you make it a crash.

To me you would need to compromise the triggering response of the edge so that the choke will function and vise versa.  I would think they should have put the choke on the bottom. If you feel the cymbal you can feel a significant ridge.  I think this prevents the stick from hitting the choke. But it may be problematic for the edge triggering.   Either way even with the best settings the hi hat sucks.  You need to beat the crap out of it to get any feedback.  And I think they should designed them differently.

Offline Iggford

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2018, 07:41:51 PM »
It really sucks that it's happening, but I'm glad that it's not just me.  I can feel what you're talking about in terms of the ridge on the edge of the cymbal.  It doesn't make sense to me why they would put a choke on the hi-hat, either.  I thought about trying out my Pro-X top cymbal, but I had some triggering issues before when I was trying to set my practice kit up with the Strike module. 

The tweaking continues! :)


--
Shawn

Offline dino_jr

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2018, 03:39:10 AM »
This is becoming clear to me too: With the HH ALESIS logo towards me, the HH is more sensitive. This must be because the choke feature is now around the other side of the cymbal.
As you say, to put a choke sensor in the SAME PLACE as where you hit the cymbal is a ridiculous decision... The module thinks certain hits are chokes, "cancelling" the sound effect!


Offline Iggford

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2018, 09:57:20 AM »
I've noticed the same thing, and have even begun setting up with the logo facing me because of this.  Dynamically, I'm not sure if it's as responsive, but it seemed to work pretty well when I tried it. 

On a somewhat related note, I've noticed a similar pattern with my crashes.  If I hit too close to the edge, it will sometimes not trigger or will trigger very quietly.  I love the feel of all these cymbals, but I just wish they were a little more consistent.

I am about to sell my Gen16 set, but I've toyed with the idea of hanging onto it and at least using the hi-hat.


--
Shawn

Offline rhysT

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2018, 12:47:01 AM »
Another guy solved his STRIKE hi-hat issues. He took the black cap on top of the spring off, flipped it over, and put it back on. This way it adds length to the spring essentially. Then, he was careful to NOT LET THE WEIGHT OF THE CYMBAL PUSH THE SPRING DOWN AT ALL. Just slide the top cymbal down until it touches the top, then tighten it there.

I tried this, and I've found it is indeed better, and I can finally get the "in-between" sounds between open and closed, both edge and bow. I've never had them before.

Just adding a video link related to this info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4YH24ttovU
« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 12:50:03 AM by rhysT »

Offline Purpledc

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2018, 07:49:48 AM »
its funny that fix has been floating around even on the alesis forum.  But they kept scrubbing it for some reason.   I originally thought I came up with it.  Then other guys claimed to come up with it even before I did.   There is so much good info out there but its peppered in a million different places.  We really need a legit FAQ that really goes deep.

Offline Chaser

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2018, 09:42:42 PM »
I tried the top cymbal from the STRIKE and the ROLAND VH12 with the REALHAT pedal.Just plugged and played.Both cymbals worked well with the REALHAT pedal.. needs tweaking to dial in the splash and chick , but both function.STRIKE MODULE(DSP v1.3....Trigger v1.4....v1.4 content/samples.)
I will flash to DSP v1.4 since that has the new pedal parameters and test.

The REALHAT Pedal is very sensitive and requires little to no pressure..The VH12 was much more responsive than the STRIKE.

I don't remember the REALHAT pedal ratings but I read in another thread it was rated at 77 Ohms?
 I checked the 2 pedals I have and got different results.
They are different versions of the same pedal and I can see where each applies pressure on a different area of the strip/soft pot.
1) FULL OPEN: 93.5 - FULL CLOSED 5.8
2) FULL OPEN: 63 - FULL CLOSED 3.2

Here is some info I had on various controllers that's been floating around years.

Roland Hi Hat Controller Resistance Range
             FULL OPEN    FULL CLOSED
FD-7)    19.9 kOhm - .029 kOhm
VH-11)  20.6 kOhm - 5 kOhm (normal) -.008 kOhm (xtra tight)
VH-12)  19   kOhm  - 14 kOhm (normal) - 10 kOhm (xtra tight)
VH-13)  18.3 kOhm - 4 kOhm (normal) - 0.6 kOhm (xtra tight)
 
from what I have read the GOedrum hi-hat controller has a 20 kOhm slide pot.
GOedrum 20kOhm

I has a hard time checking the STRIKE Hi Hat controller as the bottom would never stay completely flush,and with the top cymbal not touch readings were all over the place.It may be infinite.
I ended up taking it off the stand to get on a level surface  for an accurate reading (probably why the VH12 has a clamp/bands setup to immobilize it)

With the top cymbal resting on the spring I get a consistent 77..when pressure is just let off it goes 200..300..400..1Mohm ..."infinite"
FULL CLOSED  around 5-8.depending on if pressure is applied evenly around it for the 3 contact points and how much.

I checked my VH12 (for reference in case my meter was out of whack) and it checked out with the specs above.

EDIT:
So I flashed the DSP to v1.4 so everything is v1.4 and connected a REALHAT pedal and a VH12 top
I thought the pedal was pressure sensitive before..to say so now would be an understatement.After figuring out the offset, foot sens and setting both curves to linear it's now a matter of just keeping your heel on..with your foot up higher on the pedal and controlling forward pressure and you can do everything with minimal effort.If you play shoe less and are a nuance type player you'd probably go crazy with it.
Because it's so pressure sensitive the splash is a little tricky...just a quick tap and lift.

EDIT 8/3:
I had forgotten that when I got the STRIKE (Pro-X bottom)Hi Hat over a year ago that I had placed a spacer in the controller housing to get it to the 90kOhm that matched the RealHat pedal.
The controller/FSR is a stacked spacer/wafer/sandwich design and when pressure is removed will go up..200..300..400 ..1Mohm. "infinite" .
Patent pdf has been added .

STRIKE/PRO-X Bottom/Controller
#8,742,244 B2
#8,745,758 B2


« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 09:46:21 PM by Chaser »

Offline rhysT

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2018, 08:43:22 AM »
Thanks Chaser for your comprehensive summary of various Strike hi-hat control options and there's more info in this related topic: http://www.alesisdrummer.com/index.php?topic=7589.msg50842#msg50842

I'd like to use my DM10 hi-hat cymbal and Realhat pedal with a Strike module and apparently they should function Ok with DSP v1.4 based on your comments.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 07:55:34 PM by rhysT »

Offline skotterz

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2018, 01:56:27 PM »
its funny that fix has been floating around even on the alesis forum.  But they kept scrubbing it for some reason.   I originally thought I came up with it.  Then other guys claimed to come up with it even before I did.   There is so much good info out there but its peppered in a million different places.  We really need a legit FAQ that really goes deep.

YES, where is the final Alesis clearinghouse for the most current information on hi-hat and/or module issues? i'm finally getting back to utilizing drums in my work for the first time after the last firmware update, etc. (1.4 came July 2018, right?) and Alesis has so many different versions of how to set up the hi-hat out there (in addition to the users' versions of solutions on forums or youtube) . . . i'd like to save time sifting through it all and just have Alesis's definitive version easy to find and dated. Even some of their official videos have obsolete information in them - jeez, just at least add chyrons in those spots on the videos explaining that; how much time could that possibly take?

The legit FAQ that goes deep as Purpledc suggests should be a priority for Alesis. Customers who bought Strike early should be spared wasting any more time looking for answers for how to make this kit work best.

Offline rhysT

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2018, 09:08:06 AM »
YES, where is the final Alesis clearinghouse for the most current information on hi-hat and/or module issues? i'm finally getting back to utilizing drums in my work for the first time after the last firmware update, etc. (1.4 came July 2018, right?) and Alesis has so many different versions of how to set up the hi-hat out there (in addition to the users' versions of solutions on forums or youtube) . . . i'd like to save time sifting through it all and just have Alesis's definitive version easy to find and dated. Even some of their official videos have obsolete information in them - jeez, just at least add chyrons in those spots on the videos explaining that; how much time could that possibly take?

The legit FAQ that goes deep as Purpledc suggests should be a priority for Alesis. Customers who bought Strike early should be spared wasting any more time looking for answers for how to make this kit work best.

This is about all we can expect from Alesis currently for Strike hi-hat configuration and troubleshooting: https://www.alesis.com/kb/article/2386

Offline Purpledc

Re: How to improve the Strike Hi-hat controller?
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2018, 09:54:47 PM »
one of the biggest issue with the strike was the hi hat spring was improperly tensioned.  They actually acknowledged this and have created a replacement.  You must call the customer care line (numark phone number) and request it.   The felt fix did do wonders for the hi hat but it only applied more pressure.  The new spring not only applies more pressure but the proper amount at the proper time.  Because if you rip open the strike controller its actually a pressure plate.   Its simply calculates which sound to play based on the lbs of force applied to that plate.  Adding extra pressure ensured you would get a consistent chick and closed sound. But your semi open sounds still suffered.  That is because unlike a go edrum controller that plays its semi open sounds based on the position of the plunger you need to be able to apply the right amount of pressure at the right time. So if anyone is still having HH issues, I stronger encourage you to contact alesis for the replacement.