Author Topic: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion  (Read 1454 times)

Offline orion32

Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« on: September 23, 2019, 09:21:03 AM »
I was looking for an inexpensive way to convert Zildjian L80 cymbals to true electronic cymbals. 

So far I'm happy with results except I will need to add a dampener as the continual vibration of the cymbal keeps triggering the piezo and changing the decay settings on the module made no difference.

For testing I took a scrap piece of high density foam from a yoga matt and placed it on top of the cymbal and was very happy with the results.

I plan to tape some to some clear hard acrylic plastic and mount that to the bottom of the cymbal.  I just need to figure out how big of a "dampener" is needed.

Here is a pic of what it looks like so far.  Once I have everything fine tuned I'll provide more pics and details.

The trigger used was a drumdial trigger I picked up from Sweetwater $10 each. If this works I'll plan on doing this on 3 cymbals I want to make single zone.

1 crash
1 china
1 splash



« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 09:23:30 AM by orion32 »
DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Iggford

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2019, 01:51:22 PM »
Very nice!  I may have to try this with my two remaining Gen16 cymbals.  For $10 per trigger, it would be silly to not try it.  Those two cymbals are just hanging on my wall right now, might as well try to get some use out of them!  I may use them as crashes since I still couldn't get the ride situated.

Any idea if two of those triggers could be used to trigger the bow and bell on a ride?


--
Shawn

Offline orion32

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2019, 08:59:15 AM »
The big questions I have is will the "dampening" work (which i think it will) and will this trigger setup last?  Especially with moving them around even projected in a cymbal bag.

I'm hoping to work on the dampening pad today or tomorrow.  I'm thinking I'm going to go with 1 pad on the front underside and if needed a second on the back.

After watching this video, I'm thinking two might be necessary to absorb the energy........ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH4fbFGGIiI

I'm also thinking there might be way to much "stress" put on the piezo and wires on the piezo (now that I've seen that video).  I might see about cutting a small circular pad to attach the piezo to then the cymbal.  That might help with the dampening as well.

I've thought about doing a dual zone.  These triggers are pretty sensitive.  Hitting the cymbal with my hand I got as full of a sound as with a stick it.  It's probably doable, but I would think you would have to have some sort of dampening ring around the bell keeping bell hits to not trigger the bow trigger and vice versa.  Or maybe it won't be needed if the pad/piezo combo works.

After thinking about (as I'm typing this), I might just try a quarter sized pad for the piezo first and see what that does (plus it will be a lot quicker than trying to cut plastic in the shape I want.  At the very least I think it will help protect it from damage due to being directly in contact with the cymbal and absorbing all that energy.

I'll report back when I have more details.
DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Windel

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2019, 06:38:02 PM »
 :)Following.. :) :)

Offline orion32

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2019, 08:07:35 AM »
I only had time to add a small foam pad (about a quarter size) to the bottom of the cymbal then attach the piezo to it.  The results were negligible.

I did notice that just clamping the cymbal with my thumb and pointer finger triggered the piezo.  The sound was very quiet and quick but it did register.

This tells me that a lot of dampening may be needed.  I hope to have some time in the next few days to plan and come up with suitable dampner

DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Iggford

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2019, 09:21:05 AM »
You mentioned changing the decay settings in the module.  Would the trigger settings for sensitivity make any kind of difference?

Man, I'm almost tempted to go ahead and order one of these triggers just to try to help figure this puzzle out!!  :) 


--
Shawn

Offline orion32

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2019, 12:38:48 PM »
You know what, I don't even thinking I changed those.  I can try doing that tonight to see if I get better results.

I was also reading that in some cases some acoustic drummers have used gaffer tape on their cymbals to quiet them in "intimate" settings.  I just got back from Lowes and they didn't have any so I might order some on line
DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline orion32

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2019, 08:43:54 AM »
I played around with the sensitivity settings and that didn't help  :(

I did have time to make a 'prototye' dampner and install it and I'm very happy with the results.  The "rattle" from the constant retriggering from the vibrations was almost eliminated.  It went from 15-20 seconds (estimated) down to about 2-3 (estimated).  So I know this works! It's just dialing it in and coming up with the best placement for the most effectiveness.

I'm not particularly excited about the placement because of the screw heads.  What I might try is something a little smaller in the back and gaffer tape on the front.

The foam that was used is just a high density foam yoga matt.
DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Iggford

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2019, 01:59:27 PM »
So do you have the foam on the opposite end from the trigger?  And does that make it the area that you need to strike?  Or does the dampening work no matter where you strike the cymbal?

The screw heads do seem like they would be in the way a bit.  The pickup on the Gen16s sits higher than those look, so on my hat, I have it placed way up on the bell.  It made the ride a bit hard to use at times. 

I was wondering about a strong adhesive on the back of the foam, but it would have to be something that wouldn't work its way loose while you're playing.


--
Shawn

Offline orion32

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2019, 09:22:20 AM »
The trigger is just to the left of the bell a few inches.

I figured that the area of stick impact would have the most vibration so putting the dampener at that point would be the most effective.  It was just a guess.  I have no proof that would be more effective than anywhere else.

I would prefer to not have the screw heads and now that I've researched 'gaffer' tape I think I might try that instead to fix the foam to the bottom.  It certainly be a LOT easier than cutting acrylic and having to fasten it to the cymbal with screw.

I also think the tape will help reduce vibrations slightly.

I did a China cymbal last night and fastening the same size "dampner" did not have the same results.  It might have to do with the "contact".  Because of the different in curve I had to bend the acrylic considerably more than I did with the crash.

I did some time testing on how long the "rattle" lasted on the China with and without the dampner.

Without the dampner = 8 seconds
With = 4 seconds........still a little to much
DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline orion32

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2019, 12:11:15 PM »
Take 2.........

1. Pic#1 -  After cleaning the cymbal with alcohol I used double sided tape to attach a small quarter sized foam pad to the bottom of the cymbal.  This wasn't for sound dampening but I though it would help protect the piezo and wiring from the vibrations of the cymbal

2. Pic #2 - Using the double sided tape that came with the trigger I attached the piezo to the foam pad.

3. Pic #3 - Keeping the trigger wire flat I used gorilla tape to fasten the piezo to the cymbal and the wire around the back of the cymbal.  I put the jack in the spot I wanted.  I tried to leave a little slack between the tape

4. Pic #4 - I had to enlarge one of the holes in the cymbal slightly for the screw.  The drill bit i used isn't marked but I'll see if I can find out what size it is.  It helped having the hole not overly large.  It was just enough to allow the screw to pass through and was helpful having the screw "held in" due to the hole size being very close to the screw size

(see next post for completion)

« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 08:43:07 AM by orion32 »
DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline orion32

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2019, 08:40:26 AM »
Mounting the quarter inch jack portion of the trigger with the supplied cable clip. 

**Note the trigger comes with the trigger, 1 double sided square tape, 1 cable clip, and one velcro square - which I didn't use

I purchased the following hardware separately at Lowes.  #6-32 x 1/2" philips steel screws, #6 lock nuts, #6 washers, #36 o-rings

5. Pic #1&2 - I used the o-ring as a washer so the screw head bottom wasn't touching the cymbal.  This is where having a just slightly larger hole (step #4 in previous post0 came in handy as I didn't have to hold the screw from falling out while pushing the clip holes together while putting on the two washers and lock nut

That's it (except for the dampening).

Right now only the 16" crash cymbal has effective dampening.  The same size pad does not effectively dampen the china.  I'm ordering gaffer tape and once I have that I'll mount more foam on the underside of the china.  Cutting acrylic is a pain and I don't really like the aesthetics of the screws being on top.   I'll redo the crash with the tape as well.  I'm also thinking about a way to keep the cymbals from spinning without having to tighten them too much.

So far the crash cymbal is working great with no "rattle" after the decay is done.  The big question is durability.  I'll keep everyone posted.

Until I get the china dampened these are just going to be on my practice kit at home.  It will get from 3-8 hrs of play time per week.  After that I will transport these to band practice so that will add another 2+ hours each week.

I bought 3 triggers at $10 each (Sweetwater) and the mounting hardware cost $9.  I think you can get the yoga mat for $10 at Walmart (I had one not being used in my basement).  So at most you'll spend $16 per cymbal and it really doesn't take very long.  Time will tell if this is a worthwhile investment
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 08:23:04 AM by orion32 »
DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline orion32

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2019, 08:43:49 AM »
Placeholder for dampening
« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 10:07:38 AM by orion32 »
DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Iggford

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2019, 12:09:25 PM »
Looking great!!  I have the 16" Gen16 crash and the 18" ride, so when I can carve out some time to get parts and all that, I'll start on the ride since it could be a different beast as well. 

My main wonder was the durability, and how well everything will hold up, especially during live play, with transportation figured in there as well.  I know, ultimately, screws would be a better long-term solution, but I agree with you on the aesthetics.  I can handle it if everything's symmetrical, LOL.  But you are at the mercy of where the trigger works best, and that doesn't always lend itself to symmetry.

I wanted to get started on this before now, but it's (finally!!) gig week once again, so most of my time has been spent just getting the kit ready.  I've been tweaking module sounds and settings.  I started a lighting project a few weeks ago, I've got a red LED strip on the underside of my snare.  It's sound-activated, but with music going on, it just flashes constantly.  I really want to find something that will react to hitting the drums, something I can turn off and on at will, only using it for certain parts of the night. 

So many projects, so little time, LOL!


--
Shawn

Offline orion32

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2019, 03:37:39 PM »
Thanks Shawn.  Gaffer tape coming tomorrow but I have practice and a family commitment so I don't think I'll be getting any time until the weekend.

If you find any lights you can some that active with the "hits" of the drums let me know.

We are always looking to add a little to our light show and I've been thinking about dressing up the kit a little
DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Iggford

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2019, 11:44:38 AM »
I will definitely let you know if I find any of the lights!

Yeah, we've talked about doing more in the lighting department.  We just have two light bars that go on either side of the stage.  Each has 4 lights that can be pointed wherever we want.  They can be programmed, but we haven't gotten into that.  I thought if I could add some kind of strike-activated lighting to the kit, it would really add to the stage show a bit.  My Gen16 hi-hat has an LED in the pickup disc that will change color when it's hit, but it's hard to see from the floor.


--
Shawn

Offline AlanK

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2019, 02:47:27 PM »
Hi guys, I've been hobbying with DMX lighting for the past few years and most of them (even the old school halogen bulb effects lights) almost always had sound activated modes and if you turned down the mic sensitivity low enough they'd almost go to the kick drum but not perfectly dependable. Shawn too bad you're not closer, I'm actually selling off my spots and mirror scanners and my dmx controller up here in Ottawa.. had big plans to create lighting shows for my old geezer band or the kids' dance parties but it stayed a hobby.. now I need to buy cymbals and stands so I need the money. But I used to clamp a couple of my LED wash lights on each side of my DM10X rack so they'd illuminate my kit as I played.. lots of fun.. the pic attached was the only I had at work but it shows the one light clamped on the left side pole.. the one that was on the right was aimed at the snare and looked pretty cool when it would light up with my kick drum beat.
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 Iggford

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2019, 03:44:22 PM »
Alan, it really is too bad!  I like your setup, though, very impressive!  Lights tend to be an afterthought for us in most cases, and I'd really like to change that. 

We just have the 2 Chauvet light bars, and they're decent, but just kinda "there."  They have the control pedals and all, but no one has the extra resources to keep them changing up.  And then I believe it's random at best.  There is a sound-activated mode with these, too, but the one time we tried it, they just ended up being more like strobe lights, and a bit headache-inducing. 

My wife bought me a small light that she found on clearance after Christmas one year.  It's one of those multi-colored generic lights that project onto the side of your house for decoration.  It just kinda swirls around.  I really like it, to me it acts a bit like a disco ball, but upside down.  I just haven't found a good place to connect it, because if you stare directly into it, you may go blind, LOL.

Someone a while back in the Strike Pro Facebook group had made a post about LED lighting, and he had done an impressive DIY project to light his kit.

I'm actually feeling out the possibility of being able to use the direct-out ports on the Strike module to connect to lights for each pad.  If I could just plug something in that would register when the pad makes a sound, I think I could get it to do what I want. 

Still in the early stages.  I'm just at the ambient glow stage right now, LOL.


--
Shawn

Offline orion32

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2019, 08:42:50 AM »
Hey guys thanks for sharing your lighting ideas.

We have one light bar for the crowd that is sound sensitive.  It's just enough but not too much.  Then we have 4 small LED landscape lights that sit in front of my kit.  Most of the time we leave them blue but they have multi colors and controlled by remote.  Similar to you Alan they look nice with the chrome rack.  I should have taken a pic last night but didn't think of it.  Depending on the venue we may throw up some string lights just to add a little more.

Our guitar player is really geeking out with our up-coming Halloween show (he's a big Halloween geek) he got a $20 multi laser we were working on last night.

I have a set of battery operated blue LED tea lights I thought about wrapping around the rack.  It has 10? different modes to sequence the lights.  I might set them up for our Halloween show.  But I really like the idea of triggering lights to sound......maybe the kick drum or a few pads. 

I've seen there are light control modules but nothing I could find that would connect lights to a module to trigger a sound.

______UPDATE 10/9/2019_________

-----------------UPDATED 10/9/2019--------------------------------

Here are some pics of my kit with the blue landscape lights

« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 01:33:36 PM by orion32 »
DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Iggford

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2019, 11:11:49 AM »
Sounds really cool!

I forgot about our rope light.  We have a white rope light that we use basically to define the stage, especially if we're just on the floor level.  Helps give boundaries, and some light from underneath.

I like the idea of the landscape LEDs, I may have to look into something like that.  However, with the lights under my pads, I may just keep it as static light that way.  My pads are angled so much, though, that it might be a little bright if I left them on all the time.

I did string some multi-colored Christmas tree lights on my rack for our shows last December.  Just a little holiday spirit! :)

I'm finding some stuff, I think the brand is DrumLite (I'll have to check).  These look like they come with a couple of lighting options, including a vibration sensor that triggers the lights.  Doesn't do it through the module, but it would be a good option.  Only problem is that package is a 5-piece set for $300.  Not big enough for my 6-Tom kit, LOL.  But if I can find some sensors somewhere, I might be able to DIY something.  Still in the planning stages, though.


--Shawn

Offline orion32

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2019, 11:26:10 AM »
Keep us posted.  I just found out from our guitar player we have a Chauvet light bar too  :)

I'll try to get some pics of our landscape light setup. Its not fancy.  There are 4 we mounted on a strip of wood.  I think he said he paid $20 each for them.

I like researching ideas like this.....only problem is I never finish my other projects.....LOL.

I got the gaffer tape and should have some time to test that out tonight for the dampening.  I'll post results as soon as I can
DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Iggford

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2019, 01:24:39 PM »
Man, I know EXACTLY how you feel!  I started the lighting project, then off to something else, I'm really wanting to try adding triggers to my Gen16 cymbals, and I STILL want to do the lighting stuff.. There's just not enough time! :)

I'll document any progress I make with the lights! 

I'm also excited to hear how your dampening project goes!


--
Shawn

Offline orion32

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2019, 08:52:26 AM »
Sounds like we have a lot in common......and you are right......there just isn't enough time.

I didn't get a lot of time on the dampening project but here is what I did. 

I took 2 "cresent-like" pieces of the foam and taped them to the sides of the china.  They were about 1/3 the size of an old '45 record (I'm wondering how many people will know what that is.....LOL.....man I'm getting old).  Anyway those did not work well.  I was still getting a rattling sound from re-triggering of 4-5 seconds after the decay.

When I took my headphones off sure enough I could still hear the china vibrating after a hit.  >:(

I did do the foam/tape combination on the splash I previously had the foam/acrylic on and that worked fine but just for good measure I did 2 pads, one on each side.  I'll update with pics as soon as I can

Hitting that crash without the head phones on there is no vibration I can hear from the cymbal

So now the question becomes, how to dampen the china to eliminate the vibration

I'm wondering if I need to go back to the foam/acrylic idea.....I'm getting that feeling that I'm going down a rabbit hole......

DM10
2 x 10" & 2 x 12" toms/snare with Prism Mesh practice heads
14" crash, 12" crash, 16" ride, A to E converted Zildjian L80 - 14" crash, 16" crash & china
high hat pro

Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Chaser

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2019, 11:40:09 AM »
There have been quite a few companies that have released their own version of a perforated low volume cymbal over the past few years,from affordable to expensive.
GoEdrum released an E version around 2015.
They used to sell complete sets,mainly designed for Yamaha (mistake)and are now hard to find.
Here is a Ride..single cable..Tip,Bell,Bow,360 Edge.
and an idea of the dampening they used , which were Cymbal Mute rings..


There are a number of companies offering those also..


Cymbal Mute..generic..you can find these on ebay.Aliexpress etc



CymboMute..



Cymguard



and DrumTee offers a complete cover..

Offline Iggford

Re: Zildjian L80 A to E conversion
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2019, 12:06:45 PM »
Well, holy crap, I never thought about a ring.  It does make sense, though!


--
Shawn