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I was looking at a couple of Tabletop type electronic drums to just trigger my EZ Drummer program, has anyone done this and know how easy these electronic drums are to install?


RemyRAD Sun, 06/01/2014 - 18:30

Hi there Bobby Rose. I love your name. Who doesn't love Roses? So I already love ya Bobby! Now that we got that out of the way... let's get down to business. Shall we? I mean we can still make love later?

Tabletop electronic drum triggers... yeah. What's your budget? I look at a lot of things I can't afford.

There have been some projects that have been posted on YouTube about making your electronic drum triggers. I watched them. They're all valid. They still require certain drum parts and pieces. Some power tools and skills with them.

In the past there have been numerous companies like Roland, Yamaha and others that have made some tabletop drum pad devices. Some of these devices already include sampled drum sounds. Some don't. They all provide for some kind of trigger output voltage to key a drum sample box such as the ALESIS D-4/5's.

Now what can you do with say... $20? You actually have a multitude of possibilities there. A drum trigger is nothing more than a piaezoe (I think I spelled that wrong because I'm an audio engineer?) Buzzer from RadioShack a.k.a. RadioShaft. But they're really expensive setting you back at least two dollars-four dollars each. And then ya have to bust them out of their little plastic cases. Then you have to wire a chord with the connector to it. And you have a drum trigger. Getting proper dynamics of the little gizmo is the trick. Which is where those YouTube videos of guys making their own wants something that actually feels like they are hitting, an actual snare drum, tom-tom, cymbal, et al. So the little suckers by themselves is only part of the equation of what you want. Not that they cannot be used just the way they are just glued to a small slab of say, 1/4 inch thick rubber mat. But that won't offer the full amplitude sensitivity that can be had. Great for consistent sounding stuff without much dynamics like heavy metal drums would be, for instance. Where it's all one volume without Crescendos and DE-Crescendos. And you'll be good. But if you want real drum triggers that allow for dynamics? You need to take this to the next level.

So it's really not difficult or impossible to build them yourself. And it's reasonably inexpensive to do so. If you have no technical skills like soldering? Then you'll just purchase, one of those commercial units, hopefully made by a leading manufacturer.

There ya go. Time to beat off.
Mx. Remy Ann David

pcrecord Mon, 06/02/2014 - 06:29

RemyRAD, you missed an important point, to control a Virtual instrument as EZ Drummer, you need a midi controller. You can build any pad you want. you'd still need to convert the electrical impluse from the pad into midi data and transmit this data to the computer so it can be played by the VSTi.

There are various form midi controler. the most seen in studios are midi keyboards and midi drum sets. Table top's are good if they do what you need.
Another point to check is how the computer will receive the midi data. The unit you choose may have a usb connector which will transmit the data directly to the DAW or you may need a midi interface (included with some audio interface).
The most important thing about midi controlers is that if you want to have natural nuances, you need the maximum step of velocity (how hard the note is hit)
midi velocity range from 0 to 128 but some unit only rate by increment of 10 (0,10,20,30...) I try to avoid those and get increment of 1

BTW I still have a D4 in my live rack as a click generator ;)