Triggering is the process by which electronic drum sounds are created. An electronic drum is fitted with a piezo sensor. When the drum is struck, the piezo converts the impact into an electronic charge. That charge is sent to a drum processor, which applies a sound to the electronic charge, before sending it to the amplifier. Dual trigger systems enable two sounds to be applied to one drum strike. Making your own dual trigger drums allows you to customise the sensitivity and texture of the drum.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Drum practice pad
- Phillips screwdriver
- 2 piezo sensors
- 2 RCA jack assemblies
- 2 speaker wires
- Coffee can lid
- Stanley knife
- Soldering iron
Dismantle the practice pads. Unscrew the plastic ring around the practice pad. Remove the plastic ring, and separate the drum head from the plastic backing. Remove the foam insulation from the centre.
Carve a small groove in the side of the plastic ring. Use a Stanley knife to make two small grooves in the side of the plastic ring, 1 inch apart. Make the grooves large enough to feed a speaker wire though.
Build the piezo housing. The housing needs to be firm enough to protect the piezo elements, but thin enough to allow the impact to reach them. A coffee can lid is ideal. Scratch the bottom of the coffee can lid with a Stanley knife to allow the glue to bind better. Glue two piezo elements to the scratched side of the coffee can.
Wire the piezo sensors. Use two piezo sensors so that they both send an electronic charge down their respective speaker wires. Solder the positive and negative ends of the piezo wire to a speaker cable. Solder the speaker ground wire to the panel-mount section of the RCA jack. Solder the speaker positive wire to the ring-mount section of the RCA jack. Repeat the same process for the second piezo sensor.
Mount the piezo inside the foam insulation. Make a 1/2-inch insertion in the side of the foam insulation with a Stanley knife. Push the coffee can lid into the slot, and force it inside the foam insulation. Position it in the centre of the pad.
Re-assemble the practice pad. Place the foam insulation pad inside the plastic backing. Place the drum head onto the foam insulation. Screw on the plastic ring. Feed the speaker wire through the notch on the plastic ring. Connect each RCA jack to an external drum processor.
Tips and warnings
- Experiment with the placement of the piezo sensor. The distance between the two sensors will alter the delay of the signal.
- Solder in a well-ventilated area.
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