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Triggering electric drums with custom pedals

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I play bass at Church. Most of the time there is a drummer there playing an electric kit. Sometimes there is not. It strikes me that I could do snare and kick drums using my feet using piano sustain pedals (small square not fancy dan ones) with an onboard piezo. I could plug those into the relevant socket on the sound module and off I go. Touch sensitive would be nice. Is this doable or am I making an eejit of myself? Again?

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12 hours ago, owen said:

I play bass at Church. Most of the time there is a drummer there playing an electric kit. Sometimes there is not. It strikes me that I could do snare and kick drums using my feet using piano sustain pedals (small square not fancy dan ones) with an onboard piezo. I could plug those into the relevant socket on the sound module and off I go. Touch sensitive would be nice. Is this doable or am I making an eejit of myself? Again?

Having different sounds could be more complicated, but you can certainly make a cigar-box stomp easily enough.  Basically  a hollow wooden box (wedge shaped for ease of use) fitted with one of those acoustic guitar button mics that stick to the back of an acoustic guitar soundboard makes for a very authentic sounding drum beat.  I'm sure with a bit of electronic wizardy you could have a second one with a different tone...

Andy 

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Ah, what I am looking for is the ability to trigger the module itself electronically - which I am guessing will involve putting piezo elements into a foot pedal so that the sound module is fooled into thinking that someone is hitting a proper drum pad. I would have one pedal for the snare (left foot) and one for the bass drum (right foot). I would then plug them into the relevant socket on the back of the sound module.

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easy peasy!

 

You need 2 of these, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Piezo-Sounder-Sensor-Trigger-Drum-Disc-Transducer-Elements-Leaded-Range-of-Sizes/261498022342?hash=item3ce27f29c6:m:mbE9oU10UcjIN4_jnsiBEIQ

2, jack sockets and 2 leads and do something like this, 

You could use a couple of bass drum pedals and make a couple of piezo ' bass drums ' as triggers.  I'm sure you can think of something.

Edited by bertbass
Added something.

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4 minutes ago, owen said:

Thanks. I would like to whack them into two of these. When I say I, I mean someone else to do it for me, obv

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Universal-Foot-Sustain-Pedal-Controller-For-Electronic-Piano-In-UK/113694803613?hash=item1a78bd069d:g:vMkAAOSwIWVY-Ggg  

But I am wondering if the piezo element might need a bit more cushioning before impact.

Not sure those switch enclosures will do the job you need any better than just gluing some piezos to a couple of pieces of wood and tapping them with your feet.

For cushioning, a bit from a neoprene mousemat is good.

Also , be careful as the weak point of the piezos are the solder joints. It doesn't take much to either break the wire or rip the solder off the disc.

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22 hours ago, bartelby said:

 

Not sure those switch enclosures will do the job you need any better than just gluing some piezos to a couple of pieces of wood and tapping them with your feet.

For cushioning, a bit from a neoprene mousemat is good.

Also , be careful as the weak point of the piezos are the solder joints. It doesn't take much to either break the wire or rip the solder off the disc.

Wise words here.  Why not buy a few piezo transducers and try experimenting to find out the possibilities.  A bit of wood with a piezo araldited to it, a bit of mouse mat double sided taped over the top and tap away.  Adjust to taste!  Sorry, forgot the lead.  Solder a length of lead or a jack socket to the piezo wires.  Can't solder?  use a connector block.

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... thought about playing to a rhythm track? I’ve done it once or twice when we didn’t have a drummer at our church (now have three 👍🏼). Drumgenius has some nice loops.

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It is a thought, but the work in getting things into shape for specific songs AND the chances of various specific members holding it together to a constant bpm is .................. daunting. Mostly the BPM thing...........

But I do appreciate the suggestion :)

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I play in a trio and a guitarist/mandolinist/gobharpguy plays a bass drum with one foot and a tambourine with another (and sings). The challenge is always timing, the technical aspect is easy! The piano switches won't be touch sensitive so you'll just have on/off at whatever velocity/volume your drum brain is programmed at, but it'll work.

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Would the piezo pickup not do velocity like a rubber electric drum pad does?

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On 08/06/2019 at 12:08, owen said:

It is a thought, but the work in getting things into shape for specific songs AND the chances of various specific members holding it together to a constant bpm is .................. daunting. Mostly the BPM thing...........

But I do appreciate the suggestion :)

We did that once, lots of drum loops on a laptop and the guitarist triggered different parts with a midi foot switch. Some most of them were more Aphex Twin or Radiohead than straight U2 Coldplay christian rock beats. 
It worked quite well for everyone singing as, well the rhythm was constant... but we had him and me, and I'm not awful and he's amazing musician. I fail to see how most people given a drum machine would struggle... or if they did they would soon get used to it. (would you hitting piezo's with your feet really be that much better?)

14 minutes ago, owen said:

Would the piezo pickup not do velocity like a rubber electric drum pad does?

Would midi foot pedal triggering something electronic not be easier? 

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39 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

I fail to see how most people given a drum machine would struggle... 

I could start dicussing situations on a public forum but that would be uncool :)

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Why not just use the existing bass drum and hihat pedals which you know will work, and just assign a snare sound to the hihat pedal  - you might want to rotate the snare pad out of the way, but surely using what's there already is the most straightforward solution.

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I have tried putting the hihat pedal into the snare port but had no joy so kind of moved on from that. Perhaps I should re-visit that.

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