Converting Acustic Drum to Electronic Drum

I love to play drums. I really enjoy it and in 2010, I started to a project in order to playing drums at Home. We have been living in an apartment flat and because it makes too much sound, I couldn’t had the opportunity to play drums at home freely. While I was surfing in one drum related forum, I encountered with a title about converting acoustic drums to electronic drums. I red all the instructions and messages then I decided to build my own. Despite all the failure possibilities, I afforded all the expenses(tools and materials that I need). Also, I didn’t had any experiences about the subjects that included in the project. I gained so much skills while I was doing that. Electronic skills, soldering skills, mechanical skills and much more. I researched and learnt almost everything from internet.

Eventually; I managed to succesfully complete the drums. This was quite satisfactory for me. Most importantly; I made this with a little budget, besides that it isn’t a cheap worhtless drum. It can compete with middle quality electronic drums on the market. The development of this Project still ongoing.

1. Setup

For this section I will write about the basic drum rack setup. To hold all the drums in the setup, I used my old akita come 1 rack system. It was kind of a drum toy which my dad bought it to me as a birthday present. I took my first steps to drumming with that toy.

Here you can see;

Akita Come1

I had 3 whole drums (1-tom, 2-floor tom and 3-kick drum)

Kick Drum



Tom Divide

Additionally, I bought another half drum from a friend as a snare drum. Also, I used old drum’s pads as cymbals. I made some modifications on the rack system and finally it became like this;

Tom Divide

2. Triggers

Electronic drums works with triggers which located on the drum head. There is a lot of drum trigger designs. Some of them under the drums and some of them externally integrated with drums. In my setup, I build my own triggers with piezos. Piezo is an electronic component which basically converts vibration into electronic signals. Basic trigger design is making cone from foams and putting that foams on the piezo as you can see from below picture.(Picture collected from Vdrums forum)

Piezo

I installed a rack under the drum heads to put that trigger on it.

PiezoRack

Foam Cone

Drum

DrumTrigger

3. Drum Module

As a drum module first I used medeli dd-505. I bought it online. It was nice at first but it doesn’t provide enough sensivity. So, I decided to build my own drum module. There was a drum module schematic in the site that I encountered in the first place. Admir’s Site It is basically a midi trigger, which is gonna process the signals that comes from piezos and convert them into midi signals/notes to send to a computer according to their velocities. I failed at first but finally I manage to built it. I made the Printed Circuit Boards with ironing method, soldered all the components and done the wiring. I asked for help to install the given firmware to PIC from a local electronics store. I tested it with superiour drummer in cubase. You can see the below videos;



Final

Final

It was a perfect project which has extended my vision. I enjoyed all the steps that I took to build it. It didn’t turned out as perfect as a high priced e-drum, but it was good enough to practice and improve your drumming.

Thanks for reading.

Görkem Tosun

Görkem Tosun

This Blog will present my various studies about almost everything that I am involved to.