DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > Drum Gear > Other Gear

Other Gear Discuss Hardware and all other equipment not covered in the other topics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-29-2012, 06:12 PM
Tomikaza's Avatar
Tomikaza Tomikaza is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Default Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Hello there! :D

I've been drumming for almost 4 years now and things are going well and I really enjoy playing the drums. The only thing what bothers me is that I can't get the right sound out of my kit. I'm not very good at tuning drums and I don't have enough time for it to master it. (I'm studying physics at university for the moment which absorbs a lot of my practicing time)
Not only does it seem impossible for me to get the right sound of it, I also have problems with the volume of the toms (except for the floor tom).
While playing the cymbals, you can barely hear the toms because my crash cymbals sound very loud even if I don't hit them that hard.
Other problems arise when I'm playing fast stuff (typical Nick Barker, ex-Dimmu Borgir, kind of drum fills, rolls etc.). Then my toms will resonate or something and all you hear is a large whelm/ wall of sound and sadly not the individual hits.. :/

While surfing on the Internet I came across a video where someone was testing his acoustic to electronic conversion and I was quite impressed.
To be honest I prefer the sound of a real, beautiful sounding acoustic drum kit, but for me it's almost impossible to achieve this sound with my Pearl Export ELX.

I thought of converting my drums like this (not shure if it works):
First I'll put mesh heads on top of my drum shells after muffling them completely, then I'll put triggers (like DDrum or DDT) on my bass drum, snare and toms. Then I connect them with a cable to a Trigger IO (Alesis Trigger IO for example). I've learned that this device will convert the triggered hits on the drum heads to a MIDI-note/hit, so if I connect the Trigger IO to my laptop (which I already have). Maybe I can use EZ Drummer to attach a sample to my hits (snare hit gives snare hit sound as output for example).
For the final step I thought of connecting my laptop to a large speaker with a build-in amplifier, so when I hit my drums they will be hearable through my cymbals which are not mic'ed (if the gain of the amplifier/speaker is large enough, not sure which gain is the minimum for it to get the job done).
But I'm not shure if this is the right way. And I'm quite affraid to get started with it since all of those things will cost (perhaps) a lot of money. Not that money is a huge problem for me, but I don't want to waste money on things that won't work. :)
I'm also affraid that there will appear some random noise or distortion or a lot of latency when I hit my drums.

So this is why I'm asking your help or advice since I'm completely lost in this world of information.
It would be fun if I can get that clean crisp sound so I can play along with my favorite metal albums.
I hope you guys can help me out and explain me which things I'll have to buy and why.
Thanks for your time and keep on drumming!

-Greetings from Belgium! :D

~Tom
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-29-2012, 06:15 PM
Deathmetalconga's Avatar
Deathmetalconga Deathmetalconga is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 7,227
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

I think your ideas would work but I don't have experience with electronic drums. Check out www.boomtheory.com because they have some products like this. I think one of the concerns with using mesh heads on acoutstic shells is that mesh heads are abrasive and could damage your bearing edges.
__________________
Ironwood kit Tiki kit Openhanders Vids
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-29-2012, 06:24 PM
bobdadruma's Avatar
bobdadruma bobdadruma is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: second measure of a fill-in
Posts: 10,241
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Mesh heads can be used on the acoustic shells with no problem.
I had a Pearl Rhythm Traveler kit for several years and I used to swap back and forth between mesh and mylar heads.
The trigers will work also.
I have seen it done with mesh heads and trigers on toms..
The snare will be an issue because the snare is more complicated than a tom.
Best to use a snare from an e-kit.
The bass drum will require installing a bass drum pad from a e-kit in the acoustic bass shell.
Then of course the interface and software has to be set up.
Here is a link for you. http://www.vdrums.com/forum/showthre...nally-Finished!
__________________
I kind of like old drums:)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-29-2012, 07:30 PM
Goreliscious's Avatar
Goreliscious Goreliscious is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 256
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomikaza View Post
I can't get the right sound out of my kit. I'm not very good at tuning drums and I don't have enough time for it to master it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomikaza View Post
Then my toms will resonate or something and all you hear is a large whelm/ wall of sound and sadly not the individual hits.. :/
You'll spend more time setting up this electro-acoustic rig than the time it'll take you to learn to tune, and if you learned to tune you would hear the individual hits. If I was you I wouldn't spend your money on this electro-acoustic idea. There's products out there like Drum Dials which (if used sensibly) can take some of the stress out of tuning, and all in all, I think using the right heads on your toms and a couple hours tuning will sort your problem easy peasy.

What heads have you got on your toms at the minute?
__________________
www.facebook.com/openwristexile
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-29-2012, 07:52 PM
wildbill wildbill is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Midwest - USA
Posts: 3,360
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Spend some time doing research before you start on it. That said, if you're a bit handy, can do some soldering and so on, it's not too hard.

I tend to agree with getting your set sounding good first. Tune them up first. Then to deal with the excess cymbal and tom noise, there's products like Sound-Offs: http://www.interstatemusic.com/Categ.../80000010%5EHQ

About muffled heads/mesh heads with triggers - you just have to do one or the other - not both.

I made mesh heads from some light blocking screen material for an acoustic set, and a set of roto toms. Once you get the materials and do the first one, the rest are easy. The rotos are converted and I'm still in the process of working on the set.

Here's a pic of the roto-toms I did:
Attached Images
 
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:11 PM
Tomikaza's Avatar
Tomikaza Tomikaza is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goreliscious View Post
You'll spend more time setting up this electro-acoustic rig than the time it'll take you to learn to tune, and if you learned to tune you would hear the individual hits. If I was you I wouldn't spend your money on this electro-acoustic idea. There's products out there like Drum Dials which (if used sensibly) can take some of the stress out of tuning, and all in all, I think using the right heads on your toms and a couple hours tuning will sort your problem easy peasy.

What heads have you got on your toms at the minute?
Well to be honest, all my tom heads top and bottom and the bass drum heads are all still factory heads at this moment. I only had to replace the snare drum head on top a couple of times (with Remo Coated Ambassador on top).
But still, if learned tuning from Youtube videos but even the snare won't work for me.
The reason I was thinking of this conversion was, since I play metal, it's almost a standard to use triggers on the bassdrum. :)
So I thought that it would be a great idea to trigger the whole kit, which will make recording also a bit easier.
Also it would take a lot of time in the beginning to get the right sound and triggering, but afterwards I think you don't have to tune the drums that often since most of it is all software settings.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:20 PM
wildbill wildbill is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Midwest - USA
Posts: 3,360
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Also, the drum part isn't too hard, but converting cymbals hasn't worked out too well for me.

Someone over at the V-Drum forums sells conversion kits, but I wanted to try it first. I bought an old set of hi-hats, searched around for silencing material, soldered up some piezos and gave them a shot. They look OK, and they work, but I'm not satisfied with them.

For the time and trouble that went into them, I would have been better off just buying electronic cymbals to start with.


Also, if you convert, you'll have to get a module, cables, triggers, mesh heads (or silencing material, if you go that route), and other miscellaneous expenses that you haven't planned on. Sometimes, the cost can add up to more than just getting an entry level E-kit, to have as a spare, or a practice kit.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:25 PM
Tomikaza's Avatar
Tomikaza Tomikaza is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
Also, the drum part isn't too hard, but converting cymbals hasn't worked out too well for me.

Someone over at the V-Drum forums sells conversion kits, but I wanted to try it first. I bought an old set of hi-hats, searched around for silencing material, soldered up some piezos and gave them a shot. They look OK, and they work, but I'm not satisfied with them.

For the time and trouble that went into them, I would have been better off just buying electronic cymbals to start with.
Good to know that you are doing a conversion also and thanks for the info so far. :D
Oh, I never knew you can make a conversion for cymbals too.
Well, for me it would only be the drum shells since I realy like how natural cymbals sound.
Do you think my way with the triggers, mesh heads, Trigger IO, laptop, EZ Drummer software on the laptop and amplified speaker will help?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:32 PM
Tomikaza's Avatar
Tomikaza Tomikaza is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Mesh heads can be used on the acoustic shells with no problem.
I had a Pearl Rhythm Traveler kit for several years and I used to swap back and forth between mesh and mylar heads.
The trigers will work also.
I have seen it done with mesh heads and trigers on toms..
The snare will be an issue because the snare is more complicated than a tom.
Best to use a snare from an e-kit.
The bass drum will require installing a bass drum pad from a e-kit in the acoustic bass shell.
Then of course the interface and software has to be set up.
Here is a link for you. http://www.vdrums.com/forum/showthre...nally-Finished!
Thanks! I think that this will help, but are you sure you need a bass drum pad from an e-kit?
I've seen a lot of drummers who triggered their bass drums just with a DDrum trigger an Alesis Trigger IO and some software / drum module.
What's the reason for the bass drum pad from an e-kit? :D
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:43 PM
wildbill wildbill is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Midwest - USA
Posts: 3,360
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomikaza View Post

....Do you think my way with the triggers, mesh heads, Trigger IO, laptop, EZ Drummer software on the laptop and amplified speaker will help?

A lot of people use setups like that with good results. You won't have E-cymbal sounds though, unless you set up one (or more) of your drums to make them. Depending on what you what to do, it might work out OK.







Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomikaza View Post

....are you sure you need a bass drum pad from an e-kit?
I've seen a lot of drummers who triggered their bass drums just with a DDrum trigger an Alesis Trigger IO and some software / drum module.
What's the reason for the bass drum pad from an e-kit? :D

He's using a different, internal, triggering system. The Ddrum bass trigger is external, you can just attach it to your bass drum/head. Ddrum triggers are well known, but there's other companies that make similar products.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:54 PM
Tomikaza's Avatar
Tomikaza Tomikaza is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
He's using a different, internal, triggering system. The Ddrum bass trigger is external, you can just attach it to your bass drum/head. Ddrum triggers are well known, but there's other companies that make similar products.
Ah okay. Yeah, a lot of conversions I've seen make use of this kind of internal triggering. But I'm planning on doing it external because I'm not that handy in DIY stuff and I really don't want to mess up, haha.
Great to hear that the external way also works. :)

Do you have some links where I can find some info about setting up the software or do the manuals of the software or devices will uncover this?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-29-2012, 09:24 PM
bobdadruma's Avatar
bobdadruma bobdadruma is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: second measure of a fill-in
Posts: 10,241
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Why not sell your current kit and buy a Pearl E-Pro.
I see them on eBay for about $2200 USD
The E-Pro will do everything that you want and you can also put standard drumheads on it and use it acoustically.
http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...1609l0.6.3l9l0
__________________
I kind of like old drums:)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-30-2012, 01:12 AM
jornthedrummer jornthedrummer is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 559
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Head over to www.vdrums.com and read the DIY and VST section on their board.
This is the best place to learn on the internet. Feel free to register and ask questions - lots of friendly and knowledgeable people around.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-30-2012, 07:25 AM
Goreliscious's Avatar
Goreliscious Goreliscious is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 256
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomikaza View Post
The reason I was thinking of this conversion was, since I play metal, it's almost a standard to use triggers on the bassdrum. :)
That's because in one video George Kollias said he uses triggers, so every kid out there that wants to be him went and bought triggers. He needs triggers because of the size of venues they play and the speed he plays.

If you put a Remo Controlled Sound on your snare, Remo Pinstripes on your toms and an Evans EMAD 2 tuned loose with nothing in the drum, you wont get the problems you've been having so far. However it sounds like you've got your heart set on making the electro-acoustic kit so good luck with it.
__________________
www.facebook.com/openwristexile
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-30-2012, 01:04 PM
Tomikaza's Avatar
Tomikaza Tomikaza is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by jornthedrummer View Post
Head over to www.vdrums.com and read the DIY and VST section on their board.
This is the best place to learn on the internet. Feel free to register and ask questions - lots of friendly and knowledgeable people around.
Thanks for the tip, man! Exactly what I needed. :)
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-31-2012, 02:29 AM
Deathmetalconga's Avatar
Deathmetalconga Deathmetalconga is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 7,227
Default Re: Converting acoustic drumkit to electronic drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill View Post

Here's a pic of the roto-toms I did:
Whoa, those are pretty cool!
__________________
Ironwood kit Tiki kit Openhanders Vids
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 09:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com