DIY Drum Triggers & Recreating [Bonzo]’s Vistalites

[Rob] has been working on his drum trigger build, and he’s finally decided to share it with us. His drum heads and triggers don’t look like anything we’ve ever seen, but he’s pretty confident he has a good kit in the works.

The first unconventional of the build is the drum triggers. The triggers are piezo elements folded up or cut down to fit inside highlighter bodies. These piezo/highliter/drum triggers were filled with melted candle wax to make sure the piezo doesn’t rattle around. [Rob] seems to have taken an empirical approach to cutting up piezo elements – smaller elements are less responsive, so they’ll be used for the zones of the drum head.

[Rob]’s drum heads are made from tennis and badminton raquets. The implementation is actually kind of clever: [Rob] restrings the raquets on the bias to vary the feel and responsiveness of the head. Check out the Flickr photoset of the build here.

The ultimate goal of [Rob]’s build is a “glass” drum set certainly inspired by [John Bonham]’s Vistalites. Whenever [Rob] puts up a video playing Moby Dick on his new kit, we’ll be sure to put it up.

One thought on “DIY Drum Triggers & Recreating [Bonzo]’s Vistalites

  1. This is an interesting approach.

    I have recently converted a practise kit to electronic using an arduino to feed a yamaha qy10 synth via midi.
    The pads / triggers are tunable remo clones. Inside a piezo is glued to an acrylic disk sandwiched between foam. The velocity response is reasonably good with a bit of fine tuning in software.

    I’m interested to know how accurate the velocity measurement of the triggers in the project is or if it’s discarded.
    And how does it feel switching from an acoustic kit to these pads?

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