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Drum Pad as a Midi Trigger.

edited June 2013 in Hardware

Has anyone hooked up a drum pad to its brain? Or to OHM expansion port? I.e trigger samples in ableton with a piezzo sensor.
How would you do that?
I tried different solutions and none of them seem to work or -ish...



  • What kind of drum pad? Our Brainv2 and Brain JR support FSR's, which are the most common drum controls.

  • Oh...FSR. that's how you call them... (Force-Sensing Resistor? Sorry, i'm french).
    So, according to the wiki, i assume i gotta use the analog pin header, not the button header...

    Any drum pad, i have a simmons drum pad, a piezzo sensor i built and a yamaha kick drum pad.

  • Yeah FSR's use analog inputs. This is what we do on our BASE controller.

  • edited June 2013

    Well, given that i'm using my pad as a button to trigger samples, I was working with the button header...
    Even built a transistor switchs interface until i realised the 0,2v provided by the bord wouldn't make it.

    I'll try the analog header in BUT type.
    Pin 1 : Ground
    Pin 2 : +V (but not used for me)
    Pin 3 : Tip to the pad.
    Pin 4 : To ground
    Pin 5 : To ground
    Pin 6 : To ground
    Pin 7 : To ground
    Pin 8 : Everybody to ground

  • Ok. That works better.
    Althougt, it sometimes send random notes. All related to the other modules plugged into the analog matrix.
    I mean, if everything is grounded with header ground boards... No probs. One CC, stable.
    If i plug in my two 4F4K (CC0 to 15), hitting the pad will sometimes play theses notes randomly.

    I use the pad as a button type.
    Do i need to wire a diode as for a button header??
    "Each row connection needs to have a diode inline, pointing towards the row, in order for the matrix to properly work."

  • not sure about this. Are you using the analog header or button header?

  • edited June 2013

    I first started with the button header, it wasn't working well.
    Then moved to the analog header, as you adviced, works better.

    Pads are sorta coils and send sin impulse, positive and negative wave. If the brain expects only positive information when in "BUT type", it could be the problem.
    I'll add a diode in the path, see what happens.

  • Well. Same thing with a diode...

  • I built an analog switch with transistors. It's more stable. Even though i gotta hit the pad pretty hard...
    How have you hooked it up in the BASE? This could help.

  • BASE uses FSR's not Piezo's. In my experience, you can get better results from FSR's.

    If you are using a Piezo with this configuration:

    Pin 1 : Ground
    Pin 2 : +V (but not used for me)
    Pin 3 : Tip to the pad.
    Pin 4 : To ground
    Pin 5 : To ground
    Pin 6 : To ground
    Pin 7 : To ground
    Pin 8 : Everybody to ground

    Try connecting a resistor between pin 3 and a ground. So the tip of the pad goes on pin 3 and a resistor goes between pin 3 and ground. I forget which size resistor worked best for me. I would try 10k and 333 ohm resistors and combinations.

  • Have you configured it as an  FSR in the editor?

  • Jay, no i haven't. I want it to work as a button. 0 to 127 and back.
    It works. But it's a little unpredictable.
    I'd like to stabilize it.

    Mark, i though about the resistor thing last night.
    I'm making tests right now. 10k. Ok, so far. But i got to hit the pad very hard. Could the resistor size influence the sensitivity?

  • edited June 2013

    Naaa. It's actually the same thing.
    Not triggering every hit.
    And somtimes sends random notes.

  • edited June 2013

    I only hit the drum pad, every other header is grounded.

    Simmons pad : random notes among the good one / not every hit triggers
    Yamaha pad : same midi note / very hard to trigger
    Home made pad : random notes among the good one / hard to trigger.

  • I'd recommend using an FSR like this 

  • edited June 2013

    Oh... Thanks Jay.
    So what you guys do recommend is:
    Pin 1 : Ground
    Pin 2 : +V (tip of the pad)
    Pin 3 : sleeve of the pad + a 10k resistror to the ground.
    Pin 4 : To ground
    Pin 5 : To ground
    Pin 6 : To ground
    Pin 7 : To ground
    Pin 8 : Everybody to ground

    I'll be on tour for a week, but try it as soon as i get home.
    Thank you.

  • edited June 2013

    Oh wait...
    I though FSR were fancy piezos, they look quite the same.
    But FSR are variable resistances.
    And piezzo/pads are voltage sources.
    They have different behaviour, this won't work.

    Well, better get back to my transistor based switch:image

  • Hey Justin,
    Thanks for your explaination. I added a RC circuit between the two transistors (see previous post) to slow down the whole thing : no more missed hits!
    No errant notes firing anymore either... I might be done with it!

  • good to hear.

  • Hi there, I'm considering getting a MBJr (or two) soon.  One of the things I'd like to do is trigger sounds with DIY drum triggers.  As far as I can tell, the most common way to do this is to use piezos, so, die monster die, I'd be very interested to find out (1) if your solution was successful, and (2) what exactly it entailed (I'm a bit of a noob, so don't be afraid to spell things out for me, or at least point me in the right direction).  As for FSRs, I've yet to find a clear explanation of how exactly these can be used as a drum trigger.  Could someone please chime in on this, perhaps with examples, video clips, a picture, anything? Much obliged.

  • FSRs are really the way to go. Check out this video:

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