Picture of Homemade Guitar Hero World Tour Cymbals (New and Improved!)
Intro Picture.jpg
First things first, let's give credit where credit is due... if you've found this, you've likely also found my inspiration, as I'm certainly not the first person to do this. Read the "original" first:


Did you read it? Good, isn't it? I especially liked the part about the dog.

Having gone through 3 cymbals myself (I was able to get one replaced under warranty, but then proceeded to break both that I had), I was ready to give this a shot. I did have a few issues with some of his design decisions, though... most importantly, the choice of plastic plates. My biggest issue was that I broke the original plastic... like Dewey Cox, I rock hard (also like Dewey Cox, I'm not nearly as funny as I think I am). I didn't want to go through all the effort of building my own, only to have them break again. I also wanted something a little more "permanent;" the initial design has too much tape in the final product for my liking.

I decided to post my own experience for a couple reasons:
- It's nice to have somebody else's ideas to consider
- I've mooched plenty of other people's ideas (including this one!) off the internet
- I figured it might be a good idea to have something like this out there without all those goofy Metric measurements

I actually wrote this out twice; my initial attempt used Neoprene foam (the black cymbal on the right), the new design uses actual rubber (left, I'll update the picture again when I get the second rubber cymbal finished). The Neoprene was okay, but the foam made it difficult to hold fast streaks on the cymbal. The rubber cover is much better; it gives a better rebound on the stick, and doesn't tear or rip when hit hard like the Neoprene did.

I have two issues with the rubber:
- It looks ridiculous (although somebody told me it looks more like a real cymbal, which I guess I can buy)
- It makes too much noise when you hit it. Maybe if I'd have bought more rubber like I should have, I could have put an extra layer under the top cover.
ndukan2 months ago


Chainfire4 years ago
I'm working on another unrelated project, but i need piezo elements like the one displayed (simple without circuits attached, or housing). Do you know where I can find some?
as in, not on eBay.
jmrank (author)  Chainfire4 years ago
Sorry... nope, I got mine on eBay...
nuckthebuck5 years ago
so you had problems with your rubber? thats not good. try seeing a doctor hahahaha just messing around. good idea for an instructable but my older rockband drums dont have symbols nor do i destroy m drums. on the older drums the 4 pads +pedal my cousin hit the 1 st pad and it fell off in the middle of the song can u say "disaster piece"? she fixed with some ductape and superglue thats a real redneck
Envido325 years ago
I'm having a weird problem. I made une cymbals to see how it works, and I was so glad with the results that about a week or two I made the second cymbal to replace the original cymbals.

But now that I have both connected the first cymbal I made has to be hit very hard to get recognized, it doesn't matter if it was connected to the yellow or the orange connector, the problem is the cymbal itself. Of course both cymbals are made of the exact same materials.

Any ideas? I all ready checked all the soldering points.

And thanks for the instructable, easy to understand and make. And as I said before, I'm very glad with the results.
jmrank (author)  Envido325 years ago
Glad you like it!

The most common problem is the solder points... I actually just had one stop working last week, and it turned out the solder wasn't connect to the piezo anymore.  The cymbal worked -most- of the time, becasue it was held in place by the caulk, but wasn't consistent without the solder.

It's a pretty simple system, really... vibrations in the plate causes the sensor to fire (is the sensor securely connected to the plate?), sends a signal through the wire (no problems in the wire?) to the jack (any shorts there?).  You just have to be very careful about checking all the connection points.

Just be glad the problem is in the cymbal, and not in the drum set... much easier to fix.

Good luck!
Envido32 jmrank5 years ago
Well... the problem where the solder poits affeter all, weird that it stoped working all of the sudden, but now its fixed and better than ever!

Thanks again! 
Illevens5 years ago
man, you really ROCK 
emko5626 years ago
well the problem was that my jack fried somehow but this method WORKED!! thanks alot saved me like 20 buck on buying the whole new thing oh i don't have a solder iron so i used a tad of hot glue and for the meanwhile it's great i will solder it in the future thanks!!!!!
emko5626 years ago
can I use this method and put the piezo an jack on my broken cymbal???
jmrank (author)  emko5626 years ago
I don't see why not, if you can find a way to mount the jack... you could probably even re-use the jack that's already there (assuming it's not broken).
Redback6 years ago
A drop of superglue on the screw threads will stop the headphone socket falling apart. Or you could even use real threadlock glue if you wanted :P
where did my plates go lol
dredor6 years ago
I have a question about 3,5 jacks, it have to be mono :P can i just destroy a not working MP3 and take the jack ? thx for anwser
N1CK4ND06 years ago
This is an awful complicated way to achieve that result, I'm sure there is an easier way!
jmrank (author)  N1CK4ND06 years ago
Sure. Wire up the piezo to the jack, and tape it to the back of a platic plate. The point is not to make a "cheap" or an "easy" solution... it's to make a GOOD one.
steelnix6 years ago
GF's daughter pulled a wire out the left cymbol plug...Is their a fix for this???
ok....ok...the wire was pulled out of the plug......
plug it back in
T-K madhops06206 years ago
lol look just up there. plug it back in lol
Gnomad6 years ago
It doesn't matter. As long as it completes the circuit.
i woulda used different colour rubber, for extra customization :)
jmrank (author)  jamesjamesjames6 years ago
I actually would have rather used a more "rubber-like" covering than the "rubber foam" that I used... I just can't find any place that carries such a thing...!
stitches226 years ago
looks awesome, but somehow red octane screwed up and sent me like, 3 cymbal packs. if i ever run out, ill prolly use this!
Nice. Custom cybals + guitar hero/rockband = win in my opinion.