Introduction: DIY Rainbow Canvas Pad - How to Make Sound With a Rainbow Colored Canvas and Piezoelectric

About: My name is Sabine. I'm a hobbyist with a variety of interests, including 3D printing, tinkering, music, stories etc.

Hello and welcome to the third part of my experimental mini-series of:

"How to make sound with XXX and piezoelectric"

This time I've painted a canvas with beautiful rainbow colors and of course made sound with it.

Step 1: ​The Parts I've Used

    How to make a rainbow colored canvas:

    • Canvas (hexagonal)
    • Acrylic paints (magenta, cyan, yellow, red, dark blue and white)
    • Water-based Liquid Acrylic Medium
    • Water
    • Cups
    • Stirrer
    • Paintbrush
    • Varnish
    • Palette Knife

    How to make sound with a canvas and piezoelectric:

    • Rainbow colored Canvas
    • Piezo Trigger
    • Flexible Tube
    • 6.3 mm Male Mono Jack
    • Cable Connectors
    • Wire
    • Super glue
    • Carpet Tape
    • Foam Rubber
    • Filament (PLA, transparent)
    • Screws
    • Sissors/Cutter
    • Screwdriver
    • Wire Stripper
    • 3D Printer
    • Trigger Module (TM-2)
    • Instrument and Audio Cables
    • Voice recorder
    • Headphones
    • Mixer
    • Tinkercad
    • IdeaMaker
    • Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

    Please take all necessary safety precautions while working with heat, sharp objects, electricity, vapors or resulting gases, noise, bright light and whatever could endanger your health.

    Step 2: The Technique - ​The Rainbow Canvas Pad

    Well, unfortunatly I'm terrible in painting dimensionally or figuratively.

    I've had a lot of ideas - and failed. I started over again (about four times) and ended with this simple abstract result - drip colorful drops on the canvas. I call it "Klecks"-technique.

    Since I have a hexagonal canvas shape I've tried to put on one color on every side.

    Step 3: The Colors - ​The Rainbow Canvas Pad

    I mixed the colors orange, light blue, violet and green based on magenta, yellow and cyan acrylic paints. I gave a water-based liquid acrylic medium and a little bit of water to it to opitmize the flow properties of the colors. For the red and dark blue (or indigo) I used seperate liquid acrylic colors. The white as a noncolor paint only serves as a contrasting base to make the other colors pop out. I gave it a couple of days to dry and put two coats of a gloss varnish.

    Step 4: The Concept - ​How to Make Sound With a Canvas …

    This time the canvas pad was supposed to act like a snare pad. If you have one, you could mount it to a small snare stand. I only have cymbal stands and pad holders, so I used that. And as always it's meant to be played by rods or hand.

    Step 5: The Shape - How to Make Sound With a Canvas …

    The shape is obviously dictated by the shape of the hexagonal canvas. This size is 260 mm x 300 mm.

    Step 6: The Jack - ​How to Make Sound With a Canvas …

    I've used little cableconnectors to link the piezo and the jack. I reused this jack cable I've made for the foot pad.

    Step 7: The Piezo Disc - ​How to Make Sound With a Canvas …

    I've used the previously ordered Brass + Copper + Aluminium Wire Base Piezo Discs.

    • Diameter: 27 mm,
    • Thickness: 0.40 mm
    • Wire Diameter: 1 mm
    • Wire Length: 33 cm

    Step 8: ​The 3D Printing

    I've designed a holder in Tinkercad to mount the canvas to the cymbal stand wich includes the little cable connector holder and 3D-printed this in transparent PLA-Filament on the Ender 2.

    Step 9: The Assembly

    The cymbal stand holder is fixed by screws to the canvas frame. The holder already contains the srew holes so I measured the right spot on the frame, marked it and drilled the holes in the canvas frame. Although I've drilled holes before bolting together the frame broke. I glued it with a clear super glue.

    The piezo was sandwiched between two layers of foam rubber (fixed with super glue) and taped to the back side of the canvas with carpet tape.

    Step 10: ​The Soundtests

    After each process step I performed a sound test.

    Step 11: ​The Trigger Module, Pads and DAW

    The Trigger Module (TM-2) has two stereo trigger inputs. Via splitter cables the two stereo trigger inputs can be splitted into four mono trigger inputs to connect two more pads.

    I've connected the rainbow colored canvas pad, the knee pad and the two cymbal pads I've made in part 1 of this series to the TM-2 and the TM-2, the headphone and voice recorder to the mixer via cable.

    I've made the bass and bass drum sound with the DAW Reason 10 Lite and redirected it from my notebook's headphone out to the mixer in via cable. So this time I haven't played anything by foot. If you are interested you can download the .wav-sound-file or/and the Reason .relt-sound-file.

    The sound was recorded by the mixers OUT to the line-in of the voice recorder.

    Step 12: The Playing

    Please take a look at the Rainbow Canvas Pad in action.

    Step 13: ​Behind the Scenes

    As a hobbyist I'm doing all my projects in my apartment - especially in my living room. I'm constantly rearranging my workspace and furniture to create a set-up for making and documenting my instructables, filming videos and taking fotos.

    If you are interested, here is a video how my camera microphone picks up the sound from the selfmade pads and a picture of the set-up in my living room including the messy cable management and background stand. Familiar?

    Step 14: ​Thank You …

    ... for reading, watching and paying attention.

    As we all know, the colors of the rainbow are a symbol of peace, hope and pride in a variaty of cultures and movements. The colors also stand for life, healing, sunlight, nature, harmony and spirit - and in my case for sound.

    Please let me know if you've made one as well and please stay tuned - there are two more piezo-projects to come.

    Hopefully Auf Wiedersehen in one of my next instructables.

    Colors of the Rainbow Contest

    Participated in the
    Colors of the Rainbow Contest