DIY Vinyl Pad - How to Make Sound With a Vinyl Pad and Piezoelectric




Introduction: DIY Vinyl Pad - How to Make Sound With a Vinyl Pad 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 fourth part of my experimental mini-series of:

"How to make sound with XXX and piezoelectric"

As you may have noticed: I'm a super fan of making sound with piezo discs.

I never thought, that would become such an exciting, interesting and satisfying project. This little piezo discs changend my previous idea of how to combine any kind of appealing base material with the piezo, the trigger module and DAW and creating something that makes me want to play with. I'm not a musician, therefore I haven't this deep inner drive to play and master an intrument every day - but my drive is to find something that catches my attention, thrills and inspires me. And I've found it.

And besides that, this instructable is a little tribute to vinyl records as well.


  • 33 1⁄3 rpm LP vinyl record
  • 45 rpm single vinyl record (with large central hole)
  • Piezo Discs
  • Flexible Tube
  • 6.3 mm female Mono Jack
  • Cable Connectors
  • Wire
  • Magnets
  • Foam Rubber
  • Magnetic White Board (Surface to hold the magnets)
  • Super glue
  • Contact glue
  • Canvas
  • Compass
  • Ruler
  • Acrylic Paint (black, green)
  • Brushes
  • Varnish (gloss/matt)
  • Filament (PLA, transparent, silver)
  • Sissors/Cutter
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire Stripper
  • 3D Printer
  • Trigger Module (TM-2)
  • Instrument and Audio Cables
  • Voice recorder
  • Headphone
  • Mixer
  • Tinkercad
  • IdeaMaker
  • Audacity

Step 1: ​The 3D Printing

For the 45 rpm record I designed a combined Piezo-Jack-Holder in Tinkercad. After printing out on the Ender 2 I removed the support material.

In addition I 3D printed:

33 1/3 rpm: A cymbal holder with cable connector holders + a piezo disc holder

45 rpm: a jack cable holder

Step 2: ​The Piezo Disc

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 3: ​The Piezo-Jack-Connection

33 1⁄3 rpm LP vinyl record:

  • I made another jack cable like the one I made for the foot pad (a little shorter).

45 rpm single vinyl record:

  • I glued on the piezo disc and the magnets in the corner holes of the combined Piezo-Jack-Holder. The jack has a washer and nut to bolt together. At least I inserted the cable. I cut off a piece of the magnetic white board surface, glued it on the 45 rpm vinyl as base for the magnets.

Step 4: ​The Vinyl Records

I've started listing to fairy tales and music with vinyls (and later with music cassettes). My grandparents owned a record player (Kofferschallplattenspieler) by Telefunken in the 70s, which my grandpa then gave to me. I remember, my first single was "Money Money Money" by ABBA.

For this project I took old, sorted out vinyls:

  • 33 1⁄3 rpm LP vinyl record
  • 45 rpm single vinyl record

I glued the 3D printed holders (50 mm in diameter) on the back side.

On the 33 1/3 rpm I slighly enlarged the center hole to mount on the cymbal stand properly.

Step 5: Yet Another Canvas Pad

I spontainiously decided to make a new canvas pad to perform as a snare pad. I found a circular one in my cabinet and painted it with black acrylic paint. This matched perfect to the vinyls and I thought to stay with this concept and tried to create the illusion of a vinyl record on the canvas.

I channeld the canvas with a compass and fixed the channels with a matt spray varnish. After some drying time I put on two coats of a gloss varnish.

3D printing

For a light weight, removable and reusable piezo-jack-construction I used the white board surface, glued on the piezo disc, four magnets and foam rubber and glued on a counterpart of the white board surface to the canvas with contact glue. To fix the jack to the frame I 3D printed a simple holder and screwed on to the frame. I drilled a hole into the frame and supported it with a 3D printed oval shaped holder, which has has been glued and bolted to the frame.

For the center part of the canvas I 3D printed an oversized spacer and painted it in green acrylic paint (mixed from yellow and cyan).

All parts were 3D printed in amazon basics silver PLA filament (which acutally looks more grey). After adjusting the temperature settings (206° extruder, 47° bed) within the slicer I was quiet surprised how clean the surface finish turned out, especially the jack holder's.

Step 6: ​The Soundtests

After each process step I performed a sound test.

Step 7: ​The Trigger Module, Pads and Playing

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 two new vinyl pads,
  • the new vinyl-looking canvas pad and
  • the foot pad

to the TM-2 and the TM-2, headphone and voice recorder to the mixer via cable.

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

This time I've only used the TM-2's built-in sounds:

  • bass: TR-808 K1
  • snare: TR-808 Clap
  • 45 rpm: Elec Tom Hi
  • 33 1/3 rpm: Elec Tom Lo

Step 8: Final Thoughts

First, thank you for reading, watching and paying attention.

At some point everything ever invented experiences the downfall and the inevitable renaissance two or three decades later.

Whether the revival of the vinyl record is a flash in the pan, a Zeitgeist-symptom or a temporary reinvent - who knows? To me personally, the vinyl record is a memorable and honorable relic of my childhood and youth. Therefore I've tried to transfer it into a hopefully good looking, sound making, joy bringing and satisfying build by using my favorite piezo discs.

Please stay tuned, there is still one more build to come and please let me know if you've made one as well.

Hopefully Auf Wiedersehen in one of my next instructables.

Fandom Contest

Participated in the
Fandom Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Anything Goes Contest

      Anything Goes Contest



    3 years ago

    I was hoping to see a video of how you picked up the sound from the records. Do you pick up the actual music or is it just sound? I see the pizeo on the record but it is a flat surface which covers several tracks. So I am confused about your use of the discs


    Reply 3 years ago

    The vinyl records only act as the base, the surface, the carrier of the piezo disc. The vinyl by itself produces only a "tok, tok, tok" when you strike it. The piezo disc on the backside triggers/leads the strikes to the trigger/sound module. Within the module I've refered a particular sound to the piezo input and that is what you hear. The piezo sound is digital generated; the actual analog sound by striking the vinyl surface produces only noises. Therefore you need a trigger/sound module for this kind of piezo build in my opinion. I my "DIY Rainbow Canvas Pad - How to Make Sound With a Rainbow Colored Canvas and Piezoelectric" you can watch a "Behind the scenes" Video. This is transferable to the sound the vinyl actually makes.


    3 years ago

    Just to share with you, most born musicians also love to tinker with anything and everything to see if it will make interesting sounds of some kind. I can be insufferable if turned loose in a new kitchen, as I start tapping and blowing on every pot, pan, bottle, and cup!


    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes, I remember starting tapping on empty laundry detergent powder barrels/boxes as a child, building a kind of a drum kit out of it. It was so much fun.