Dual trigger pads can either be expensive or still too small. I converted a 14’ pearl rhythm traveller pad into a dual trigger pad. The goal was to create a similar trigger system like the original Roland pads, with a trigger cone in the centre. The easiest way would have been a bar construction. You might call me crazy, but I don’t like the look of bar trigger systems. It looks cheap and the way to the rim trigger is different at every spot. So I went for the “cake pan method”. This is basically an aluminium disk applied by angles to the lug screws. The pad is closed and the system is protected.
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Step 1: The Aluminium Disc
First we’ll remove head and rim. We take off a lug screw and a second one at the opposite to attach 2 of the angles. We use m4 screws with big washers. The original screws are too short.It is important to measure the exact distance between the holes. The main component of the pad will be an aluminium disc. The disc is from a German Online store, specialist in metal sheet cutting. It should be 10mm smaller than the drum inner diameter, but still big enough to fit the holes of the angles.The purpose of a smaller disc is that we are still flexible with the way we attach the angle. We can mount it in 4 different variations. There is also enough space for the second lug screw.Our pad has 6 lugs. That means we need 6 holes with an offset of 60°. The disc is protected with a protection layer, which is writeable. This is the spot for the jack plug. It shouldn’t be too far away from the piezos, duo to their cable length. The 40 by 40 mm square is required for the decoupler foam.The holes at the angles have a diameter of 5mm. As a result we’ll drill 5mm holes into the aluminium disc. Aluminium is not only light, it is also really easy to work with. We attached a hover pipe near the drill bit, to get rid of the aluminium dust immediately. Just getting rid of the edges with a countersink.
Step 2: Assembling of the Trigger System
Now we can try out if the holes fit with the applied angles.Time to cut out the square in the middle of the pad. The protection layer get’s removed only at this spot. We want to use spray adhesive to paste the decoupler onto the disc. This way we only spray the required spot.The decoupler has to be exactly in the middle of the disc, to get the best trigger result.Spay adhesive is a perfect way for applying foam.We get rid of the layer after few hours of waiting time.The decoupler has a little stainless steel disc. It is the perfect surface for attaching the piezos.Now we’ll need the piezos, the bigger one is for the rim and gets pasted via double layered adhesive tape, near the centre of the disc. We decided to not use an adhesive dot here to have a more sensitive rim trigger. The smaller head trigger gets attached with an adhesive dot specially made for this purpose. It has to be exactly in the middle of the steal disc. Time to paste the smaller head piezo.We screw on the jack plug, which points down.The cables will be bunched with a heat shrinking tube before the soldering process begins. They get soldered to the jack. It is really important to connect them in the right way. You can download the wiring diagram in the video description.Shrink the head shrinking tube with a hot air gun or a lighter.We have to mount the angles first. They should be mounted in a way that the cone has the correct height and stays moveable either up or down.The height of the cone, piezo and decoupler is 63 mm. This means the disc has to be around 62mm lower than the bearing edge of the drum.
Step 3: Mounting the System
In this case we need a gap between angles and aluminium disc. We take a longer m5 screw including washers and extra nut. We mount it this way to lift the angle up. As you can see there is still enough room for the lower screw and the fine-tuning of the trigger cone.The upper lug screws and the ones of the holder have to be removed.Now we can finally install the trigger system. It is really tight, which means we worked accurately. The m4 screws need lock washers and big washers. We screw them, but won’t tighten them yet. The holder screws need to be applied now.Now we need the trigger cone. We cut a little gap into it, to give the cable of the piezo some space. The top of the cone has to be 1,5mm higher than the bearing edge of the drum. The sticky tape is the marker. The height can be adjusted by moving the angles up or down through the slotted holes.All angles should be adjusted at the exact same height. The settings for the pad are the standard settings for a PD-125 pad with some light modifications.
The setting I used for this pad:
Pad type: PD-125; Sensitivity: 9; Threshold: 2; Rim Gain: 1.8; Rimshot Adj.: 1.7