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can i plug drum trigger pads directly into an audio interface and translate those signal to midi internally? Answered

instead of buying a trigger to midi converter?   i can translate most signals (like that of a piezo mic) into a midi signal within ableton live, but im just not sure itll work with drum pads.



Best Answer 8 years ago

It might need some preamping - I found a circuit a while back to bias the piezo and amplify it x2 with small signal transistors so that it would be enough to detect...

Might make more sense to amp the piezo and read it with a microcontroller - which can conveniently (and cheaply) convert the hit to midi or serial.

thanks for the quick answer!  i can get pretty good gain with my motu ultralite. like i said its been working pretty good with piezos - im wondering if theres any difference in the components that are usually used in edrum pads.

electronic drum pads *are* piezo disc elements :D

hehey - thanks - thats what i was suspecting.

I don't think you'd need amplification.  This is the waveform I got off a small piezo disc attached to the box on my Piecax project.  The piezo has a 100K resistor across it and was clipped to 0V and 5V by the chip input.
Reducing the resistor lowers the settling time and reduces the output.  The 100K gave me the characteristics I wanted.


If you have VST support in your DAW, you can use KTDrumTrigger.  It's a freeware VST plug-in for both Windows and Mac that, with some tinkering, will allow you to convert each strike on the drum trigger to a MIDI note number and velocity; from there, you route the VST instrument input to use KTDrumTrigger.

You will need to adjust the gain of your preamps to get as much signal as possible without clipping.  Furthermore, you will need to fiddle with the attack and release, threshold, and hysteresis until you get the response and sensitivity you desire.  The filter controls might come in handy to prevent bleed from the other pad strikes, although they were originally intended to convert audio like a single drum track or beat-boxing into multiple drum outputs.

thanks - if they only made a version for intel macs. i used to use that on my old powerbook all the time..   wish they would update it!

in the meantime im using aptriggga which works well.

Well, it is freeware after all, so unfortunately I wouldn't suspect it'll be frequently updated.  Now if they made a Linux version, it'd only be a matter of time before someone ported that to Intel Macs.