This may be of interest to anyone who has Roland PD21 pads and wishes to cheaply add 3 well-isolated surfaces for about $15 per pad plus maybe 3 hours of work. Also I'd like to hear from anyone who has done the above.
I recently converted some Roland PD21 pads (1 trigger surface) to the equivalent of PD31 (4 surfaces) using under $15 worth of parts from Radio Shack and am interested to know if anyone else has done this.
I had popped the covers off PD21 and PD31 and realized that the mechanical construction and isolation mechanism is identical in both pads. All that is needed to convert PD21 to PD31 is to add 3 quarter inch jacks (I used the PD31
jack plate as a template to redrill the PD21 jack plate), epoxy-glue a piezo disc to each of the 3 plastic V-shaped side pieces which form the the hitting surfaces, solder a wire from each disc to its jack (using the same jack-to-surface order as in the PD31's) and finally added a .047 microfarad capacitor across each jack's contacts.
The above design works well -- I now have 20 extra surfaces -- 16 use a Roland
PM-16 midi trigger unit and 4 feed into an old Roland Octapad I had lying around. The whole lot is midi'd into a Roland TD7 brain which came as part of
a TDK7 kit bought some time ago.
We use the setup for jamming -- the pads are all accessible by the drummer but
have been placed in such a way that the other players are near at least one or
two sets of surfaces. The extra pads have been programmed to produce several mini stations -- a Latin station, a Brazilian station, an African one, etc., using the midi note numbers from about 60 through 90 -- these notes tend to stay put even when the TD7 patches are changed, so the drummer gets a choice of 32 basic drum setups but the 20 extra surfaces don't change.
Anyway we'd be very interested in anyone else's experiences with this particular Roland conversion. (I have also experimented with other home made pads with little success -- too much crosstalk -- but the Roland conversion works great.)
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