Acoustic to E-drum Conversion

At the beginning of 2015 I published A2E conversion series on my YouTube channel. This is basically a little documentary about building an electronic drum kit out of an acoustic one. It was a lot of fun to build this drum kit and was only possible through the help of our 3 sponsors. In this article I want to list facts like the mistakes I made and the tools I used.

What tools did I use?

  • A simple solder joint
  • Solder iron and solder flux
  • Wrenches
  • File, gripper, screwdrivers
 

The most important tool was the drill press. It is a second hand drill press and cost me 60€. It is the only way to drill accurate holes into metal sheets.

bolt-87524_640What material did I use?

  • Cable ties
  • Heat shrinking tubes
  • Double layered adhesive tape
  • Glue for the wrapping
  • A lot of screws

What mistakes did we make?

  1. The first mistakes happened when measuring the inside shell diameter. The discs for the toms were too big at the end and I had to take away some material.
  2. I changed the way the bass drum plate is mounted. 6 anglers were clearly not enough to prevent the plate from moving towards the inside of the shell.
  3. Another mistake was using a cheap spray paint for one side of the tom trigger plates. The paint did not even last when touching the plate. Considering it has been tried for 4 days.
  4. While using a wrench I destroyed 2 of the lug windings. This can happen really quick if you don’t pay attention. The system is still stable, but it wouldn’t be if I had destroyed more of them.

Pros and Cons of the “Cake Pan Method”:

IMG_7712The proof a disc with 6 metal angles is not only that the pad is closed, it is also the stability. The shell itself is not bent that much. Especially the 14” pad which is only applied on 1 side through a Gibraltar mount would have been bent a lot without the stabilizing disc construction. The disc offers also a lot of space for the fittings like rim trigger and jack plug. The negative fact is that the disc is still producing noise, even though it is damped with foam. An open pad like the snare pad with the Flextrigger System is much more quiet.

Conclusion:

I tested the kit now for almost 2 months and it is so much fun to play it. The pads feel like Roland pads and the look of the kit is sometimes a reason to just play. I know it is a lot of effort to order all the parts and buy tools and spend much time on converting the kit, but price wise and quality wise it is absolutely worth it. I enjoyed building that kit a lot. It is the cheapest way to get such a high end e-drum shell set. I would even say the quality is as good as drums from e-drum companies.

Apart from wrapping the shells and building a Flextrigger, this is a project for one weekend not more.

Get a good looking acoustic shell set and try it out yourself. You will not regret it.