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Found my old DD3 snare pad!

Started by Drumster, October 07, 2016, 06:27:21 PM

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It's been about 10 or 11 years since I played my DD3 snare. I had both DD4se and DD3 modules which I sold back then and I somehow thought I'd also sold the snare.

A number  of months ago I bought 2Box  module and a GoEdrum pad set & rack. The GoEdrum pads and rack are actually not bad overall - except for limited angle adjustability and the snare. Snare really lacks sensitivity IMO. So I'd been planning to do a 12" DIY snare and make use of needed components I have kicking around.

But then during a recent major house cleaning in preparation for moving, my wife opened a box and there was my old DD3 snare complete with XLR to 1/4" cords, two into one 1/4" input adapter jack, RIMS mount and black mesh head that I added. (Used to have mylar head.)

Haven't plugged it in yet (kit's still packed for moving) but am stoked and optimistic it will work as well with 2Box module as it used to with DDrum modules. :-)

Fingers crossed. Will keep you all posted.


The Ddrum3 was a monster module, way ahead of the curve at the time. I spent a lot of time with one 15 years ago and wished I'd kept it. Position and pressure sensitivity, no one does that these days. The closest I can think is the Korg Wave drum. Can't see why the DD3 pad won't work to be honest. Might have to fiddle to find the right trigger setting as the "pad" ones on the 2box are optimised for Mesh heads with an edge sensor whereas the DD3 sensor is bang centre on a plate. I personally prefer real heads to mesh, even if they to make a "clack" sound.
Anyway, hope the pad works out!!!
My Hovercraft is full of Eels!


I've had a while to re-familiarize myself with 80’s vintage DD3 snare pad and I've replaced the old Hart heavy-duty black mesh head with a new "Reaction" from Pintech. New head definitely feels better.

I don't feel like opening it up just now but as I recall, this 12" DD3 pad has two piezos; one fixed to underside of a 7" or 8" diameter, thin metal disk which in turn sits beneath a foam layer directly under head, (seems to me these's another foam layer beneath the piezo plate too). The central, lsrge plste piezo arrangment should mean no “hot spot. The 2nd piezo is fixed directly to cast metal drum body.

There are two separate XLR plugs from pad - one for head the other for rim. Instead of wasting an input channel I've set up a stereo Y splitter to run both those lines into 2Box snare input.

Head and rim-shot both work as expected. But I can only get the side-stick sound if I tap rim impossibly lightly and only in certain spots... it's very inconsistent. That issue along with the so-so cymbal sounds are my main gripe. But on top of that I find the snare hits, particularly harder hits to dead center come out sounding “hot” or over-driven. It's as I'm hearing speaker is being over-driven; spiking/clipping as if that may have happenned when recording; doesn't make sence but that's exactly what it sounds like. And I can plug any of the 1 zone, 10” GoEdrum pads in there and they also do exactly the same thing.

The ATV propaganda from Mike Snyder has been fairly impressive and I'm now considering getting an ATV-aD5 and running it and the 2Box through a little mixer using various component from each. I don't want to spur a debate here about which module is better or best etc. That's a completely separate issue. What I'd like to find out right now is whether or not my DD3 snare pad will run optimally through an aD5 module, which afaik is fully Roland compatible as a result of ATV's Roland genes. So if the DD3 pad is perfectly compatible with Roland brains then DD3 pad should also work optimally with aD5 brain. At least that's how my logic sees it.

Although I'm not happy with 2Box cymbal sounds in general, I do like a number of the drum kit  sounds and I like being able to use my J-Man remote high hat set-up. Overall I like the module a fair bit but honestly, I'll never use bells & whistles and electronic sound effects and othjer weirdness; I just want clean, simple and authentic sounding drums that will reproduce an acoustic kit. From what I can tell that's what the aD5 is all about, not to mention its rumoured added head room.

I've watched all the ads, promo pieces and reviews and based on that, the aD5 is totally compatible with Roland, Yamaha and selected other brand brains and I surmise that if current models of Roland snare pads are dual piezo, as is my DD3 pad, I might amount to tan impressive DD3/aD5 combo. If this old DD3 pad is a better match to current Roland than it is to 2Box, it could turn out well. What I DON'T want to do is end up with a different module which still won't properly accommodate my DD3 pad.

I know there's a lot of experience and knowledge on this board so I hope someone might offer up a bit of enlightenment/advice.

So, big question is: has anyone personal experience running a Ddrum3 pad through a Roland or aD5 module? Or, if not can you, based on your knowledge of such things, confidently guess how such a combo would likely work out; technically speaking? Can the aD5 module together with an over-the-hill DD3 snare pad find true happiness together? That's what I'd really like to know.

BTW, my DD3 pad is on a RIMS mount. 2Box pad selection is on 12", sensitivity at max, curve normal. Gain at 3. X-talk off. Other pads are GoEdrum 10" mesh heads with internal side-mount triggers. Everything's mounted to a GoEdum rack (Roland clone from late 90's TD-8 era.)

I appreciate your input.


Your sensitivity is on max? Does it have to be that high to achieve optimal gain (0db on maximum hits)?

That's very high if so. I didn't think the old dd3 pads were shy on gain.

Alternatively you could convert the dd3 pad very easily to use with a 2box (or similar) module. Just on trigit trigger would do the trick perfectl as it just mounts on the rim. Could even use a mesh head with it then.
My Hovercraft is full of Eels!