Author Topic: Review: Aquarian OnHead  (Read 2448 times)

Krillo

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Review: Aquarian OnHead
« on: December 19, 2021, 07:20:03 AM »
I've had this pad for almost two years now, so time to write a review.
First off, I'm using this pad with my ddrum3, so no 2box module.

It's a very quiet and very nice feeling playing surface. The triggering is of course perfect because of the FSR-technology. The only minor drawback with the surface itself is that it's a bit slippery, not like a normal coated head, but more like a clear one. The surface seems very durable, there are still no signs of wear.

The major issue that I would like to inform of is the velocity response, which is quite different from a piezo based pad. I think the best way to describe it is that it "bottoms out" with harder velocities. In other words, the output doesn't get very hot, but has a pretty confined range.

For modules that have several velocity curve settings, the limitied velocity range will probably be a minor issue.

My plan for the pad was to build a "snaredrum" with it, so that I would have rim, head and cross-stick zones. For this it has worked very well, and the limited dynamic range of the FSR-pad suited it quite well. When playing rimshots, the signal from the FSR is not too loud, so it works well even without any zone switching, both head and rim can play simultaneously with no issue.

The pad does require the original "inbox" or a DIY solution (which should be current limiting) to power it.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2021, 07:21:57 AM by Krillo »

kenjwright

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Re: Review: Aquarian OnHead
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2021, 02:31:07 AM »
Hi Krillo! Is this the single or dual zone? IIRC onHead is the original single zone? If so what is your rim trigger? And with the dd3 this would be separate mono inputs to the module, correct?

Cheers!

Ken
Ludwig Acoustics, Paiste Cymbals, Drum Brothers Djun Djuns, ddrum4, Pintech Cymbals, MegaDrum56, eDRUMin-4

welshsteve

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Re: Review: Aquarian OnHead
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2021, 12:10:57 AM »
I got a bunch of Onheads I picked up second hand. I made a kind make shift mount with a set of Tama Starcast mounts, some triple flanged hoops and a standard drum head. What can I say, worked a treat. They were as you pointed out, single zone.

I did manage to get dual zone out of the snare, it's a bit hard to explain but it uses it the Rimshot piezo clip on trigger on the rim of a snare. The tricky part was figuring out how to get the rim high enough over the onhead so that I could effectively get a head and rim hit.

The velocity curve thing is as you say, steep. It's like a a LOG curve from the get go. But I got it working just fine. If I recall, I set the InBox gain to about 9 o'clock, adjusted the gain in the module to peak at 0db then set a NEG curve. Turned completely off the threshold and cross talk. That seemed to work fine.

It was a while ago I used it with a 2box module so I might have got some details a bit off, but it was something like that.

I had 10, 12, 14 toms and a 12" snare. Still have them, I should put them to use as they were great and the surface as you say is very comfortable to play. Definitely needs more love in the eDrum world.

Krillo

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Re: Review: Aquarian OnHead
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2021, 05:58:10 AM »
Hi Krillo! Is this the single or dual zone? IIRC onHead is the original single zone? If so what is your rim trigger? And with the dd3 this would be separate mono inputs to the module, correct?

Cheers!

Ken
Hi Ken!
I built a housing for the onhead, like a snaredrum. Metal sides with rubber trim for rim protection, bottom of MDF with center mounted piezo for rim trigger, so rim triggering is uniform over the whole rim. The onhead sits like 5mm below the rim, just like a regular drum. It also has a cross stick trigger. It takes up 3 inputs. (3 zones) The onhead does trigger a few positions on the dd3. Higher number positions at lower velocities and lower number positions at harder hits. The onhead is made with one zone in mind though.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2021, 08:07:14 AM by Krillo »

Krillo

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Re: Review: Aquarian OnHead
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2021, 06:12:17 AM »
I got a bunch of Onheads I picked up second hand. I made a kind make shift mount with a set of Tama Starcast mounts, some triple flanged hoops and a standard drum head. What can I say, worked a treat. They were as you pointed out, single zone.

I did manage to get dual zone out of the snare, it's a bit hard to explain but it uses it the Rimshot piezo clip on trigger on the rim of a snare. The tricky part was figuring out how to get the rim high enough over the onhead so that I could effectively get a head and rim hit.

The velocity curve thing is as you say, steep. It's like a a LOG curve from the get go. But I got it working just fine. If I recall, I set the InBox gain to about 9 o'clock, adjusted the gain in the module to peak at 0db then set a NEG curve. Turned completely off the threshold and cross talk. That seemed to work fine.

It was a while ago I used it with a 2box module so I might have got some details a bit off, but it was something like that.

I had 10, 12, 14 toms and a 12" snare. Still have them, I should put them to use as they were great and the surface as you say is very comfortable to play. Definitely needs more love in the eDrum world.
The onheads are great pads indeed!
Would it be possible for you to share photos of the circuit board inside the inbox? I'm wondering if it affects the velocity response in a way I'm unaware of, since I DIY'd my own box based on how other FSR-circuits are made. I just put a series resistor of 10k if I remember correctly and a 100nF coupling cap on the output. Maybe the original inbox contains some other magic that I don't know of.

welshsteve

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Re: Review: Aquarian OnHead
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2021, 12:34:04 AM »
Sure...

I'll open one up tomorrow and take a pic. I am not sure if there's any magic involved other than a battery compartment, basic PCB for power distribution (assuming that's to the sleeve and ring connections) a potentiometer, input jacks. But perhaps there is a lot more.. either way I'll take a good shot of it for you tomorrow.

In the meantime, have you reached out to Alternate mode or Aquarian, maybe that can clarify. As far as I know they don't make the inbox anymore so it wouldn't be take potential business away.

Krillo

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Re: Review: Aquarian OnHead
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2021, 08:05:50 AM »
Sure...

I'll open one up tomorrow and take a pic. I am not sure if there's any magic involved other than a battery compartment, basic PCB for power distribution (assuming that's to the sleeve and ring connections) a potentiometer, input jacks. But perhaps there is a lot more.. either way I'll take a good shot of it for you tomorrow.

In the meantime, have you reached out to Alternate mode or Aquarian, maybe that can clarify. As far as I know they don't make the inbox anymore so it wouldn't be take potential business away.

Awesome, looking forward to it!
I shot Mario and the guys at Alternate Mode an email too.

Krillo

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Re: Review: Aquarian OnHead
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2021, 08:52:59 AM »
Got a reply from Alternate Mode. They are unfortunately not willing to release any schematic  :-\

Wavedrummer3

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Re: Review: Aquarian OnHead
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2021, 03:56:08 PM »
I have a full set of Onheads. Unfortunately, 2 ten inch Onheads broke. It would start with random trigger every now and then and progress to a battery of artillery fire. This happened with an old Miditronics version, then a brand new Alternate mode version. If you go on Alternate Mode’s site, there are no Onheads available for sale. It has been that way for at least 6 months. I wonder if this is now a legacy product.