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Thread: Help for disabled musician.

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    Help for disabled musician.

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    Posting here as well as MIDI forum. My son (10) is severely disabled but plays drums and is a pretty amazing grade 3 drummer. He uses a Roland kit as a MIDI device along with Reaper and a VST drum kit. Heís tiny and boy very strong and plays from his powered wheelchair. Iíve built a rudimentary bass drum trigger that works pretty well by backing apart the piezo from the kit but Iím looking for guidance for the hi-hat controller. I canít find anything that is small enough and able to be attached to his wheelchair footplate. It simply needs to be able to send a few midi notes, ideally 1 when held down and 1 when released and importantly not require much physical effort to use. Does anyone have any ideas they could share? Itíd be a huge thing for Jr. so really appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.

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    The hat pedal trigger is usually just to change the hat from open to closed so it doesn't really have to send more than ON/OFF IIRC to the trigger input. A cheap plastic hat trigger pedal is all you really need for this, the spring on them is usually very light and could probably fitted with something even lighter if needed. I dont know about the high dollar Roland kits, they may have multiple triggers on the pedal to generate a close/open velocity number.
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    Another possibility is to put an electronic piano sustain pedal to use somehow.

    Something like this:

    Roland Roland DP2 Sustain And Damper Pedal - Musos Corner

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    I would look into using a Flex sensor as it doesn't take much force to get them to change resistance (as you can see in the photo the person holding it is just bending the sensor).

    Long Flex sensor ID: 182 - $12.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits

    The problem is I have no idea if the value range they give is anywhere near what a roland HH pedal does by default. They also have shorter length sensors if needed. Mechanically, you would just need to figure out a way your son could bend the sensor, not much force would be needed to do that though.

    High hat controllers don't work the same as normal triggers. Roland uses a range of resistance through a force sensitive resister in the bottom of cheaper kit's high hat pedal (specifically referencing the FD8 pedal). What I'm getting at is even at the cheaper kit level it's not just a switch, it's a variance of resistance depending on how hard the pedal is pushed. I don't know if you could just wire up a momentary switch and have it work the way you're thinking or not.
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  1. MIDI help for disabled musician.
    By Craig Brown in forum MIDI Mania
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