This is a video demonstration of three types of mesh head conversions for the Alesis DMPad.
1) Hellfire mesh head mod, without removing resistors
2) Hellfire mesh head conversion, removing resistors
3) 682Drums cone conversion
The pads I'm using are the 8" DMpads with the snare input of the DM10 Module. I used 682Drums meshheads, as they were cheaper than other options, but have a good reputation.
Audio is recorded simultaneously from two sources.
1) Direct outs from DM10 module
2) SM58 microphone close micing pad
The idea was to capture both the playing dynamics of the pad after conversion (as represented by the DM10 direct outputs), as well as the noise level.(captured by the microphone).
Below is a summary of each mod and my own personal views:
1) Mesh head mod without removing resistor
Trigger Level 80-85
Time Taken for mod: 10 minutes
My views: This mod involves rearranging the foam within the DMpad. By moving the reflector plate deeper within the shell and using a mesh head, we are able to reduce the sound generated from striking the drumpad significantly. I thought this mod was quiet, but not dynamic. The trigger levels have to be raised higher than stock mylar head. The bounce is better than stock mylar head, but far less than acoustic kit.
2) Hellfire mesh head mod, resistor removed
Trigger Level 35, then 20, then 40
Time taken for mod: 20 minutes
My views: This mod is the same as the above one, except we remove the resistors that are soldered between the piezo trigger and the output jack, thereby increasing sensitivity. This is beneficial as the piezo is now buried under foam and is no longer at the top of the shell. Consequently, the pad is quiet, but also more dynamic than pad with resistor in it. This mod involves soldering and is time-consuming.
3) 682Drums cone conversion mod
Trigger level 40, 20
Time taken for mod: 5 minutes
My views: The best mod if noise is a concern, since it is dead quiet. I felt the bounce was significantly improved in comparison to the stock head as well as the other mesh heads, because the e-drum becomes easier to play. Lower trigger settings were possible than the other mods, which resulted in better headroom for dynamic playing. This mod takes the least time to get done and is fool-proof.