Hacking the Roland HD-1, again

As mentioned in a previous post, I added a Roland TD-3 to my Roland HD-1 so that I can get more drum sounds, and so that I can attach the kick drum that I made.  It turns out that the TD-3 has triggers for all of the drums in the HD-1, plus one more, ostensibly for a second Crash cymbal; but of course that can be reconfigured to be any drum or cymbal.  I purchased a used Roland PD-7 drum pad for $25 on eBay, and wanted to mount it to the HD-1 system so that I could have a fourth Tom.

The two upper arms on the HD-1 that hold the cymbals do so with an innovative system that presses into the end of the arms.  I figured I could buy those fixtures from Roland as spare parts, and then mount the new drum pad in the same way that the cymbals are mounted, on the end of a metal rod.

I first tried to order parts through Roland, but they are impossible: they publish neither exploded diagrams nor parts lists, and you have to order the parts by having someone on the phone try to explain what each part is, and where it goes.  The parts I ordered arrived quickly, but were the wrong ones. BTW, Alesis is similarly brain dead: you can order either a “long screw” or a “short screw”, but no one (and I mean no one) has any idea how long either of them are.

With that option gone, I built a prototype of a block that would sit on the end of the arm and hold a metal rod on which the new drum pad would sit.  The wooden prototype looked like this:

The large hole goes through the arm, and the metal rod goes through the smaller hole.  Set screws keep the fixture from rotating on the arm, and keep the metal rod from dropping out.

My drum kit now looks like this, where the new drum pad is circled in red:

Here is a closeup of the new pad:

And here it is from the back, so that you can see how it works.  The “U” shaped metal rod connects the drum pad mount to the block of metal at the end of the HD-1’s Tom Tom arm:

And here it is at a different angle:

Having the fourth Tom Tom gives me more flexibility and variety when playing; and it was inexpensive and easy to add!

Thanks go to Brian from J&L Hardware in Fairfax, Vermont, for fabricating the U-shaped metal bar!

7 Responses to “Hacking the Roland HD-1, again”

  1. Jeremy Norland Says:

    Innovative! Thanks for posting. I’m exploring ways of using Alesis Trigger IO with HD1. This and the kick-pedal post were valuable.

  2. KS Says:

    Hello, in your expert opinion, do you think I can mount a TD6 module on my HD1 kit? thanks, KS

  3. jonbondy Says:

    Mount it? Sure. The way I connected the HD-1 to my TD-3 was by connecting the pads to the HD-1 and connecting the HD-1’s MIDI out to the TD-3’s MIDI in. I’m sure that would also work with a TD-6. You would not have as much joy if you tried to hook the HD-1 pads directly to the TD-6, because some of them (foot pedals) use different signals in the HD-1 than in the TD-6.

  4. onson Says:

    HI SIT, the HD-1 can support 4 tom tom??? the system is fixed cable with hd-1, how to make it?

  5. drbuns Says:

    Jon, I purchased an HD-1 set online and the floor tom was damaged in transit. The seller paid for the damages, but I can’t get a replacement tom anywhere for that’s made for an HD-1. Would a tom such as the PD-7 work on an HD-1 somehow?

    • jonbondy Says:

      I believe that a PD-7 would work. Is there any way for you to borrow one for a few minutes to check that out prior to purchasing one? My recollection is that it is just the foot pedals that are unusual in the HD-1. Good luck!

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