A midi controller like the Novation ReMOTE 25SL COMPACT plays very well the musical counterpart to your established cordless keyboard & mouse.
All the buttons & knobs come very handy when not only playing some twisted bass line or synthetic melody, but also when at the same time trying to control the countless parameters of todays virtual music studios, such as my favourite Propellerheads Record.
Unfortunately, the finger drum pads of my newest ebay item are really lousy. Lousy in that their sensitivity curve only starts at a treshold above which your thumb will hurt. So forget about rolls, flams and expressive patterns.
Inspired by the various electronic drum pad mods out there, I gave it today a chance an tried to fix that gear.
For that purpose, you need to pull all the encoder knobs apart (they are not fixed, see first picture) and get rid of all the outer screws at the backside of the chassis (the inner screws hold the keyboard and it is easier to reassemble the gear when it stays attached).
Then, you can pull the upper part of the device (including the green main board) over the keyboard and turn it upside-down (see second picture). The keyboard is attached to the main board with two cables: a power supply cable (left) and a ribbon cable (middle). Both can be easily detached (but remember their position) such that you have more freedom to remove further parts.
Next, you can unscrew the main board from the upper part of the chassis and turn it again to the front.
As shown in picture three, the drum pads are located on the right part of the main board where they are covered with a rubber mat. The rubber mat can be easily removed. It is divided into 8 “chambers” (one for each pad) which are built on the downside like little cones. Such a cone will assemble the force with which your finger hits the pad and transduces it to the underlying piezoelectric sensors (or short: piezos) which are located in little holes (see picture four) in the drum pad base part.
What does not work very well: I tried to “sharpen” the cones by adding additional rubber caps (such as used as feet for table-top electronic devices). The result was that the rubber mat will no more close effectively, phantom triggers can apply when the device is completely closed again … and most importantly: the play feeling was almost the same as before.
What did work amazingly well in contrast : I have put eight little washers (1,8cm ~ 0.7 inch) in the holes under the piezos and attached them using double-sided tape. This has the effect to level the piezos a little bit in their holes, at the same time the holes in the middle of the washers allowed the cones to develop a greater deformation pressure in the piezos. And the rubber mat will still close (it will level up only a little bit, but not that much that closing the device will cause phantom triggers).
Now playing the Kong Drum makes double the fun!