El Cheapo buttkicker

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El Cheapo buttkicker

Postby ignotus » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:33 pm


I made myself a cheap buttkicker for my drum throne using a bass shaker that's normally used for home theatre systems and video games. While probably not remotely as powerful as a buttkicker or throne thumper, it still does give a nice thump for your throne to give you that tactile feedback - maybe not enough for a live situation but more than suitable for home use.

The bass shaker I bought is this one.
It's 4 Ohms and rated at 100W but I suspect that's the maximum output, so I think it's safer to assume it's more like 50W.

Then you need an amplifier for it. I found this nice little board, which is for subwoofers. It has stereo input and mono output, puts out 48W into 4 Ohms when supplied with 19v, and has a gain pot and a pot to regulate the cutoff frequency (20 - 180 Hz) - perfect for this project.

So, I bought a nice little aluminium box to put the amp in and put that together:


I power it with a 19v DC laptop power brick.

And then I bolted the bass shaker to the drum throne. The shaker is connected to the amp with an RCA cable:
bass shaker.jpg

The shaker needs to be separated by about 1 cm from the surface to let the voice coil vibrate and prevent it from banging against the stool.

And that's it. I connect the amp to the subwoofer output jack of the PC sound card and route separate outputs from the bass drum and toms in AD through a frequency filter and noise gate to create a more defined thud - otherwise e.g. fast double bass playing turns into a kind of rumble. The master outputs go out through an external sound card, which means that the bass shaker has its own separate output with its own effects.
You can also install several shakers for more vibration but I find one to be enough for me.
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