Yamaha Design “Synapses” EAD10 / DT50S / DT50K


A drum trigger combined with a module and microphone system that allows drummers to express themselves freely.


Deliberations on the form that drum peripherals should take led to the creation of a module that uses analog-style operations, sensor units able to withstand the most vigorous performances, and a trigger that conforms almost seamlessly with the drums.


The sensor unit, which collects the sound from the drums, has a functional construction comprising metal plates of differing thicknesses. The U-shaped front face has been designed to protect the microphone from the stick strikes that are anticipated during play, while the entire upper surface is made of punched metal to ensure that no sound is missed.


The module—the “brain” of the EAD—has been designed so that almost all effects and volume levels can be controlled from just six large knobs. LED indicators offer at-a-glance comprehension of the encoders, and users can try a range of different effects to match the feeling of the tune they are playing.


Attached to the snare, toms, and bass drum, the EAD10 adds digital drum capabilities to an acoustic drum kit by combining drum triggers with a digital drum module. To avoid disrupting the overall appearance of the kit, these triggers have been designed with the form of a familiar drum component, and integrate perfectly with the drums they are attached to.


The module and sensor unit can be attached easily and allow practice, performance, and recording in an monitor environment capable of delivering high-quality sound, without the need for the complex mic-ing and specialist knowledge in PA systems that this would have required in the past.

Toshihide Suzuki
Toshihide Suzuki
Yamaha Design Laboratory

The role of the design of drum peripherals.

The EAD10 tone generator module and sensor unit expands the capabilities of acoustic drums, allowing practice, performance, and recording with high quality sound to be achieved easily.
To date, I have been responsible for designing acoustic drum peripherals and digital drums, and have kept in mind the role digital tone generators should play with regard. In terms of functionality they are similar to synthesizers, but I felt that the idea of fiddling with buttons to move through menus might not suit the drummer mindset, so with this module I deliberately focused on an analog style of operation. Basically, turning the six large knobs at left allows intuitive operation of the module, in a design that allows players to enjoy the effects and functions of the product with ease.
Since the sensor unit is bound to be hit by the drummer’s sticks during play, it is constructed of thick sheet metal. The complex internal components are protected by the structure of the product, including measures such as a thickened lower surface to take pressure when screws are applied, and layers of folded sheet metal used in a layered configuration, while the upper surface is constructed of thinner metal to prevent any sound from being missed. The two-stripe pattern adorning the sensor unit and module has proven popular with drummers.
When used in combination with drum triggers, the timing of strikes on the snare and toms is communicated to the module, allowing the expanded functionality provided to be configured accurately and in detail. The trigger has been specifically designed to be a drum peripheral, and was given a form appropriate to this role, just like a lug or other drum part. These triggers are intended to simply be a part of the drum kit, and thus have a shape that does not attract the eye or get in the way of performance. I think the fact that we sought to give this digital device an analog feel is typical of Yamaha, as a maker of acoustic drums.

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