Hi-Hat integration

Hello all, so… i have an old Roland FD-8 HH controller… i no longer have a drum or trigger module (or cymbals for that matter - but am willing to pick up a roland CY5 or 8).
I’ve got the KT-10 kick pedal going with the portal and SP2.
What’s the best way to get HH’s with control going here? Should I be looking to do this outside of SP2 or is there a recommended way to add HH+control without buying a drum module or dedicated trigger module?
Apologies if this is a silly question! drums arent my main instrument.

from what i am finding it seems, either you dont use HH in the traditional fashion, you use analogue HH and mic up OR you use eHH with a drum/trigger module… unless i am missing something!?

When you say HH + Control, do you mean foot control?
If that is what you mean, I would think you have to pass trough a more conventional drum sound module / trigger interface.

If you had 2 outputs, one on the cymbal, and one on the pedal (like a roland FD8 + a cymbal pad) you could sort of program a change in sound in the cymbal triggered by the foot controller, but I don’t think it would be very natural.

Most likely the best way to program a hihat with SP would be to assign different zones on a pad. Like a blend from closed to open from center to edge, with the rim being a fully open sound - you wouldn’t have any foot control in this case.

(or get a real hihat, acoustic cymbals are difficult to emulate electronically)

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Thanks for that. that is basically the conclusion i have come to. I’ve picked up a used roland TM6 Pro trigger module and will use it in conjunction with SP2

And I will definitely be picking up a real HH in the future when I have a proper space to setup

Yes, with the TM6 Pro and electronic hi-hats, you should be able to get different sounds for open/close, splash, stomp, etc. You can then plug the output of the TM6 into one of the Portal’s line in inputs and use the pedal as an analog input so you can process those hi-hat sounds alongside the sounds in your Sensory Percussion set.

You could also plug the Roland FD-8 directly into one of the Portal’s line in inputs and train it as a sensor input, but that’s a bit of a hack method and we can’t guarantee that you’d be able to train different zones. You’d definitely be to train one zone and reliably trigger sounds with your left foot inside of SP that way, though.


Great thanks all. It’s starting to come together!


Killer setup!

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Patrick, I just wanted to confirm something from above. So you could use a pedal like Yahama HH-65 (similar to the Roland FD-8) to trigger a single zone , and that connection has to be through 1 of the 2 Line inputs (not one of the 7 sensor inputs) on the Portal?
Then trained as a sensor etc… ?

Hi Dave,

There are a few ways to integrate a pedal like that with SP2, and it all depends on how you want to use it and whether or not you already have a drum brain/module like the Yamaha DTX-Pro, Roland TM-1, or something similar.

So first off, yes, you would connect it via one of the line ins, not one of the 7 sensor inputs. Once you have it connected, you have 3 choices for what type of hardware input to create for it: Analog Input, MIDI Input, or Sensor Input. Here’s the breakdown of each:

1. Analog Input
You would choose this option if you already have a drum module with sounds in it. Connect the line out of the module to a line in on the Portal. Then, you can route this audio into SP2 and have it live on its own layer next to the sounds you’re controlling with your sensors. In this scenario, you’re treating the module like a synth, vocal mic, guitar, or any other audio source. Although you wouldn’t be triggering any samples inside of SP, you can add effects from our library to this analog audio layer, and you can do fun stuff like control the filter cutoff of this audio layer with the velocity of a different drum, for example.

2. MIDI Input
Unless your pedal sends MIDI on its own, this option also requires the use of a drum brain/module with MIDI out capabitilites. In this scenario, you’re using the module like a MIDI controller. That means you’d be connecting the module to your computer via USB. By sending MIDI from the pedal, you can trigger samples inside of SP.

3. Sensor Input
Like you mentioned, you can also train the pedal as a sensor input. This allows you to connect the line out directly from the pedal into the Portal and trigger samples inside of SP. However, the pedal is obviously not a sensor and we can’t guarantee that you’ll get accurate detection, as these sensor inputs were designed for use with our sensors specifically. If you’re only after one zone, though, you will probably be able to get that pretty reliably. But again, it’s a bit of a hack and we don’t officially suggest using 3rd party hardware as a sensor.

Hopefully that helps. Let me know how it goes!

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