#1
What are triggers?
I heard about how loads of death metal or whatever it is drummer use them. I am unsure what they are, can someone please explain?
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#2
"A drum trigger is an electronic device that can be attached to various parts of a drum set (bass drum, tom-toms or snare, for example). When the drum with the electronic device is hit or "triggered," it produces a sound or noise that is pre-programmed through a sound module."
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#4
It's mainly used in the Studio, but some drummers use it live (especially fast drummers in genres like metal) to get consistency of a hit, it just means that you know every kick/hit will be the same volume and be the same pitch (=
It can also be used to create a drum machine sound like Pendulum who use drum triggers to create the electronic drum sound even when playing a real kit.
#6
Like MH400 said, it's something that you attach to a drum (usually the bass drum, but snare, toms and cymbals can also apply). You hook up the trigger to a trigger module, which is something which loads sound samples basically, you choose which one you want. After that, whenever you hit that particular drum, no matter how hard or soft or what part of the drum it is, the trigger module will reproduce whatever trigger sample you've chosen for that drum and then send it through the monitors, which is then heard by an audience.

Examples of their use might be if you're playing an acoustic kit but want electronic sounds out of your drums, you would trigger them with various samples, which is what the audience will hear. Also, if you have no soundcheck whatsoever then you can give the engineer the trigger sample to use (generally on the bass drum) and you won't run the risk of having a crappy live sound, at least for the triggered drum. The latter option doesn't reaaaally happen unless you're playing metal.

There's a big misconception that they're cheating, which isn't true at all. The theory is that since you can set the sensitivity really low, you can hit really lightly and still sound like your fills and double bass are clean and powerful, but that's literally utter bollocks. I personally wouldn't ever use them unless I absolutely had to (which is rare indeed) but pretty much every touring metal drummer will trigger at least their bass drum in live scenarios.
#7
+ Its also worth pointing out to potential trigger buyers, that cheap triggers can sometimes be triggered from the wrong drum.
RIP Tom Searle.
#8
Thanks for the answers guys.
I was always wondering how blast beats and power metal drummers had that clean "clicky" consistent tone.
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#9
Sure thing

If it's really clicky, then yes, it's definitely a triggered bass drum, or if on a recording, it'd mean they used a very clicky sounding sample for the sound replacement. Generally speaking even blast beat drummers like John Longstreth, Derek Roddy, George Kollias, Jamie from Ulcerate, Navene Koperweis, Nick Pierce, Lyle Cooper, Samus Paulicelli, and Dave Haley only have a triggered bass drum when playing live.
Last edited by Steve08 at Apr 7, 2011,
#13
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But I should invest in one of those. Sounds neat.
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#14
foot goes down once, 2 beaters hit the bass. death metal players use them quite often to achieve a very symmetrical double bass consistency
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#15
Quote by EspTro
foot goes down once, 2 beaters hit the bass. death metal players use them quite often to achieve a very symmetrical double bass consistency
Um... what? There is literally nothing true about this statement
#16
Quote by Steve08
Um... what? There is literally nothing true about this statement


Completely agree. I've heard so many times over the years how death metal drummers use triggers to create fake hits. I would find it easier to believe if they could actually cite an example of a drummer who does this. I contend that it's a myth bred out of envy.
#17
It's not even possible with triggers anyway, except with the new Trick Detonators, but those aren't even out yet... but yeah, I'm actually writing something about this for the forum FAQ that will hopefully debunk the rumor for anyone who cares to read it.

The closest thing would be something like the Sonor Giant Step Twin Action which actually DOES have two beaters, and there's a switch at the end of the footboard that you hit with your heel for the second beater, so if you develop faux-heel toe enough you can go RETARDEDLY fast with one, but even then...
#18
Triggers are totally cheating. Foot goes down once, whole song is played. It's used for consistency.
#19
And bass drum triggers sound damn good live, imo.
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#20
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Thanks for the answers guys.
I was always wondering how blast beats and power metal drummers had that clean "clicky" consistent tone.


In some metal recordings, there is an actual click sound added to the kick via trigger. It makes the kick drum much more, erm... Not sure of the word.

I would personally never bring one to a show for a drummer. If the drummer had one, then I'd say give me either an XLR or 1/4" from this thing. I'm a Sound Engineer by the way in case you didn't notice.
If they can't play consistently and they play the most basic instrument in their whole band... They deserve to sound like shit. I'd do my best to make it sound good but if the kick is all over the place in volume and stuff like that...
Why not just use a compressor and/or limiter? It'd keep things relatively close in volume level, it wouldn't be as good sounding as a good drummer but it'd definately be better.
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#23
Quote by timbit2006
If they can't play consistently and they play the most basic instrument in their whole band...


Nice little slight at drummers there.

I don't like triggered drums just because I don't like they sound, at least not triggered kick drums. Obviously if you can't play triggers aren't going to make you any better.

#24
^Well, all a drummer does is hit things with sticks.

It's also far more complex to learn and develop mastery over when compared to melodic instruments, if you want to take your playing to an advanced level, anyway...
#25
Apart from using triggers as 'cheating', I think triggers have their own place, away from trying to sound better. Go onto Youtube and watch what the drummer for the japanese fusion band Casiopea does with them, he's amazing.
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