5 Best Drum Triggers for 2020 With a Buying Guide

Drum triggers are very crucial tools for drummers in customizing drum sounds. They work in conjunction with drum modules to give you a variety of sounds on your acoustic drum kit.

Mostly, drum triggers work by sensing how hard you play your drum. They then send a signal to the module, which plays the selected sample. The whole of this process works within the split of a second.

In this article, we have put together some of the best drum triggers in the market today. We have included those for advanced drummers as well as those for beginners. Read on for a detailed analysis.

Best Drum Triggers Comparison Table

 IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS BUY
Roland RT-30HR Acoustic Drum Trigger - Best Overall1. Roland RT-30HR Acoustic Drum Trigger  – Best Overall
  • TRS connection cable
  • Advanced dual-trigger
  • Durable fiberglass-reinforced ABS body
  • secure mounting mechanism
 Roland RT-30K Acoustic Kick Drum Trigger - Best for Hybrid Drumming2. Roland RT-30K Acoustic Kick Drum Trigger  – Best for Hybrid Drumming
  • self-guided mount
  • Durable fiberglass-reinforced ABS body
  • Protective grip
Aquarian Kickzone Bass Drum Trigger - Best for the Budget3. Aquarian Kickzone Bass Drum Trigger  – Best for the Budget
  • adhesive backing for secure mounting
  • cord control bracket
 Yamaha DT-50S Metal Body Drum Trigger - Best for Live Performance4. Yamaha DT-50S Metal Body Drum Trigger – Best for Live Performance
  • dual trigger capability
  • Solid metal die-cast body
  • lug-style design
4. Pearl P932 Demonator Right Footed Single Chain – Best for tunability5. Pintech Percussion RS-5 Acoustic Head Trigger – Best for Beginners
  • Head or shell mount capability
  • Excellent sensitivity
  • “Kwik Klip” mounting system

Best Drum Triggers Reviews

1. Roland RT-30HR Acoustic Drum Trigger  – Best Overall

Roland RT-30HR Dual Trigger for Hybrid Drumming

Things we liked

Has a dual-action feature, which is a big plus for drumming setup
Highly portable
Comes in a compact structure
Can fit almost any drum hoop design
Reliable and accurate performance

Things we didn’t like

Slightly expensive compared to other brands
May not be fully compatible with other branded instruments

If you are a professional drummer looking for the perfect drum trigger, Roland RT-30HR is your to-go-for option.

This dual trigger is among the best drum triggers that are common in live music performances. It is also one of the most advanced acoustic drum triggers in the market.

Among its key features are the high trigger sensitivity and the fast processing speed. With this drum trigger, you will hardly get any latency since it swiftly sets off as needed.

For a hybrid electronic drum live setup, the Roland RT-30HR acoustic drum trigger is the better option. It will offer you an opportunity to explore a wide range of sounds.

The other reason why this is among the best drum triggers is that it is easy to install. Its installation is quite easy. Moreover, it works excellently with different mesh heads and kickdrum of any size.

This dual trigger makes it possible to trigger the drum head and the rim separately. As such, it is very convenient, and the best drum trigger for use with snare drums.

I will not forget to mention that this drum trigger is very reliable. Some other drum triggers tend to ‘mistrigger’ at times, or accidentally send double signals. However, Roland RT-30HR only triggers when required.

The other feature that makes this among the best drum triggers is the housing of its trigger unit. The trigger unit is inside a strong and durable light fiberglass body.

Again, this acoustic drum trigger has a sturdy and high quality built that makes it very durable. It is quite compact and convenient, which makes it easy to fit in every drum hoop.

This drum trigger is a great tool to offer you a MIDI tone from your acoustic drum. It is compatible with almost Roland products, including Roland TM-2.


2. Roland RT-30K Acoustic Kick Drum Trigger  – Best for Hybrid Drumming

Roland RT-30K Bass Drum Trigger for Hybrid Drumming

Things we liked

Superb sound accuracy
Easy to set up
Ideal for live music performances
Rugged and lightweight fibreglass body
Blends well with the kick drum

Things we didn’t like

Quite costly
May not be fully compatible with other brands

Roland RT-30K is another of the best drum triggers from the Roland brand. It brings with it a high performance almost similar to that of Roland RT-30HR.

This trigger is a very common tool in live music performances. It is ideal in blending the kick drum with electronic samples during such performances.

Roland RT-30K is also a very robust yet lightweight acoustic drum trigger. Moreover, it is quite easy to set up and you will get a quick and accurate response to each kick drum strike.

This drum kit is also ideal for any drummer who is interested in hybrid drumming. It will help you to layer electronic drum samples perfectly on top of acoustic drum sound modules.

Again, this premium kick drum trigger comes inside a sturdy fiberglass body. It is reliable, consistent, and hardly misses any intended strike.

As a drummer, you may desire to produce a bigger kick drum sound for heavy live music or electronic music genres. This acoustic drum trigger will get you the perfect electronic kick sound.

It is also a sure deal for use with a bass drum and comes with a convenient self-mounting system. The self-mounting system automatically places the sensor rightly against the drum head. The sensor is essential in offering the necessary sensibility and response.

This drum trigger is of ABS material, which is of very high quality. Consequently, it can withstand any stray hit of your mallets.

The other key feature is its compatibility with other Roland products. It can conveniently fit in with the Roland TM-2 module, SPD-series percussion pads, among others. It also comes with a connection cable.


3. Aquarian Kickzone Bass Drum Trigger  – Best for the Budget

Aquarian Kickzone Bass Drum Trigger

Things we liked

Fits well with almost all types of molded hoops
Minimalistic and straightforward on design
Very cost-friendly
The Roland SPD-SX has lots of memory space
Simple to install
Captures all kick drum  skin vibrations

Things we didn’t like

Offers no protection for your drum shells
Its short cable may be problematic during performances

If you are looking for an affordable kick drum trigger, Aquarian Kickzone is your best option.

This bass drum trigger It is a perfect alternative to the conventional acoustic drum triggers to layer electronic samples. This adhesive unit trigger sticks on the bass drum. It then senses the vibrations from the drum skin before triggering a response.

Despite being a low-cost drum trigger, this bass drum trigger still works perfectly. You will not get challenges of ‘mistriggering’ or latency.

The adhesive backing helps the Aquarian Kickzone patch to stick on the bass drum. This drum trigger also comes with a cord bracket, which helps to keep the cable in place.

Let me also mention that this unit does not affect the sound of the kick drum at all. This unit is one of the most versatile drum triggers in the market. It can work with all drum modules and brains. It also brings with it a consistent triggering.

Due to its simple design, I would recommend that you use it mostly for practice. Nonetheless, you can also use it for live performances.

The only main downside with this unit is its mounting system. Although the adhesive can keep the cord stable, you may want to make modifications for better attach.


4. Yamaha DT-50S Metal Body Drum Trigger – Best for Live Performance

Yamaha DT-50S Metal Body, Dual-Zone Acoustic Snare/Tom Trigger

Things we liked

Dual trigger capability
Robust and sturdy design
Easy to use
Quick to clip on and remove from the drum
Great for live performances and studio recording
Offers accurate and consistent triggering
Adjustable sensitivity

Things we didn’t like

Quite costly
Clip and screw mechanisms may not be stable at times

Yamaha DT-50S among the best drum triggers in the market. It is conveniently compatible with all the types of drum trigger modules in the market.

This rugged drum trigger comes inside a metal cast body. If you are a professional drummer doing live music performance, you may opt to go for this. It will be perfect for you, especially for a hybrid electronic setup.

Again, Yamaha DT-50S perfectly works with floor toms, snare drums and rack toms. It brilliantly picks up the vibrations of the drum hits consistently and accurately.

This drum trigger is also easy to install and sticks firmly in place. The metal die-cast housing makes this a very durable unit that is sturdy when installed. It also blends well into the rim of the drum.

The other feature is that it comes with a knurled screw. This screw helps in adjusting the level of sensitivity of the sensor.

This feature is crucial, especially if you desire that the drum trigger only picks up the firm hits without ‘mistriggering.’

Overall, this best drum trigger from Yamaha allows you to explore a wide range of sound modules. It helps to make your live performances interesting.


5. Pintech Percussion RS-5 Acoustic Head Trigger – Best for Beginners

Pintech Percussion RS-5 Acoustic Head Trigger

Things we liked

‘kwik Clip’ feature allows mobility and ease
Comes in a compact and robust design
Very affordable
Compatible with different drum brands
Perfect for beginners

Things we didn’t like

Each disk is bought separately
Not very versatile

Pintech RS-5 is another cheap alternative to professional drum triggers. Although it’s quite cheap, this drum trigger is of high quality.

This drum trigger also has a basic design in comparison with other units in the market. It is also light and has a free-floating chamber that moves freely with the drum head during performances.

It comes with a “Kwik Clip” mounting system. The clip system is very effective and perfectly holds the trigger in position. It also comes with a standard ¼ inch jack that you can use to connect the drum modules and other devices.

This trigger also comes with high-quality sensitivity and response.

You can use this drum trigger for home recording. All you need to do is connect it to a drum software, and then you can create your unique sample.

 Alternatively, you can also use it as a silent electronic kit converter. This use is most suitable for small gigs where you just mount the drum trigger to mesh heads.

The last use of this drum trigger is as a contact mic for acoustic guitars.

Best Drum Triggers Buyer’s Guide

The purpose of all drum triggers is to fulfill a similar mandate. However, their performance differs greatly based on models and brands. As such, you need to know what to look for when choosing the right drum trigger.

With so many promising options in the market, you may be wondering which one is best for your needs. Here is a simple guide to help you make the best buying decision.

System Compatibility

Before buying a drum trigger, ensure that it is compatible with your acoustic drum module. Although most brands and models are compatible with all drum modules, there are a few that have different functions.

Confirming system compatibility with the manufacturer ensures that you invest in the right hardware.

Drum Type

Every drum on your drum kit has its trigger. Meaning, there are drum triggers for toms, snares and bass drums.

An ideal drum kit comes well-equipped with all the necessary triggers to suit different drummer ranges. It’s only a minimalistic drum set that has one or two triggers.

If you want your drum kit to have more sound options, it is recommendable to buy a universal trigger. It is versatile enough and allows you to expand your reach.

Type of Drum Trigger

There are tons of drum triggers in the market today. Depending on your drum setup and playing style, you may need different types of drum triggers.

A drum trigger senses vibration directly from the head, from the drum shell or the rim. There are two basic types of trigger construction – head contact triggers and rim mount triggers.

Head contact triggers are the most popular of the two types. They stick to the drum shell or head with an adhesive or a double-stick tape. These triggers are the least expensive but also the most delicate/ fragile.

Most professional drummers use head contact triggers as they offer excellent performance. However, they need proper care.

Rim mount triggers use some housing to mount to the rim. However, they lack sensor height adjustment to cater for varying rim heights. They also require a cable to connect to the drum module.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are triggers in drumming?

Drum triggering is converting acoustic sounds into electronic sound waves. Triggers are the hardware used to aid this conversion by sensing vibrations from the rim, or shell.

Do you need a drum module for triggers?

Triggers work just about the same way with microphones. They only sense vibrations and pick up sounds. However, they need something to translate those vibrations, and a drum module comes in handy.

You can also use triggers without a drum module. A sound replacer will work fine instead. 

What is the best drum module?

There are tons of drum modules in the market, but the best one is Roland TM-2. Roland TM-2 comes with ready-to-play pro sounds, and user sounds expansion. It is excellent for creating a hybrid drum kit.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the choice for your drum trigger is determined by several factors. You can choose the right trigger according to your level or the amount of money you intend to spend.

This article has compiled for you the best options available in the market today. Brands such as Yamaha and Roland are synonymous with drum triggers for advanced drummers.

However, if you are a beginner or want a trigger for home use, go for the cheap ones.

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