After getting your electronic drumset, you may wonder if getting a drum trigger is necessary to get the best drumming performance you need.
Drum triggers are a type of MIDI controller that can be attached to any drum. The trigger is usually set off by hand or foot, and the sound from the instrument is sent through amplification equipment so it can be heard in larger spaces. Drum triggers do not create sounds themselves; they use technology to record and reproduce existing sounds.
Read on further as we discuss what drum triggers are, how they work, and some popular models on the market today!
How Does A Drum Trigger Work?
There are two types of drum triggers, contact and acoustic. Contact pads are placed on the surface where you strike the drums with your hands or feet to trigger sounds sent through MIDI receivers.
You can use one or more contact pads at a time, depending on the model you have. Acoustic triggers are microphones that are set up near the drum, usually around the rims.
They listen for vibrations from being struck and trigger sounds sent through MIDI receivers. Acoustic drums work best when used with mesh heads instead of regular drumheads since they pick up more subtle vibrations.
The triggers then send information to an electronic device (computer, synthesizer, etc.) to be processed and reproduced as sound.
Are Drum Triggers Cheating?
No. Drum triggers is not considered cheating as they do not create sound themselves. They are more like drum enhancement equipment where you can record and reproduce existing sounds.
Do note that most sound performance on every instrument is transmitted from one place to the other and is being enhanced, modified, manipulated, and generally not the same as your original sound.
Are Drum Triggers MIDI?
There are basically two types of drum triggers in the market. One of them have sounds on board which we term as “drum modules”. The other one without sound is referred to as “trigger-to-MIDI converters”.
They both function the same way by turning a trigger pulse into MIDI.
Are Drum Triggers Velocity Sensitive?
Just like microphones, acoustic drum triggers are used to reinforce and amplify any acoustic drum sound. … You can choose the sound triggered by the module; the drum triggers are velocity sensitive and will detect how hard you are playing a certain sound. So, if you can think it, you can trigger it and you can play it.[Source]
How To Use Drum Triggers
Some models use actual drum heads and cymbals and attach directly to these instruments, while others mount on or inside drum shells. You will find three main types of trigger technologies.
Ring triggers attach to the surface of any drum, mesh triggers are placed over regular drumheads, and screw-in sensors are snug inside the shell near where you strike to produce a realistic playing feel.
Some models have screws that adjust for head tension to ensure they work with different types of drumheads, drums, and cymbals. Stick sensors trigger by picking up vibrations from playing with a drumstick and can be used on snare drums and other percussion instruments.
[Related Article: 5 Best Drum Triggers(Buying Guide)]
Common Drum Triggers Brands
Roland triggers are the industry standard for both acoustic and triggering drums. Their line of mesh sensors attaches directly to drumheads and has a line of products that can be used inside drum shells as well.
The Supernatural sound engine uses advanced technology to provide ultra-responsive triggering that feels organic and realistic. They also have dedicated products for acoustic drums, such as the RT-series triggers, which mount on your snare drum’s rims.
Pykmax triggers are designed for use with acoustic drums and mesh drumheads. Unlike other products, these come in two separate parts; the sensor mount, which attaches to the rim of your snare drum, tom-tom, or floor tom, and the sensor bar, which attaches to the prongs of your bongo or conga.
These products use German-sourced electronic components and printed circuit boards (PCBs) to ensure smoother triggering and lower latency than other options.
DDrum triggers come in a variety of models for different drum types and uses. Their website features dedicated products for snare drums, bass drum pedals, and acoustic drums. These triggers support a variety of mesh and stick heads and can be used in both front and rear-facing rim configurations. DDrum triggers work with all DDrum hardware (rack toms, floor toms, etc.) and are designed to provide low latency.
Yamaha DTX Trigger
Yamaha DTX triggers are used by drummers who play in live performance settings. These triggers attach to acoustic drums or mesh heads for added capabilities when triggering sounds in performances or recording sessions.
Yamaha uses advanced technology in these products, including Multi-Sensor technology, which simultaneously senses vibration at multiple points on the sensor for fast and accurate results. They also feature built-in MIDI ports to reduce latency time between triggering and sound reproduction.