To trigger or not to trigger, that is the question.

Roland TD, Yamaha DTX, Alesis DM5, Simmson etc. All about electronic drum sets.

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The Alien Drummer
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:38 pm

I've been playing semi professionally for 20 years and have gone through different phases of triggering. Starting with my old Yamaha PTX-8 in the 80's and now with my Roland SPD-S. I'm currently using ddrum red shot triggers on the kick and snare.

My frustration is trying to get a balance of "playablity" from the acoustic kit and the sound of a triggered sample.

So here I am asking for your opinions on tips/tricks of triggering.

What tips/tricks do you use to trigger without the dreaded double trigger?

Do you trigger with dynamics or just one volume no matter how hard you hit?

Do use use the same samples on every song?

Other thoughts and/or suggestions???????????
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Alcyon
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:35 pm

IMO Triggering is a cop-out unless you're using dynamics or only as a highlight. If you want to play fast and loud, you should practice and learn to play fast and loud (obviously having played for 20 years you're good at it, so not accusing or anything) instead of using triggers to make really light hits sound like full hits.

Just my 2?.
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The Alien Drummer
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:56 pm

IMO Triggering is a cop-out unless you're using dynamics or only as a highlight. If you want to play fast and loud, you should practice and learn to play fast and loud (obviously having played for 20 years you're good at it, so not accusing or anything) instead of using triggers to make really light hits sound like full hits.


I appreciate your opinion, but i couldn't care less about playing fast and loud. I play around 100 shows a year, none of which are fast and loud. But for the record, when my band opened for Pantera Vinny triggered, even back in '87. All his kick hits were light since his pedals were only about 2 inches off the head.


My goal is the best possible sound at my performances without sacrificing the playability of an acoustic drum set. I don't want a sound man to determine what my drums are going to sound like. I want the abilty to change my snare/kick sound at the push of a button but still be able to play my acoustic kit. Just looking for tips from people that do the same.

Thanks again for the input though.
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Starclassic Birch -- Mapex Pro- M Rock -- Ludwig Rocker -- Roland SPD-S -- Pearl ICON Rack -- Zildjian, Sabian, Paiste, Saluda & Wuhon Cymbals -- Yamaha PTX8
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Alcyon
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:25 pm

Great, I totally agree. Just putting it out there.
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m
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:38 pm

I trigger all my drums, and have had relative success with the latest generation Roland triggers.

As far as factors that alleviate double-triggering, I've found these work for me:

Heads tuned relatively tight and muffled somewhat (not totally muted though)

Module settings:
most important is THRESHOLD- it determines what activates the trigger- if the threshold is too low, the vibration of the head from the previous strike can cause double-triggering. I have to find a setting that allows for natural dynamics but also starts high enough to avoid any double-triggering from resonance of vibration of the head. It's not too hard to dial this in.

Depending on what kind of show we're doing (3 hr vs. 45 min) I may use from 5 to 10 different patches.

I see why some might use a constant-dynamic setting for certain things, but I've never tried that myself. I don't think I'd be comfortable without having as wide a range of dynamics as possible. I think it would probably be useful in metal or electronic music.

Other factors I've noticed that can have an effect on E-drums are the floor surface- harder surfaces can cause more double-triggering/cross-talk issues. It's good to have some kind of insulation available if you're gigging and aren't sure what kind of stage flooring you'll be dealing with. Tile or concrete can be tough.
A good thick rug can save you some difficulties.

Considering the wider spectrum of tones it offers, the soundman terrors it renders harmless, and the overall control it gives the drummer, I'm not surprised more pros are incorporating electronic elements into their kits these days.
I don't think too many people realize just how many of their fav drummers are actually using triggering in their rigs~
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:56 pm

Oh boy, this topic gets so many arguements on a forum I normally visit.

To me, Triggering is NOT cheating if the circumstances call for it. I used to trigger my kick drums until I realized that it's just extra work while performing.

The only time I see triggering my kicks even necessary is if there's a venue i"m playing where micing 2 kicks is virtualy impossible (even wiht just a 58 for crying out loud).

I've only had some kind of Pearl-X module which ran e-drums that i had goin' to Triggers instead.. The kick's trigger was split signaled due to me having 2 kicks.. I did use triggers in rehearsal to bring my kick's attack out a little more and to prevent from feeding back.

Triggers aren't cheating 'cause even when you od use them, you will have to set the sensitivity right or else they'l false-trigger and i"ve seen that happen live and it's pretty hilarious.

Sorry this rant was long but hope 9ti clears my standpoint up a bit.
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downshifter99
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:17 pm

I'll be the only one to say it......To hell with triggering! :evil:

I've bee playing for 18 years and have NEVER needed( :roll: )to trigger anything.....but then again,I play a double pedal as appossed to having two bass drums.

I personally think that triggering IS a way of cheating...if you want that perfect sound then go all the way and play an electric kit.

I am VERY biased.....drums a acoustic instruments so why look to electronics to cheat the sound?

Anyhow,sorry for being the ass...it's a dirty job but, someone's got to do it! :idea:
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G-Rad
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Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:00 am

I'm nto saying it's not cheating, I"m not saying it is either.

I just dont' honestly see the point of it unless it's ABSOLUTELY necessary. I play 2 bass drums, and have no problems tuning them.
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downshifter99
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Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:02 am

G-Rad wrote:I'm nto saying it's not cheating, I"m not saying it is either.

I just dont' honestly see the point of it unless it's ABSOLUTELY necessary. I play 2 bass drums, and have no problems tuning them.


I can understand about the whole two bass drum/can't mike them up at some places thing.
I'm just saying with a double pedal/single bass drum set-up you wouldn't have to deal with any of that.

I was NOT getting on anyones choice...just simply stating a truth amongst acoustic drummers.

I was dealing with a band that wanted me to record the best sounding drum hits(snare,bass,toms)so,they could "dub" then all the way through the song...for that super clean sound.To me that was a disrespect....I play the way I play and every hit is NOT going to sound the same every time.....on some hits I hit differently on purpose.To me....that is the same thing as triggering(end result at least).....that would take all the feeling/flow out of my playing.

Needless to say I told them it wasn't going to happen and a week later they fired me.I have a band now to where everyone is an equal part....true musical freedom.

Cheers to you all....if you think it's right then no one can tell you different. :D
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m
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Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:34 am

[quote=]
I am VERY biased.....drums a acoustic instruments so why look to electronics to cheat the sound?
[/quote]

Because I don't want to have to/couldn't afford to haul and set up a Glockenspiel, belltree, windchimes, dumbeks, crotales, bass guitar, 40 cymbals, timbales, congas, taikos, djembes, woodblocks, etc...

Almost all instruments were acoustic originally, but things have progressed a little since then. People hated and feared the electric bass when it came out too, but it seems to have caught on a bit.
I'm trying to get my head around the anti-E sentiment, but just can't seem to understand the logic-
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downshifter99
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Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:02 am

m wrote:[quote=]
I am VERY biased.....drums a acoustic instruments so why look to electronics to cheat the sound?


Because I don't want to have to/couldn't afford to haul and set up a Glockenspiel, belltree, windchimes, dumbeks, crotales, bass guitar, 40 cymbals, timbales, congas, taikos, djembes, woodblocks, etc...

Almost all instruments were acoustic originally, but things have progressed a little since then. People hated and feared the electric bass when it came out too, but it seems to have caught on a bit.
I'm trying to get my head around the anti-E sentiment, but just can't seem to understand the logic-[/quote]


I dig what you're saying...I have 11 cymbals,pedal case,6 drums,10 stands + misc hardware.But the fact of the matter is this:If I'm going to bitch because I've got to load/pack/un-load/set-up/tear-down/load/pack/un-load my stuff then I should (A)quit,(B)get rich and pay someone else to do it or(C)change instruments.I've been doing this since 86'and my body is NOT like it used to be but I believe in staying true to the old school ways of acoustic drums.
What if guitarist/bassist had a mechenism that sounded how they wanted it to without then ever to have to tune....CHEATING!!!
And as far as how people felt about the bass goes....I'M A DRUMMER!
Sounds like a RUSH song to me.

Like I said in my last post:Whatever works for you is cool but,I'll stick to my roots :!:
Taye:Rock Pro Classic Rock 5 Piece
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The Alien Drummer
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Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:25 am

Thank you everyone for your input. Thanks M for the suggestions, this Friday I'll go live with the new setup and I'm sure I'll be using some of your suggestions. at this point I only have two inputs on the SPD-S so the kick and snare are my choices. Maybe in the future I'll include the toms.

Thanks again everyone for the input, keep em coming if you have more to add.
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Starclassic Birch -- Mapex Pro- M Rock -- Ludwig Rocker -- Roland SPD-S -- Pearl ICON Rack -- Zildjian, Sabian, Paiste, Saluda & Wuhon Cymbals -- Yamaha PTX8
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The Alien Drummer
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Post Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:14 pm

I used the triggers this weekend and had good success. There were a couple of double triggers and a couple of ghosted notes, just need to keep tuning in the threshold and sensitivity I think. I sampled Vinny's kick from pantera and went with a stock snare program. I added some low end to the kick and it sounded AMAZING. We covered Def Leppard's Pour some sugar and I sampled all of his sounds from CD and they sounded HUGE out of the PA. Also kept me from having setup the second kick.

Now I'm hunting some new snare samples, If anyone has some they could email that would be great. I'll share some of my samples also.

Thanks again everyone for the help!
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Post Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:40 am

I just recently started triggering my kick drum because of clarity issuses at higher speeds. When you get to a certain speed on a single bass drum with a double pedal, everything turns into a blob of rumble(I am talking 200+ BPM 16ths). For a studio setting, I trigger a gate to alleveate this problem, carrying around a gate and a bunch of other garbage is pretty hard. Plugging in the kick drum cord into a brain mounted in my guitarists rig is easier IMO. Also, you get a good tone no matter how lousy the house soundguy is. Triggers are not "easy" to play with either, you have to be on the money or else it sounds BAD.
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Post Mon May 07, 2007 5:00 am

i dont trigger personaly. i would love to use GOOD triggers and samples to record with. as far as good snare samples. listen to Kamelot( kasey grillo has a sick setup, and his snare sounds intense) John Tempesta has a cool trigger setup, so look for some of his settings(especialy on his new stuff with The Cult, the White Zombie stuff was insane too). dont hate on th em, personaly i have a view of, if your instrument, your sound, so what you want. if you can use th em tastefully go for it. i wouldnt mind having a trigger setup and module for recording/accessory sounds on stage. triggers arent necasarily cheating. they can reveal exactly how good or not good you are. they show EXACTLY how you play. so i recomend you go and jame for an hour on a fully triggered acoustic kit one day and see how you stand. even th e most expeireinced get a little surprised at exactly how they can be put on the spot by some kid who can spot on anysong, and the seasoned master has issues on locking in beats time to time. triggers can reveal nuances in your style too. so dont blast on them. if set right they can sound as goos as acoustic kits mic'd in the studio. ill stick with my acoustic kit and use a decent micing system for a while though.
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