The Truth Behind Triggering, Metal, Standards of Playing

Jaki

New member
Hello, I have seen many topics on here talking about trggers, kick drumming, todays metal sound and people arguing over the smallest of problems when both parties are wrong. This is the answers to the questions. You will have to excuse my direct approach and maybe cockyness to it, but it is all the truth.


I'll start with triggers.

Triggers

These are eletronic devices mounted onto the drum or pedal (axis percussion) that trigger once the beater or hammer hits the drum, mainly the kick drum. These devices send a signal that is processed by a module and used to make he module make a sound. For example, a clicky sound for the kick drum. You can mic the kick drum also you have the triggerd and acoustic sound over each other. Depends what sound you want at the end of the day for that. Triggers do not make you play better. There is no need to use triggers for anything under 210 bpm because if you have developed your playing like you should it will sound good. So now I bring up the reason to use triggers. At fast speeds, you will notice as your playing advances your kick drum beaters will get closer and closer to the kick drum head, the beaters can't get enough power to hit the kick drum head like they would with a full swing. This makes the drum quieter. Triggers are only used to make the hits more distinct usually using a pre-made sound or a sampled version of the original acoustic drum sound or in todays standard of metal. Heavily edited to sound right. Toms, snare drums and even cymbals can be triggerd but there is no use for this what so ever. Triggering 1 kick drum with a double pedal really dosn't work very well because of double triggering, cross problems and vibrations of the head causing it to trigger when you don't want to....


The 80's


Triggers had only just been made and they cost stupid amounts of money. Bands like Metalica, Slayer, Iorn Maiden plus many more never used triggers. The drummers were just good !

The 2000's ( lol )

Drummers are obcessed with being able to play good, fast and tight and expect it to happen overnight. The only way to get better is to practice and practice and practice. Triggers won't make you sound better, but if you use them to start with they might even make your playing worse because if your not developed and you try and play something you can't it will sound extremely naff. If you use triggers it will sound out of time and not good at all. Your timing must be perfect if you use triggers.


The Standards of Today

Because for some reason, metal bands arn't playing original metal of the 80's. We are hearing heavily edited drum sounds, drums that are edited to sound right which I believe just prooves right there the drummers arn't very good. We hear very little over 210 bpm solid consistant 16th notes on kick drums n teh fast metal areas. This is down to the drummers simply not being able to play them. If it was still the 80's, they word of most likely been kicked straight away. What we hear on the old records is what the drums actually sounded like, I'm sure if they re did it all which heavily edited kits and drum tracks they would sound alot better but is not the sound of the drum kit. Also, they didn't record a single drum track and edit it to sound good. They spent hours and hours getting it right in a single take and it was also recorded to tape !!!! which means it cant be edited. To be fair, most drummers of today have never heard what a real drum kit sounds like.. lololol because of all the fake stuff.

I give Hate Eternal are huge thumbs up hear because everything they have recorded has been to a tape !! An extreme metal band in 21st century sounding like they do live but in a studio.


TRIGGERING IS NOT STICKING THINGS ON YOUR KICK DRUM TO MAKE IT SOUND CLICKY. THIS WILL COMPLETELY FUCK YOUR KICK DRUM HEAD.
 

Yoda

New member
They spent hours and hours getting it right in a single take and it was also recorded to tape !!!! which means it cant be edited.

I simply do not agree with this staement at all. I wonder if you have ever been into a recording studio with a proper 1980's engineer and watch these guys work on the tape, it truely is amazing what they could do in them days without the ease of digital editing. I agree that you cannot quantise and even things out but to make a statement like "cannot be edited" simply isn't true at all. I played in a studio about 8 years ago and recorded onto tape. I did 5 takes back to back. The end result after a full day and night of the engineer pulling apart the tape was a perfect single track made from the 5 takes that i had done. I changed the fills around each time i played it and they picked the best ones. It was hard because i had to play exactly the same volume in each section otherwise there would of been a drop........ but at the end of the day it was edited from the tape.
Metallica used exactly the same tricks in the studio too. Actually amalgamating 2 fills and even 2 beats over each other to make it sound like he actually played it. Harvester of sorrow springs to mind, i have never heard Lars play that fill inside the groove live!! lol, probably because he couldn't in them days, but it was still recorded onto tape.


Anyway, a good post all in all and i completely agree with everything you have said (apart from my rant about tape editing lol) Young drummers expect it all to happen overnight and as a result practice sloppy and rush important things they really need to be able to play before progressing. Triviums drummer has admitted to not being able to play alot of whats recorded on their albums live because they might speed up a few bpm's and he can't play it any faster than on the recording........ my answer would be to practice more so you can play the recording at least 5bpm's quicker so you don't look like an incompetent twonk when you mess up an important double bass drum roll in the middle of the song because it's too quick!! thus ruining the experience for the audience (well it did for me anyway)
 

Metaldrummer89

New member
1. Because for some reason, metal bands arn't playing original metal of the 80's.

2. We are hearing heavily edited drum sounds, most drummers of today have never heard what a real drum kit sounds like.



Metal of the 80's??? Music should progress don't you think? Metal has progessed alot since metallica man.

i think if you want to edit your drums to make the album as a whole better, then great. equilizing the drums along with the other instruments can do that. also if someone is a drummer, i assume they have a kit. therefore know what a "real drumkit sounds like".
 

Metaldrummer89

New member
my answer would be to practice more so you can play the recording at least 5bpm's quicker so you don't look like an incompetent twonk when you mess up an important double bass drum roll in the middle of the song because it's too quick!



i definately agree with this statement. a prime example is flo mounier from the band Cryptopsy. they play all their live songs way faster than on the album. all metal drummers should astrive to be able to do that.
 

Empyrean Drums

New member
I'll agree there is some over-produced crap out there, but at the same time there are those "purists" (especially in black metal) who think a record can't be good if it has good production; it's got to sound like it's being played out of an AM radio through the mono 5x7 in the dashboard of my Barracuda
 

Mikeyferrara

New member
I like to trigger my kik for small/bar gigs when the venue has a small/crappy PA. Even if theres not a sub at least you can recall a kik with some sort of definition or "click" to cut through the otherwise sloppy mix. Of course nothing beats a nice PA and drum fills but it happens.

Back in the day (in a speed punk band) I'd trigger my kik & rax out of an old D4 and mic the snare, creating a submix with a small 4 channel mixer before I sent it to the snake. It worked great in a pinch and saved channels on limited boards. And being able to use the aux out for IEM's when there were no monitors at all really helped stay in the pocket.

Double triggering was always a problem though, and capturing dynamics too. Unless you know a whole lot about X-talk and proper gain structure; there's nothing more embarrassing than a trigger with a mind of it's own adding hits here and there.

I like the Kat metal framed rim-mount triggers. Of course I was going the economical route.

As far as commercial release recording, I never use 'em. I'd rather have the producer call in an awesome drum tech/sound designer to come in and tune. Then again....I'm hardly ever there for mixdown...aw man! I gotta go back and listen now to make sure lol!

ENJOI!
 

Empyrean Drums

New member
That's the real reason triggers are used - Budget

It would be nice to have a fully-mic'd custom drumset and my own sound tech and crew, but my pocket book is kind of thin
 

Johnny Cat

New member
So many different opionions, and I don't really feel like being one to argue. All I can say is, watch this video for George Kollias' commentary on metal drummers, playing really fast and using good technique and triggers. Watching closeups of his feet playing with Nile, his beaters still manage to come pretty far off of the heads, giving him good attack and great, full, open tone. And this guy is ridiculously fast too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMGqhYVwOJA
 

Howepirate

New member
This guys a complete and total ass. For the record Lars Ulrich's drumming is COMPLETELY edited, even in the since that it has to be spliced up and put together so HE STAYS IN THE ACTUAL TIME THAT THE BANDS IN.

Are you a retard???

I'm getting triggers soon and i'll tell you what kind of an ass it makes me and how terrible my playing is and how my drums will sound fake because a few of our songs ARE AT AROUND 220-230 BPM for 16th notes to fit.

Think my kick drums audible around that region?

And personally i can still hear it because i play with a lot of power and with full strokes but you can't hear it over the rest of the band bud.
 

xdoseonex

New member
Sticking things on your bass drum to make it sound clicky is stupid and it will completely fuck up your head? maybe you shoulod have ran down to the studio and told that to vinnie paul while he was recording far beyond drivin. which sounds AMAZING especially the kick drum.
 

Howepirate

New member
Yoda":qck2akoj said:
They spent hours and hours getting it right in a single take and it was also recorded to tape !!!! which means it cant be edited.

I simply do not agree with this staement at all. I wonder if you have ever been into a recording studio with a proper 1980's engineer and watch these guys work on the tape, it truely is amazing what they could do in them days without the ease of digital editing. I agree that you cannot quantise and even things out but to make a statement like "cannot be edited" simply isn't true at all. I played in a studio about 8 years ago and recorded onto tape. I did 5 takes back to back. The end result after a full day and night of the engineer pulling apart the tape was a perfect single track made from the 5 takes that i had done. I changed the fills around each time i played it and they picked the best ones. It was hard because i had to play exactly the same volume in each section otherwise there would of been a drop........ but at the end of the day it was edited from the tape.
Metallica used exactly the same tricks in the studio too. Actually amalgamating 2 fills and even 2 beats over each other to make it sound like he actually played it. Harvester of sorrow springs to mind, i have never heard Lars play that fill inside the groove live!! lol, probably because he couldn't in them days, but it was still recorded onto tape.


Anyway, a good post all in all and i completely agree with everything you have said (apart from my rant about tape editing lol) Young drummers expect it all to happen overnight and as a result practice sloppy and rush important things they really need to be able to play before progressing. Triviums drummer has admitted to not being able to play alot of whats recorded on their albums live because they might speed up a few bpm's and he can't play it any faster than on the recording........ my answer would be to practice more so you can play the recording at least 5bpm's quicker so you don't look like an incompetent twonk when you mess up an important double bass drum roll in the middle of the song because it's too quick!! thus ruining the experience for the audience (well it did for me anyway)


I watched yes watched observed listened and could feel Through the eyes of the Dead play their song beneath dying skies atleast 1 and a half times faster triggers and everything with the kicks and mics on the toms and snare. Everything was audible and EVERYTHING was unbelievably accurate (not to mention the rest of their songs). Now i myself can play this song and i kind of mess up some things here and there but he was dead on (Josh Kulick).

I want you to go play that song Jaki and see if you can play it 1 and a half times faster without screwing up. I would love to see a video this.

A modern metal marvel through the eyes of the dead is...who knew they were genuine musicians?




Triviums new stuff sucks anywayz....metallica rip offs
 

Timekeep69

New member
I think an important point that is missed here when comparing 80's metal to today's metal is recording/studio technology. Pro Tools has made many a drummers' career (including Lars) but I think the statement that today's drummers aren't as good is wrong. There are many drummers out there who are good without the tricks of the recording studio. The problem today is that with home studios and indie labels flourishing, bands have to be over the top with their playing, Everything has to be perfect and with digital recording, that's possible.

btw, unless the drummer is playing to a click, most bands play faster live because of the adrenaline rush.
 

Howepirate

New member
Timekeep69":39jw71jk said:
I think an important point that is missed here when comparing 80's metal to today's metal is recording/studio technology. Pro Tools has made many a drummers' career (including Lars) but I think the statement that today's drummers aren't as good is wrong. There are many drummers out there who are good without the tricks of the recording studio. The problem today is that with home studios and indie labels flourishing, bands have to be over the top with their playing, Everything has to be perfect and with digital recording, that's possible.

btw, unless the drummer is playing to a click, most bands play faster live because of the adrenaline rush.
Oh yeah i know that...but the song is entirely fast in the first place. And all their other songs were pretty dead on to the real time on their tracks so.
 
i agree with some statements and others i totally disagree. i personally dont use triggers and i play pretty intense shit like 220 bpm trash metal. the point i agree with is that some drummers are getting lazy and skipping things very important that they should learn. i did that but i wnet back and practised it. but to say that metal drummers nowadays arent as good as the ones from the 80s is just wrong. i bet the drummer from necrophagist would rip the shit outta lars ulrich. theres alotta talented metal drummers and just because some of them use triggers, doesnt mean all of us do. and bout the drum kit sound, everyone likes their kit to have their own sound. just because u might not like it doesnt mean its shit.
 

drumgroovy

New member
Being cocky he is, but I'm far from offended.

There are many reasons why people trigger their kicks. And mind you, those trigger samples were taken from actual drum sounds, so saying that drummers of today has 'never heard an actual' drumkit is kinda like shoving your foot into your mouth.

Let's face it, tuning your drumkit to a perfect sounding one would probably take like 3-4 people and 2-3 hours, depending on how huge your kit is (and with metal, it's almost always huge), unless of course, you're under a label that provide professional sound techs who can tune perfectly. Other than that, the time saving (not to mention money) way is to trigger. And of course, laying down an entire album or EP even will take about a week or 2, depending on how good you are. After all those continuous takes and torturing the drumkit, you're bound to gonna have to tune it again... and it has to sound exactly the same as when you first played it (unless you're going experimental and want a different drum sound on every song).

Also, when you mention about triggering a single bass with double pedals isn't wise due to the vibration... some high end triggers have sensitivity levels that can be set so that it won't double trigger when it's not supposed to.

Well, I agree that sometimes I wouldn't want to use triggers because live, I'd have to be totally perfect or else it's going to be damn obvious I fucked up. It's kinda like a teaching tool, in a way... making you more precise. Practicing with triggers is a good way, but if you're not confident, don't use it live.

And the sticking things on the bass drum thing... that was done before. It was the most primitive form of that trebly kick sound.

And if you think ALL metal bands use triggers, you should listen to Hate Eternal. Derek Roddy doesn't use triggers. Look up a video where he's giving a double bass lesson at a clinic on youtube... he openly says that he doesn't like using triggers. He doesn't condemn people who do, because it's a preference. It's not a bad thing. So I don't know why you sound like you're slamming people who use triggers... and trying to make yourself sound old and wise by saying that 80's music is REAL music and the drummers were just plain good. Of all the 80's bands you listed, I thought only Slayer had the right to be in the list.

And also the drummer from Helloween (Walls Of Jericho era).

Sacrament from Lamb Of God is over-produced. I felt that As The Palaces Burn was the last album that had a 'raw' sound to them. I saw 'Pathetic' live on youtube (download 07) and their sound was amazing. Heavy as hell. But let's not get into that.
 

SmellsLikeIan

New member
Actually I thought Lars had someone else play some of the faster double kick stuff back in the day (pete sandoval, maybe?) like on "one". Someone help me out here....
 

SmellsLikeIan

New member
Mikeyferrara":1ll0q3dy said:
Back in the day (in a speed punk band) I'd trigger my kik & rax out of an old D4 and mic the snare, creating a submix with a small 4 channel mixer before I sent it to the snake.
ENJOI!
What sounds were you using? I have a D4 and have been interested in fooling around with it on smaller gigs. What was your preferred kick and tom voices/settings?
 
Timekeep69":3uwjjky9 said:
I think an important point that is missed here...

..., unless the drummer is playing to a click, most bands play faster live because of the adrenaline rush.
My band has several songs with straight double patterns. we're gonna record next weekend (the 21st) My guitarist is complaining because now we have to play everything the RIGHT speed, and not the faster version he's used to live!!!! Little does he know, we ALWAYS play the "right speed" during practice, but playing to a click track instead of a live drummer changes the feel. In any case, triggers can be useful. Mics are fine. Editing is great...I'm proud to say my tracks are ALWAYS "one takes" that are cleaned up (bleeding from other mics, dynamic control) With my last band, we had A LONG creciendo on a song towards the end, the mixer got mad because we could have played it at one volume and he could have "made" the cresciendo in the computer....we did it on our own, 'cause that's how we ALWAYS played it!!!! i can still listen to those songs and point out the mistakes.

In any case, music is a business, and with any business, there are GOOD players, and SHITTY players. some will RELY on editing and triggers, (like another local drummer I know who had to piece together all his tracks and play to a click 'cause he can't do it in one take) others will use it as a tool for the overall benefit of making the KIT sound good. Either way...

"...Van Halen will still sound like Van Halen no matter WHAT guitar he uses..."

Same goes fro drummers. A good drummer is a good drummer....period
 
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