Acoustic drums are incredible when it comes to offering the best sounds. However, nothing can beat electronic drums in terms of versatility and portability.
But imagine if you can combine the great sounds of acoustic drums with the versatility of e-drums? The right drum triggers are not just accessories, it will get you and ensure you take your drumming to the next level.
Even though they feature in one setup, they can give you an incredible addition of crisp, clears sounds without lag issue. Besides, they are everything you need to take your drumming to new dimensions, especially when working in groups.
Today, there are all types of drum triggers on the market. For this reason, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose the right one.
But don’t worry, in this guide, I am going to share a few ideas on how to select the right trigger, and a list of the best products out there.
Continue reading …
What are the triggers in drumming?
Drummers have used triggers for a very long time to change acoustic drums into electronic drums. It may seem like a new thing to make people, but it has been there for more than 20 years. And yes, even then, there was running water and electricity too.
But it was not very easy. Today, there has been a lot of development in triggering, with new hardware and software ensuring we get it all right.
This explains why there is suddenly a new interest in triggering an acoustic drum.
Triggering is simply changing acoustic sounds into electronic sound waves. Or rather, changing an acoustic setup into an electronic one.
Drum triggers are the hardware used to achieve this change. They are attached to the specific drums so they can trigger different electronic sounds.
– The source of sound
Think about the nature of sound for a moment. No matter what you hit, tapping a desk, playing guitar, a piano or a drum, the sound comes out as the result of that striking.
Sound transmits through vibration, with resonance at a specific frequency. The ear then picks up these vibrations and interprets them into what we hear. Even when speaking, there is vibration from your vocal cords.
It is the same with sound from drums. You cause the drum head to vibrate when you hit it. This creates a sound at a specific frequency, controlled by the drum head’s tension. And when you change the frequency of vibration, it affects the pitch.
Roland V-drums works on the same principle. The mesh (or rubber) pads vibrate when hit, and a sensor picks it before being sent to the drum module. The module then interprets the vibrations as sound.
– Acoustic drum trigger
An acoustic drum and cymbal create a variety of sounds, limited but the range of instruments available. In a four-piece drum kit feature, a ride and hi-hat cymbals, for instance, you get a certain set of sounds limited to what these instruments give. If you have a 32-piece monster with cowbells, tambourines, and any other instrument you can think of, you get all the sounds as played.
But did you know you can play a simple acoustic drum and simultaneously trigger electronic sounds? That is what triggers do in drumming.
They are used so that you don’t have to connect many pieces on your setup. Just a few things are ok.b
Best Drum Triggers Reviewed
With this in mind, there are several triggers that will make your choice much easier. Let have a look at 6 of the best.
Roland has never disappointed when it comes to offering the best technology. They are always ahead in ensuring consumers are not disappointed by what comes from their factories.
The RT-30HR came as a great forward in Roland’s drum triggers. It is a compact and convenient piece of hardware that will fit on pretty much any drum hoop. Whether you want a classic or inward-curved design use, the trigger has it is all.
It’s built with top-quality ABS plastic, solid construction that will take in any strike. This is all due to its low-profile design.
It is also a duo zone trigger that will pick sounds from both the head and the rim. If you are looking for an ideal tool to produce MIDI tones from your acoustic set, you have found the right one.
- Dual-zone trigger
- Compatible with many modules
- Strong and durable.
- Some buyers have complained about its price.
The product comes with Roland’s recognizable easy-mounting system that gets you playing within seconds. The self-mounting parts have proven very useful as it positions the sensor in the optimal position against the drum head.
It is made from high-quality materials with great sensibility and response. It looks very durable even before you use it.
- Compatible with all Roland products
- It is only a bass drum trigger.
Pintench has been on the rise over the past few years, delivering high-quality products. The Percussion RS-5 trigger comes with a “Kwik Klip” mounting system for easy setup. You can also tear it down without destroying the adhesives.
According to the user’s needs, it is a head trigger that can be mounted on the drum head or shell. The trigger cover is small but sturdy enough to protect the inner electronic components.
- Easy to mount from the inside or outside of the drum head/ shell.
- Compatible with mesh and acoustic head
- Compatible with all drum types
- Extra discs are sold separately. This can be an inconvenience if you have to wait for a new disc.
The DDrum Acoustic Pro Trigger is one of the most reliable trigger kits on the market. It is not only a well-price item but a high-quality one too.
The trigger comes as a complete drum trigger kit with five units. You have the bass drum trigger, one snare, and three tom triggers.
Also, the triggers are simple and easy to use. Its sensitivity and response is everything you need in a drum trigger.
- Comes as a complete unit for all drums
- Easy to assemble
- Strong and durable
- There no kind of protection on the mounting system for the drum shells.
Yamaha is all about quality and customer satisfaction. And here is a drum trigger that proves this point.
The Yamaha DT-50K drum trigger is a high-quality product that has a lot of exciting features. Its sound quality is beyond many other triggers.
In terms of response to a sensibility, you can always count on this trigger. The system is just simple yet very effective.
You need only a few seconds to attach one trigger. It is also safe enough, and you don’t have to worry about damaging the drum shells.
And when mounted, the trigger does not affect the natural sound of your drums. This is one thing Yamaha has done really well.
- From a reputable brand
- Safe and easy to mount
- Does not affect the natural sound of your drums
- Some users have complained about it too costly.
Aquarian Kickzone Kick Drum Trigger comes with an adhesive backing and a cord/cable control. With this feature, you are sure of secure and reliable performance.
It can be easily used with any bass drum. It also works with a mono jack. It’s compatible with Aquarian systems as well as other drum modules.
If you are in for an affordable bass drum trigger that will serve you for long, this can be a wonderful choice.
- An excellent budget product
- Good for performance and recording
- A good connection means you can use it without any faults.
- There is an issue with the bracket adhesive, which tends to wear off with time.
- The cable is a bit short for some users.
Best Drum Trigger Buying Guide
With so many options on the market, you may still be wondering what to do now that you need one. Here is a simple guide that will give you a clearer path.
How do you choose the right drum trigger?
All drum triggers are designed to offer the same function. However, not all brands and models deliver similar performance. This is why you need to know how to choose the right drum trigger.
Here are a few tips.
Check if the system is compatible
It is critical to double-check and make sure the buying triggers are compatible with your acoustic drum module. Most brands work together, but there may be a few that offer different functions. It is only good to check and ensure you are investing in the right hardware.
The type of your drum
There are drum triggers for every type of drum on your set. There are those for toms, some for basses, and others for snares.
A few triggers and are versatile enough and can be used on any drum. Once you assemble everything, a well-equipped kit comes with different types, and it extends to the drummer’s range. If you are looking for more sound options than just a minimalistic setup with one or two triggers, look for a universal trigger that lets you expand your reach.
The type of drum trigger
As stated above, there are all sorts of drum triggers on the market today. And depending on your setup and playing style, you might need different types of drum triggers.
Some are designed to pick vibrations from the drum’s head, while others can sense sound that comes from the shell or rim.
Single vs. dual
Many drum triggers are made to pick vibrations from a single source. However, there are some that pick from a different source.
The dual triggers can be mounted to a single point, but allow the drummer to hit different points, like the rim or head. This means they get two different sounds from the same trigger.
How it is mounted
The mounting style may seem like an easy thing, but one that carries huge importance. There are head contact drum triggers that are stuck directly to the drumhead with adhesive. Rim mounted triggers, on the other hand, are kept within a protective housing.
Do you need a drum module for triggers?
A trigger is just like a microphone. And they follow the same rules. The mic goes into the preamp, tape machine, or anything else you want to use. The dynamic of playing will still be there.
For drum triggers, there must be something to translate the vibrations they pick. And drum modules are the best tools for this job.
Drum triggers only sense the vibration and pick up the sound. But they have to come out of something.
You can also use them without a module. A sound replacer will do just fine. The most recommended triggers are DDrum triggers since they use a real kit sample, and they are not very expensive.
What is the best drum module?
If you already have an electronic drum kit that has ¼-inch trigger inputs, you only need to get triggers, and you are good to go. There are many modules today, but the best ones include:
- Roland TD30 module. This beast comes with 14 inputs and eight direct output options and lots of features.
- Yamaha DT50K is another incredible option. With over 1,200 sound and eight trigger inputs, there is nothing it won’t do for you.
- Then there is Alesis SampleRack percussion controller and sample player, and Nord Drum 2 synthesizer. You can create any music you want.
- If you just want to trigger your virtual instruments without a module, Ddrum DDTi is a wonderful option. It has ten trigger inputs with many other cool features.
How tight should mesh drum heads be?
The most important thing is to get the right rebounds. And this means tightening them as hard as possible.
Do not worry much about breaking them, as they are designed to take the pressure. However, some heads do break – depending on the material.
Drum triggering is today more common than ever. Which makes finding the right trigger important. I hope this guide has been of help.