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drum triggering?

Discussion in 'Musicians Discussion' started by yabba, Mar 21, 2003.

  1. yabba

    yabba Member

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    I'm a guitarist and know very little about the specifics of metal drumming; I often hear people talking about drum 'triggering' (mostly complaining about excess ;) ) and I was wondering if someone could explain to me exactly what that was.

    thanks :)
     
  2. yabba

    yabba Member

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    hmm... so why is that done? just to get a 'tighter' sound? (on the kick drum, typically I assume) there's no way to mic the drum differently or pad it somehow or something to get a good sound? Or is it done so the drummer can hit it lightly (and therefore faster/more precisely) and still produce a sound like you would get from a drum hit with normal force?

    [edit: thanks for the info, btw :) ]
     
  3. union9

    union9 He Who Can Not Be Named

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    Thats it exactly. Their there so you get the one constant volume setting coming through the pa, mixing desk, whatever, no matter how hard you hit the kit. There for, drummers can use less force but still get a boombing sound coming through the other end. Some people do over do it. Most guy's just have the kicks triggered and the rest is organic, which is the set-up I prefer from drummers that I have seen and heard with triggers. One of the only bands that I enjoy that has the whole drum kit triggered are Devolved. But I think it just suits their style more than it would other bands.
     
  4. MyEyesBleed

    MyEyesBleed Ravenous Dead

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    I have to assume that most of the people who respond to this topic whenever it comes up aren't in bands that use triggers...because their responses are extremely under-informed.

    First, the purpose of triggers is NOT to make your drums sound like a drum machine. If that's what you're going for it can be accomplished fairly easily (The Berserker is the first example that comes to mind), however most drummers using triggers aren't going for that sound and use more "organic" sounding patches. I'd also like to bring up, if the drummer (or the tech, perhaps) is well verses in midi patch editing, keyboards, etc then they can tailor their drum sounds to exactly what they want and can achieve a wide variety of sounds ranging from some you would never know are midi to other that are almost abstract.

    Second, good triggers have dynamic range. They're sensitive enough that they can track how hard you're hitting the head and will vary the volume.

    Most bands who use triggers use them in a live setting and run them through a PA in order to achieve a balanced and/or powerfull sound where you can hear every piece of the set, as opposed to often used method micing just the bass and snare and being at the mercy of the soundman's equipment.



    Just thought I'd chime in on this one...I'm really suprised that there were none of those "triggers are used so that drummers can play fast double bass easily" or "drummers use triggers because they don't hit hard enough and need more punch" etc, etc...implying that triggers are some kind of magic cure all for drummers that make you better.
     
  5. SandWiz

    SandWiz New Metal Member

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    ----------------

    When a drummer records in the studio or plays live he can put triggers on the drums. Triggers are sort of like microphones - but instead of picking up the sound they touch the drumhead and picks up when the drummer hits the drum. Then a (midi) signal is sent to a "drum module" with different drum samples, that are sent on to the mixer.
    The effect is that you can make it sound exactly how you want depending on the drumsample.

    (example: you could have an explosion in stead of a bassdrum sample - so every time the drummer hits the bassdrum the explotion comes on instead.....not that it would be of any use..:)

    So when you've recorded drums in the studio you can bring that exact same sound with you live. So it's actually like with guitars - The accoustic sound from the string is picked up by your amp and distorted...overdrived etc...

    Excess of use is a matter of taste I think :)

    Triggers are cool 'cause you could - for instance - mix the triggered bassdrum with the bassdrum microphone for a better sounding bassdrum sound + no matter where you play - small or big venues - you always know that your drumkit sounds the same .

    Hope it makes sence,.......heh

    / Sandwiz
     
  6. SandWiz

    SandWiz New Metal Member

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    ohh.....sorry didn't see all the explanations to your thread.....
    I've just told it all over again.....dooh.
     
  7. Cimmerian

    Cimmerian bash master

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    I'll give you my personal example: Many years ago, I added a second bass drum to my kit. At the time I was unable to shell out the money for the exact model as my first bass drum, opting instead to downgrade to a more entry level kit for my second bass drum. Although the drums have similar woods, they are not identical, and it has always been a struggle to create a balanced sound between the two. I was always resistant to triggers, but have recently purchased bass drum triggers out of desperation. Although the sound of my drums in now wonderfully uniform, instilling my playing with greater power and confidence, there are problems. The triggers are contantly not triggering at all or too much, or causing like hassles, regardless of how much I tweak them. A solution they are, but no piece of cake.
     
  8. union9

    union9 He Who Can Not Be Named

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    Why did you opt for a second bass drum when you could've gone for the double beaters on the one? Would've been less of a hassle I would imagine.
     
  9. FlatteningOfEmotions

    FlatteningOfEmotions Throbbing Member

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    Cimmerian:

    What kind of triggers did you buy, and what kind of module do you have? If you have high quality triggers (like Ddrums) you shouldn't have that problem.

    Anyway, I'm in a death metal band called Vordak (I have to pimp our band www.mp3.com/vordak), and our drummer only triggers his bass drums live. The rest of the kit is organic (with mics of course). However, during the recording of our most recent demo, we were forced to trigger his snare as well for it to be heard, due to our lack of microphones. We did it on a PC with Cool Edit Pro.
     
  10. Cimmerian

    Cimmerian bash master

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    hmm..first off, a double pedal just is not two bass drum. double pedals have a totally different feel due to positioning and play in the mechanism...not something i want a part of. I'm using triggers of the same price range as the ddrums, although made by pintech, and the alesis d5.
     
  11. Soultorn

    Soultorn The Pain and The Darkness

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    Double pedals are vastly different than two single pedals.. I'm sure. OUr drummer could probably blast if it weren't for his unbalanced Gibraltar double pedal.
    He got to try a new one, one day.. and his feet were just so used to trying to "catch up" with the pedal that it didn't seem to be any better.
    And plus.. we've wanted to trigger for while now..
    So.. looks like we're going to have to spend about $1000 just on his bass drum sound.
    ... the price to pay for brutality....
    Sorry.. just thought I'd rant. Someone link me to a good set of bass drum triggers! :hotjump:
     
  12. veil the sky

    veil the sky Lexicon V

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    ok...but sometimes this is the case. i've worked with drummers who vary the power of their kick drums a lot. on purpose. there's nothing wrong with this, it's the musicality of the drummer and i don't want to tell him to hit the bass drum with the same power all the time. i may as well tell him to change all his drum patterns!

    but when light kick-drum hit are put into a mix with big heavy guitar sounds, they get lost because the top end of the bass drum only comes through when it gets a heavier hit.

    i trigger it and mix it with the original mic signal from an akg d112 and that way i can synthesise the top end of the kick drum and keep the dynamics of the playing.
     
  13. Metal is Religion

    Metal is Religion Anti-Christ

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    hey, whoa Vordak is pretty good
     
  14. dataclast16

    dataclast16 New Metal Member

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    two drums is a lot different from double pedal, but only in terms of sound not really feel i dont find. ive got a single bass kit with a pearl powershifter double pedal on it and its real good, i can fly with it...

    but i have a friend with two bass drums and whenever i use his kit i dont notice much of a difference in being able to play, just how much better it sounds. it sounds more professional than a single drum kit...although it could be the wood
     
  15. FailingAcension

    FailingAcension Spiffy, eh?

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    Hmmm....I'm saving up for an Axis. The pinicle of pedal's. I'm getting a double pedal. You can use it as 2 separate ones if you wish (when I get another bass drum). Double pedals should be able to ajust to feel like 2 basses, if you know how that feels. They can move around alot. Someday I'll get 2 basses. $$$;) And my school's technology coordinator is making me a trigger for my bass....we'll see how that works out. He's a smart fella.
     
  16. Bryant

    Bryant Mr. Sleepy

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    Great posts on this thread. There are certainly bands that "over-trigger" but mic-ing a drumset is a nightmare for many live situations, even on the kickdrum (even though there is a hole in the head just for that) because of feedback problems and the bass drum heads resonating (vibrating) with a hit on another drum. That muddies up the sound the drummer gets and the best way to resolve that is to use a mix of mic and trigger on the bass.

    Bryant
     
  17. veil the sky

    veil the sky Lexicon V

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    the only really annoying thing about triggering is when people use it and lose all dynamics on the bass drum. it sounds so unrealistic sometimes....

    it takes away all the feel of the drumming.

    sometimes ;)
     

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