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Thread: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

  1. #1

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    Default Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    Why does a drummer like Joey Jordinson have triggers on his Kit? After seeing for myself the possibilities of triggering drum sounds in addictive drums with an e-kit and MIDI I'm wondering is he using the triggers to do some of the work to get that "How the heck does he do that sound" from his drums? I don't see Neil, Jason Bittner, Dave Lombardo, Lars or other great drummers doing the trigger thing. I've seen other posts and won't go as far to say using triggers on an A-kit is cheating like in those posts cuz if that is how he does his thing so be it, more power to him. But I will say it is conceivable to enhance normal drum beats through this type of Aural trickery to super human proportions with electronic sampling is it not? Now that I have discovered E drums, addictive drums, sampling, MIDI and triggering sounds with my e-kit I spent some time testing my theory on this topic.

    To test this theory I sampled a fast 2 note bass drum "1 and" beat. Then I took those 2 notes and triggered them off of each single bass drum hit. Now each single bass drum hit became the 2 note beat. Then playing a single stroke roll on the 2 bass drums each single right hit became RR and each single left hit became LL. In essence "RRLL Snare RRLL Snare" Now do a double stroke bass drum roll and each RR becomes RRRR and each LL becomes LLLL so in essence "RRRR Snare LLLL Snare". Now do triple rolls or sample even more complex beats and so on. You could also do this with toms, snare hits etc. See my point.

    Again I'm not saying it is cheating or not cheating or whatever the popular arguments are on this topic but it is possible to make it sound like you are doing some amazing things with your hands and feet while actually playing very simple beats or even make complex beats sound even more complex with sampling/triggering. Thoughts??
    Last edited by Timmkatt; 07-28-2011 at 02:56 PM.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    Joey does it for sound purposes.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    From what I've heard and read most guys trigger to get a specific sound, particularly on their kick. Supposedly Bonham's sound is sampled and used a lot on a lot of stuff on the radio. I guess in the end it's easier than trying to get a drum to sound exactly a certain way.

    It also cleans up the sound on super fast kick drum beats because variations in the strength of the hit can be disguised by adjusting the sensitivity on the trigger. I'm frequently surprised when I see videos of people playing really fast kick beats to see how lightly they hit. I think I tend to thump it from back in the days when I wasn't ever mic'd up, and it's hard to play the bass drum fast and loud.
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    My guess ...it's all about the sound. As a drummer ( which I'm not )....I respond to what I hear and try to duplicate it. If I find out the true sound has been altered I leave it at that but it doesn't effect me. If I don't know it's been altered I would naturally not know any better. I kinda compare it to lipsynching. If your in the audience the sound doesn't change just because you find out you've been fooled. Either you liked it or not. OR is that not why you were there ? Did you come to see some real talent ? I find myself tweaking most all the music I listen to on the srtereo with an equalizer. But, personally, when it comes to drumming, I use no electronics. If I ever make it the big leagues I could care less how the sound man tweaks my sounds. I'll be just playin' away. You could spend a small fortune just trying to get the right sound, whether it be in hardware or software. It's an ongoing process. I feel it's more important to be true to yourself as you move forward.
    Most definitely. As a matter of fact, there will be "NO LIMIT"... just an unending quagmire of musical genius.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    The non drummers in the audience don't know it's not real, it's really easy to set up and get an amazing sound out of the PA. I like them when used in conjunction with the normal drum mics so you get both sounds through the PA, I don't like them as substitutes for drum mics.

    But if you're playing Jazz, rock, blah and metal and stuff then of course a microphone is going to be better but if its hip hop, rnb or something of that produced nature then triggers are the way forward!

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    I can't possibly thank the op enough for making this thread, it's one of my favorite topics. Firstly, as someone who actually has an acoustic kit set up with triggers, there are many beneficial reasons I believe in doing it. There are disadvantages of course, but it's something i'm glad I discovered. Timmkatt, it sounds to me like you have a problem with the trigger settings, there are a number of them to mess with so you may want to spend some time with it.

    Most of us, love to sit behind a drumkit and just play the thing to death. Unfortunately, you may find yourself among an unfriendly audience both family, friends, and neighbors who reasonably like their quiet or don't want to hear you all the time. You naturally wanna bash away, but don't care for the drama right? So one thing you can do is make your kit muted and set it up for triggers such as I have done, or buy an ekit altogether.

    An electronic will be smaller yes, but you won't get the same exact feeling you get from playing your regular acoustic. What I basically did with mine was bought some internal muters, triggers, a module, a few cables and I was all set. It is still audible slightly if you're within 5-10 feet of the kit but beyond that it's like the sound is gone so no one will bug you about it anymore. Sometimes I use my phonic 808 interface instead, to connect my triggers and then the interface goes into the computer.

    From there I run bfd2 and I can really have some fun. You can do things like change overhead mic positioning, add effects like gating, mix, and use samples from real drumkits recorded using some of the best equipment out there. The sky truly is the limit once you set it up this way, and I have found that using samples and midi is not only an upgrade from a drum module but the sound and playability is very competitive with an acoustic kit. It's hard to put into words exactly, more of something you'd have to see and hear for yourself.
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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    when playing really fast dbl kick chops..you either have the gate the hell out the mics or use triggering , so alot of guys are opting out to use triggering to get the same sound every time especially with the new digital desks

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    i prefer the inconsistencies of drums. i had a master class with JR Robinson a few months ago, one guy asked him how he did the intro to "Higher Love" by steve winwood. he explained the elements of the track he laid down, then how the sound engineer moved mixed and molded it into what you hear. he finished the answer saying "good luck with that one! cant be done"

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    I'm not a fan of Jordison, but he I know can Play darn quick. Watch him filling in for Lars at the Metallica concert he missed due to illness. Quick little quads all over the place.

    The only two constants I have are DW and Zildjian.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    Quote Originally Posted by Timmkatt View Post
    But I will say it is conceivable to enhance normal drum beats through this type of Aural trickery to super human proportions with electronic sampling is it not?
    Yes. In my opinion, if the triggers and samples are used to add to the theatrics of the show then I see the value of using them. Case in point, the frontline drummers for Mushroomhead uses four bass drums rigged with water and lights. The audio cable for the drum triggers can be seen below in this pic:



    I had no idea these drums would be used in this manner:



    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp7DoMJvEMs&feature=player_embedded"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp7DoMJvEMs&feature=player_embedded[/ame]

    Both frontline drummers had mad skills to be able to spin their wet sticks and keep in sync. The theatrics were so "over the top" that it didn't matter to me that the drums were triggered and it was purely Aural trickery. I appreciated the showmanship both drummer displayed but I see your point from a drummer's standpoint that using electronics to enhance doubles and triples would considered cheating to some but the non-drummer's in the audience probably wouldn't care.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    Triggers are for clarity, like late8 suggested.

    Joey used triggers on All Hope is Gone to get a more consistent sound out of his drums that he couldn't get with mics. He used to just trigger his bass drum, but personally I like the sound of his triggered kit a lot better, especially live. If you listen to a song like Gehenna, the jarring snare hits on that track probably couldn't have been done consistently without triggers.

    If you want to say it's cheating, it's not. That's just like saying a Cobra Coil is unfair. Triggers help you acheive a consistent sound, as does the Cobra Coil. To trigger your kick isn't cheating, it's improving the quality of your performance for your audience.
    So itchie, how did the kick sound?
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  12. #12

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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    I use the DTS-70 Drum Trigger System. 12 analog in and 12 out.
    My favorite thing to do is sample the Bass players lowest note and apply it to the kick drum the sonics of that tone are enormous, the other thing to bear in mind is that their is no substitute for the real thing, however used in moderation it can be a very useful tool. Not just for drum parts. The nature of music these days include a click and some sort of backing track these units can give the buss driver the control he needs with out having to jump through hoops to getter done.

  13. #13

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    Read an article about a couple guys that trigger and what it said makes sense to me. They are playing for big names and in that type of music it seems a little more crucial to get a consistent sound to the audience. Brian Frasier Moore is one drumming for Justin Timberlake right now, but I think he incorporates it with plain miking. He mentioned Tony Royster JR. and said he'll never go back to playing triggerless. I just thought that was kind of interesting. I'd like to experiment with them. I like the idea of the consistency but also like the raw unaltered tones from just plain miking.

    to me it's not cheating, it's just used for consistent sound.
    Last edited by slinky; 10-07-2014 at 08:55 AM.
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  14. #14

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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    I've used triggering for years on and off.

    In certain situations they can add neat affects to the same sounding drums all night. In intimate surroundings or in large venues they can be just the right touch or if they are over used, it ruins the "specialness" of its usefulness.
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  15. #15

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    do you have any recordings or video of your triggered kit Bish? I'd like to hear it. thanks
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  16. #16

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    Default Re: Why Triggers on an acoustic set...my test

    I have a Tama Imperialstar (cheap entry level kit) converted to e-drum by installing internal trigger inside the shell (really easy) with mesh head to kill the acoustic sound completely and with BFD2 hooked up this drum just became a beast!
    there are a lot of good internal triggers to choose from with little bit of research, mine is Intrigg and they have a solid built internal triggers with decent pricing... if you are interested should definitely check it out.

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