Originally Posted by llamanator
what are drum triggers exactly? dont they just smooth out the sound or am i missing something?
Triggers plug into a drum brain, which converts acoustic hits into MIDI events - basically makes it like pressing a key on a MIDI keyboard every time you hit one of your drums. You can then use those events to trigger electronic sounds, usually samples of some description.
In short, triggers make an acoustic kit produce electronic kit sounds. They're good for some things, but a lot of metal drummers use them because they can't achieve sufficient power with their hands or feet so they trigger some stupendously loud sample whenever they tap the drum gently.
Triggers are fine if you have a creative use for them, but if you're just using them as a crutch to make up for your inability to play the instrument they're pretty clearly the suck. Also I'd like to point out that all the people judging this Rev character by his playing on very heavily-produced album tracks are probably barking up the wrong tree. Here's some videos on the kind of stuff that can be done these days with timing:
(watch the whole series)
Combine that with the ability to replace drum hits with samples even when you're NOT using triggers and MIDI stuff can be snapped into perfect time with live playing and you have an environment where nearly ANY drummer can sound like a hyper-technical metal god without actually being able to play their instrument. The test of a metal drummer is whether they can play their stuff live, nowadays: the last Meshuggah album didn't even have any live drums on it, it was all programmed.
So if this Rev guy can't pull his parts off live then he just plain can't play them, and he doesn't deserve all the attention he's getting.