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  #1  
Old 11-18-2008, 06:25 PM
Zoofie Zoofie is offline
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Default Trigger vs Mic

Hey all
Whats the difference between a trigger and a mic , and would you need both to do recording?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2008, 06:28 PM
Mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: Trigger vs Mic

Triggers work on a MIDI basis - they trigger samplers, effectively replacing the sound of the drum. These are often used for things like hand claps and particularly with fast double bass work in order to ensure an even velocity of the notes.

Microphones record the actual sound. In terms of recording, microphones are more common for live recording. When triggers are used, they're often used in conjunction with microphones. You don't need both for recording, generally speaking microphones are more common to see - but if you're working with electronic music, triggers are an option. Think of triggering an acoustic kit as making it work as an electronic kit. Exactly the same digital signal processing is undertaken.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:19 PM
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mrchattr mrchattr is offline
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Default Re: Trigger vs Mic

MFB's answer was really great. So much better than I could have explained it.

I just want to add that in all the recording I've done over the years, I've NEVER used triggers. I'm not opposed to them or anything, just showing that it's completely unnecessary to have them (unless you are doing something like electronic music, in which case you should probably just have electronic components to your kit).
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  #4  
Old 11-19-2008, 04:53 PM
Mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: Trigger vs Mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrchattr View Post
MFB's answer was really great. So much better than I could have explained it.

I just want to add that in all the recording I've done over the years, I've NEVER used triggers. I'm not opposed to them or anything, just showing that it's completely unnecessary to have them (unless you are doing something like electronic music, in which case you should probably just have electronic components to your kit).
Triggers are common in - fundamentally - three types of music. I'm talking about recording here, live is another ball game.

i) Electronic music (Drum 'n' Bass, Jungle, House, etc)
ii) Rap/Hip Hop. Usually in this case on the snare - for various sounds.
iii) Metal. For even-ing out the bass drum notes on fast-bass rolls and the like.

Live a lot of people use triggers in conjunction with microphones and a combination is what is sent to the front-of-house. That can happen in most rock music as well as the three types set out above. I've never seen it used for anything largely acoustic (eg. Jazz) but it is fairly common in a live environment to see some kind of triggering. Triggers can also be used as a signal to various effects, so a trigger can be set to a certain threshold and when it fires, it can trigger a gate or compressor to process the audio signal (different kinds of dynamic effects) or actually trigger their thresholds to prevent feedback issues and the like from straight microphone feeds. This can also be done just using the audio signal from the microphones, but triggers are often used to do this as well.

Fundamentally all a trigger is is a device that fires a MIDI control signal when a certain velocity threshold is reached. That MIDI signal can be processed as almost anything, but it is most common for it to trigger a sample - that is - a sound.
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Trigger vs Mic

I like triggers on an accoustic set. The band (and the drummer, or couse) hear the great sounding acoustic drums on stage, but the triggers allow the FOH mix guy many more options while mixing the band. Triggers and mics can be used at the same time. The acoustic drums go out the main mix through the mics, but this concept gives you the option to blend in a different sounding bass drum or some electronic sounds too. The other option is to run triggers through a midi keyboard and play keyboard parts along with the drum parts on your kit.
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2008, 06:11 PM
Zoofie Zoofie is offline
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Default Re: Trigger vs Mic

Thanks for the replies , but how do you plug in trigger AND mics into your mixer at the same time and get them to work in conjunction?
Cheers
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  #7  
Old 11-19-2008, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Trigger vs Mic

The mics all get their own channel on the board. The triggers are run into a drum machine and then I run a left/right out of the drum machine into the board. The trigger levels are all set on the brain and then a master level sent to the system.
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  #8  
Old 11-19-2008, 09:16 PM
Mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: Trigger vs Mic

You could do that, alternatively you could have the triggers set up so each one has an individual channel output if you're using a module with more than just the stereo. So in theory you can have 'Kick' and 'Kick Trigger' as separate channels on the desk. I would prefer to do it that way because then you get a better mix.

You can't plug triggers directly into a desk unless the desk has a sampler in it. It has to go to the sampler first and THEN is output to the desk. Otherwise it's just a control signal and not an audio signal.

Most triggers reply on a piezo crystal element that actually outputs a small voltage when compressed by force. Some microphones and guitar pickups use this principle (read into PZM or boundary microphones) although this may slightly confuse the issue. Specific triggers are NOT microphones.
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  #9  
Old 11-19-2008, 10:53 PM
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Trench.one Trench.one is offline
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Default Re: Trigger vs Mic

Im currently working with/building my acoustic/electronic kit. I have a roland PD8 pad mounted between my main snare a aux snare onto mu Hi Hat. I have also built my own Piezo based trigger into my aux snare. I'm in the process of building more triggers ,it really is surpisingly easy to do.
all triggers are fed into my Alesis IO ( trigger to midi converter), this allows you to change the drum hits on the pads and triggers to Midi data, from there I'm able to play back all sorts of sounds and samples from computer software and drum machines.

I play a variety of alternative rock and dance based music and this troggers really make a full fat sound sound. still playing with different trigger building concepts but its really adictive once you start.so cheap to build.

opens a whole new world of sound
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  #10  
Old 01-17-2009, 09:10 AM
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dj_rivas dj_rivas is offline
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Default Re: Trigger vs Mic

Can you expand on this a little more? I have reason on my laptop and want to use sounds I have on my computer. Could you break down in more detail what you use?
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  #11  
Old 01-17-2009, 11:13 AM
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eddiehimself eddiehimself is offline
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Default Re: Trigger vs Mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by dj_rivas View Post
Can you expand on this a little more? I have reason on my laptop and want to use sounds I have on my computer. Could you break down in more detail what you use?
It's very simple, just get some drum triggers, then you can plug them into a drum machine with a MIDI output. Then you can plug that into the MIDI port on your soundcard (if you can't do this you'll have to buy a MIDI-USB converter, they're pretty cheap) then once the signal is in your computer you can record it as a midi track on your computer. If the sounds are not part of a midi sound library i think you can make them into one or something but you'll have to ask someone else i'm no expert on the matter.
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