Old fart rant over trigger fart kick drums.

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I was watching this info video from Tim http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPhswBjfZfw (no offense Tim, just by way of example) and it featured the use of a kick pedal trigger. As an incidental point, the upside down orientation changes the way a finely balanced pedal behaves, nevertheless, I think the kick sound is just horrible. Ok, maybe you want that sound, I can cope with that (just), but what's all this using a trigger then putting a perfectly good acoustic kick drum in front of it about? Come on, please. If you must use a trigger, have the guts to show so proudly. Please don't use the veil of a beautiful instrument as a vanity mask for your nasty little farting noise generators. I don't get the trigger thing anyhow. Why not just use an Ekit? I even think this trigger sound/acoustic costume thing is giving our beloved acoustic drums a bad name, it's certainly misrepresentation. It's as bad as miming, isn't it? It's just a pathetic attempt at painting some form of authenticity over an uninspiring sound generation device. Rant over.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I was watching this info video from Tim http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPhswBjfZfw (no offense Tim, just by way of example) and it featured the use of a kick pedal trigger. As an incidental point, the upside down orientation changes the way a finely balanced pedal behaves, nevertheless, I think the kick sound is just horrible. Ok, maybe you want that sound, I can cope with that (just), but what's all this using a trigger then putting a perfectly good acoustic kick drum in front of it about? Come on, please. If you must use a trigger, have the guts to show so proudly. Please don't use the veil of a beautiful instrument as a vanity mask for your nasty little farting noise generators. I don't get the trigger thing anyhow. Why not just use an Ekit? I even think this trigger sound/acoustic costume thing is giving our beloved acoustic drums a bad name, it's certainly misrepresentation. It's as bad as miming, isn't it? It's just a pathetic attempt at painting some form of authenticity over an uninspiring sound generation device. Rant over.
Tell us how you really feel, KIS! ;)

Do keep in mind this is something that's been done alot. I recall Van Halen back in the 80s and he was actually triggering a Simmons SDS7 back then, and man could you tell. Stewart Copeland from the Police even had some low-end enhancement triggers. And Max Weingberg on the Born in the USA tour had a trigger taped to his bass drum head. I think alot of this was done because it's easier to deal with that then it is to get a great bass drum sound in a huge arena.

I remember seeing Oingo Boingo long ago and Johnny Vatos did play his triggers proudly by NOT having a drum in front of his DW trigger pedals. It was kinda' weird seeing his whole leg up there!

But some people feel they need 'em, others don't. It's all about the options, I suppose!
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
Triggers are bad enough, but masking it is kinda tacky.

I can completely understand doing a whole plethora of things to your bass drum to make it sound the way you want. I personally have a pillow lining the inside of my batter head and a Vic Firth bass drum foam mute partially leaning on the front of the reso, just to get rid of the undesired "boooooom".

But, doing that electronically and then lying about it? Buh. No. Although live situations are a lot about the way things look, there's a point where artistic integrity shouldn't be lowered any farther.
 

NYDRUMMA

Senior Member
That sounds like the Black Eyed Peas song Boom, Boom, Boom. So i guess if you are going to play to that music at least its a real drummer and not a drum machine. It can be a way to get more gigs maybe? Either way music changes and drummers may have to change with it. But i'm just a new drummer so....besides not everyone likes how a traditional set sounds. Hence the reason for triggers and drum machines. As a side note i think its worse when someone uses triggers on a traditional kit...that to me is faking it. Hip hop and techno and music that use electronic means want that electric sound. So they NEED to use triggers. I find it more bothersome when people use triggers to make their acoustic kit sound like a different kick.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Either way music changes and drummers may have to change with it. But i'm just a new drummer so....besides not everyone likes how a traditional set sounds. Hence the reason for triggers and drum machines. As a side note i think its worse when someone uses triggers on a traditional kit...that to me is faking it. Hip hop and techno and music that use electronic means want that electric sound. So they NEED to use triggers. I find it more bothersome when people use triggers to make their acoustic kit sound like a different kick.
My point exactly! I have no problem with drummers constantly evolving & searching for new sounds. The fact that I don't like the sound is irrelevant, in fact, that's probably a good thing if you want to be current or pushing the boundries. It's the transparent (at least to us drummers) deception that's colon clenching to me. If you're all about digital generated/cloned sounds, that's cool. Go with it, & proudly stand by your craft, but don't hide away behind the magnificent acoustic drum. It's tantamount to admitting your offering is second grade.
 

BrewBillfold

Silver Member
I was watching this info video from Tim http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPhswBjfZfw (no offense Tim, just by way of example) and it featured the use of a kick pedal trigger. As an incidental point, the upside down orientation changes the way a finely balanced pedal behaves, nevertheless, I think the kick sound is just horrible. Ok, maybe you want that sound, I can cope with that (just), but what's all this using a trigger then putting a perfectly good acoustic kick drum in front of it about? Come on, please. If you must use a trigger, have the guts to show so proudly. Please don't use the veil of a beautiful instrument as a vanity mask for your nasty little farting noise generators. I don't get the trigger thing anyhow. Why not just use an Ekit? I even think this trigger sound/acoustic costume thing is giving our beloved acoustic drums a bad name, it's certainly misrepresentation. It's as bad as miming, isn't it? It's just a pathetic attempt at painting some form of authenticity over an uninspiring sound generation device. Rant over.
Purism--blech, man. Just let everyone play whatever they want, decorated/disguised however they want. I don't know why it would affect you that they're doing something different than what you like.

I don't particularly like the timbres he's using there, either, although I like the bass drum sound a lot more than some of the other sounds. I don't have a problem with someone using those sounds, though, if that's what they like. A lot of people probably don't like the sounds I like, either. Heck, I love Lars Ulrich's snare drum sound on St. Anger. <shrugs>
 

BrewBillfold

Silver Member
My point exactly! I have no problem with drummers constantly evolving & searching for new sounds. The fact that I don't like the sound is irrelevant, in fact, that's probably a good thing if you want to be current or pushing the boundries. It's the transparent (at least to us drummers) deception that's colon clenching to me. If you're all about digital generated/cloned sounds, that's cool. Go with it, & proudly stand by your craft, but don't hide away behind the magnificent acoustic drum. It's tantamount to admitting your offering is second grade.
Just to turn it around, but some big electronic pads in front of your acoustic drums. Maybe you can get some electronic drum purists upset that you're cheating or being deceptive.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Just to play devil's advocate for a minute:

(and no, I've never triggered live, never played an e-kit live, but have in the studio).

What is a bass drum sample? A sample is a digital recording that can be played back. Outside of the obviously electronic sounds (808, etc) many bass drum samples are in fact, a recording of a real bass drum. Yes, the recordings are processed, EQ-ed, and effects are added, but it still started with a real bass drum in someone's studio.

Now, let's look at what goes into using a real bass drum in the average setting:
A mic is placed in the bass drum (or in front, or in combination with other mics), and these mics color the sound. This is why we have so many different choices in mics, but each one had a different way they affect the sound. And where the mic is placed can drastically change the sound captured.

Once we have the mic set up, typically, either a gate is set up, or the sound is compressed, or both. Often, there is quite a bit of EQ.

In almost every case, the sound coming out of the speaker is NOT the sound at the bass drum itself. It's been colored, eq-ed, compressed, and/or gated, and maybe some reverb was added, or other effects.

Which is the same process that from which one gets a sampled sound.

At the end of the day, the end result is same, it's a processed version of a real bass drum.
 

BrewBillfold

Silver Member
In almost every case, the sound coming out of the speaker is NOT the sound at the bass drum itself. It's been colored, eq-ed, compressed, and/or gated, and maybe some reverb was added, or other effects.
Right, in a live, large venue situation, no matter what, the audience is only hearing an electronic signal anyway.
 

JPW

Silver Member
I was e-kit guy for couple of years. It has it's uses. Sound is always a bit different no matter how semantic you go with the signal stuff. I had the best module there was (TDW-20) used good audio interface, used superior drummer 2 and it's expansions with a laptop and with minimal latency, but evetually I gave up and returned to the acoustic world. Listening back to the recordings from back then it just isn't at all the same.

But e-kits has it's uses and I'm sure we will see them a LOT more in the future. The development is just waaay too slow if you compare what _could_ already be possible.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Purism--blech, man. Just let everyone play whatever they want, decorated/disguised however they want. I don't know why it would affect you that they're doing something different than what you like.

I don't particularly like the timbres he's using there, either, although I like the bass drum sound a lot more than some of the other sounds. I don't have a problem with someone using those sounds, though, if that's what they like. A lot of people probably don't like the sounds I like, either. Heck, I love Lars Ulrich's snare drum sound on St. Anger. <shrugs>
No, not outright purism. If you read my op, & my last post, you'll see that I have no issue with the stereo typical triggered kick drum sound. I don't like it, but, as I've already pointed out, that's not my issue. It's the perceived need to dress the trigger source as something it's not.

DED, fully get your point, you're correct of course, but my kick drum sound, and those of others that I like, are reasonably transparent to the source. For my part, certainly no compression or gating, & only sufficient EQ to negate the room effect.
 

BrewBillfold

Silver Member
No, not outright purism. If you read my op, & my last post, you'll see that I have no issue with the stereo typical triggered kick drum sound. I don't like it, but, as I've already pointed out, that's not my issue. It's the perceived need to dress the trigger source as something it's not.
I consider that purism though--it's an authenticity issue for you, as you noted.

So what about the idea of turning it around on them--put some big electronic pads in front of your acoustics, so that you're giving the appearance that you have electronic drums, but you're really playing acoustics behind it.
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
I was watching this info video from Tim http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPhswBjfZfw (no offense Tim, just by way of example) and it featured the use of a kick pedal trigger. As an incidental point, the upside down orientation changes the way a finely balanced pedal behaves, nevertheless, I think the kick sound is just horrible. Ok, maybe you want that sound, I can cope with that (just), but what's all this using a trigger then putting a perfectly good acoustic kick drum in front of it about? Come on, please. If you must use a trigger, have the guts to show so proudly. Please don't use the veil of a beautiful instrument as a vanity mask for your nasty little farting noise generators. I don't get the trigger thing anyhow. Why not just use an Ekit? I even think this trigger sound/acoustic costume thing is giving our beloved acoustic drums a bad name, it's certainly misrepresentation. It's as bad as miming, isn't it? It's just a pathetic attempt at painting some form of authenticity over an uninspiring sound generation device. Rant over.
Nothng is as bad as miming...........

Mike

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C

Crazy8s

Guest
I'm gonna go ahead and chime in a little bit here....

Axis pedals find their way under the feet of fast kicking drummers most of the time. When an acoustic BD is played quickly, the drum tends to sound muddy and the attack drops to nearly zero. This can be resolved in part by using a smaller kick drum or by tuning the BD tighter, but there is still a point on any acoustic bass drum where the attack disappears by fast notes being played on it.

To add that attack, many metal drummers will use a trigger system to simultaneously play a sound that when combined with the acoustic BD sound will gain that attack back. If the trigger is on the head itself, it will tend to double trigger and this is undesirable.

Axis' sonic hammer is not subject to the vibration of the drum head and consequently such double triggering is almost completely eliminated. The hammer is an excellent solution for metal drummers to use to get a crisp BD sound while playing fast figures.

KIS, I don't know why you have decided to rant about this because clearly this type of music is not your forte. Do you play Axis pedals? Are you wicked fast at double kicks? Do you play extreme metal? Do you integrate electronics into your set up? Your rant sounds more like a Harley Davidson rider complaining about a Ducati Monster that just annihilated them at the dragstrip.

Besides, Tim was demonstrating the pedal and not the sound source. Tim just seems to have odd taste in sounds, but he certainly does have the kick skills to demonstrate why Axis pedals kick arse.

Harley D's are just as cool as a Ducati, but clearly intended for two different types of riding enjoyment. Nothing personal....
 

theindian

Senior Member
How is using an acoustic bass drum deceptive? Its usually really obvious if someone is using triggers on the kick btw it sounds. I'm not a fan of the sound personally, I'm just saying, (unless your deaf) its not like someone pulled a trick on you. Some drummers may like feel/rebound of an acoustic kick but the sounds of triggers. Some guys use both triggers & microphones at the same time (D-Rod). The trigger argument is an old one, can't we find new things to be outraged over?
 
C

Crazy8s

Guest
Using triggers on a kick has nothing to do with 'miming' anything. It is for compensating for shortcomings in acoustic drums. Physics is physics, and an acoustic bass drum is limited to the laws of physics.

Additionally, using triggers on acoustic drums allows one to make electronics sounds but have a back up plan if the electronic gear craps out on stage...which seems to happen far too often!
 

ccsimms

Senior Member
Well triggering rather than an Ekit is more convenient because alot of these metal cats usually only have their bass drum triggered which is just generally easier to do than having a hybrid acoustic-E kit. And masking it for looks I guess is kind of dumb, I always wondered why those metal guys had those the bassdrums in front of another...
 

NYDRUMMA

Senior Member
ANYTHING that is being played by a drummer is better than a drum machine on loop. Just think its getting to the point where you can program software to play almost any kind of music in any fashion.

The only think that is saving drummers is their creativity touch and feel. I guess this can apply to many musicians. You can program a computer to play just about any instrument. Which begs the question:

Does creating music that is played by a computer program make the creator a musician or just a writer?
 

Fiery

Silver Member
It's as bad as miming, isn't it? It's just a pathetic attempt at painting some form of authenticity over an uninspiring sound generation device. Rant over.
Shouldn't you try to inform yourself more on something before calling it "pathetic"? It is a pretty harsh word you know.

There's already at least two very good reasons mentioned here for keeping an acoustic drum even if one uses Axis pedals with E-kits
1. Some (actually, a lot of) drummers like to mix the sound of the acoustic drum with a triggered sample, and these aren't just from the extreme metal crowd. The same technique is sometimes used for the snare drum, and the toms too.
2. No electronic drum will ever match the feel of an acoustic drum, and that can be quite important to a lot of drummers.

There's at least one other good reason that I haven't seen mentioned here yet:
3. Convention and expectation: the crowd is used to seeing a certain setup on stage, no matter how the sounds are produced. For this reason a lot of metal drummers will have two kick drums set up even though they use just one with a double pedal on it. Most drummers (and musicians in general) are still here mainly to entertain the crowd, and this includes visual as well as audio aspects.
 
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bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Im so old that I think of Trigger as being The Lone Rangers horse!

Trigger, or no trigger, who cares! If it makes you happy, then use it!
 
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