• Using triggers on bass drums and other parts of an acoustic drum kit is an effective way to turn a drum set into an acoustic/electric hybrid. Triggers are small electronic sensors that are placed on acoustic surfaces. When the surface is struck, the sensor sends a signal to a processor, which sends an electric sound of your choosing to an amplification device.

    How Triggers Work

    Striking the surface of a bass drum that is triggered sends a prerecorded sound of a bass drum or any other sound through the amplification system. Many musicians will use microphones on their acoustic drums and blend the sound with that of the electric trigger to achieve the best possible blend for live performance.

    Types of Triggers

    Bass drum triggers come in two forms: a full pad and a small pad that is placed directly onto the surface of an acoustic drum by attaching it to the rim.

    Advantages of Triggers

    Bass drum triggers can simulate the sound of any bass drum available, which is a inexpensive alternative to collecting all of your favorite acoustic bass drums. Triggers can also remove the need to tune drums. Many drummers will mute the head of the acoustic bass drum and rely solely on the perfectly tuned sound of the trigger.

    Disadvantages of Triggers

    Sensitivity can be an issue with bass drum triggers. If you are a loud drummer, than using triggers is usually not an issue. Playing jazz and other more subtle styles of music can be difficult with most triggers, as they do not respond well to light drumming.

    Cost of Triggers

    Triggers can be purchased for between $20 and $200, depending on quality and sensitivity.


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