Triggers and form over function.

Tmcfour

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Two weeks ago I saw one of my Favorite local bands (who are starting to get some national and global recognition) and I was talking with the drummer about his bass drum. He converted a floor tom to a 16" bass drum. The band uses blast beats and he triggers the bass drum. He explained that the 16" is great because he never had a problem with cross triggering from the snare because the bass drum is so low. He stuffs the bass drum with pillows and cranks the head so that he gets all the speed he can out of his Double Pedal and plays using the heel toe technique. My existential question is, in this situation, what does it matter what he's using as a striking surface? I'm envisioning being able to make a kit and use the cheapest kicks on the market and then just use that money towards the most amazing sounding toms and wrapping everything to match. What do you guys/gals think?
 

dtk

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It doesn't matter what he's hitting if what he's hitting isn't the source of the sound. It begs the question why even make it look like a drum? Thought Blue Man group has probably already done this I picture a drummer soloing at a table set for a 5 course meal...with each plate triggered...or...you could hit a crash test dummy with sticks...each limb containing a different trigger...the visuals are limitless...
 

Tmcfour

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It doesn't matter what he's hitting if what he's hitting isn't the source of the sound. It begs the question why even make it look like a drum? Thought Blue Man group has probably already done this I picture a drummer soloing at a table set for a 5 course meal...with each plate triggered...or...you could hit a crash test dummy with sticks...each limb containing a different trigger...the visuals are limitless...
Yeah, that's where my head was going. I remember seeing Skinny Puppy in the 90s and they had 50 gallon oil drums set up with the trigger pads on the top. The visual was cool.
 

bongomania

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Yeah, the electronic drum world has been trying to figure out the balance of “looking like a real drum kit” for decades now. And yes, people have done all kinds of completely non-drum-looking arrangements; Laurie Anderson had a suit with triggers all over, arms, legs, torso, shoulders, so she could drum by hitting herself.
 

Polska

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And Terry Bozzio had basically a thin, flat table with Missing Persons near the end of their run. I personally like the aesthetic of the acoustic drum kit, but if the music is different why not make the visual different too.
 

Tmcfour

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My dream is triggers on my car's steering to turn air drumming into actual an actual play-along with what's on the stereo (with pedal triggers on the floor).
BRILLIANT! I will also need a foot trigger about where a clutch should be.
 

tillerva

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I've thought about this too. Might as well be playing a counter top.
If he's going to trigger something why a 16" bass drum? Given your description I assume they're playing some intense music and a 16" bass drum does not trigger intensity to me.
Punned it up there too.
 

cochlea

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The whole "make electronic drums look like acoustic drums" trend has baffled me over the years. And this is coming from someone who played an e-kit exclusively for 30+ years. I realize that there are audience members (not all them drummers) who look down on electronic kits, which is why I guess many drummers try their best to camouflage their e-drums. It seems, however, counter productive to me since one of the benefits of electronic drums I appreciated was their portability and smaller footprint. You defeat this by housing everything into regular sized drum shells that add nothing to the overall sound (unless you're doing the hybrid thing). The need to have rubber cymbal pads that look like acoustic china cymbals baffles me even more.
 

Tmcfour

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I've thought about this too. Might as well be playing a counter top.
If he's going to trigger something why a 16" bass drum? Given your description I assume they're playing some intense music and a 16" bass drum does not trigger intensity to me.
Punned it up there too.
I think, he uses the 16 because he can get a higher tension out of the drum head. The dude is crazy fast with his double bass.
 

cribbon

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And Terry Bozzio had basically a thin, flat table with Missing Persons near the end of their run. I personally like the aesthetic of the acoustic drum kit, but if the music is different why not make the visual different too.

Terry0082.jpg



Terry0083.jpg
 

cribbon

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The whole "make electronic drums look like acoustic drums" trend has baffled me over the years. And this is coming from someone who played an e-kit exclusively for 30+ years. I realize that there are audience members (not all them drummers) who look down on electronic kits, which is why I guess many drummers try their best to camouflage their e-drums. It seems, however, counter productive to me since one of the benefits of electronic drums I appreciated was their portability and smaller footprint. You defeat this by housing everything into regular sized drum shells that add nothing to the overall sound (unless you're doing the hybrid thing). The need to have rubber cymbal pads that look like acoustic china cymbals baffles me even more.
Exactly. Why not take advantage of the possibilities that e-drums offer? You don't need all that furniture.
 

dcrigger

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I think, he uses the 16 because he can get a higher tension out of the drum head. The dude is crazy fast with his double bass.
And I would think that would be the argument for why he's doing it that way. He's basically turned the acoustic drum into a trigger pad - but all pads feel and play differently. Sonically the end result would be the same - whether he used a Roland type pad with head, or a harder pad, or a self contained trigger pedal. But if the feel of a tight, damped 16" head feels best and works best for his technique... then that would be more than reason enough to do it right there.
 

dcrigger

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The whole "make electronic drums look like acoustic drums" trend has baffled me over the years. And this is coming from someone who played an e-kit exclusively for 30+ years. I realize that there are audience members (not all them drummers) who look down on electronic kits, which is why I guess many drummers try their best to camouflage their e-drums. It seems, however, counter productive to me since one of the benefits of electronic drums I appreciated was their portability and smaller footprint. You defeat this by housing everything into regular sized drum shells that add nothing to the overall sound (unless you're doing the hybrid thing). The need to have rubber cymbal pads that look like acoustic china cymbals baffles me even more.
Yes - I found this particularly weird with the Yamaha Sub-kick mic - really no reason to mount that in a drum shell with a mesh head.
 

musiqman

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Yes - I found this particularly weird with the Yamaha Sub-kick mic - really no reason to mount that in a drum shell with a mesh head.
Apples and pears.

The drum shell, shock mounting,l and (custom) mesh heads add to its working besides making it visually interesting. This is also the reason you can't use a regular head instead.

The Subkick features a 10-in. woofer (frequency response 20Hz - 8kHz) which is shock mounted inside a 7-ply Maple shell and covered with 10-in. black mesh heads. The drum shell focuses sound waves in a strong, directional pattern through the speaker. The Mesh heads, although sonically invisible to those frequencies, add a small amount of sustain to the sound. In combination with the resonance of the drum shell, the speaker produces an incredible sub-frequency sound, with plenty of punch and controlled thickness and without the phasing problems often associated with low end reproduction.


To me doesn't look that good, but more importantly. It can fail or even breakdown much easier. Especially when using it live.

The subkick from yamaha works. Always. And looks better too imo.


 

dsop

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The whole "make electronic drums look like acoustic drums" trend has baffled me over the years.
The whole "make electronic drums sound like acoustic drums" trend has baffled me over the years. They're not acoustic drums. They can sound like anything. I miss the sound (and aesthetics) of Simmons drums.
 

polycrescendo

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If I were in his situation and were willing to give up an acoustic bass drum, I'd definitely go with two single trigger pads from Roland and try to find the best feel out of my desired pedals.

Another option to try is to get good at playing these bad boys (Roland KT-10) and ditch the pads all together.
Roland kt-10.jpg
 

Tuckerboy

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Maybe I’m way off base here but I would think the reason the initial drummer in the first post is using triggers is because the band often plays blast beats at higher bpm and the bass drum/pedal/foot technique will not allow for adequate dynamic volume under normal mic’ing conditions. At higher bpm you’re generally only able to “feather” the double pedal to achieve extreme tempo ranges resulting in minimal volume with low/soft contact of the beater to the head.
Triggers can be fun and interesting to experiment with and are great for implementing alternative striking surfaces to your set up or to initiate samples or loops. Other than that I personally wouldn’t use triggers to alter or enhance the effects of my technique. From a technique perspective, I would prefer lowering the tempo (or playing 16th instead of 32nd notes), adjusting or changing my foot technique, and or continuing to practice until I was able to produce the desired results without the need to use triggers.
 

dcrigger

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Apples and pears.

The drum shell, shock mounting,l and (custom) mesh heads add to its working besides making it visually interesting. This is also the reason you can't use a regular head instead.





To me doesn't look that good, but more importantly. It can fail or even breakdown much easier. Especially when using it live.

The subkick from yamaha works. Always. And looks better too imo.


I agree that the sub kick's hardware design made for nice looking, transportable package - but to be fair, it could've been made just as handsomely and far less expensively by NOT an actual drum shell, hardware, rims, etc. But of course, Yamaha drums already was making and selling these things, so why not make the money? Oh except that it cost drummers more - for no good reason.

Unless of course one actually believes the bulk of this chunk of market-speak...

"The Subkick features a 10-in. woofer (frequency response 20Hz - 8kHz) which is shock mounted inside a 7-ply Maple shell and covered with 10-in. black mesh heads. The drum shell focuses sound waves in a strong, directional pattern through the speaker. The Mesh heads, although sonically invisible to those frequencies, add a small amount of sustain to the sound. In combination with the resonance of the drum shell, the speaker produces an incredible sub-frequency sound, with plenty of punch and controlled thickness and without the phasing problems often associated with low end reproduction."

Which would not be me.

I mean, really? "Sonically invisible", yet "adds a small amount of sustain to the sound"????? So which is it? Sonically invisible or adds something (sonically) - because they don't get to claim both. (And yet they did). How does that shell effect the directionality of the sound going through that speaker? Like major, huh???!?!?!?? We're talking EXCLUSIVELY low freq. waves here - BIG LONG WAVES - Did I mention how BIG the waves are? As for the resonance of the drum shell - The resonance of a 10 INCH SHELL contributes what to the "incredible sub-frequency sound". A 10" shell with absolutely ZERO relationship with anything to do with "sub-frequencies"!!!

And finally - what "phasing problems associated with low end reproduction"? Fact is the only way there would be phasing problems with placing a speaker like this in front of a bass drum was if the head added extra sustain and the shell added extra resonances - which I seriously doubt they did. Thus none of those "commonplace" low-end phasing problems.

Not saying the SubKick didn't work just fine. Just saying that it was overpriced for the way it sounded - because of the "let's use off the shelf drum parts" regardless of their cost to function value.

Also saying - I've yet to see an ad of major company product that was written by the actual builders and designers of said product. I would bet money that paragraph above was written solely by a marketing person with all of the limitation that implies.
 

bongomania

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The only common phase problem I know of with bass frequencies is when the signal gets duplicated on a second channel, or in some extreme reflection in a room. I don’t see how the Subkick addresses either scenario.
 


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