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recording with triggers?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by xMannequiNx, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    I was wondering if recording with triggers would be a reliable way to record a bass drum. Ive always used a kick drum mic when recording at other studios, but I know that with a trigger you can use any kick drum sound you want and get the perfect one without any eq. And for the death metal stuff you can always cheat for the really fast bass rolls!

    Since im looking into buying a set of mics for my drums, I was wondering if a trigger would be a good way to record? I was thinking it could even free up a space on my interface to add another mic, like a second snare mic, and it would also save a lot of money on buying a nice kick mic.
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Drummers usually frown on triggers and samples, but it sounds like you are into it...Cool.

    There are programs that can do what a trigger does but instead of using MIDI they use the actual audio from the track...Drumagog is one. However, you don't have the simple quantization functions with audio that you have with MIDI.

    It doesn't hurt to have a trigger on the kick and record that MIDI data. If you know your kick sounds like crap and you know you want to replace the sound, then go for it. If your not sure, go for it anyway. You can record the kick audio plus the MIDI data from the trigger and then work with both.

    I don't know about the bit about saving money not having to buy a kick mic. You'll need a trigger, a trigger-to-MIDI converter and then sounds for the MIDI to play. There are several devices that do the conversion this like this or this. Then you'll need the actual trigger and then samples to use for the kick drum. If you went with that Roland, plus a good set of kick samples, you are looking at close to 400 bucks. You can get a kick drum mic for less than that.

    Maybe instead of going with a trigger setup...which can be a PITA at times, check out Drumagog. It's easy to use and can create MIDI tracks for ALL of your drums then you can replace kick, snare, and every Tom, Dick and Harry!

    I don't think what you want to do is a bad idea but don't start out from the get-go using this as a replacement, unless that's what you are going for. Start out using it to enhance your existing kick drum.

    OH, the whole 'without any EQ' thing isn't necessarily true. Sure, you can use pre-recorded, pre-compressed, pre-EQ'd samples, but you may still need to apply some EQ to get them to fit with the rest of your mix.
  3. Matty_MTEC

    Matty_MTEC Guest

    Hi xMannequiNx,

    I haven't used Drumagog myself, but do know others that have used it and speak very highly of it.

    On the cost side of things, if you are looking at buying a set of mics for your drums, you may not be saving anything by not buying a kick mic. Quite often mic companies have packaged up their mics and this package is at a reduced cost compared to if you bought the mics separately. (However, if you know what mics you want and they are different brands, then this doesn't apply.)

    Certainly for metal the kick sound is rather particular and it may take a fair amoung of work to pull that sound from your kick (if you are not an experienced engineer) so a trigger can help with that. However, a kick drum has a very regular sound due to the beater always hitting the exact same place on the head. So once you manage to pull the sound, you've captured it.

    If you are considering a trigger, rather than a bottom snare mic, I'd suggest you consider a snare trigger. You can blend the trigger sample in with your snare mic track and you may find this pulls a better overall snare sound. And the blended sound will have less variation than a pair of mics as the sampled sound will not vary whether you hit the head in the centre or towards the edge. I expect you are going for a fairly consistent sound for your metal.

    Just a thought...


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