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Hi, what are the different ways to record a seperate triggered kick drum track? Do I need a drum module to pick a kick drum sound from, or can I use a sampled kick drum sound of the band's.

I have been recording bands lately that are rock/metal oriented and compression only helps the problem but doesn't change the overall sound of the drum. On fast double bass I need it to be consitant volume/sound and If the drummer cann't hit the kick hard enough each hit then, in my opinion, it makes my recording not sound as good as it could be.

I have never considered this before until now, I will only use this on kick drum, and probably nothing else. I know where I can get a trigger but I have no clue where to start looking. I don't use Pro Tools, or any pc based daw. I use an akai dps24, which has worked out great for me.

I can get a nice kick sound, and I compress on tracking and mixing but that doesn't cut it, in some instances for the rock/metal/hardcore genre.



anonymous Tue, 04/05/2005 - 15:59

there is an old trick to get metal drum sounds. tape quarters or half dollars to where the beater hits the drum and use a wood beater if necessary. metal drums are usually really flat with a thud and a lot of high end (click). so make sure you compress it hard, then eq it to bring out the ~4k click sound. try using a wider q until you get the sound your looking for.

as far as triggering drums, you can get a trigger like this:

or you can make one yourself like this:

then you can run them into any drum sampler that can take triggers (the best would be one that can let you load your own samples, so you can record your drum sound and then load it to trigger with the actual kick)

i am not that familiar with these devices, but i know they exist.

i don't know if it will have the sounds you want, but you can buy something like a alesis dm5 or find a used dm4.

might want to check around to see which one will have the sounds you want.

good luck,


Todzilla Wed, 04/06/2005 - 05:53

I've done a lot of experiementaton with triggering. What I found is the best approach is just to mike the kick inside, with a heavy blanket over the kick drum to improve the isolation. Then, just record the kick drum sound. You don't even need a great mic really. Make sure the mic is picking up a nice sharp attack.

Once you've recorded the sound, you can either use a software based trigger (I've got a plug-in with Digital Perfomer that works really well) or if you need a hardware based approach, get a used Alesis D4 (>$100). It has twelve built-in triggers with lots of control. With either approach, you can fine tune the trigger threshold and output either a MIDI note, which you can use to try lots of different kick sounds, or just have the MIDI output of the trigger play a kick sound.

I got very frustrated with the live trigger approach, because it requires you to commit to trigger settings during tracking. Inevitably, your drummer will play harder during the real tracking than when you set up the initial triggering beforehand. Why commit to trigger settings before you have the track recorded?

You may have to shift the triggered sound to compensate for the latency introduced by the mic->trigger->MIDI->sound chain, but that should be a very predictable amount.

Lastly, you shouldn't use those stick-on triggers for recording. They don't work as well as a plain old mic'ed track. They are better for live work.

Good Luck!

anonymous Wed, 04/06/2005 - 14:47

I use drumagog and sound replace with only two samples that i've recorded, both of them on the high setting when you set up the samples. That way every hit doesn't sound exactly the same for the double bass. You can change settings so that the volume doesn't change with the hits. I've never used live triggers before but what i do in drumagog for me would probably work better than ever doing live ones.


Todzilla Fri, 04/08/2005 - 09:31

Keep in mind that triggering the kick is much easier than other drums, since the bleed factor can create false triggers or missed triggers. If you try to trigger snares, you will have to really sweat the details.

I think since you're hardware based, a used Alesis D4 is your answer. It has 100 kick sounds and fairly decent (although far from cutting edge) and it has several parameters with which to control the triggering behavior.

anonymous Fri, 04/08/2005 - 10:32

when you have shitty drums that aren't tuned, it is your job as an engineer to make them sound good. there is something called the drum dial it is prety useable, far from perfect, but it gets you in the zone. then tune by ear after that. there is also stuff called moongel that you can put on the drums to help get rid of crazy resonances in order to tune the drums for recording. what sounds good for live drums does not necessarily sound good for recording drums.

just some tips i've learned by trial and fire.