Trigger (drums)

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Triggers in use on toms, bass and snare drum

In drumming, a trigger is an electronic transducer that can be attached to a drum, cymbal or other instrument to enable it to control an electronic drum unit or similar device.

Specialized triggers are produced for specific instruments. A snare drum trigger, for example, needs two channels, one each for the rim and head, while a tom-tom drum trigger needs only to register strokes to the drum head.

Drum triggers gained great attention in the beginning of the 1990 decade, being extensively used on the bass drum on Heavy Metal music, one example is the album Demanufacture by Fear Factory, released in 1995.

The advantage of using drum triggers is that less effort is required from the drummer, since the sensitivity of the trigger can be adjusted to make even the softer hit sound like a loud stroke, and the sound of each one of the drum pieces can be individually equalized as the drummer wishes, and no matter how hard (or soft) the drummer hits, all the pieces will be heard with the same volume. Triggers have a greater use in live performances than in studio recordings, since some drummers dislike the processed triggered sound, labeled by some as artificial.

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