Ready to take your playing to the next level? The right drum triggers can help you get there. While they’re just one part of the setup, they can make all the difference in providing crisp, clear sounds without any lag – and they can bring whole new layers of dimensionality to your group’s music. Just like other electronic components, drum triggers are available at different prices, with a variety of pros and cons to keep in mind while deciding which are best suited to your needs.
Quick Links: Our Top 5 Picks:
- Aquarian Kickzone Bass Drum Trigger
- Pintech Percussion RS-5 Acoustic Head Trigger
- Roland RT-30H Drum Trigger (Single)
- Roland RT-30KKick Trigger
- Roland RT-30HR Dual Trigger
Even though drum triggers are designed to provide a similar function, not all brands and models deliver the same performance. Let’s take a quick look.
- System compatibility –Double-check to ensure that the drum triggers you choose are compatible with your acoustic drum trigger module. Most brands are interchangeable, but there may be exceptions.
- Drum type – Some triggers are designed to fit toms, some fit basses, and some fit snares. Some triggers are versatile enough to fit just about any drum. Once fully assembled, a well-equipped kit tends to include different types, which extends the player’s range and allows for far more sound options than a minimalistic kit with just one or two triggers.
- Drum trigger type–Depending on your setup and playing style, you might prefer different types of drum triggers. Some pick up vibration from the drum’s head, while others are designed to sense the vibrations emitted by the drum’s shell or rim.
- Single or dual – Most drum triggers are designed to pick up vibrations from a single source. There are a few dual triggers available, however; these mount to a single point on the drum and allow the drummer to strike different points (i.e. head or rim) and get two different sounds from the same trigger.
- Mounting style – Head contact drum triggers are stuck directly to the drumhead with adhesive, while rim mount triggers are contained within protective housings.
With these considerations and a few other points in mind, we’ve curated this review, which includes five of the best drum triggers currently available.
Tips for choosing the best drum triggers
The good news is this: Even through drum triggers are technical marvels that go a long way toward enhancing your performance, it’s easy to choose good ones. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Durability: As with so many things, durability tends to come with a higher price tag attached. While fragile head contact triggers do cost less, they’re prone to damage due to exposed wires and jacks that can be pinched and hit. These drum triggers work well but they do need to be replaced more often. Over time, the expense can add up.
- Price: For the most part, your drum triggers are going to be among the least expensive components in your kit, assuming that you’ve chosen quality components. Even the best drum triggers seem ultra-cheap in comparison with larger items! For this reason, it’s a good idea to ensure that other factors play starring roles in the decision making process.
- Cables: Some drum triggers use standard guitar cables (¼” to ¼”) while others require XLR to ¼” cables. Know in advance that these cables (either type) can go bad and be sure to keep an extra on hand, particularly if you’re using a brand that requires XLR to ¼” cables.
- Drum rim height: If you’re considering rim mount drum triggers, check to ensure that they’ll provide good contact without muffling your drum. Many of the newest options are adjustable, so you can find the perfect setting without difficulty.
Unless you’re on an ultra-tight budget, it’s a good idea to get the best drum triggers you can. Even if it seems like overkill now, you can grow into them and you won’t be faced with the inconvenience of replacement at a later date.