Sunday, March 7, 2021

How to trigger your kick drum on a recording with no trigger


Did you know that you don't even need a trigger on your bass drum to trigger a sample with it?

In fact this is what first got me into hybrid drumming before I ever setup my hybrid set. 

There's a couple ways of doing this, but the way I am going to talk about in this post is with drum replacement software. 

Drum replacers usually run as an audio plugin that you use in conjunction with your DAW such as Ableton or Pro Tools. They are really useful actually, especially on a particularly troublesome kick drum or snare drum. 

They way that they work is they use the incoming audio signal from say.... a bass drum (though you can use any drum) then uses the sound it's self to trigger the sample. You can usually blend the natural sound with the triggered sound as well. One of the most popular and best drum replacement plugins is called Drumagog!

I used it on a lot of my album Earth Asylum. Actually on every song except one. When I was recording that album I was using a Tama Imperialstar Kick drum that was only an 18". It sounded good actually, but the mic I had I the time for my kick lacked the nice attack or 'click' sound of the bass drum that makes it cut though loud distorted guitars. 

I was able to use Drumagog to blend a sampled sound with my real kick sound to give me the attack I liked to make the kick drum cut through the mix. The result sounds 100% natural and was the only sampled sound used on those songs. 

My song Rock From Home is an example of the hybrid kick drum sound I made using Drumagog. 

But what if you don't want to spend $100? Well fortunately there's some free options out there as well. Though they might not be as robust or full featured as Drumagog. 

KTDrumTrigger is probably the best free option out there. Though it will take you a little more work to get going as well as sourcing your own samples. The way that it works by using very detailed eq filters to hone in on the sound you want to trigger your sample. Then it sends out midi notes corresponding to your selections.

You then could route the midi output to something like Ableton Drum Rack (or another sampler plugin) and essentially you're doing the same thing as Drumagog, just with a bit more manual configuration. 

Anyway, hopefully you found this post helpful! Feel free to leave a comment below if you have a question. Also, be sure to bookmark!

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