Do you need drum replacement?
That is the question.
Though, you may be wondering to yourself just exactly what that is. Allow me to explain.
Drum replacement, or “triggering” as it may be said, refers to applying a different drum sound to the original sound your drums make. Whether that be the kick, snare, or toms, any number of drum replacement tools can “attach” a better, more punchy sounding drum to the “transient” of your drum performance.
Now, there’s been a variety of drum triggering tools that have existed over the years. You can put a hardware trigger on your drum that you connect to a sampler or drum pad that, when you hit your drum, sends a signal to your sampler to create a hit, not unlike when you hit one of the rubber pads on it, only it works when you play your acoustic drums.
But you didn’t come here for a history lesson.
We are all about broadcast/recorded audio, and therefore we’re gonna talk about the drum replacement applications that apply, and that is going to be software drum replacement.
If you’d like to learn more about what we do, check out our Livestream Mix Template.
There’s been a few names over the years, but the one that stands out the most is Steven Slate Trigger. This software allows you to, well, do just about anything you want.
- Layer multiple samples
- Add room sounds
- Blend in your original drum
- Extract midi data to create a midi track in post
- Gate or “suppress” other unwanted sounds that could cause ghost triggering
To be perfectly honest with you, it does all this so well, a good many folks, for a lot of years, forgot to even bother tuning their drums. They just triggered samples. Lol.
The case for replacement.
“Shut up and take my money!” Right? it’s pretty great.
A few reasons why you might want to use trigger is you have entirely too much cymbal/hihat bleed in your snare. Trigger can clean that up because there’s no bleed in a sample.
You also aren’t stuck with the sound you recorded. Drum replacement, as I’m sure you’ve surmised at this point, entirely transforms your drums into basically any sound you want.
Check out some of our custom-recorded trigger samples
The case against drum replacement.
I know you’re sold. And what I’ve got to say next is probably not gonna sway you. But there are some things you need to consider with using trigger, ESPECIALLY for live worship.
For one, trigger doesn’t know when a drummer changes his articulation. What I mean by that is you might as well tell your drummer to stop playing rim clicks, because his rim click will just sound like a soft snare hit. That is, of course, you want to go through the trouble of dialing the sample mix knob all the way down when you notice he’s playing a click. But who wants to do that?
It also is a reasonably hefty CPU-wise. You can’t trigger samples in a live situation without a solid computer.
You should also keep in mind that you will never be able to trigger your toms without doing some editing in post.
Drum replacement is a great tool. It is a tool everyone needs in their toolbox. Hopefully we’ve laid out enough information for you to get started with success in making your drums sound better!