Looking for the best drum triggers in 2020? We’ve got you covered with detailed reviews for a myriad of purposes and price ranges.
But first… a bit of background.
Drum triggers are amazing tools when it comes to customising your drums’ sound. There are many options when it comes to triggers and in this article we will discuss some of the best drum triggers currently available to buy online.
Drum triggers usually work alongside drum modules to provide the player with many sound options available on a regular acoustic drum set. They work by sensing when and how hard the drum is being played, and then sending a signal to the module in order to play a chosen sample. All of this happens within milliseconds.
We have compiled a list of the best value drum triggers, from inexpensive beginner triggers to advanced professional standard triggers. Also we’ll go into a little detail as to the different types of triggers, such as snare and bass drum triggers, their differences and their pros and cons.
Read more for the Best Drum Triggers for 2020 – Our 7 Picks
1. Pintech Percussion RS-5 Acoustic Head Trigger Review
If you’re looking for a cheap and affordable drum trigger, the RS-5 by Pintech Percussion is a good starting place. This trigger retails on the lower end on Amazon and represents some of the best value out there. It has quite a basic design, when compared to other triggers on the market. It’s lightweight and contains a free-floating chamber which has been designed to move freely with the drum head during performances. The RS-5 has a standard ¼ inch jack for connecting to drum modules or other devices.
- Good value
- Perfect for beginners
- Not as versatile as other triggers
Pintech Percussion’s RS-5 is a great entry-level trigger. It’s made in the USA and comes with Pintech Percussion’s own “Kwik Klip” mounting system for ease of setup. This is a good drum trigger for anyone who wants to experiment with triggering while on a tight budget.
2. Roland Drum Set Clamp (RT-30K) Review
Roland is known for making some of the best electronic drum triggers around. Their RT-30K drum trigger is competitively priced compared to other high-end trigger manufacturers. First up, this is a bass drum trigger, so it’s ideally suited to clamping onto bigger drums with larger hoops. It is fully compatible with Roland’s TM-2 trigger module and has a quarter-inch jack connector. It will also work along with any of Roland’s TD drum modules or their SPD series of percussion pads.
- Great kick drum trigger
- Comes with TRS cable
- Easily mounted to bass drums
- Not suitable for snares or smaller toms
This trigger is easy to mount and will fit your average bass drum hoop snugly. The casing has been manufactured from durable fiberglass so it’s built to withstand the rigors of touring too. It’s certainly one of the best Roland drum triggers and works out at great value too.
3. Yamaha DT-50S Dual Zone Trigger Review
In a similar price range as the Roland RT-30K, we have the Yamaha DT-50S. Unlike the RT-30K, this trigger is mainly for snare drums and toms. This trigger has dual-zoned sensitivity, meaning you can now trigger both the drum head and the drum rim. This is a huge benefit and obviously it doubles the number of sounds at your disposal. Rims are no longer limited to dead clicking sounds. You can assign a multitude of percussion, or even pitched instruments to your snare and tom rims – and that’s before you choose a sound for the head trigger.
Having two triggering capabilities built into this one unit is a great achievement and automatically places it above basic, single-zoned triggers.
- Fits snares and toms
- Dual-zoned for rims and drum heads
- Not made for bass drums
The DT-50S, while more expensive than many other options, is still amazing value. This series of models contains some of the best Yamaha drum triggers available. It represents good value when you consider the dual-zone capabilities and build quality.
Also, it looks really cool and blends in seamlessly with chrome hardware and is easily secured to the drum by way of an easy finger-fixing screw. If you like the sound of the DT-50S, Yamaha also have the equivalent for bass drum which is their DT-50K. That’s also worth checking out, just below on our list.
4. DDrum CETK Chrome Elite Bass Drum Trigger Review
The CETK is a kick drum trigger with a few nice features that will appeal to drummers. It has an XLR input (we have a comprehensive guide to the best XLR cables as well!) as opposed to the usual TRS ¼ inch jack connection. This increases security while playing and ensures that the cable stays firmly connected, even if the cabling is disrupted.
DDrum have designed the mounting system so that it includes a standard drum key nut. With the addition of this feature, it’s really easy to securely mount the CETK trigger to snares or toms safe in the knowledge that it will stay in place.
- Mounts to drum using a standard drum key
- Has XLR input
- For bass drum only
Ultimately this is a bass drum trigger, but it performs well. There is a good range of dynamics available to the performer and the fact that DDrum have built the CETK securely means you can bash away with full confidence.
5. DDrum CEDTS Chrome Elite Dual Snare Drum Trigger Review – The Best Midi Drum Triggers
From the CETK to the CEDTS; this is another DDrum trigger, yet this time it’s specifically for smaller drums, such as the snare or toms. It looks very like the DDrum kick trigger earlier in our list, and has all the same features such as an XLR connection and drum key fastening. This trigger also has the added benefit of dual-zone triggering. Like the Yamaha DT-50S, this trigger can receive signals from either the drum head or the drum rim.
- Has all the secure mounting design of the CETK
- Dual-zoned triggering
- Won’t fit standard bass drums
Both DDrum triggers, for kick and snare/toms, come in around the same price online and in stores. These are well built and great performing triggers and the fact that they will work with a multitude of devices and modules makes them some of the best MIDI drum triggers around.
6. Yamaha DT-50K Drum Trigger Review
Next we move onto Yamaha’s DT-50K. This is a kick drum trigger from the same range as the aforementioned DT-50S. While the DT-50S is a dual-zone trigger for snare and toms, the DT-50K is designed for bass drums. Being a bass drum trigger, it is single-zoned, so there’s no need for rim triggering. It does have a neat chrome finish and will adapt to a variety of bass drum hoop sizes.
- Solid metal die-cast body
- Slightly more expensive than peers
Yamaha tell us that the DT-50K is compatible with their DTX drum modules such as the DTX900M, the DTX700, the DTX 502 and also the DTX-Multi12. The ease of use and quality components makes it one of the best acoustic drum triggers for kick drums.
7. Aquarian Kickzone Bass Drum Trigger Review
Are you looking for a good bass drum trigger that is inexpensive and reliable? Well, the Aquarian Kickzone might be what you’re after.
This one is on the cheaper side and you can immediately see just from looking at this trigger that it closely resembles the low budget Pintech Percussion trigger on our list. It has a basic design with no fancy mounting. You simply attach the trigger sensor to the drum head and position the jack connector close by. There is however a cord control bracket that has been designed to keep the whole operation tidy.
- Good value
- Cord control bracket keeps the cable secure
- Not as easy to mount as more expensive models
This is another good, cheap option for those new to drum triggering and will little cash to spend. The trigger works well although we feel that using adhesive is not as reliable as the typical mounting system that you usually see with more expensive bass drum triggers.
We’ve enjoyed putting together this review of the best drum triggers you can buy. There’s something in here for consumers of all budgets.
One important thing to note is that the trigger is only half the battle when it comes to using this technology. You’ll also need a responsive unit to compliment the trigger, such as a drum module.
Different modules have different ranges of scope when it comes to customizing sounds such as dynamic range. Dynamic range is important when you go to set the points at which your trigger will activate. Naturally, light players will want a more sensitive setting and heavy players should use a less sensitive setting. Good drum modules will work with the trigger to produce touch-sensitive sound triggering. So without a decent module, you won’t get the full dynamic potential out of the trigger.
One more thing to be aware of is that triggers work on the vibration of the head or the rim, depending on single and dual-zone capabilities. Drum heads will need to be relatively controlled for the trigger to work optimally. Reduce any unwanted vibrations on the drum set so as to reduce the chances of excessive triggering.
Have fun and enjoy the versatility of this technology!
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