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Topic: What do you use to play midi drums?

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  1. #1

    What do you use to play midi drums?

    I´m thinking about the best way how to trigger sampled drums. I have a Roland SPD11 Pad trigger with a hihat pedal and a kick trigger but due to my reduced motoric abilities of my feet (I´m a pianist rather than a drummer) I always end up playing drum parts on my keyboard.
    While researching I found some interesting trigger units like the zendrum (a bit out of my price range) and M-Audio´s Finger Trigger. This sounds like a nice way to trigger drums with the hands. What do YOU think. Any experiences with the M-Audio unit? Or others?
    Thanks for your help
    Raindog

  2. #2

    Re: What do you use to play midi drums?

    I picked up a Trigger Finger a few months ago. I haven't had a chance to really delve into it, but it seems perfect for me. (I'm not a drummer so an elaborate V-drum setup would be overkill). The ability to finger-drum is great, and is much more intuitive than playing percussion parts on a keyboard or mousing them in. I find that I can get a much more natural feel this way.

    Two other bonuses: 1.) It adds 8 knobs and 4 faders to your setup, which is great if you're a tweaker. 2.) It responds to channel pressure, so if your main controller lacks aftertouch, this is a pretty inexpensive way to add it to your setup.

    I use the aftertouch for Garritan JABB's brush stirs, and it's great.

    If you're a teacher or student you can get the Trigger Finger for $199. The version I got also came with Ableton Lite (or LE, or whatever it's called). It comes with a coupon for a relatively inexpensive upgrade to the full version of Ableton. (I'm not sure if this comes with all versions--I would check before you buy).

    chris.

  3. #3

    Re: What do you use to play midi drums?

    Quote Originally Posted by CallMeZoot
    I picked up a Trigger Finger a few months ago. I haven't had a chance to really delve into it, but it seems perfect for me. (I'm not a drummer so an elaborate V-drum setup would be overkill). The ability to finger-drum is great, and is much more intuitive than playing percussion parts on a keyboard or mousing them in. I find that I can get a much more natural feel this way.

    Two other bonuses: 1.) It adds 8 knobs and 4 faders to your setup, which is great if you're a tweaker. 2.) It responds to channel pressure, so if your main controller lacks aftertouch, this is a pretty inexpensive way to add it to your setup.

    I use the aftertouch for Garritan JABB's brush stirs, and it's great.

    If you're a teacher or student you can get the Trigger Finger for $199. The version I got also came with Ableton Lite (or LE, or whatever it's called). It comes with a coupon for a relatively inexpensive upgrade to the full version of Ableton. (I'm not sure if this comes with all versions--I would check before you buy).

    chris.
    That looks cool! I'm always drumming with my fingers, driving my famuily nuts! So this might just be the thing for me!
    Worra
    SampleTekk

    Arf, arf, arf...

  4. #4

    Re: What do you use to play midi drums?

    P.S. Before I bought the Trigger Finger, I thought I would create my own e-drum set. I bought a drum brain (roland td-something I think) and a bunch of triggers, and mounted them in foam material from a craft store.

    This seemed to work ok, but I never really spent a lot of time with it. In the end it cost about as much as the Trigger Finger and only gave me 6 inputs. It took some tweaking too, since I didn't just set it up as a standard kit--I like to trigger wierd sounds and found-percussion stuff, so every time I changed sounds I had to tweak the sensitivity and other controls. Judging by your name I guess you're a Tom Waits fan as well, so you might be doing the same type of thing.

    I still have fantasies about creating some weird drum-trigger sculpture out of junk and using it as an eccentric drumset for live gigs, but in the meantime I think my triggers will sit on the shelf and I'll use my Trigger Finger for most of my percussion needs.

    chris.

  5. #5

    Re: What do you use to play midi drums?

    I have a friend who picked up a Trigger Finger and absolutely *loves* it. He is triggering the Superior kit from Toontrack and said it is an awesome match. Hard to beat the reasonable price tag on it too.

    Best! -Tweed

  6. #6

    Re: What do you use to play midi drums?

    Quote Originally Posted by Worra
    That looks cool! I'm always drumming with my fingers, driving my famuily nuts! So this might just be the thing for me!
    If you think your family would appreciate if you always carried trigger finger with you instead of using your knees, a table, a wine glass or similar you may be mislead

    If you find out what helps preventing to drum with your fingers please tell me. my wife will love you.

  7. #7

    Re: What do you use to play midi drums?

    I just discovered a competitor to Trigger Finger which is Korg´s pad Kontrol. Looks very nice as well and has a X-Y field to control rolls and flams. Could be interesting as well.
    Raindog

  8. #8

    Re: What do you use to play midi drums?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raindog
    I just discovered a competitor to Trigger Finger which is Korg´s pad Kontrol. Looks very nice as well and has a X-Y field to control rolls and flams. Could be interesting as well.
    Raindog
    Just checked but it doesn´t seem to be deliverable until mid April (at least here in Germany)
    The design is a bit.....strange....but it could be what I´m looking for.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: What do you use to play midi drums?

    I am pretty much flabbergasted that anyone would have good things to say about Trigger Finger. I spent several hours playing one, and thought it was probably one of the worst products I've seen released in some time...a good way to throw $200 down the crapper.

    The trigger spacing is so tiny and tight you cannot do much of anything with it. It is as if the person who designed it had no clue how drumming works from a physical perspective. I thought the HandSonic was a bad product, but Trigger Finger actually manages to feel both cheaper and more cluelessly conceived.

    There is no sense of physicality...it's like playing a cheap drum machine. The construction is miserable. It's a piece of skimpy plastic crap. Playing on a keyboard is actually FAR superior to playing on a Trigger Finger. At least you can apply some semblance of physical motion. With the Trigger Finger, you're stuck with these tiny little claustrophobically arranged pads. You can hardly move around the surface. The thing is barely six inches square of actual playing surface (if that). How are you going to open up and actually play the thing?

    Zendrum, on the other hand, plays like a dream, and has a true physicality of expression. The layout is conceived by great drummers, and has been tweaked over the last ten years based on feedback from world-class players. Not to mention that they're flawlessly finished and drop dead gorgeous.

    Perhaps no one was intending to draw an actual comparison between the two products, but I own a Zendrum, and have played about every percussion controller on this planet. I can assure you that if the price were actually relative to the way these controllers feel, then a Zendrum would cost HUNDREDS of times the price of a Trigger Finger, because that is how much better it feels. If the Trigger Finger cost, say, $39, I'd say it was worth the money. It is horrendously overvalued at its asking price.

    I guess you can't tell I have an opinion about it, can you?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: What do you use to play midi drums?

    That Korg unit looks to be better built than Trigger Finger for the same price, but it still has the completely unusable rows of pads. How do you actually "play" something like that? It's as if the designer were instructed that the pads should be laid out in the least possibly conducive manner for drumming!!

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