Don’t Pull That Trigger!


Fig. 8, Alternate Mode DITI

Set The Mask Time
Mask time is an important setting. The mask time setting is mostly responsible for getting rid of double and false triggers. If possible, find out how your interface’s numeric values correspond to actual milliseconds, this will make setting this parameter a bit clearer. If not, you’ll just have to rely on your ear.


Fig. 9, Alternate Mode DITI

Take the mask time setting all the way down to “0,” then play the drum as fast as you will in actual performance. Raise the mask time setting until the double triggering is gone, or nearly gone. Next, continue to increase the value until some played notes don’t trigger. At this point, lower the setting a few notches.

For reference, the space between notes in a buzz roll is around 15ms. The space between flams is about 40—50ms. Generally, the snare will have the shortest mask time, the toms will have mask times that increase as the toms get bigger and lower in pitch. The kick drum can have a mask time of 50ms or more.

I use the headroom setting as a way to fine tune the mask time setting. For instance, if the drum is triggering fairly well, but occasionally there is a false or double trigger, I’ll gradually raise the headroom setting until it goes away.

Using Crosstalk
Crosstalk is the last setting to visit, and rather easy to tweak. If another input triggers when you strike a pad, gradually raise the crosstalk level on the offending input until the amount of crosstalk is either acceptable or gone. You may have to adjust this setting on more than one pad to get rid of all the crosstalk happening.

It’s possible that after following the method above, there still may be either note dropouts or double triggering. All I can say is make minor changes to the mask time, threshold, and sensitivity. It’s a balancing act. There are no fixed rules; you must experiment and tweak. You may even find that choosing another trigger type may magically work perfectly. (Fig. 10, Yamaha DTX900)


Fig. 10

Go Forth And Trigger!

Experimentation is the key to understanding trigger input settings. Remember, you can’t break anything by experimenting!

Mike Snyder loves drums, technology, and Lucy, his golden retriever. Contact him on Twitter: @drumbz or by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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