RTB-BD Bass Drum Trigger
The R-DRUMS RTB-BD Bass Drum Trigger system is a single zone cross bar trigger that can be used to convert an acoustic bass drum into an electronic bass drum. It is an internal system which can be mounted to the bass drum shells lug screws via 4 screws only (included in delivery) It fits into all acoustic bass drums from size 18-22”.
The revolutionary feature is the center based foam sensor. It can be struck with the beaters directly, which is not possible with any other system so far. The foam cylinder is not getting hit directly in small shells, since the beater impact spot is usually at around 11-12” (only in the middle at 22” shells) away from the bottom of the pedal. However, it is still necessary to have a trigger sensor in the exact middle of the bass drum when it comes to double pedal use. It is not important if the trigger is in the upper or lower middle, as long as it is centered at the vertical line. This way the double pedal beater impact spots are both at the same distance to the sensor, which is necessary for an accurate consistent trigger result.
Another nice feature is the clean look. The cable is hidden inside the bar and the surface is treated to make it look clean and nice. It reminds me of an Apple Mac Book. R-DRUMS branded their product with a nice big logo on the back of the system.
Installing the Trigger
Installing the trigger is quite simple. Both heads have to be taken off your acoustic bass drum and 2 opposite lugs of the batter side need to be selected for the installation.
It does not matter if you install the system vertical, horizontal or even diagonal. The trigger will always be in the middle and the R-DRUMS logo can even be rotated. The 2 brackets are attached in a specific way. One of them points to the top, the other one to the bottom, it is made like a rotor.
Additional tools you need:
- 7mm wrench
- 10mm wrench
- Cross recess screwdriver
After removing 4 of the lug screws, you need to loosen the 2 big bracket screws with a 10mm wrench. It depends on the bass drum lug screws if you have to take them off or just loosen them. The brackets do have long, slotted holes, for a stepless height adjustment and to fit into all kinds of drum shells. A longer M4 screws including washers, that come to the bar, are needed to attach the brackets to the shell.
Adjusting the height is quite easy. The trigger cylinder should be 1-2 mm higher than the bass drum’s shell’s bearing edge. I measured the distance between bearing edge and bracket, to make sure the bar is properly installed.
There are several ways on how you can connect the trigger to the bass drum cable. You can use an open shell without a resonant head or a damped acoustic Mesh Head with a hole to lead the cable trough.
My favorite solution is using R-DRUMS’ Air Vent cable, which fits into the air vent hole of the bass drum. Many air vents have to be removed and in order to apply this special jack plug.
Another solution is a bass drum resonant head with a jack plug. The only product on the market is the Wronka Head with jack plug.
The jack plug used on the Trigger Bar, is called “Neutrik NJ3 FP-6-C-B”, a lockable high quality jack plug, that ensures, that the cable stays in place.
Almost any mesh head can be used with this trigger. I applied a 2 ply drum-tec Design Series Mesh head.
The quality of good e-drum triggers can easily be recognized by the time spent on setting up the trigger with your module. All R-DRUMS triggers I’ve tested so far were basically “plug and play”. The same applies to the RTB Trigger Bar. You plug it in and after a few slight changes, you can start enjoying an awesome trigger result. Quality wise not different to really good Roland gear. This is one of the many good reasons to by R-DRUMS gear. It is just perfect working high end products.
The trigger result is the same as for high end Roland kick pads, like KD-120and KD-140. It could not be more accurate.
The only little downside is the rebound. An undamped mesh bass will always provide a big rebound. R-DRUMS solved this issue with its fully professional RTS Bass Drum Trigger System, which looks like a spider and has damping satellites applied. This Trigger Bar, however, offers only a bit of dampening.
The RTB Bass Drum Trigger is the best solution if you want to build a real size quality e-drum bass drum. There is no similar product in this price range on the market that can even be compared to this technical masterpiece. R-DRUMS does make it possible to convert a bass drum (including a good Mesh Head and cable) for the quarter of the price of a Roland KD-140 14” pad.
The price of 149€ for all 3 sizes is more than fair and well invested. I really recommend this trigger! Do not make the mistake of buying external clip triggers or other cheap solutions. The result will not nearly be as good as it is with this masterpiece.