The Trigger iO is the easiest way to connect electronic drum and cymbal pads or acoustic drum triggers to a wide range of MIDI sound sources. Use up to ten trigger inputs to play traditional MIDI devices like drum machines, sound modules and synthesizers, or connect the USB output directly to your computer to play software drum modules or lay down tracks in your favorite MIDI sequencer application. The inteface has ten TRS trigger inputs so you can use it with single or dual-zone pads and triggers, and even split the inputs with Y-cables for even larger custom setups. You can also use the Trigger iO to expand the pad inputs of virtually and drum module from any manufacturer. It also has a footswitch input for controlling other parameters like changing kits with your foot. You can create up to 20 setups and store them in the Trigger iO's memory.
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Common drum modules can perform this task but there are few options in the market today for musicians wanting only the trigger interface to drive other sound sources. With the trend towards computer-based sound modules plug-ins, VST instruments, etc.
While compact and USB-powered — great for live use, some live performers will still prefer the flexibility provided by larger drum modules that incorporate connection points for more drum pads, multiple dedicated audio outputs, and real-time mix controls, but those solutions cost significantly more. For the typical acoustic drummer looking to add a few electronic pads to an acoustic kit, though, the Trigger iO may be just the right tool.
And if you already need to keep a laptop on stage for running backing tracks in a sequencer, light shows, etc. The Trigger iO is equipped with ten TRS input jacks that can accommodate either single-zone or dual-zone triggers. Since most electronic drum pads manufactured these days incorporate dual-zone triggers, the TRS inputs on the Trigger iO make it a versatile tool that can be used with many makes and models of triggers.
The only major manufacturer omitted was ddrum. Alesis told us that they have yet to test the ddrum triggers with their hardware and will update the compatibility guide when they do. In addition to pad inputs, the Trigger iO also has a hi-hat pedal input for use with hi-hat controller pedals.
This input can send two different MIDI notes — think open and closed hi-hat sounds — depending on the position of the pedal. The Trigger iO allows the storage of up to twenty programmable presets, or Kits. These Kits are collections of parameters that describe different custom configurations of the Trigger iO. Having this information stored within the parameters of a Kit, opposed to globally, allows for different software and hardware module configurations.
For example, one Kit could be configured to control a software module whereas another could be configured to control a digital audio workstation or external sampler. These settings are fairly standard among trigger modules. However, Alesis shows its dedication to creating a universally compatible device by allowing users to choose from a variety of trigger types ranging from common piezo triggers to switches to hi-hat pedals or any combination in between. As far as mounting and placement of the device is concerned, the Trigger iO is compatible with most drum mounts and can be mounted on a drum or cymbal stand.
This modern feature makes it possible for Alesis to improve the Trigger iO as necessary through software updates. Easy to follow step-by-step upgrade instructions are documented in the Trigger iO Reference Manual. A standard power adapter is also included to power the unit when not connected to a computer.
Surprisingly, the computer interface is only USB 1. We would expect a current product to support the faster USB 2. Since we already had a set of electronic drums set up Roland V-Drums , connecting each of the pads to their corresponding trigger inputs on the real panel was a piece of cake.
Each pad input was clearly labeled with both number designations and names kick, snare, tom, etc. Its installation procedure was straightforward, and in just a few minutes the application was up and running on our Apple MacBook Pro running Mac OS The application automatically recognized the Trigger iO interface, and the triggers mapped correctly to each drum sound.
Without adjusting any of the Trigger iO settings we decided to jump right in and start playing. Although most of the trigger parameters were fine using their default settings, some triggers such as the snare and toms required some adjustment.
All the editing activity took place from the front panel of the Trigger iO. In our case, the snare trigger was a bit sensitive which was easily rectified by lowering the Gain. Another common problem with drum triggers is crosstalk. Crosstalk happens when vibrations from engaging one trigger are transferred to another, causing it to trigger as well. This problem happens frequently when triggers are mounted on the same drum rack or stand.
The Trigger iO also has a dedicated X-Talk feature that will intelligently suppress unwanted trigger signals. This made easy work out of assigning sounds to triggers and editing trigger parameters.
We had mixed feelings about the three-character LED screen. The three-character display is a limiting factor for how characters and words are displayed, which results in cryptic nine-segment LED character translations that are not easily interpreted.
This was especially noticeable when programming the Velocity Curve or selecting the Trigger Types. That being said, this is really only an issue when setting up the triggers and programming the kits during the initial setup. On a positive note, we appreciated the bright red LED characters when switching between the programmed kits. The LED is easily readable in low-light situations such as studios or live performances and does not require you to squint to read the characters as with most LCDs.
One issue we experienced with the Trigger iO and our Mac was latency. When we struck the drum pad there was a slight delay in the response of the sound from the Mac. There is a section in the manual that addresses latency issues and provides suggestions for how to resolve the problem. To be clear, the latency issue has nothing to do with the Trigger iO.
This is a common problem with computer sound cards and in most cases is resolved when the buffer in your audio software is set to a lower number. We contacted Alesis about this issue and they also recommended using an external audio interface such as their Alesis IO 14 or any other USB or Firewire device with dedicated software drivers as opposed to relying on the default audio technology built into the operating system.
Fortunately, we had a third party audio interface at our disposal which resolved the latency issue. Although the Trigger iO does not technically produce any sound and thus there is no Sound rating in this review we feel obligated to say a few words about the software that comes bundled with the device.
You have complete control of the drum kits in BFD Lite from your own virtual drum studio. These are not your average drums samples, either! They were recorded using eleven different microphones positioned around the kit and room so you have many options when mixing your drum sound.
We initially consulted the Quickstart Manual which gave us a high-level overview and confirmed what we already knew about how the Trigger iO should be used. Only after spending some time with the Trigger iO did we refer to the Reference Manual for information, and when we did we found it to be useful and highly informative. Sign up for our newsletter. Usability Since we already had a set of electronic drums set up Roland V-Drums , connecting each of the pads to their corresponding trigger inputs on the real panel was a piece of cake.
Sound Although the Trigger iO does not technically produce any sound and thus there is no Sound rating in this review we feel obligated to say a few words about the software that comes bundled with the device.
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Alesis Trigger iO Reference Manual
Quick Links. Download this manual. Table of Contents. Alesis quick start owner's manual usb midi controller keyboard photon 25 61 pages. Page 5: Introduction Your feedback helps us, too. When you let us know the types of music products you use and dream about, you help us bring you cutting-edge products like the Trigger IO.
Alesis Trigger|iO USB/MIDI Pad Trigger Interface
Alesis Trigger iO Manuals