The DrēmTrigger is described as the next stage in the evolution of electronic drumming devices, allowing acoustic players to expand their sound by blending in digital music elements. It's a battery-powered, stand-alone module that's attached to a drum frame and detects surface strikes using lasers, while also sporting two pressure pads that can fire additional sounds or start loops.

The brainchild of Detroit drummer Josh Fifelski, and 3 years in development, the DrēmTrigger was born of his own frustration with what was available to him as a player. "All the current products on the market were using 20-year-old technology, making almost no improvements in drum triggers from year to year, and still charging an arm-and-a-leg for a sub-par product," he said. "I was sick of the limited options for quality electronic drum gear, so I set out to build a better drum trigger."

The resulting device uses lasers to scan the playing surface of the acoustic drum onto which it's attached, detecting the vibration of the surface without coming into contact with it. Fifelski promises strike detection accuracy similar to a microphone and top notch response, with latency from strike to sound reported as just 3 ms.

The DrēmTrigger also has two pressure pads that can be hit with a stick to add loops or fire one-off electronic sounds. Samples, loops and sounds up to 24-bit resolution can be created with, or loaded into, the companion Launch software running on a computer connected via USB and then dragged and dropped into the 4 GB of built-in storage before a gig.

Audio from the DrēmTrigger is output via its own 0.25-inch jack, or it can be fed into music production software over USB. The device can also serve as a MIDI controller for software suites such as Ableton.

The working prototype shown in the images sports three function button to the side and LED-based indicators. An L-bracket attachment currently mounts to the tension rod of a drum, such as a snare or tom, and the DrēmTrigger is secured in place with a thumbscrew. But other mounting methods are being explored so that tuning isn't affected when using the device. It's internal battery can last between 8 and 10 hours per charge.

The production version will have plus/minus scroll buttons, a menu button and power on/off button, with a small display screen to the left of the button bank. The development team is also aiming to make it 10 percent smaller.

The DrēmTrigger project launched on Kickstarter yesterday, where pledges start at US$349. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in December. The pitch video below has more on the development and feature set.

View gallery - 5 images