2Box is a Swedish company focused on creating high-powered, user-friendly electronic drum products for performing musicians. Its flagship offering is the DrumIt Five, which is a full five-piece e-kit plus two cymbals, hi-hats, and a compact rack. The module for that kit is also available separately, and is a perfect solution for hybrid setups incorporating acoustic drums and triggers, like 2Box’s TrigIt set. For this review, we were sent the DrumIt Five module and TrigIt triggers for kick, snare, and three toms.
Open Sound Drum Module
The DrumIt Five brain comes with ten trigger inputs (the snare and tom channels are dual-zone for assigning two different sounds to center and rim strikes), eight audio outputs, and 4 GB of internal flash memory. The company has created 100 preset kits, and each of those can be modified to swap out sounds, adjust tuning, and so on.
The module’s stock drum and cymbal samples were recorded with multiple microphones in a professional studio to produce the most natural tones possible. Each instrument (kick, snare, cymbal, etc.) was also recorded at many different dynamic levels—some have as many as 128 individual layers—to further improve realism and dynamic response. The cymbals include bell, bow, and edge samples, and the hi-hat open-to-close timbre is responsive to a continuous controller foot pedal (not included).
The DrumIt Five module comes with play-along tracks and a metronome, and settings for both of those can be adjusted, assigned, and saved to each of the 100 kits. There’s also a line-in jack on the back if you want to connect a separate audio source.
The instruments and samples in each preset can be assigned and edited on the LCD screen, or you can connect the module to a computer, via USB, to access 2Box’s software editor. The software is simply designed and displays virtual pads and volume faders for each input, and there are additional controls for tuning, pan, and decay.
If you want to replace the factory sounds with your own loops, tracks, and samples, simply delete the sound assigned to a particular pad and then drag over the file you want to use from the library folder. I was able to find plenty of useful acoustic, electronic, and percussion samples from within 2Box’s extensive libraries. (I especially liked the tabla sounds in the Lockett kit.) But the software editor made the process of creating original kits with my own samples super-easy. Multiple samples can be layered on each trigger channel, and the sounds can be put into loop mode within the software.
Each instrument can be assigned to different outputs, whether that’s to the headphone jack, a main stereo mix (1/2), or to one of six quarter-inch mono outputs. Having six mono outputs is great for recording and performing situations where you want to have more isolated control over the mix of each instrument. For a standard kit of acoustic drum and cymbal samples, I had the best results by assigning the kick to output 1, the snare to output 2, the toms to outputs 3 and 4, and the cymbals to outputs 5 and 6. That setup provided plenty of flexibility for tweaking the sounds with EQ, compression, and other effects in my recording software or live mix rig.
The DrumIt Five module has a simple, intuitive interface with separate buttons for each instrument for auditioning sounds. And it’s an easy one- or two-click process to access different menus on the LCD screen to dig into each kit to swap sounds, assign outputs, apply effects, adjust the balance, or make further customizations. If you import full backing tracks that have the music panned to one side and a click to the other, there’s a Split Wave mode that allows you to send just the click to the headphone jack and the music to the main output.
Rugged and Responsive
The TrigIt acoustic drum triggers are designed to be compatible with the DrumIt Five or any other sound module. They include a sleek, sturdy metal and plastic casing that clamps to the hoop via a drumkey-operated screw. I was able to easily place the triggers on the kick, snare, and three toms at locations that were out of the way of possible stick hits and didn’t affect how the drums were positioned.
When I loaded 2Box’s TrigIt preset into the DrumIt Five module from the software editor, the module was configured to respond accurately and dynamically to each of the triggers. I didn’t need to adjust any of the gain or threshold settings to get the TrigIts to react properly to my playing style, but those parameters are easy to access within the module.
I’ve used many different trigger systems over the years, and the DrumIt Five and TrigIt setup was one of the best, in terms of simplicity, reliability, response, and durability. The triggers are built to withstand many hours of use, and the module is incredibly powerful and malleable to your own personal hybrid setup needs. Check out our demo above to get a taste of what this simple yet powerful system can do.