“Technology should be so good, we never know it exists,” observes Joshua Fifelski. “The moment I notice it is the moment it’s failed.” For Fifelski and business partner Jeremy Domonkos, this would sum up both the challenge and the inspiration behind a new drum accessory called DremTrigger. Pronounced “DreamTrigger” (see title for correct spelling), the product is an original take on the drum trigger: a unit that lets the drummer load in samples and loops for live performance without an external drum module. A drummer for the past 18 years, Fifelski designed the DremTrigger with the features he wished he could find in a drum trigger while keeping the design simple and flexible enough to fit into his setup naturally. A Kickstarter campaign helped get the company off the ground—while also cultivating an international community of interested drummers and retailers.
Music meets tech for a new take on the drum trigger
“Musicians are some of the pickiest and most opinionated people on the planet, and I’m one of them,” Fifelski says. “Our company formed because we saw that triggering and looping was not an easy process, so we sought to make it better.”
Besides being a drummer, Fifelski comes from a background in consulting that’s taught him that some of the best ideas come from the front lines. In the process of developing DremTrigger, he traded insights with numerous other drummers to compile the wish-list that was refined into DremTrigger’s feature set. Ultimately, DremTrigger would incorporate 32G of memory for storing loops and samples; plus a high-speed processor, a rechargeable battery, onboard controls, and even advanced contactless sensing technology for effortless control.
While innovators have always had to use caution when it comes to mixing music and technology, DremTrigger’s creators believe they’ve struck a balance where the tech serves the music seamlessly. They’ve also taken cues from the London-based music startup ROLI, whose high-tech interpretation on the musical keyboard has made an impact on the industry and paved the way for further fusions of music and technology. “In our market, there’s a significant lack in the use of modern technology,” Fifelski says. “We’ve seen large companies unable to pivot in this technological world due to the immense effort needed to change a line—and we’ve seen startups like ROLI come from nothing and become something that people pay attention to. Their success came from the drive to build human-like expression into a digital instrument, which is our purpose as well.”
Even as a KickStarter campaign helps fund the company’s development, DremTrigger’s creators believe that when it comes to startups, we’re at the end of one era and the beginning of the next. As the concept of crowdfunding evolves, Fifelski suggests, investors are becoming more discriminating—looking for business plans with staying power rather than just hot ideas. In the case of DremTrigger, the groundwork has already been laid for future projects. Bringing in experts in industrial engineering and embedded design, the founders have plans to craft several other accessories around the DremTrigger concept. “We know that technology gets twice as good every year,” Fifelski says. “We’re looking at how we can make our products as advanced as possible without compromising on simplicity and usability. Our goal is to create a family of products that are well integrated with each other, so drummers from around the globe can buy from one spot and have quality, well-built hardware that does what they want, when they want it.”
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