When asked what makes the HybriHEAD different from the competition, Mario DeCiutiis, president of Alternate Mode Inc., cuts right to the chase. “There is no competition,” he says. “We are the only company that makes an acoustic drumhead that is also an electronic head.”
The HybriHEAD is made of Mylar rather than rubber or mesh for drummers who “want to hear acoustic sound [and] also have the ability to create MIDI data,” DeCiutiis says.
But what, exactly, does that entail? The HybriHEAD mounts onto an acoustic drum similar to models from other manufacturers. But unlike traditional electronic trigger technology that uses the principle of vibration, the HybriHEAD utilizes pressure. Normal vibration sensors are prone to false trigger interactions since there are various vibration sources other than the drum itself. The HybriHEAD eliminates this problem because you need to actually be touching the head of the drum for the sensor to be activated.
But the differences don’t end there. When an acoustic snare drum is hit, its head has an excursion that goes up and down, giving it a wide dynamic range that musicians can capitalize upon. Most trigger systems require a substrate underneath the head, limiting the amount that the sensor can move and, as a result, the dynamic range. The HybriHEAD doesn’t need this extra layer, allowing for increased dynamic range capabilities.