Zildjian is calling the Gen 16 line an “Accoustic / Electric Cymbal System”.
These are reduced volume acoustic cymbals, patented cymbal pickup and Digital Cymbal Processor “DCP” to tone shape the sound of each cymbal the user can apply an array of tone shapes to each real Zildjian Gen16 cymbal.
Unlike cymbal triggers, Gen16 cymbals may be played with sticks, rods or mallets. They can be brushed and choked like traditional cymbals because they are real cymbals. The Gen16 system brings a more organic texture to digital drumming allowing drummers to play an edrum kit as they would an acoustic kit. Its reduced volume capabilities complement music education, practice or reduced volume (acoustic stage) musical performance and like other Zildjian products helps to stimulate creativity.
The cymbals play and react like you’d expect them to, except, there’s a cool circular pickup mounted underneath the bell of the cymbal with this Cylon-esque light that travels around the edge. That gets plugged into the DCP through which you can further amplify or capture your cymbals.
Right off the bat, I thought this would be ideal for live situations where cymbals have to be mic’d by overheads or setup with error-prone triggers.