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Topics - firemusician

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Greetings everyone. I am working on designing a pedal board to support my ZenRig. Included would be some kind of loop pedal (probably the Boss RC-50), a kick pedal with a Roland KD-7 trigger, possibly a "hyper-drive" kick pedal, and either the Roland hi-hat pedal OR... I was considering using a keyboard damper pedal with a TRS connector since a hi-hat control pedal uses the same connection. Has anyone had luck with this?  I am asking because I am going to use my Alesis DM-PRO to serve as the "control outlet" for the pedals which would go to BFD2 via MIDI. This will allow me to keep the Zendrum wireless with the Midi-Jet Pro.

I have also been trying to find the FATKAT pedals with no success. This includes going to the Alternate Mode website as well. Just trying to figurebout a way to maximize space. This whole set-up will incorporate a minimum of an 8 pair cable, though it may wind up being a 12 pair.  This multi-pair would support the audio (both directions) for the loop pedal, exteral drum triggers, power for the loop pedal, midi, etc.

Here is the possible choices for multi-pair configurations...

8/9/12 pair cable
1. Trig 1, TRS - Hat - (2) 1/4" TRS male
2. Trig 2, TRS - Kick - (2) 1/4" TRS male
3. Trig 3, TRS - Extra kick/Foot - (2) 1/4" TS Female jack
4. Aud 1 L & R In TRS - (2) 1/4" TS female jack
5. Aud 2 L & R Out TRS - (2) 1/4" TS female jack
6. Aud 3 TRS - L & R Spare/Mic - (2) 1/4" TS & XLR female
7. Aud 4/Power 9 VDC - TS, Aud4/Trig4 RS 9VDC Pwr
or PS3 power distro 
8. Midi 1 - 5p din (to include switchable Zen Pwr)
9. Midi 2 - 5p din 
10. Spare for trigger/MIDI/Audio
11. Spare for trigger/MIDI/Audio
12. Spare for trigger/MIDI/Audio

ZenChat / ASIO 4 ALL...
« on: February 14, 2011, 12:34:46 PM »
I was trying to figure out another way to run virtual instruments and BFD2. I currently use an M-Audio "fast track pro" for BFD2. I wanted another audio source and the internal "laptop sound" was obviously having latency issues. So what to do? I was at the "local music store" and one of the sales folks told me about "ASIO4ALL"  It turns your PC Sound card into an ASIO driver, and it WORKS GREAT!!  Now BFD2 will run on the M-Audio box and the virtual instruments through a VST host routing thru ASIO4ALL. It works VERY GOOD!  As far as the midi side of things, I will use a MIDI merge box into the M-Audio box for the midi routing. I have a few other thiings in the works, which I wil share with you all in a few. Hope all is well the the land of ZEN! Until next time...

Tech Help / PCI Express Firewire cards and BFD 2.0
« on: October 02, 2010, 02:14:49 PM »
Ok boys and girls, it has been a LONG TIME since I have been here. Anyway, in the "World-o-Zen", I jumped on the Grenade and got BFD 2, and recently just got the BFD Percussion pack.  I am running the BFD Compliment on an ISUS "Gaming" laptop, with a 2.5 GHz Duo-Core processor, 4GB of RAM, using Windows 7 Professional.  I also got a M-Audio Pro-Fire 610 "firewire" audio/midi interface. for the sound and midi portion.

OK, so DAY ONE! I get everything loaded, set-up, hooked up, etc. LIFE IS REAL GOOD, I am saying to myself.... "Alesis DM-.....?"  the happy scale was an 8 out of 10. I rated it an 8 because I was hearing "computer noise" coming through the audio interface.  ANyway, I got past it and went and did a gig, which went VERY WELL. Also did a  rehearsal or two after that was things were ok. The other thing is I also have virtual instruments loaded on this, and there was NO NOISE at all coming from the interface.

Ok so recently I purchased BFD Percussion, for an upcoming gig I am doing. I set everything up at rehearsal, and as I hit triggers I hear conga/snap/crackle/etc.  after getting it home I started checking the "buffering rates" and I noticed some improvements, though after a short period of time, the audio would completely cut out and I would lose MIDI control. If I switched the audio to the speakers on the PC, and left the MIDI control with the PRO-Fire, it would work again. I would then close BFD and re-open the program again, and the same things would repeat themselves.

I am wondering if the PCI EXPRESS Firewire card is the issue? I am picking up another M-Audio USB module to see if this fixes the prolem, which I am hoping it does. Any feedback from the masses would be appreciated. thanks, again, hope everyone is doing good. Until next time...

ZenChat / Traveling with the Zendrum
« on: October 18, 2007, 11:52:59 AM »
Greetings one and all, it has been quite some time since I posted anything here. Anyway... I just returned from Aspen, Colorado where I played several John Denver Tribute Shows (Yes John Denver) over the past week. And at the top of the list.. the ZENDRUM of course, a 49 note M-Audio keyboard controller, and a 4 space travel rack w/an attached luggage cart. 

For the Zendrum I picked up a Pelican 1700 Series case which worked out PERFECT. In the case.. The ZENDRUM ZX, Battery box, MIDI JET PRO MIDI wireless, short cables, straps, and extra batteries. The pelican is an EXCELLENT case for the ZENDRUM. It is worth the investment to pick one up.

In the 4 space Rack (made by GATOR CASES). A rack Power Strip, An ALESIS DM-PRO, A Korg TRINITY "rack" synth module, and a Whirlwind 4 ch. Rack DI. Remebering John Emerich priding himself about taking his rig as carry-on in a plane is why I went this route. A little "FYI" about air planes. Do not get a rack larger than 4 spaces. A 4 space rack will fit in the "carry-on" compartments abpve the seats of most jet airliners. Except when I went from Denver to Aspen. I had to take a "puddle hopper" (that's a small plane to you and me) from Denver to Aspen in which I had to check it, but it did survive just fine.

As mentioned I took an M-Audo keyboard controller with me but no keyboard stand.  I did not want to deal with a keyboard stand losse on the plane.  What did I do you ask....  Did I buy a cheap keyboard stand??  Ummm.... NO. I improvised the following ways...

Gig #1: A 100+ year old church. Found a walker (yes for old people) extended the legs and it worked very well. The rubber grip handles on the top of the rails kept it from moving, not to mention an easy way to channel cables. Good stuff

Gig #2: Restaraunt.  I stacked 3 wooden "hide-chairs" (baby seats) with gaffers tape on the arm rests to keep it from sliding. Also good stuff

Gig #3: Small hotel ballroom: Restaraunt style fold out "food tray stand". That didn't suck either.  ;D

I had a total of three things to "schlep" around town for the week. Sound and the nessecary back line gear was provided at all of the venues. Just thought I would share that with the masses.  I will try and post pictures sometime soon. Take care and stay safe, Markl

ZenChat / ALESIS DM-PRO and memory cards
« on: October 01, 2006, 04:59:37 PM »
Greetings campers, I just got a hold of a memory card for my DM-PRO. If I understand things correctly, I can load samples into this card (up to 8 MB worth).   I have the Alesis Sound Diver Software and everything is talking to each other correctly.  The question of the day is.... Looking through the software, how do I dump selected "wav" files to the card.  any help would be very much appreciated.  Many thanks, take care and stay safe, Mark

ZenChat / Playing things other than drums...
« on: September 04, 2006, 10:55:00 AM »
Hello everyone,  I was wondering who has been playing "non-percussive"sounds out there.   I have been playing some electric piano sounds with some VERY COOL results.  Check out the different scales, there is some very neat stuff "striaght out of the box" as it were.  For those of you working with loops, etc. things really open up as far as possibilities.  Take care and stay safe, Mark

ZenChat / Zen pictures
« on: June 05, 2006, 08:40:39 PM »
Here is a picture of my rig

ZenChat / And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« on: May 11, 2006, 02:49:39 PM »
Greetings all, and KUDOS to those responsible for the new site. 

Anyway I remember a posting of what everyone's "rig" was. So I thought I would start it out


Zendrum ZX (maple finsih I believe)
FATAR MP-113 midi (taurus pedals) foot controller
EMU X-Board 25 midi controller


Alesis DM PRO V.2
Alesis DM5
Roland TD-5
Roland SP-404 Sampler
KORG X3R (soon to be replaced by a TRINITY Rack)

Support Gear:

BEHRINGER 1832 Mixer
Presonus Bluemax Compressor
Mark of The Unicorn (MOTU) Midi Time Piece AV
MIDI Jet Pro - Wireless MIDI system


Mackie 800S powered mixer
Mackie S500 speakers (2)

How it's all hooked up...

Everything goes into the BEHRINGER mixer.  I Use the six outputs on the DM PRO (kick, snare, hat, ride/fx, stereo toms/cymbals). The rest of the modules are running in stereo via the stereo line inputs.  The first six channels on the direct box are for the DM PRO, with the last two supplying a submix of remaining drum and synth modules from the "sub" outputs of the mixer (through the compressor).  This gives me several "patching choices" depending on the venue I play in.  So... basically if I know the engineer, he/she will get individual control vs. someone I don't know I can give one stereo mix, etc.

All the MIDI controllers go through the MIDI Time Piece AV and are set-up to control what ever I want.   I mostly use the X-board for changing key/synth patches, but with the addition of the sampler new things are bound to happen.  The FATAR I use to trigger extra drum sounds as well as play strings, etc.  So far the MIDI Jet Pro ROCKS!!  It is just as good as having it hard wired. I left the original merge box set-up incase I lose the wireless so I have a "plan B". This also a good thing to have if you are using more than one piece of gear that does not have MIDI THRU connections.

Everything is set-up in a mixer rack 11 spaces (top) and 16 spaces (bottom) which is "plug-n-play" friendly. The MACKIE powered mixer and speakers really round things out nicely.  And though a little bulky it is (in my opinion) pretty easy to move around.

Well, that should be it, hollar up with any questions. Take care and stay safe, Mark

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