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Topics - Jaay

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ZenChat / So... what's everyone doing lately?
« on: March 04, 2012, 08:37:04 AM »
Greetings Tribe!

It's been markedly quiet around here lately, so I thought I'd walk through the room banging two pots together and attempt to stir up some conversation.  What's everyone been doing with their Zendrums lately?  Anything new?  Anything exciting?

I recently posted a thread about foot triggers and Patch changing, and the research I've done has led me to the conclusion tha I'm actually better off executing that function from my Zendrum than my module.  Of course I've known for years that my Zendrum can change Patches on my module, I've done it several times, but never quite like this.  It's kind of exciting to really dig into this feature and see how it will affect my playing and my style.  I'm hoping it'll get me more into changing kits on the fly and using more sounds. 

So, your turn collectively!  What's new?


ZenChat / Need a foot trigger (mod?) for Patch changing
« on: February 26, 2012, 09:35:11 AM »
Greetings all!  I cross-posted this to the V-Drums forum, but I'm trying to cover all my angles so I'm putting it here too.

I have a setup based around a TD-9 module and my Zendrum (3.1 software).  I've been changing my Patches using a pair of DIY trigger-boxes (the Beatnik box for those of you who remember the term) connected to the AUX trigger input and hitting them with my feet.  Not really stepping on them because there's no pedal-plate but just sort of whacking them with my toes.

They work to a point, but I'm starting to get annoyed with their idiosyncracies, and as I'm getting into a gig that requires a lot of Patch changes I'm looking for a better solution.  I want to keep a stomp-style solution and change things from the module, not from my Zendrum, and I don't want to have to get a huge outboard controller like a FC-100 to do it.

I have a TapKAT trigger from Alternate Mode which I think would do the job (I don't have the gear in front of me so I don't know how well the trigger would talk to the module), but the cable is WAY too long for my purposes.  I'd love to put a BOSS-style footswitch on there like an FS-6 or FS-5U, but that's a footswitch and I need a trigger.

I'm assuming that there's no trigger-sensitvity setting within the TD-9 that could be adjusted to "read" a footswitch, so I guess what I need is a way to modify an existing product, either shortening the cable on the TapKAT or modding the guts of the BOSS switches. 

Any help on this matter would be appreciated.  Thank you kindly!


For Sale / Wanted / FS/T: Media plus TapKAT
« on: June 18, 2011, 08:20:18 AM »
Greetings all. I'm cleaning out the closets and found some items I think could have a better home than mine. Here's what I have:

-Johnny Rabb's Jungle/Drum 'n Bass For The Acoustic Drumset" Book/CD package. This is a great way for someone to get a handle on the drumset techniques necessary for electronic and loop-based music, regardless of wire-content in your kit. It's also got some good sections on how to get electronically-flavored sounds out of an acoustic set, but your need for that may vary. Asking $20.00

-Hudson Music Steve Smith: Drumset Technique/History of the U.S. Beat (2-DVD Set): Lots of technique, lots of history, lots of footage. Asking $35.00

-Hal Leonard Trust Your Ears: The Drum Tech Explorations of Jeff Ocheltree (DVD)
Lots of stories from a well-respected tech. In full disclosure, there's not a lot of technical knowledge to be gained here, but there are appearances by some well-known musicians across several genres. Asking $20.00

-Alternate Mode TapKAT: A modified footswitch that sends a single velocity level when triggered. It's versatile in that it works with a host of different modules and it's compact enough to fit pretty much anywhere you need it, but dynamics were not what it was built for. Currently out of stock by the manufacturer Asking $30.00

I'm willing to consider some trades for any individual item: I'm looking for some BOSS footswitches--I could use another FS-5U and I'd like to add a FS-6 to my stores. If anyone has a BOSS MPD-4 drum pad I'd be interested in talking about that as well.

Prices do not include shipping, that will be calculated based on location.

Thanks for your time!

ZenChat / Fun recording story
« on: March 26, 2011, 07:47:25 AM »
I had an interesting experience last night I wanted to share.

I decided it was time to update my demo reel, so I loaded some tracks into my iPod, set up my recording rig and set to.  I recorded a percussion track, a kind of poppy-sounding track, some funk, and some slow opera-rock (last one I need to redo).

When I did the percussion track, I was using pads that were at all corners of the instrument because that's where my setup was.  Here's the problem: this was at midnight, I was really tired, and I kept missing the pads!

At first I was berating myself, but then I started thinking about how I would handle it if someone were paying me to record this track as a Session Guy.  I thought, "okay, I'm recording this to display.  Am I ever going to play it live?  Maybe, maybe not, but right now the clock is running and this guy wants the track done".  So I started moving some pads around.  Instead of having the djembe in the lower corner (F3 and L4/5), the snare drum up on L1 and my cymbals and gong on the lower tail in the R pads, I moved everything to the Fs and Ts and consolidated it to where all the instruments I needed were within a handspan. I also had a bit of a musical epiphany while I was there but that's beyond the scope of this post.

When it came time for the pop track I had a similar problem.  I had to do a run down the toms on my C pads and then jump to my cross-stick on L4; kept missing it.  So instead I moved it over to R1 where it was the next pad in line and I nailed it.  

I moved everything back after I finished recording because those are my live setups and I'm used to them.  At first I almost felt like I was cheating, but then I realized that I can't cheat on my own recordings and that were this a situation I was getting paid for, those fixes might have saved my gig.  

I don't mess around much with setups but I'm glad I did this time; I think the ability to adapt your settings is a skill that requires just as much practice as playing the instrument and last night was a good lesson for it.

Hope everyone enjoyed reading.  Be well.


ZenChat / An answer to cracks about "real" drums
« on: March 02, 2011, 12:19:38 AM »
Like many of you, I often get asked the question "where are the 'real' drums?"  I was doing a recording session last week and I asked the engineer how it sounded.  He said "sounds fine.  Sounds like fake drums". This hacked me off. 

The next day I was kicking around ideas and I think I finally have a litany to respond with.

"This is real.  It's real clean-sounding, it's real convenient, it's real fun to play, and it's a real asset to a professional envirnoment". 

Snark may be added where appropriate.  I thank you.


ZenChat / the Path of Least Resistance seems to have a roadblock.
« on: February 05, 2011, 10:19:02 AM »
Greetings Tribe... here's a good one for you.

There's a band I sub in with from time to time; I've played three gigs with them.  Two out of three of them I wound up playing my Zendrum because something on my acoustics broke.  The third one I just brought the Zendrum at the start and the gig went fine!  (funny thing about that...)

I'm asked the other day if I'm available.  I'm told three things: They want the acoustics, the stage is a postage stamp, but I can set up as small as I want.


So, you're telling me that rather than free up the space, give myself as many sonic options as we want and make everyone more comfortable, you want me to cannibalize the kit I'm using, try and make more out of less, and have us do our best sardine imitation.  I'm all for overcoming challenges, but does that strike anyone else as a little counter productive?

I think I have a gig that night already (why does everyone always schedule everything on the same three nights?) but I was seriously considering just showing up with a cajon and a splash cymbal and saying "hey, you said it was a small stage and I can set up small!"

<shakes head> Oy...

I thought you'd all get a kick out of that.  Take care!


White Noise / And we come full-circle...
« on: September 01, 2010, 05:00:56 PM »
Here's a good one for you guys:

Last year I made this post http://zendrum.com/forums/index.php?topic=2163.msg5911#msg5911 and spoke about a venue across the street from where my gig was and how cool it would be to play my Zendrum there.  Well, last week I got the chance! 

i got called to sub for a top-40/classic rock cover band and the hardware for my gigging kit was still at a friend's house so I convinced the bandleader to let me bring my Zendrum rig.  It went swimmingly; I was setup before we was and he got there first, the volume was nice and controlled and it sounded great.  If I get called for that group again I don't know whether I'll be given carte blanche to bring the Zendrum but I at least made a very strong point in my favor that night.

Anyway, just thought that was a chuckle I wanted to share.


ZenChat / The Merits of Backing Up your A's with your Z...?
« on: August 06, 2010, 06:33:32 PM »
Greetings all.

Some responses to a post I made a while ago have gotten me thinking:

I've seen a few posts here and elsewhere about how people will bring their acoustic kits or even an electronic kit and have the Zendrum to change things up during certain points in their set or as a backup piece.

To me, the idea of setting up both rigs in your average bar band show makes me cringe.  Setting up the acoustics is enough of a hassle but then to have to integrate my Zendrum rig into it and THEN break everything down at the end of the night? 

Perhaps it's just the circumstances I'm in: most bands I've played with never get more than a 30-minute slot at any venue they've played.  That's not a lot of time to have to set up two rigs. 

I've gotten to the point where I just don't see the percentage in hauling the tubs all over Creation anymore, but not everyone shares this view.  I can't decide what my stance is on passing on a gig just because they want me to play "real" drums (gawd I hate when they say that), so I'm hoping to gather some more opinions.

Could players who bring their Zendrums AND another setup to a gig please weigh in on this topic?

What kinds of bands are you playing in?  How long are the sets you're playing, and in what kind of venues?  Any information would be welcome.  Thanks!


White Noise / Not feeling very Zen right now...
« on: July 16, 2010, 10:57:33 AM »
Last week I got booted from my band.  The band I've been in for six years, with folks I knew for years beforehand.  I'd bet my last clean pair of socks that the first thing they'll do is replace me with an acoustic drummer. 

I've been hitting the drummer wanted ads in the meantime--always have to stay busy.  I forgot how many flakes there are out there.  I've revised my contact policy: one volley only.  I respond, they respond, I respond back... then nothing.  You know what, if they can't be bothered to not follow up, neither can I.  I'm tired of dealing with dimwits and hacks and people so caught up in their "vision" that they can't see what's in front of them until they walk into a utility pole. 

I haven't touched my Zendrum in that week except to put her on her stand in my practice space--she deserves not to be hanging out in the gig bag.  I really hope I find something soon--I do NOT deal with inactivity very well.

I've also started changing the music I'm listening to.  I'm on a huge kick for showtunes lately.  I'm not sure why but I'm not questioning it at this point. 

There's not really a point to this, but I figured in a forum called "White Noise" it makes as much sense as anything else.


Tech Help / New way to power MIDI Solutions products!
« on: July 03, 2010, 07:24:19 AM »
How To Power MIDI Solutions Products!

Greetings Tribe! I am pleased to bring you a discovery I have made!

For those of you who use MIDI Solutions products, I've heard everyone say that you can't power them from a Zendrum power supply.  I encountered this myself when I bought my Footswitch controller. 

However, I just discovered that it IS possible to power the M.S. boxes with your Zendrum power supply. 

The chain works thus:

Zendrum--(MIDI)-->Merge Box/Battery Box--(MIDI)-->MIDI Solutions box.

Now turn on the Zendrum.

That's all it took!  The Zendrum itself is the key.  I don't have a technical explanation as to why it works this way, But I tried it with my old plastic Merge Box and two Battery Boxes, and I got consistent results every time. Zendrum goes on, light goes on.  Zendrum turns off, light turns off.

I'm not especially worried about power concerns with these things: according to David the Battery Box has the protection diode that shuts off the Zendrum if anything hinky occurs and I received no such message.  The only difference I noticed was that when I was plugged into the old Merge Box with the Controller in the chain, when I turned off the Zendrum, I saw the "188" in the display do a quick fade-out rather than snap off like I'm used to seeing.  However, I powered it up several more times, and did not notice that fadeout with the Battery Box. 

Hopefully this information will be of benefit to all.  I thank you.


Tech Help / Powering MIDI Solutions products
« on: June 23, 2010, 03:59:32 PM »
Hey folks.  Quick one for you.

Does anyone who uses a MIDI Solutions box actually power it from the Zendrum power supply?  Will that work?  I'd rather not use a separate power supply if I can avoid it.  Thanks!


For Sale / Wanted / WTB/T: MIDI Solutions Footswitch controller
« on: June 16, 2010, 09:28:33 PM »
Hey guys.

Looking for this: http://midisolutions.com/prodfsw.htm

I have an old pedalboard that needs a new home and a BBE Sonic Stomp I'm willing to throw in.  Talk to me about price.


Tech Help / Differences in FatKAT vs. other triggers?
« on: June 10, 2010, 08:21:00 PM »
Hey folks!

So, I want to use a foot trigger with my Zendrum.  It would work out better for me to use the trigger input in the Zendrum instead of the module, but I don't want to use a FatKAT pedal, which has been reported as being the preferred foot trigger for use with the Zendrum.  Does anyone know what the difference is between that pedal and others that makes it the preferred vehicle?  Perhaps I could wire something up myself to compensate.  Thanks!


User Reviews / Any TD-9s out there?
« on: May 18, 2010, 09:34:26 PM »
Greetings tribe.

    I've been idly considering upgrading my DTX to a Roland TD-9.  My research says I can chain kits together and step through them.  I can switch between drums and percussion easily, it looks like it has a fair menu of sounds and it fits on my board.

Cons: I don't know if I can use my trigger boxes to do the Patch chaining.  I also don't know if I can play a brush sweep through MIDI.  It doesn't have the group faders I like on the DTX, and I've heard reports of weak outputs.

Input is appreciated.  There's nothing wrong with my DTX, but I'm wondering if it's just time to change.  Thanks folks!


ZenChat / Backline worries: it's gettin' in my way!
« on: May 04, 2010, 07:23:44 PM »
Greetings all. I've run into a gigging irony and I wanted input from the panel, if I could.

The last few gigs I've played, the venue had a backline kit set up before we got there, most often the house kit minus cymbals and snare. Now, were I an acoustic drummer I would say "this is wonderful". But right now I'm saying, "this is inconvenient". It's taking up a lot of real estate on the stage, I can't move it because it's the house kit, and I can't even get any function off it because, well... I don't need it for anything!

I really don't relish the idea of standing behind the backline kit; that seems to me to defeat the purpose of having the Zendrum in the first place. I guess I could ask if we could move the backline kit but I get the feeling very few venues would be inclined to do that, and on a multi-band bill that doesn't seem fair to the next drummer up.

So, what does one do when something intended to be a favor turns out to be an obstacle? Input is appreciated.

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