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Topics - Jaay

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Media / Call for Live Performance videos!
« on: April 09, 2010, 03:34:15 PM »
Greetings Tribe.

I'd like to put out a call for people to submit videos of their work with bands.  I'm making this request for purely selfish reasons: I'm looking to improve my own stage presences and I'd like to see what other people are doing. 

I've seen several dozen YouTube vids of Zendrummers, but the bulk of them seem to be solo demos or instructionals.  There is nothing wrong with either of these things, but there seems to be a dearth of material showing us interacting with the band, the audience, etc.  So, I would like to change that.  If anyone has anything to share, please do.  I'll comb through my own footage to see if there's anything I'd want made public ( ;) ), and I hope to see some others among us as well.  Take care all!


User Reviews / Zendrum Guitar Stand Adapter
« on: March 25, 2010, 09:54:49 PM »
greetings tribe!

One thing I'm always in search of is ways to make my Zendrum more versatile and able to go more places.  And I recently realized that part of the ability to go places is (at least I think so) the stand. 

A while back I went to the website of the Chapman Stick company and I saw this:


I thought this was an incredible idea and I tried to look for ways to incorporate similar technology for the Zendrum.  I recently found my answer. 

There's a product called the Case Brace; it's a guitar hanger that mounts to the edge of a guitar case. 

I discovered that if you put the 'Brace on a regular guitar stand like this one:http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/-Tubular-Guitar-Stand?sku=451058 and put the nose of the Zendrum in the space of the Case Brace, it makes a darn fine Zendrum stand!

Now, as always there are a few notes:
-You'll have to hike the upper tube of the stand up pretty high, almost to the end of it's length.
-You may want to secure the Brace to the lower fork; I have not done so on mine because I haven't used it enough yet
-The stand I used for my demo didn't have all of the padding on the upper fork.  I don't know how well the tail will fit into the upper fork with full padding, but I imagine a good push will seat it properly.

I love this item for this purpose because it allows a Zendrummer to take advantage of the ubiquitous tubular stand that you find EVERYWHERE and it requires no modding except securing it to the stand should you choose to do so. 

I'll enclose pictures as soon as I get them re-sized.  In the meantime, here's the link to the Brace's website:


Take care everyone!


I don't have a Zendrum, but... / Z4 demo, can anyone help?
« on: January 12, 2010, 05:58:36 PM »
Hey tribe.

I'm at the point where if I wanted to get the Z4 upgrade for my instrument, it's within reach, but just like when I bought my instrument, I need some empirical evidence before I shore up my plans.

If there's anyone with a Z4-caliber instrument and an older module like an Alesis or an older Yamaha, could you perhaps post a link or PM me with a track of you playing said instrument through said module? 

David, I believe you wholeheartedly when you say the Z4 upgrade works with older modules, but I'd really like to hear a sample before I take the jump.

Thanks folks,  looking forward to hearing (from) you.


ZenChat / Zendrums w/ Sounds: A Dissenting Opinion
« on: October 08, 2009, 07:21:23 PM »
Greetings Tribe.

In the Bue Sky thread, the idea of a Zendrum with onboard sounds was brought up.  This idea has been bandied about back and forth for a while and I seem to recall talking about it on the old forums, but I wanted to make a few statements here. 

Before I begin, I would like to disclaim that this is the simple opinion of one Zendrummer and I'm just trying to voice some opinions and I don't want to come off like I'm slamming anyone or something like that.

That having been established:

Personally, I would not like to see a Zendrum with onboard sounds.  I think it runs contrary to Zendrum's War on Obsolecense and introduces a whole host of design and execution problems.

First, let's talk about sounds.  Who would design them?  What sounds would be included?  Would we have acoustic-sounding samples, mix in some techno-sounding samples, etc? 

Also, let us not forget that the Zendrum is a full MIDI controller.  What about those among the Tribe that use their Zendrum for non-drum sounds? 

Installing the menus to select and edit these sounds will be very difficult with the current cursor and LED system.  Combining that with editing the features already in the Zendrum.  Unless you add more controls to the Zendrum, but that adds weight and navigation to the instrument, and it clutters the back panel. 

Having sounds will also require having extra jacks installed in the Zendrum.  How many of them would there be?  Most people will insist on at least one stereo pair, but most modules have multiple outputs.  If you combine this with the two inputs already on a ZX with a 3.1 chip, you've got at least four.  If you want to add a headphone jack, there's five. 

I think that one of the things that makes a Zendrum so long lasting is the fact that it IS an empty controller and does not need to concern itself with catching up to sound designers.  I know proponents of onboard sounds will argue that adding the sounds does not preclude using it as a MIDI controller.  This is true, but if you decide to bypass the sounds and just use it as a controller, you're now ignoring half the function, which does not seem to make sense to me. 

So, that's my rant.  I know the onboard sound debate has been around for a while and I'm probably not saying anything that the fine folks at Zendrum have not already thought; but in the interest of the free discourse of ideas, I wanted to voice my opinion.  Thank you all.


ZenChat / California Dreamin'; trying to prevent nightmares.
« on: August 18, 2009, 03:48:41 PM »
Greetings Tribe.

My band has been asked to play a gig in LA come this January.  We're all really stoked.  Obviously there's a lot of prep work to be done, but we're handling it well.

I'm working on having a flight case made for my Zendrum and double- and triple-checking everything.  But it got me thinking:

If, in the absolute worst-case scenario, my Zendrum is somehow out of commission by the time we get to the gig, I'm kinda hosed.  All of my backup solutions are meant for one show or a few hours, not an extended trip.

Right now I'm tooling around with the idea of having the venue furnish an alternate controller just in case, but since I got my Zendrum, I haven't been WORKING with a lot of other controllers; so I'm kind of nervous that I'll have to learn a new instrument under crisis conditions.

So, I guess I have two questions:

1) Is there a controller that people would recommend as an emergency fix if needed?

2) Are there any Zendrummers (ZX model) in LA who would be willing to be "On Call" for a frantic Tribesman come January if needed?

Thanks for the input; be well, all!


ZenChat / Shipping Spare Parts for gigs
« on: August 05, 2009, 10:01:47 PM »
Hey folks.  It's been a long day so I'll make this brief.

Whenever I go on gig,s I have a floor tom bag with spare stuff in it: cables, DI, power supplies, drum machine in case the Zendrum or module goes down.

My band is playing in LA in January, and we're trying to do as much planning as possible. 

Should I arrange to have the entire tech bag sent along with my rig?  Usually I don't count on anyone to have what I need but me, but this seems outside the realm of the reasonable.

If this is incoherent, I'll try again tomorrow, but I figured I'd give it a shot now.  Thanks!


Tech Help / Question re: Function Lock
« on: June 29, 2009, 05:18:04 PM »
Hey folks.

So, I was reading through the manual for no particular reason and I came across a function on the Zendrum whereby you could lock the edit mode.  I was under the impression this would let the user jump between Setups without risking an accidental change, but when I executed the lock function, I was stuck on the same Setup and the only thing I could change was the Program Change command.  Did I do something wrong, or is that the limit of the function?  Thanks.


Tech Help / System Hiss
« on: May 13, 2009, 10:50:34 AM »
Hey guys.

So, I've played a couple of pretty big gigs lately.  My system can be described here http://zendrum.com/forums/index.php?topic=10.0

In a few gigs, the sound tech has noted that there's some hiss coming from my rig.  I'll accept this, I'm running 4 stompboxes, a sound module and a volume pedal.  HOWEVER, these same techs also usually wind up having a dead input in their board (which is discovered when trying to hook up one of my bandmates) or some other problem.  This leads me to believe it's not all in my system.

My question is, what do I do?  My system sets up easily, doesn't have a whole lot of stuff to tweak with on the fly, and is all field-servicavble.  But if it's causing hiss, it needs to be fixed.  And I don't even know how to test if it actually IS hissing or whether I'm dealing with bum systems!  Any advice is appreciated.


ZenChat / Batteries: Opinions Wanted
« on: March 17, 2009, 08:44:00 AM »
Greetings all.

In my secondary setup, I have a lot of devices that require batteries. My DR-3 uses a half-dozen AAs, the Battery Box for my Zendrum takes a 9V, etc.

I have one set of rechargable batteries for the DR-3. I just recently found a 9V charger and battery set that I could use for my Zendrum.

However, I recently came across an item in a catalog that purports to be able to recharge regular alkaline off-the-shelf batteries. Duracell, Energizer, AA, AAA, 9V, you name it.

Obviously if this thing works I could buy my batteries in bulk, equip every device I ever need and then some and not have to worry about things like compatibility of batteries and chargers and availability. But, based on the little research I've done I know that charging an alkaline has been attempted for years to limited success and I don't have the funds to drop on frivolities right now.

Does anyone have any information on such a device? Do you think I'm better off getting the seperate charger and batteries for my 9V needs or should I just resign myself to frequent trips to the Walgreens?



ZenChat / Has this ever happened to anyone else?
« on: February 18, 2009, 09:33:05 AM »
So I'm playing a pit gig right now.  Every so often, someone will come up to me and ask if I can do this kind of a sound or that kind of a sound.  I'll tell them yes or no depending, or my default, "I'll see what I can do".

I don't know if this has happened to anyone else, but it's getting kind of annoying when I get approached three or four times in an evening with that same "can you do it" question with different sounds.  And then, when I say I don't have that particular sample, I get "wow, all those sounds and you don't have [insert random effect here]?"  I guess it tells me that there's no pleasing some people. 

I've had a rough few weeks and perhaps it's left me oversensitive.  If this is the case, someone please call me on it.  But sometimes it seems like I'm getting this "dance, monkey, dance!" thing from the staff in terms of what sounds they want me to generate and the best thing I can think to do is just tell them "I'll see what I can do".  Anyone else ever get this?


Media / Videos of my band and I
« on: February 02, 2009, 10:32:17 AM »
My band, The Spoony Bards.  We mostly cover video game and anime soundtracks.  We just set up a YouTube account a while ago, but there's more at our website and on YouTube itself.  Enjoy!


ZenChat / Quarter-note root
« on: January 28, 2009, 12:44:55 PM »
Dear tribe,

I've been experiencing a renaissance of sorts with my Zendrum, discovering new ways to do what I ear and such.  but one thing escapes me still.

What I would love to do, as per Copeland, Moon, Krupa, etc. is just be able to keep a nice steady quarter-note kick throughout whatever wild and crazy stuff I'm doing up top.  The simple solution would be to just wire in a footswitch, but there's two problems with that: I'd be giving up my mobility and the trigger doesn't always fire at the same velocity that the Zendrum does. 

I've been trying to get better at this, and I'm having limited success, but not to the degree I want.  I can't picture how it's supposed to finger out or lay out on the Zendrum, so my hands can't follow it.

If anyone could give me some help, I'd appreciate it.  I can provide the diagrams for the relevant setups if needed.  Thanks.


ZenChat / Loosening Up
« on: December 31, 2008, 09:24:57 PM »
So, I just saw some footage last week of a gig I was at the week prior.  ...I looked like I was posing for a prison mug shot.  I've always been intense, and I've seen plenty of players who looked similarly involved--the example that springs to my mind is Mr. Peart.

No one has ever commented that I looked scary, people come up to me after gigs to ask about the Zendrum and I always engage them in conversation, but during the performance, I look like I'm planning some sort of felonious assault.

This is not quite the image I want to convey--at least not by default.  I don't want to look goofy, and I don't want to look "happier" at the expense of my performance, but obviously I don't want to be scaring people away, either.  Any thoughts?


Music / RE: Tony Verderosa
« on: December 27, 2008, 03:40:12 PM »
Does anyone have a bead on what's happnening with him lately?  I've seen hide nor hair of him in anything and his website is still announcing dates from several years ago, not to mention having a busted contact e-mail.  Anyone know anything?


Music / Praticing with alternative sounds
« on: December 25, 2008, 10:35:59 AM »
Hey Tribe.

So, I've been working on trying to equal out my trap-set chops with my Zendrum chops.  The one thing I can do on my acoustics that I really miss on the Zendrum is being able to solo like a madman up top while my feet are just stomping out a big ol' quarter-note on the kick and hats.

So I went downstairs first thing this morning and was shedding on that for a while.  It wasn't pretty.  Then I took a break to play one of my favirote techno songs and I accidentally left the patch running when I went back to my prctice.  Instead of the three toms and kick drum I was working with, i was now working with a shaker, handclap and tom where my toms were and a different kick drum. 

It was a total breakthrough and while my facility is still devleoping (I've only been at it a day after all), I now understand where I want to go much better than before.

So, if you're having trouble with a technique, try changing your sound-set; the different tones force you to listen differently.  for me they also took away... sort of an expectation of musiciality?  By which I mean I was not trying to make a grand artistic statement here, I was working on pure control.  But with the regular drum sounds I was playing, I suppose I expected too much of myself at that point.  working with different ("wrong"?) sounds reinforced to me that this was a practice session.  We're not on stage yet.  Given this revelation I may be inspired to write a patch for pure practice purposes.

Anyway, an inspiring little moment I had that I wanted to share with my Tribe.  Take care folks!


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