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Topics - Jaay

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ZenChat / De-Smellifiers
« on: December 15, 2006, 09:38:16 AM »
Greetings tribefolks...

this hasn't happened to me yet, but it was something I was thinking about.

For those of us who play our Zendrums in the bar scene, do you have trouble with your instruments smelling of tobacco afterwards?  How do you get it out?  I don't want to do anything that'll mar the instrument, so I'd really be prepared and ask about it before it even happens!  Thanks.


ZenChat / My Weekend of Zen
« on: November 07, 2006, 08:37:40 AM »
So my band played a convention this weekend... my Zendrum got put through it's paces and how... in our main space, I had it hooked up to my regular rig, no problem.  At one point, some of us were asked to play for an event in another part of the convention.  So I grabbed my battery box (thanks Mr. DeHaas!), my drum machine, my Zendrum, and we were hooked into the system at the event.  At one point on Saturday night, I was the only one who knew the lyrics to this one song, so I held the mic with my left hand and played the groove on the Zendrum with my right!  It even sounded halfway decent!!

I played jazz and percussion and rock and techno and everything in between.  Did I ever mention that I love my Zendrum???


ZenChat / Let's talk about portability for a sec...
« on: October 16, 2006, 08:29:24 PM »
So; one of the reasons that many of us like our Zendrums is the ability to pack a rather large drumset into a very small space; yes?  I'm gonna take this as a given.

However, there have been gigs I have done with my band in the last few months where I realized that even the mighty Zendrum had it's limitations.  Here I had no outlet.  There I had to carry my pedalboad and plug that in.  Outdoor gig?  I'm banging on a bucket.  This seemed to me a situation that needed rectifying.

Enter: Jaay's ZenRigmkII!

I went to Guitar Center yesterday and bought myself a BOSS DR-3 drum machine--battery-powered.  Then I bought a Crate TX15 amplifier--battery-powered.   And the crown jewel in it all was a Battery Merge Block from our very own Chris deHass.

I am now fully and totally self-contained.  I can play my Zendrum out in the middle of a field if I felt so inclined.  The possibilities for where I can take this instrument have just been blown wide open, and I'm very excited about seeing where I can go with it.  The next step is to actually rig up a harness for this thing so I can strap it to my back and go full-bore mobile (kinda like wireless backwards!!  ;D ), but for right now I'm still learning the gear.

A word about the gear:  The DR-3 is somewhat limited in its sounds.  You can't tune the pitch on any of the instruments, the percussion group is a little limited.  It tracks beautifully, but because it's a drum machine and not a sound module, I'm having a slightly harder time switching the kits and putting the sounds where I want them.  I'm sure it can be done, but it'll take some time on my part.  

The TX15 amp also has it's own limits.  Because the battery is internal, if it putters out on me I can't swap it out and be back on my feet, so unless I want to investigate external betteries I'm kinda stuck there.  However I'm gonna wait for that until the situation arrives.  Because it's such a small amplifier, I'm picking some higher-tuned sounds in the DR-3 to get the punch without needing quite so much low-end.  The way I figure it, a jazz or bebop-type tuning scheme in my lower instruments is the way to go.

Like Geo said, break the rules.   I think I just tore up the book, and I'm gonna see where the pages are gonna fall.  Take care folks.


ZenChat / All they need to do is see....
« on: August 25, 2006, 10:01:58 AM »
So I'm playing a casual at a friend's house tomorrow, and last night we had a rehearsal.  This was the first time we'd be working with some of the members--couple of string players and a vocalist.  The string players I'd worked with before, but I'd never met the vocalist so she had never seen my Zendrum.  I took it out of the case, showed it to her and bragged about it for a minute or two.  So, then dovetailing from a different conversation, she says to me, "well, you know, if you're gonna play in MY band, you're gonna have to play a real kit."  So I just shrugged and said "Okay".  No point in arguing it, right?

Then we started practicing.

The first song I had an electronic kick, dance-snare, and a few scratch-type sounds.  She turns around at the end of the song and yells, "That is the coolest ----ing thing I have ever seen!!!".  Then the next song was this nice laid-back funk song, so I simply stepped to a new Patch (ha!) and enjoyed me brass snare, big ol' kick, etc.  I played a few fills and this singer gives me that same "holy crow" look.  It was hilarious.

When we finished a few songs, the singer says to me, "that was awesome man!  I didn't think I'd like it when I saw it, but it looks so different when you're actually playing it.  That thing rocks!"  And I just laughed and said, "I know, doesn't it?!".

Don't you just love it when an instrument speaks for itself???


Tech Help / Dumb cable question
« on: August 02, 2006, 03:25:06 PM »
Greetings all.

As mentioned, I would call this a dumb question, but I feel the need to ask it anyway.

Can one connect the Active MIDI Cable that powers the Zendrum into a regular MIDI connection without any ill effects?  For example, if I just wanted to connect my DTX to a sampler, and the only thing I had was my 15' Active, could I do that without scrambling, melting, or otherwise exploding my machines?  Obviously this is a question I'd want to ask before I actually tried it, so feedback would be appreciate.  Thanks and apologies in advance.


ZenChat / Zendrum Traveling?
« on: July 11, 2006, 10:39:14 PM »
Hey folks. 

I might be playing an out-of-state gig with my Zendrum that would require air travel.  I've heard various stories about people taking their instruments with them.  The gig isn't confirmed yet, but I'd like to be prepared in the event that it is.  What's the best method for explaining this instrument to security?  How does it work for carry-on luggage, 'cause heaven knows I'm not gonna abandon it to the cargo hold!

Any advice'd be appreciated.


Tech Help / Questions re: Battery Box
« on: June 26, 2006, 10:49:23 PM »
So I'm planning on getting a 2nd merge box and thinking about power supplies.  When thinking about my options, I began to think that the deHass 9V box would suit my needs better.  However, since I don't have one to tool around with (and I don't want to risk frying the thing), I must bludgeon you all with stupid questions.  Please bear with me.

my regular merge box putters out on me at a gig.  Could I simply turn on the battery box and run it like my regular merge box?  I.E. not to a wireless rig or anything, just through my regular rig.

I want to run the battery box, but not use an actual 9V battery.  The pedalboard I run my rig through has a cord for guitar pedals that has 9V battery terminals on it (this was for pedals made before 2.1mm connectors became popular).  Could I connect this cord to the 9V terminals in the Battery Box and run it off of the board's power supply as a sub for my merge box, or would that fry the box? 

That's about all I have right now.  Thanks folks!


ZenChat / Warm-ups, Cool-Offs, General Maintenance
« on: May 11, 2006, 09:00:08 PM »
While we wandered, I made a list of things that I wanted to cover when we came back.

I've been playing weekend-long shows with a few friends lately.  I've done two so far... they've been great!

Anyhoo, I've noticed that my hands have been sore the morning after.  Granted, these gigs of mine have been three days long, all nighters on Saturday, so I don't really think it's a deficiency in my technique (although if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears).

I haven't seen a whole lot of discussion on warm-up and cool-off routines for our instrument.  Ounce of prevention and all that, so I encourage folks to talk about their personal maintenance on Zendrum gigs.  Take care folks!


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