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Messages - Jaay

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ZenChat / Re: Foot pedal velocity
« on: October 23, 2006, 08:11:43 AM »
I'm not too familiar with recording, but what if you simply turned everything else *down* during recording and simply turned it up again in post-production?  Or is that not an option?

Tech Help / Re: Trigger set ups
« on: October 20, 2006, 08:12:43 AM »
I just drew mine in a standard Paint program... I know the triggers aren't lined up the way they're supposed to be, but it seems like if you want a catch-all standard, just draw an outline and put some spaces for tags on it.

Incidentally, it's really hard to draw a Zendrum!!!   ;D


ZenChat / Re: My Zen Has arrived! I have a silly question. . .
« on: October 20, 2006, 08:08:51 AM »
Meezy, that's interesting you say that... I've never heard anyone say that their left was too busy on the Zendrum, for most people I've heard it go the other way 'round.

I'm assuming you're talking about the ZX model as opposed to the Laptop.  If you're concerned about one hand being more active than the other, try a different technique.  We discussed it a little in this thread: http://zendrum.com/forums/index.php?topic=166.0

Hope you find it of some use.


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.


Tech Help / Re: Trigger set ups
« on: October 14, 2006, 12:00:24 AM »
Thought I'd chime in with mine.

I think the tags are pretty obvious, but a few I wanted to point out:

RC: Ride cymbal
CH: China cymbal
OHH: Open hi-hat
X & Y: set-specific  tones.  Usually a splash or tambourine, cross-stick.

This is my basic general-use trapset map.  Kick/Snare/hats are on both sides, pretty much mirroed so I can do a basic groove one-handed on either hand.  The ride cymbal is on three pads so I can just spread my hand and get some interestying intreactions between the hi-hat and ride.  On the far side of the Zendrum, if I have a tambourine on the X pad I can get some cool layering effects going on. 

The cymbals are all up top; by angling my hand one way or the other I can get specific cymbals, or by spreading my hand I can get everything at once. Toms are on the center range so I can get 'em with both hands, either by themselves or along with a groove. 

In most of the stuff I'm doing I don't tend to do a lot of percussion-plus-drums or layerring, so I don't have a lot of "discrete" pads, but I've got a few other setups for that.  But for playing anything that most of us listen to, that's what I use.

good things come to those who order from David.

::cracks up:: Truer words were never spoken my friend!  A full percussion/drumset/whatever-the-heck-you-want that goes over your shoulder.  It's a thing of marvel, ain't it?

I'm planning a trip to the local Guitar Center over my lunch break and so I wound up instituting an impromptu "Take your Zendrum to Work" day! 

Welcome in, Narayana; it only gets more interesting from here.


ZenChat / Re: Took the plunge!!
« on: September 27, 2006, 10:27:06 PM »
That sounds awesome, man!

I don't want to hijack the thread, but is there any chance we could get some insight as to how you pulled that off?  A little note-map/chart thing mayhappenperchance? ????? ::smiles hopefully::


ZenChat / Re: Playing things other than drums...
« on: September 04, 2006, 12:23:21 PM »
When I was still using my pad-set as my main electric rig, I did a lot of stuff with synth chords and samples, linking bass linse and such.  I sort of shelved that when I got my Zendrum, but i'm slowly starting to get back into it.  I keep joking to my bandmates that if I rigged up my Zen to do a decent bass imitation, I'd never have to work another straight job in my life!

But anyway... yeah, I tend to stick to drum & percussion sounds on my Zendrum, but now that I have a little more free time, I plan on getting back into my synth travels and such.

ZenChat / Re: The final decision
« on: September 01, 2006, 12:05:00 PM »
Which video is that? Scanned thru the vids i have on my computer but didn't really find that...

The man whom I think was Kirk Johnson I remember being on the demo video that's right on the main site.  I could be mistaken about the actual musician as it was a rather cruddy connection and I was have been paying more attention to the instrument than the guy playing it anyway.   ;D  Regardless, for that one, go to the main site, click on the link that says "Zendrum Demo Video" and look for that.

As for Reyes, I think the video clip that was on is one of the defunct Silverman clips in the Media forum.  If that's the case, I don't know where else that footage would be but the concept was pretty simple: instead of hooking your left hand around the left side of the Zendrum to get the 5 triggers on the edge, etc, you bring that hand over the top of the instrument; the best analogy I can think of is that it looked a little like someone playing a keyboard.

Hope this helps!

I don't have a Zendrum, but... / Re: Just Ordered My Piece of Zen
« on: August 31, 2006, 02:52:51 PM »
There ought to be a word  for that period of time between zen conception (ordering) and delivery....ideas anyone?

I propose the word "Zestation".  It is a three-component word:

The "Z" comes from "Zendrum", obviously, and the "Zest" refers to the new and exciting world that opens up to a musician upon receiving their instrument.

The "estation" comes from the word "gestation", which is a biology term for the time that an offspring develops before it is born.


ZenChat / Re: The final decision
« on: August 29, 2006, 01:39:11 PM »
However, i do not quite like how the left hand is limited to the few pads on the left while the right has free movement to most pads. in fact i would like it quite the other way round, because when i'm a an acoustic kit, its comfortable for my right hand can hold the groove, while my left is free to improvise around with whatever drums and percussion.

Then have you tried holding the Zendrum with the 'tail' higher like a guitar neck and switching the dominant hand?

I've also seen footage of folks playing the ZX using both hands going over the front.  I know I saw Walfredo Reys Jr (?) doing that, and someone from the demo video... it was a white ZX-style... if I'm matching up the pics on the Techno-Tribe page, I think it was Kirk Johnson.  That should give you some more options for your left hand. 


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???


ZenChat / Re: Roland SPD-20
« on: August 08, 2006, 09:37:39 AM »
If you go to the Resource Site, you'll find a special write-up in the "module review" section regarding the SPD-20.  I don't have any hands-on experience with the unit, but from what I recall of my academic experience, it's quite reliable.  You'd have to confirm this with the write-up, but I seem to remember reading that the SPD-20 has the unique feature of being able to operate it's hi-hat control through MIDI, so if you used that as your Zendrum's sound module, you wouldn't have to use a seperate pad for the open hi-hat as the closed.  Something to consider.


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.


Tech Help / Re: Inconsistent triggering
« on: July 29, 2006, 04:45:52 PM »
I will check that, but I don't think that's the problem.  The inconsistencies I'm describing are occuring between different maps in my Zendrum and different Patches in my DTX.  Why don't I just write it off as an apples-to-oranges scenario?

In the Patch I'm having a problem with, the trigger that has the "right" ride (T4) is transmitting (for the sake of argument) Note Number 51.  When I changed the note on the R2 trigger I mentioned, I changed it to also transmit Note Number 51, so if it was a problem with my Alternate Groups, I should have encountered it already.  Thus, I think the issue I'm having is coming from my trigger and not my module. 

I'll check out the Alt. Groups in the interest of exhaustive research, but I think I still need to entertain alternate theories.  Thanks!


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