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Messages - john emrich

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On the Mac you can use a program called Mainstage.  It is cheap and available in the App Store......

I use it to do shows and combine programs.  It is basically logic without the recording capability.  You can set it up to meet any function requirements you may have.  For example, I use two triggers on my ZMP plus to change patches on the fly.  I use a simple MIDI note to do this.

It's cheap and worth a try...


Tech Help / Re: map sustain switch to BFD automation?
« on: February 16, 2014, 11:43:03 PM »
Just now seeing this.  I will use BFD2 for this example since you didn't specify.  At the bottom of the GUI you will see the learn button.  All you do is press it and you will see a lot of items turn green.  Click on the panic button, push the sustain button and you will see a value show up.  Click learn again to turn off the green indicators and you are good to go.  Then you save the MIDI Map and automation.

It won't matter what CC you are using.  I used 64 when I did mine because we don't use "hold" as a function.

Good luck.


ZenChat / Re: BFD3 - Number of available Drum slots
« on: October 02, 2013, 04:36:57 AM »
Hi Mick,

The official word is posted on the FX website.  It is always best to have a separate drive for the data..... That said, I have been using my internal, 7200 rpm drive on my 15" MBP for my BFD2 gigging kit for a couple of years with no problems.  I only keep the gig data on the computer.  It always depends on the computer.

If you are going to play live with BFD3, you may be Ok.  You can still select 16bit mode for the engine.  With 64 kit pieces you should be able to do an entire gig with one big preset!  Use patches on the Zendrum to trigger the different instruments in the 64.

So.... It is worth a try......

ZenChat / Re: BFD3 - Number of available Drum slots
« on: September 30, 2013, 10:24:19 PM »
Sorry I was late getting to this.  I was in NYC Saturday and did demos for 2500 people with BFD3 and the EXP.  Long weekend.....

64 instruments.

Engine improvements are under the hood to make things a lot easier for folks to get it set correctly.

Modeling!  This includes cymbal swells.  The way that works is that BFD3 senses the speed of your cymbal strikes and adjusts the attack of subsequent strikes to make a smooth roll!  It is fully adjustable and gives you presets.  A while ago I did a bit of research and recorded results showing what happens during a real cymbal roll.  That was turned into the base line for how we put rolls together and the settings needed.  End result is a simple, one knob adjustment that makes it easy to do rolls on any cymbal.  Including cymbals like a heavy 24" ride that wouldn't even sound smooth acoustically.

Also in modeling, we have adjustable Tom resonance.  That allows the toms to be heard ringing when you hit other drums.  The levels are fully adjustable.  That feature is retroactive to all of the expansion packs.

More info and videos to come....


ZenChat / Re: Q: When is a Zendrum like a bassoon?
« on: August 22, 2013, 06:30:28 PM »
Very cool.  I think this will work much better for my EXP.

ZenChat / Re: what's this drum controller?
« on: June 06, 2013, 10:04:17 PM »
It looks a lot like a Klingon Bat'let sword.....   ;)

ZenChat / Re: Can someone describe the 4.0 chip in more detail for me?
« on: February 08, 2013, 09:33:06 PM »
The scan speed is a lot faster on the Z4.  That means that it is faster recovery between notes.  Non of us has actually measured it, but I did notice it. 

Regarding the multiple notes.... Yes!  I do a lot of this and they track at all velocity levels.  One thing I have been working on lately is a backward roll.  That is a finger style guitar technique that uses thumb, middle, and first finger as a roll.  The Z4 tracks it a lot better than the older chip.  The thumb is the accent.  On the Z 3 chip the non accent notes would drop out.

I recommend the Z4 chip with no reservation.

Hope that helps.

ZenChat / Re: First major boo-boo :(
« on: October 16, 2012, 10:19:12 PM »
Looks great, but your logo is upside down...... :P

Media / Zendrum Technique Video
« on: September 10, 2012, 06:32:10 PM »

This video was posted n FaceBook.  For those of you not in that group.....


Special thanks to Inspector 109 for all of his support.


ZenChat / Re: GigKat
« on: July 22, 2012, 12:58:34 PM »
This just in..... The Zendrum can do bank changes.  I will give it a go tomorrow and see if maybe we have a solution to the MSB and LSB info explained above.

Thanks Drum Wagon!

1 hour later.......l.

OK.... That didn't work.  :)

It looks like the guys at Kurzweil may be redirecting some of the functions.  I can get it to work with MIDI Tool Box so at least we have one approach.

I'll keep digging.  I am doing a week long clinic with Mario next week.  Maybe we can figure a work around.

ZenChat / GigKat thoughts
« on: July 22, 2012, 12:05:04 PM »

Here are my thoughts on the GigKAT from Alternate Mode.


As some of you may know, I do some work with Mario.  He has been a friend for a while and I like and use many of his products.  The GigKAT started life as an internal sound chip for his products.  That chip is made by Kurzweil and  features over 1000 sounds.  The key difference between this product and other dedicated drum module units is the scope of the voices.  It is better to compare this unit to a synth module.  Do to the fact that I am a professional sound designer, I will stay clear of remarking on the audio samples.  You can visit the following links to hear all of the different examples as played by Mario and make up your own mind.



All in all I like this unit because it offers a lot of non drum sounds.  That seams to be a feature that the Zendrum community appreciates because there are a lot of you that like to take advantage of the melodic scales in the Zendrum.  There are a couple of things that you need to understand to work with this unit.  I will point them out and give you a couple of tricks that work in dealing with this unit.


Many devices send program change information, but most only send the 0-127 value.  In the case of the GigKAT that is only part of the information needed.  The GigKAT also requires bank information.  That is two sets of numbers referred to as MSB and LSB.

MSB = Most Significant Byte
LSB = Least Significant Byte

These two sets of numbers are what makes up the "bank" of sounds.

Most drum modules and foot controllers only send out the program change and leave this bank information out.  The GigKAT must see this information to get it to the right bank.  To deal with this I found a really useful app for the iPad/iPhone called MIDI Tool Box.  This app has two add ons that allow for program change and control change.

Using MIDI Tool Box, the apple camera kit, and a M-Audio Uno MIDI to USB cable you can send the MSB and LSB information along with the 0-127 program change info.  The GigKAT uses bank 4 and 5 for drum kits.  You set the MIDI channel in the app to 0 with the MSB and LSB numbers matching the patch data included with the list of sounds in the GigKAT manual.  After that you just hit the button for the program you want to use.  It works like a big calculator.   Sounds complicated, but it is really easy once you have done it once.  I have one more interesting point to make.  Once you have sent the GigKAT the correct MSB and LSB information you can use the program change functions on the Zendrum to change kits within that bank.

If you are using the GigKAT with an Alternate Mode kit, the AM device allows you to send the MSB and USB info.


An additional bit of control can be gained with MIDI Tool Box in the Control Change screen.  I use that screen to control the overall volume as well as the two different effects parameters.


The second trick that I came upon involves the HH.  The GigKAT will not do variable HH the way that software does.  In fact, most drum modules only use closed and open sounds to begin with.  They use a damping algorithm to produce the other variations internally.  With the Zendrum Z4 I was able to take advantage of a control input.  I set that input to work on CC#64, the hold parameter.  Using ZenEdit I flipped the polarity of the pedal.  You can also do that with some pedals via a small switch.  This produces notes that are always held until the pedal is pushed down.  I then selected the HH note for the open HH sound.  Holding my foot down produces a closed sound.  This is also the way that I prefer to play the Zendrum with melodic voices.  I use the pedal to stop the sound. 

There you have it.  This unit is worth looking at because it does offer a lot of sonic possibility for a relatively small price.  If you already own an iPad/iPhone you have a tool that can unlock the control features that you need to take advantage of it from the Zendrum.


ZenChat / Re: GigKat
« on: July 18, 2012, 04:45:54 PM »
In order to get this to work, your controller must be able to send MSB and LSB information  in addition to program change......

I now have one of these units.  I will figure out how it works and report my findings here soon.  I am doing the Electronic Percussion Workshop with Alternate Mode at the University of Delaware in two weeks.  This is a cool little box and I will try to figure out a way for the Zendrum community to work with it.  As it stands now it is optimized to worth with AM products as an internal chip.

Let you know soon........


ZenChat / FXpansion Summer Sale
« on: July 06, 2012, 06:34:59 AM »

Wanted to take an opportunity to make sure the edrumming crowd gets in on this. In addition to a really good deal with Eco and Rock Legends, FXpansion is also running their summer sale.

Here is an aportunity t expand your BFD2, BFD Eco, DCAM: Synth Squad, or Geist installation by taking advantage of our amazing 30% off Summer Sale on all expansions (both boxed and download-only) available from the web store. All of the BFD expansion packs are on sale through July 31, 2012.


Click on the BFD expansions tab to see the sale prices.


ZenChat / Re: Next best thing to BFD2 Jaszz and funk software
« on: June 18, 2012, 04:49:58 PM »
Jazz & Funk is now available again.  This time it is downloadable at a new price of $149.00.



ZenChat / Re: Next best thing to BFD2 Jaszz and funk software
« on: May 14, 2012, 09:12:26 PM »
JnF is absolutely indispensable. Get it when you can!

Thanks for the kind words.  Percussion just went download a couple of weeks ago at a reduced price.  I finished up my work on the download version of JNF last week.  It shouldn't be long....


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