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Messages - randtor

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Hey Strut,
I have the ZX model, and I sent it in this past April to upgrade to the Z4 chip and the internal wireless. I also added 6 more pads.... now I wish there was room for 12 more, lol!
I gig out anywhere from 2 to 6 times a month. I previously used the merge box with no issues. I went wireless for more portability. I was uncertain before I did it if it was worth the $$. Wow.... I am 150% certain now that it was. I carry all my cables, an extension cord, a light (for the music if needed), extra cables, a headset, a mike and mike cord, and even a Humdebugger(for that occasional annoying 110v cycle backround hum, which this eliminates) in my backpack, along with a small case I use for the MIDIJet wireless transmitter, batteries and power cord. I also carry my merge brick and cables in the same pack, wrapped in a plastic bag and tucked way down in the bottom, for that "just-in-case" moment. I use a Roland TD-10 for sound.
OK... I would NEVER go back to being wired! The freedom this allows is incredible. I have become the soundcheck guy in the band, cuz I can stand out front and listen to the sound while playing! The internal wireless setup is terrrific, and I use the batteries recommended by the Inspector (iPower Li-Polymer), which last anywhere from 6 to 10 hours and are rechargable. I have never had an issue with the setup. It is easy to change batteries in seconds, and it is so much easier to wander around! I highly recommend that when/if you decide to purchase a zendrum, pay whatever extra the costs are, and get the wireless internal, and extra pads if you can!  You will not regret it.

On another note, I have not yet subscribed to Drumwagon's software but only because I am currently trying to figure out different settings for my ZX, along with the Roland module. I have been trying different setups, and find it difficult to change the way I play, but I need more flexibility since I added new pads. So, I am trying to work out a better setup. I plan on purchasing the software in the next week or two.

Rob - how do you set your pads up? I like the idea of playing my kit with one hand, and percussion etc with the other, and I am having a lot of unproductive moments trying to get a better setup. I like some overlap with the snare/HH/bass drum, but not too much. I want a lot of percussion instruments as well, thus I added 6 pads. I would love to figure out a better system. Perhaps you can relate how you set yours up? I am also pretty thumb heavy!


ZenChat / Re: tired of spam
« on: August 17, 2010, 04:26:46 PM »
No Question the spam is annoying as h@ll! Here's my way around it: I log on to the forum, and hit "show unread posts since last visit". THis brings up everything I haven't read, including all the dreaded spam. I then read what I want, and each time I finish a subject I go back to hitting "read unread posts....".
Eventually, all thats left is spam, so I hit "Mark all posts read", and voila! they all go away.
It ain't poifickt, but it works!
Geo, I can't imagine the frustration of all this to you, not to mention the hours spent doing it. I think the tone taken was not a personal insult to you, it was sheer frustration at the amount of spam still able to get through after everything you've done. I read your posts on this several months ago, so I am aware of all the hard work you have been doing. Perhaps not everyone read those posts and so were not aware. I'm sure you are much appreciated by those in the "Know" at Zendrum HQ, as well as those of us that happened to know your involvement here. For the rest, .... well, now more zendrummers know.

As I get older, why does it take me twice as long to do half as much???  :-)   Argh!!! I can't type!!!


ZenChat / Re: The Merits of Backing Up your A's with your Z...?
« on: August 08, 2010, 08:10:11 PM »
Nice discussion gents, here's my 2 cents.
I have made the switch to playing just Zendrum exclusively. I am playing in a Classic Rock "Garage" style band, "The Fuzzy Side Band"; having a lot of fun, and gigging 2-3 times / month on average. It's gotten so that about 1/2 way through the first set, the lead singer says into the mike: "Before you all ask, that instrument he's playing is called a Zendrum!", and we go on to demonstrate it a little and explain what it is. Simply because over the past 3 years, there's not a night that goes by without at least 2-3 people asking! The band members love it, and quite frankly I do too! We played a gig this past Friday night. I left my office at 6:15pm, arrived at the Yacht Club (private party) at 7:45pm, and was up and running at 8pm for our start. We broke down at 11:30pm, and I was ready to go at 11:40pm (I stayed and helped everyone else as I usually do). 2 trips to the car. No sweat. No strain. I LOVE it.

And, I am also playing in an Acoustic Electric Eclectic band, "Red Eye Flight"; they recruited me specifically because of the zendrum. They get it. They want it. They love it. This is some very talented musicians, a fabulous female lead singer, and we play everything from Lucinda Williams, to Ryan Adams, Dave Alvin, John Prine, Old Crow Medicine Show, Ray Lamontagne, Wilco, Drive By Truckers, etc. (thus the eclectic tag!). I am very excited to be playing with them, and working hard to learn all the songs, this is a new musical genre for me. ( I grew up on the 60's R&R). We are gigging 2 times a month also. Gigs are 3-4 hours with each band. I didn't intend to play in 2 bands, but this was too good to pass up. This group actually broke up 2 years ago because some wanted percussion, and some didn't. They tried a drummer and it just didn't work for them. They told me if I had been there 2 years ago, they would never have stopped playing. Man, that gave me a warm fuzzy feeling! It's been about 4 months and I am just starting to feel comfortable. They have great 2-4 part harmonies, and want my "basso" voice singing as well, as soon as I am able to play more without thinking and working so hard.

Personally, as much as I love banging the drums, I won't ever play a kit at a gig again. I will play at home just to keep my chops, but learning and playing the Zendrum has been, for me, the best move I have ever made muscially. I do still have a very small acoustic kit which I play from time to time, especially sitting in with other friends. I play a Cajon, and I have a single stand for some chimes, a hand cymbal, wood block and tambourine. I also take some maracas and shakers with me as well as some other small assorted percussion pieces. It's a fun little kit, and works great with 1 or 2 acoustic guitars, some softer styles of music, and laid back atmosphere.

I guess it's a matter of personal preference. It's cool to hear from everyone else and see what others thoughts are on this subject. There is no right or wrong, its just whats' good for each of us as individuals. For me, learning the Zendrum is an ongoing process. It's like learning a whole new instrument. And there are almost an infinite # of settings, pad assignments, etc. WOW!! Confusing... gratifying... frustrating, exhilarating!

So there you have it. Gotta go now, and work on the songs for next weeks gig!!


ZenChat / Re: Zendrum gathering in Atlanta
« on: August 03, 2010, 06:49:56 PM »
I am green with envy! I'd love to be there and trade info and deep dark secrets! Can't get away at that time, and Atlanta is a hike by car too, from Massachusetts.
How about a video or three, then maybe those that can't get there, can take the proverbial "fly-on- the-wall" approach?!?!
Have fun guys!

White Noise / Re: Not feeling very Zen right now...
« on: July 17, 2010, 08:29:43 PM »
Yep... as per the previous advisors... hang in there! I am currently playing in 2 bands, BECAUSE of the zendrum:
~ The Fuzzy Side band (Classic R&R, with a slant to garage band 'fun', loosey goosey music) - I auditioned, they were looking for a female singing guitarist and ended up with an old fat bald zendrummer, nee percussionist/drummer...me! I have only played zendrum with them, nothing else.
~ Red Eye Flight (acoustic electric eclectic! Alt country/americana "whatever"!... very talented musicians, more serious, specific, great vocals)) - I sat in one night by request of a friend for "a few songs" and ended up playing all night, with my zendrum. They asked me back a month later, and I left the zendrum home, brought only my cajon and a stand with hand cymbal, tambourine, chimes, wood block, some shakers, etc.... they were like, " well, ok, but we really wanted that other thing!". So, they asked me back again with the hard request for the zendrum. The following week they pretty much insisted I join them permanently!
Shows to go ya.... you never know when it'll happen, but trust me, it will! I've actually been playing too much, and am going to limit it to 4 nights a month to keep the war dept. happy :-). I might just drop the classic R&R gig and stay with the more talented and musically specific Red Eye Flight band as we get more gigs (I've only been at it with them since April).
Point is.... I committed to playing the zendrum, and pretty much I only wan to play that. So, 2 bands found me! That WILL happen!

Keep the faith! Rand

I don't have a Zendrum, but... / Re: Some questions about wireless
« on: July 15, 2010, 08:40:30 PM »

Well, I suppose I should follow up too... I went Wireless..... and I LOVE it!

When I upgraded to the Z4, I added 6 triggers and the MIDIjet Pro wireless app as pictured above. It is fabulous. I run a TD-10, and have not had any trouble using the wired app as well, but I won't go back to that unless I have a catastrophic failure of the MIDIjet... argh! I shudder at the thought, LOL!
I am using the 9 volt Li-Polymer 520mAh IPowerUS batteries, all rechargable, as recommended by Dave. They are not cheap... 4 batteries and a charger for around $100. BUT... I have one battery I use, and another as a backup all charged. I haven't even opened the other two yet, nor do I see a need for them in the near future. I have "tested" the battery staying power. I used one battery for home practice for about 3 hours, then at a show for 4 hours and I left the zendrum on the entire time), then at a band practice, where it finally gave out after about 2 more hours. I would say you can easily play a gig with a fully charged battery and have no worries.

ZenEdit / Roland TD-10 module
« on: July 13, 2010, 07:34:33 PM »

 This looks really great! During the video tutorial I noticed you had different modules in there but mine wasn't. Can you set it up for the Roland TD-10 as well?
If I am looking at this right, it can be used to interface the Z4 with any module, not just a software/PC combo? I have been messing around trying to arrange certain percussion sounds 4 in a row, in order to use the 4 note velocity switch feature... it looks like I won't have to do that now, with this program. Wahoo! 



User Reviews / Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« on: July 03, 2010, 08:48:43 PM »

Ps: is your user name a Robert Jordan tribute?

Interestingly, I was suprised to see Randtor used in the Wheel of Time series! My name is Rand Torman, so Randtor is just an abbreviation. Imagine my surprise when I started reading WOT! Now, since my middle initial is 'O' (and I'll leave that one alone for now!), my friends and a lot of my family call me RandO, which has been a nickname for years. Some of my music friends now call me the Zenmeister, lol!

I like the snare buzz setup! I am going to have to try that a bit with the TD-10 and see what I can come up with, if anything. The TD-10 allows the snare to be tight, medium or loose, and when loose, I can get quite a buzz by tweaking the setings. Should be fun to try!
RandO !

User Reviews / Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« on: July 01, 2010, 07:16:03 PM »

I couldn't agree with you more, LOL! I just got heated seats in my ride, and thought the same thing. Now it's like you said, " What you DON'T have 'em?!?!" ;D
A lot of the tweaking you are taliking about, it seems I can do with the TD-10 on a lot of the sounds, and I do. My initial reaction was being overwhelmed by so many variables and so many choices, I felt like i wasway out of my league. With time, and understanding, I have come to see how the TD-10 works an interfaces with the Zendrum capabilities. There are STILL literally almost an infinite # of tweaks, setups, choices, I can still make. But now I have more of an idea what I want to hear, and where. I can't compare a TD-10 to BFD as I have never heard BFD; I have a feeling tho, that if/when I do, I'll be walking the plank like Pyrate, and sinking into a sea of BFD choices, LOL! I agree with you Jer, the sounds we create are for OUR pleasure as well, and it does make a difference in the perception of our own abilities when we sound phenomenal! I guess, being a "novice sub-bedpan-assistant to the assistant-engineer in charge of wizarding - in training", I'll try and live with what I have for a bit, before I sink into the complexities of software!!    ???
Rock on!

User Reviews / Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« on: June 29, 2010, 09:32:03 PM »
Ahhhh, I love this board!  ;D Great answers guys. The bottom line I guess, is do what sounds best to you. As with everything, some opt for ease of use, some for playability; some for realism, some for technical detail; some for simplicity, some for complexity! A lot depends on the person's personality maybe? I like to be up and running quickly, and the portability is great with the TD-10, as are all the various options I have, including using melodic voices with the Z4 setup making it much easier now. We were rehearsing a song, the bass player said, "Can you get a snare with a longer gate time, with reverb, and a 'snap' like an echo-ey thing?" Sure thing boss! 1 minute, got it, and it fit beautifully with the song. I am still learning a lot of the nuances of the TD-10, and MIDI, and the zendrum. Bottom line for me, I don't really want to spend the time trying to set up a whole new sound with new software, as my life is busy and complicated enough! So for me, its "keep on keepin' on" I guess. Mostly due to time constraints, I will probably stick with the TD-10 for now, as I am still trying to learn all about that! Especially with the Z4, I want to add melodic voices and such, and I am still trying to figure out which pads on the zendrum should play what sounds for each song! In fact, there are so many choices to make, it's one of the things that initially put me off when I first started to try and learn how to play it. Hell, banging skins and cymbals was a lot more intuitive for me! Now, I have had to learn to play all over again! Thanks for the great replies all!

User Reviews / Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« on: June 28, 2010, 11:06:14 AM »
Hmmmm, Am I missing something here? I don't understand the 'lust' for the software/laptop route. It seems, from all the discussions I have read, that there is a very steep learning curve, and lots of add ons to purchase, software and hardware, to get perhaps 10 -12 different drum sounds that you tend to like and stay with, not really using all the flexibility these packages have to offer.
I am using a TD-10 module, and for me it seems to have as many sounds as I could possibly want. The learning curve (at least for me!) was pretty steep, and I am still figuring it all out even several years later. But at least I now understand MIDI and know where to look, if I need something specific. The hardware is easy to figure out, the connections are minimal (especially since I upgraded to wireless when I did the Z4 upgrade), and to me, when I stand out in front and listen to the drums/percussion thru the PA, it sounds damn good. I'm not sure there is that big a difference between BFD software (and others) and the TD-10, that the average person listening to the music would be able to discern a difference. Even to my ear, the TD-10 sounds are really good. And very easy to edit, and get something I want/need for individual songs.
Don't get me wrong, I haven't ever used software and a laptop so I can't make a true comparison, and I don't suppose to tell anyone what is "better"... it's up to each individual as to what sounds better to you. My quesion is, it seems like there is a great deal of effort needed to go the software/PC route, and its complicated too. Is that a fair assessment?? I'm reading into what the posts are saying, am I reading them wrong? I've toyed with the idea of going with software and a PC, but the comments are scaring me off!
It's like, If it ain't broke, don't fix it....for me, anyway.

ZenChat / Re: Better or Worse?
« on: June 09, 2010, 11:03:20 AM »
Well, I can understand wanting to keep a 'hand' in both arenas.  ;D

Personally, I am gigging TOO much at the moment, and only with the Zendrum. I am playing acoustic/electric classic R&R with one band, and Americana/Alt. Country with the other band. My initial intent was to play out 2-3 times a month. Since the beginning of May it's been crazy, and June has 8 dates.

I am playing the zendrum exclusively. In fact, I was asked to join the second band as a result of sitting in with them with the zendrum. THey were intrigued and loved it. Last year I sold my acoustic set, and this year I am selling off my vdrums piecemeal. I don't think I would ever sit behind a kit again, unless it was already at the venue I was playing, and I didn't have to move it. Yup, I do miss sweating and banging the skins, but I don't miss 6-7 trips in/out of the house and the venue, each gig, plus set up time. I am generally the first one packed up after a gig. I always stay and help everyone else pack and lug, but I am ready to go in 10 minutes, no stress or strain. Being 59, this really helps!

There are things I cannot do on the zendrum that I could on the kit, but they are so few I can live with it; and, I am finding ways, a little at a time, to actually do what I thought I could not. Additionally I have a little cocktail kit (Cajon, and a stand with hand cymbal, tambourine, chimes, wood block, etc, plus shakers, etc) that can be used if simple acousitc is needed. But whatever I can do with that setup, I can duplicate with the Zendrum.

So, it looks like I am sticking with the zendrum, pretty much... and lovin' it!


Media / Re: 1st solo performance rig
« on: May 19, 2010, 07:52:24 PM »

That was really interesting Mr. Mayor!

You have lots of fun percussion toys, and that's what it's all about... having fun.....
 I noticed a big smile on your face during the whole shoot... cool!  ;D


ZenChat / Re: Z4 Retrofits for Existing Zendrums
« on: April 25, 2010, 07:20:20 PM »
Hi dkaleita (and all),

I had my Zendrum refitted last week, while I was away on vacation. I spoke with Dave a couple of times beforehand on the phone, and received pictures of several different layouts that others had done with new trigger pads. I opted for the same layout as Jer (Zendrumdude), with the Z4 board, 6 new triggers, cc volume control knob (and yes, it does work with my Roland TD-10..woohoo!), and Midi jet internal wireless.
The entire process from shipping to receiving it back was fabulous. I was not in a rush to get it back as I had some time off. The zendrum arrived home before my vacation was over, and when I got home I anxiously began testing.


It is really so much more responsive. I put all of my settings back in as I had them, but I am going to change my entire set up on several channels as I now have so much more capability, being able to use different channels, new triggers, etc. I had a gig last night (Saturday) and it was very well received. I went wireless, and that was a hoot! I was able to stand out in front of the riser and listen to the mix like never before. I could actually wander around the room! There is so much less clutter with no wires. And, I felt.....unfettered!

We had some professional video, audio and stills being done gratis, I haven't seen them yet. (A fiddler who sits in with us is also a professional videographer) I will post here when I get a look-see.

All in all, I feel every penny spent for this upgrade is well worth it... and more. Dave is very 'reachable', I don't think you can get any better customer service. I had a few questions that were easily answered via email, and could have called if needed. I may still have to as I go along this new learning curve, but truthfully, it's really not all that difficult once you get the hang of it. The new instruction booklet is pretty self explanatory.

I am looking forward to really getting into it over the next few months. the only limitations I can see on the horizon, is me!


ZenChat / Re: 'The Mayor" playing for Aretha Franklin
« on: April 25, 2010, 07:04:27 PM »
Are you kidding?!?! That is like the top of the heap!
I have been a huge Aretha fan since the 60's. I imagine getting a gig like that means the Mayor is also at the top of the heap!
Good luck Tom!
(waiting anxiously for all the details)

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