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Topics - peabody58

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Music / Exit the soundman, enter the zendrummer....
« on: November 26, 2011, 08:03:35 AM »
Hello all, thought I'd share my band's sound system story, enjoy.

Our band has been struggling with stage and FOH sound for the last 2 years. We are your average garage band (5 members) that play out ~ 2 times a month.  Classic/southern rock, blues, country.  Our sound system has been a rag tag set of misc heavy old pieces with the heart being an older Mackie 1604-VLZ mixer board.  We brought on a sound man 6 months ago with the hopes that he would figure everything out and we could focus on our music.  We'll this dude turned out to be tone deaf, incompetent, never read any of the manuals.  Every gig/rehearsal was a setup nightmare as he never labeled anything, and he would tweak everything a million time a night.

Fortunately he saw the writing on the wall and resigned the day before we were going to fire him a few weeks ago.  We only kept him this long as he was a friend of our former bass player.  I stepped up and spent considerable time analyzing our equipment, color coding signal block diagrams, setting up the mixer properly, labeling everything, etc, etc.  The band was amazed by the progress in sound quality and control, but several issues still remained.  The equipment was heavy, bulky, old and some of it in disrepair, and the mixer pots were dirty creating unpredictable dead spots.  Although the band was happier with the results, my impression was less than glowing, and at 54 yo, I just want to plug and play without all the drama, frustration and heavy lifting.  Life is short, play well while you still can is my philosophy.  So I took my personal band proceeds from the last year and bought a new sound system for the band.  It's only money right!

Here's were it gets fun.  Our goal - Easy, light, no more trailer, good sound, US built when possible.  I've always been impressed by Peavey products, and with a local dealer in the area, I was able to get great support and prices.

Here's our new set-up:

10x4 Roadie Pullover Rack Case (new from eBay) holding:
- Furman Power Conditioner
- Peavey XR1212 Powered Mixer (powers floor monitors)
- BBE 462 for FOH (previously had)
- Peavey IPR 1600 Amp for the FOH speakers
- (2) Speakon 30' Cables for FOH speakers

- Peavey SP5 Speaker Pair [FOH]  I can upgrade these to SP2's within a year and get full $$ credit.
- (3) Passive 12" Monitors (Crate/Panasonic)[previously had]
- (1) Peavey Active 12" Floor Monitor [previously had]  May not need as I'm looking at using ear buds.
- (2) JBL EON G2 15" Active Speakers [previously had]; we'll use these for larger venues to expand the sound to the rear of the room.

Out first rehearsal with the new system went well with one issue of concern. Amp 1 had no low end, lousy tone, and everything had to be cranked up twice as much on Amp 1 vs. Amp 2.  Took the board back to the dealer.  Turns out the Feedback Ferret for Amp 1 had locked in all of it's filters.  This was the one thing I didn't turn off when we we're trying to figure out the issue.  Lesson Learned - always have the Feedback Ferret off when initially setting levels.

We are so happy with the simplified compact light setup of our system.  We cut our sound weight by close to 400 lbs, and our sound size by 70%; while improving our quality, low end and capabilities several times over.  Setup/tear down is now 5 -10 min vs. 30 - 45 min.  Really looking forward to cranking up the SP5's at our first gig next week.

As the band's drummer/zendrummer, I never had to worry about the sound system before, but now I'm the man who control the 'suck' button.  We're still working out the optimal EQ/EFX settings while still controlling feedback, but that will come with a few gigs under our belt.

Thanks for reading, I'll post some pics later.

White Noise / So close, yet so far....
« on: September 25, 2010, 01:21:21 AM »
I'll be in Atlanta all next week for a meeting at INPO (Galleria Area) with no car.  I had originally wanted to drive now with a side trip to Douglesville Zendrum World Headquarters, but it's just not in the cards this week.  Oh well, another excuse for a road trip.

Media / Pics of latest gig
« on: June 14, 2010, 04:11:27 PM »
Instead of me trying to edit these pics (I didn't take then), I'll just post the link to our Facebook page.

Reason #1 why you should be wireless....  Chicks Dig It!!   8)


It's all about the fashion!!   :o


Zendrum backup!  ;D


And finally, this is why speakers have drain holes in them...


Trailer was in a foot of water before they righted it.  My drums were fine, my throne was a bit wet though.  The Zendrum and TD10exp was in my car.

Media / Zendrummer Sighting
« on: March 30, 2010, 10:26:58 AM »
Wife and I vacationed last week at Disney World and I knew that I had to catch Matthew Antolick in action (hard to call it work) at EPCOT's Mo'Rockin performance.  Matt and the gang did not let us down.   It was interested how Matt used his left hand for the bass beat on the small top pad and right hand on the lower 8 pads a lot.  Totally opposite from how my brain/playing style works.  I'm going to need to start using those lower 8 a lot more.

Got tha chat a bit with Matt and swap cards.  He will soon be using his new Z4 once he has it all figured out.  His Z3 in the picture is very well used and road worn, but still fully functioning.  Now my front line never looked this good - tough gig you've got there Matt!

I believe there is another Zendrummer at the Animal Kingdom, but we didn't make it there this trip.  As we feed the Rat very well this time (joined the DVC), we'll be back soon for more sighting opportunities.  So here's a parting shot - Segwaying at Epcot, so much fun!!

ZenChat / My Birthday Present....
« on: January 01, 2010, 02:52:02 PM »
Well today's my birthday - 1/1/58!!  And in celebration, I'll be sending the Draken off to David for some elective surgary. 

I'll be having my MidiJet Pro wireless unit internally planted, and a volume knob installed.  I am so looking forward to only having one battery to change, and no midi cords working their way out during a gig.  Plus I'll be able to use my other 2 straps interchangable now that I won't have the Battery Pack and MidiJet taped to the strap.

Pictures will follow the end of Jan.

Tech Help / Not a problem - just a learning observation
« on: August 05, 2009, 07:14:14 AM »
So I take the Draken out to a new jam location last night.  The host has a nice building behind his house for his big boy toys, coon dogs, car restoration projects, etc., etc.  He has one room set up as a studio (with a full kitchen) which can hold 10 - 15 musicians and all of their gear.  His father (awesome guitar and fiddle player) as well as his 12 yo son (prodigy on the guitar) were there to join the fun.  Several other musicians I've jammed with were also there, so I wasn't entirely new.  I arrive and the place is already rocking!  Super loud and the bass is really boomy.  Yeah, this is going to be a sweet jam I says to myself.  I set up my gear, plug in my wireless - and nothing!!  I check, triple check and replug everything in again - still nothing.  No MIDI signal getting out to my drum module.  I dig in and get my Merge Brick out, connect it up and - not only nothing, but no power to the Zen.  Somehow I had grabbed a 3-pin active cable vs. a 5-pin active.  I go back to the wireless set-up, and somehow, it starts working??  I start to play and notice it's cutting out every so often.  I move my setup to the other side of the room, and am still experiencing MIDI cutouts, or nothing at all.  I shut it all down and sit behind the cheap drum set they have in the room, and play for the next 45 minutes, having a good time I must say.  I decide to try the Zen set-up again, and now its working!!  What is going on I ask myself? 

Then to add injury to insult, I notice that my drum module (TD-10exp) MIDI channel 43 (Tom3) is acting really strange.  The notes are not as loud and are a distorted sound on any instrument sound assigned to it.  I start reassigning NO assignments to various pads to isolate the issue.  It all points to the module, not the Zendrum.  Great, now my module is dying I think. 

At this point I realize that the room volume is lower and not as many musicians are cranking it.  Then as I'm tweaking various Zen settings, I have an epiphany!!  I had set my Floor Level (FL) to 4 at home to maximize sensitivity.  In this jam room, the Zen was obviously being overwhelmed by all the noise/vibrations and was sending out tons of MIDI signals which locked up either the MIDJet Pro and/or the drum module.  I reset the FL to 6 and didn't have any more drop-outs or problems the rest of the night.  Yeah!!  The TD-10 MIDI Channel 43 self corrected itself later that night - why I haven't figured out yet.

By the end of 4 hour non-stop jam session, I was really cooking, and everyone was impressed by the Draken.  I'm really starting to pull out the power of the Z4.3 as I retrain my fingers for touch sensitivity.   It was a great learning experience, and helps explain some issues I have experienced before with my other Zendrum (3.0).  FL is your friend - use it wisely!  I go back next week, and hopefully I won't have any issues with everything now tweaked for this loud jam room.

User Reviews / Custom Hard Case for the Zendrum ZX for under $25
« on: July 31, 2009, 06:59:02 PM »
Well I thought I’d share with you the custom hard shell case I made for my 2009 custom built dragon themed Zendrum ZX - Z4 – the Draken – the only Zendrum in the world with mother-of-pearl in-lays (3 total).  It also holds the record for the longest build: 173 days from start to Version 4.3 installed.  But I digress….

I found a used mint condition Gator Deluxe ABS Stratocaster Electric Guitar Case at a local pawn shop for $20.  These are available new at GC, MF, etc for $80 plus S/H.

Using the wife’s kitchen knives (long-blade) and a razor blade, I cut out the lower case section top box and guitar neck USP foam insert and fabric flush with the existing base foam.  I left the front storage box intact for future use. 

I then reinforced the front storage box center wall by gluing a piece of end of a 2” plastic from an old binder I had laying around the house.  The ‘glue’ was silicon caulking.

After filling in the divots from my hacking job with silicon caulking, I relined the exposed foam cut area with a new piece of plush material I got from a sewing supply store.  Here’s wear it got a bit tricky.  I tested rubber cement, Elmer’s glue, wood glue and various other mind-altering adhesives; all of which failed to hold the fabric or leave a clean look.  I finally settled on black silicon caulking.  I could control the spread well, it gave me a lot of time to set the fabric, remains soft and flexible, and being black, it blended into the black plush fabric.

The Draken fits perfectly with the tail tip lying in the pre-existing foam notch (I tucked some extra fabric padding in this notch).  When the case is closed, the upper foam sections snugly, but not too tight, sandwich the Zendrum to prevent movement.  Part of the upper lid section has soft padding which lines up with most of the Zendrum surface.  In the photo you can see the pad impressions in the fabric.  With the Zendrum at a slight angle in the case, there is ample room for the strap to lie, including in my situation, the wireless MIDI and Power Box.

The remaining storage box which is spill proof with the case shut stores extra batteries, pens, tape, etc.  The left side of the case holds the extra gear I need such as the other end of my Wireless MIDIJet Pro/Xfrm, my Merge Brick/Xfrm and 20’ MIDI Cable for back-up, and ¼” patch cables.  There is still plenty of room for more stuff if I need.

As I had several extra custom decals left over, I used one of the 3D versions that is on the Draken for inside of the case.  I carefully cut out the fabric around the decal, mounted the decal to a white plastic backing, and glued it in place.  Using the same concept, I mounted a flat decay to the outside of the case.

Total cost:  $24.87   ;D

All 20 photos can be seen at:

Thank you for looking!  I hope some of you find this helpful.

ZenChat / The DRAKEN is coming! Watch for emerging details....
« on: February 22, 2009, 03:17:09 PM »
Deposit has been made for a one-of-a-kind custom themed Zendrum ZX - The Draken!

More teaser details to follow.

ZenChat / Check your strap posts!!!
« on: February 18, 2009, 10:49:06 AM »
So I'm doing measurements for a new strap, and I find that my strap posts are a few threads short of falling out.  With the strap on, I can't easily tell that the posts are slowly loosening and working their way out.  I highly recommend to everyone to check their posts and clips frequently and ensure they are on tight.  I would hate to have had the post pop off while playing live.

Music / Songs featuring the Zendrum
« on: January 09, 2009, 04:57:08 PM »
Well, my band 4given, an all original contemporary Christian band finally called it a day after 8 years together and 6 CDs with 1000's sold and distributed.  We placed all 85 of our songs free for downloading at http://www.musicv2.com/artist/4given

Over the years I have had several members request copies of the songs I recorded using my Zendrum ZX.  So I have provided links to each of the 9 songs recorded with the Zendrum below.  All songs were recorded in a professional studio using my Zendrum ZX and a Roland TD-10exp sound module, drummer's perspective and in stereo.  I'm not trying to toot my horn, but instead making available examples of what the Zendrum can do.  Some tracks I would redo if we had the time/resources; but overall I think they are pretty good and I'm proud to have been a part of this project.  Enjoy and be kind in the comments.

I have moved on to another band project that includes secular and Christian music, and I am using the Zendrum exclusively.  Once profits start coming in, I plan on getting a new custom Zendrum this summer to help 'bail-out' the Inspector!  ;D

The Peace I’m In - Revin’ Up My Soul
Tom using his Zendrum for drums on this track.

Freight Train - Revin’ Up My Soul
Tom on the Zendrum sounding like a train ..... Get on board!

Somebody Stop Me - Revin’ Up My Soul
Twangy foot stomping giddy up song with Tom using his Zendrum again. How does his fingers play like that!?

Been Searching - Revin’ Up My Soul
60's inspired Santana and Jimi Hendrix sounds.  Tom is doing both drums and percussion on the Zendrum.

You Changed My Life - God Ain’t Dead
Tom doing a great job on the Zendrum - one of his best finger drumming!

Got a Joy - God Ain’t Dead
Sounds like the circus may be in town - Latin drums from Tom (via the Zendrum).

Rockin’ Little Daddy - God Ain’t Dead
Let your hair down and rock as Tom rocks it out on the Zendrum.

Free Ride - Thank You Lord
This driving back beat song features Tom on the Zendrum doing hi-hat quads.

Chosen One - Thank You Lord
Dark brooding organ and killer guitar solo with lot’s of cymbal play on the Zendrum.

ZenChat / Going wireless !!!
« on: December 04, 2008, 04:49:13 PM »
After 8 years of tripping over my cables, and having other band members step on them, damage them or pull them out of the Merge Brick - I'm treating myself to a wireless setup for my Christmas present.  Kudos to Gina and the gang at Zendrum for a quick order processing on the Battery Merge Box.  Now all I have to do is wait for the wireless MIDI to show up.   :o

I've attached a copy of the MIDI Wireless Comparisons I did before finally choosing on the Classic Midi Works MIDIjet Pro.  I'll be sending Paul a copy so he can hopefully get it added to the Zendrum Resources Page.

If anyone decides to buy one from Brett at AXEessmidisystems, be sure to tell them Tom sent you.  He has great customer service - just like at Zendrum headquarters.

I'll followup in a few weeks to let everyone know how well it's working out.

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