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Messages - Zendrumdude

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1
ZenChat / Hey Youse Guys!
« on: May 17, 2013, 09:53:22 pm »
Wow, it's been a looong time since I've seen all y'all!

I think the forum went down right after I visited Insp 109 (happy bday, my friend!) in GA, and I haven't spoken to any of you since! Sheesh!

Well, it's way late here (just got back from a camping trip so I needs me some beauty sleep) but I plan on catching up on some ZenBiz this weekend.

One fun li'l tidbit: I just got ahold of the new Bose B2 sub for the L1 system- the 2 10"s pretty much make the old B1 model's 2 6"s seem like a toy. Report forthcoming.

Nice to be back in Zenland, my friendz.

Jer

2
ZenChat / Re: Z4 retrofit and new 6 triggers
« on: July 31, 2011, 08:18:11 pm »
I saw one (owner unnamed to protect the innocent!) that was actually missing not only lacquer and paint, but some of the WOOD.  Now I happen to know that this guy actually tours with his 2 Zendrums, but this one was in BADDD shape my friends.  And I know I don't have to tell anyone, but I played it, and it still played like a million bucks.

Jer

3
ZenChat / Re: Latency issues
« on: July 31, 2011, 08:16:16 pm »
Hello,

So many variables here...

But at one venue at which I occasionally play, this was happening to me pretty frequently.  After much frustration and trial-and-error, I found out it was some sort of interference with my WIRELESS.  Phones, WiFi, who knows?  But if I run wired there, I'm golden.  If not... risky.  Same exact symptom: notes stop, and then BOOM, all at once.  Occasional "late" note or two as well.  And that also gives me great cover when I blow a lick- "What? It's my WIRELESS, guys!" (*hiding Zendrum's midi cable behind leg...!)

Jer

4
ZenChat / Re: Batteries!!!!!
« on: July 31, 2011, 08:11:33 pm »

As I was using the Energizer batteries, I went through 5 in 2 hours, and they were brand new.   I couldn't believe how fast they would drain.


Bambam

That's crazy!  Those batteries must have been bad or old or something.  I haven't yet sprung for rechargeables, and have been using Duracells forever.  I easily get through a 3-4 hour gig and then save 'em for rehearsal batteries later.  On occasion I forget to bring a fresh one, and have to run a SECOND 3-4 hour gig on a half-dead battery.  i usually have a few older ones on hand, and sometimes this bites me in the @$$, but bottom line is, I'm getting 5-6 hours on average out of each Duracell I'd guess.

Jer

5
ZenChat / An idea: the A-B Project
« on: June 04, 2011, 01:30:30 pm »
Hello All,

This may be a little premature (as I haven't actually started yet), but I will continue to report as the process proceeds.  I plan to start this project in the next few days.

I find that I spend TONS of time mixing my kits, and when I get on the gig often I am not happy with the results, for a variety of reasons.  So I have an idea- I want to set up my rig in my studio, and set up a drumkit in my studio, and then throw up a pair of nice "flat-ish" condenser mics to compare the two and see what differences and similarities I find.  I tend to mix my e-kits like I would a CD, but then when I'm at the gig playing on an acoustic kit, it of course doesn't sound that way.  Bottom line, my CD-sound might be a little TOO "produced" and not organic enough to fit with the live music vibe, especially in situations where players and audience are accustomed to hearing a live and unmiced acoustic kit.

I plan to do this with a rock kit and a jazz kit, and with a variety of drumheads and cymbals.  I once had a comment from an older jazzer that the cymbal samples sounded pretty, but not "clicky" like my acoustic cyms.  And another guy told me that the toms sounded like they were being played in a studio, but the cymbals sounded very live.  I have a feeling that if I start making adjustments to try to sound more like what acoustic instruments sound like IN THE ROOM, rather than in post-production, I (and my bandmates) will be more comfortable, even if the drums won't sound as polished.

A caveat: I am one of those guys who WANTS to sound as close to an acoustic kit as possible, so look at all of this from that standpoint.  I know a lot of guys here have a completely different set of goals in mind.

I will report as I go through the steps.  It's prefect timing, because my favorite acoustic kit is set up and miced up right now in my studio for a session this weekend.

Jer


6
User Reviews / Re: Wicked buzz from my Powered Mackie Thump 15-A's
« on: June 02, 2011, 12:18:31 pm »
D-Wag,

Geez, you're right!  I deleted my post from earlier as the whole darn thing was based on my misinformation about the outputs.

Why oh why would they not have balanced outs?!?!?!??

Sorry Rand et al, I shoulda done more research first...!

Jer

7
Have you mastered acoustic kits?

LOL Geo, exactly!  Of course not!  Mastery would be a pretty strong word for ANY skill, especially so for such a varied and complex thing as drumming or Z-drumming. 

I would answer the initial question this way:  If you do indeed have a great sense of rhythm and some experience with e-drumming, you will be able to play passably literally overnight.  Heck, I did my first Zendrum-only gig the very DAY I got my first ZX (but I'm sure glad there's no video of THAT one!  ;))  But that being said, 13 years later, I'm STILL not satisfied with my playing and still looking to improve.  And I guess that's just the way I am- drumset playing included. 

One cool thing about the Zendrum is, there are SO many variables over which you have complete control.  This means that with a logical approach and some technical know-how, the learning curve can be greatly lessened compared to instruments without these unique variabilities.  For example, you can't really change which notes lay where on the piano... but on Zendrum?  You bet.

Jer

8
User Reviews / Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« on: May 08, 2011, 02:37:13 pm »
RandO Calrissian?   ;) :D

Oh man, if we ever hang out, that's what I'm calling you.  If anyone reading this doesn't get it, well, you're just not as geeky as I am.   ;D

Jer

9
I never have used the straps that have come with any of my Zendrums, but I would really dig a black leather one with the "Z" logo embossed on it.  109, if you do this, I'll buy one!  You could also offer different colors of leather.  Leather can be classy and timeless, like the wood construction of a Zendrum, but it can also be edgy (biker-style.)  I think it would have more universal appeal and feeling of "quality" than the nylon ones, although at a higher cost of course.

Jer

10
User Reviews / Ion Tailgater: a COOL little amp!
« on: May 08, 2011, 02:24:08 pm »
Hello Tribesmates,

I'm always looking for new gear.  Always.  So last week, I happened to accidentally see a kids' hiphop dance event, and the music sounded really good in a school gymnasium.  Crisp and thumpy.  I noticed that it looked like they were using a tiny guitar amp with an iPod docked on top.  Being a curious musician on the hunt for cool new gear, I checked it out.  It happened to be an Ion Tailgater.

You can look up the specs online, but here's the basic list:

-Two 1/4" mic/line inputs w/ volume knobs
-iPod dock/RCA input pair (these occupy channel 3) w/ volume knob
-Link output
-16w RMS into 6.5" woofer (I think) and a small tweeter
-Master volume knob
-Rechargeable battery with 8-12 HOURS of playtime
-Switch to select whether the Ion will charge your iPod (saves battery life if off)
-3-LED battery life indicator
-Included (cheesy) microphone

This little guy sounds pretty darn respectable as an iPod dock, which is what its main purpose is.  My thought was, how would it work as a Zendrum amp at some of my dinner jazz gigs? Even my little Simmons combo amp is a bit much at these places.  So I picked up 2 Ions at Costco (1 for home, 1 for work) and I took them out to my studio to jam.

Initially, I was not super impressed.  They sounded boxy and not as loud as I had hoped.  I was using the RCA inputs because I really wanted some EQ control, and the EQ I was using (a little Rolls unit, which is killer, by the way) has RCA outs.  I ran 1/4 to RCA adaptors from my DM10 to the Rolls EQ, then RCA cables to the Ions' RCA ins.  Sounded decent but unremarkable.  But, when I grabbed another pair of 1/4" adaptors and ran in through the Ions' mic/line inputs, there was a TON more volume and depth.  The mic/line inputs must have little mic pre's in there I guess.  Then I started messing with the EQ.  With a little bump at 60hz, a little less 120hz, and a touch more high mids and highs for clarity (2.5k and 8k) I had a crisp and fat drum sound going on, with quite a bit of headroom before it started to fart out at its louder settings.  By reducing the 60hz back to unity, I could get even more volume, but as with all speakers, it started to sound harsh as I neared the volume ceiling.

I can see using one Tailgater amp as a practice rig or to jam with a piano or acoustic guitar.  I think the pair is going to be great at my little jazz venue; I will report after my gig next week.  I like the idea of true stereo separation with very controllable volume and extreme portability.  I'll be able to dock my iPhone for break tunes, and I may even bring a mic for announcements and stage banter (probably not so hot for singing, but I'll try that sometime too.)

Even with its not being "pro gear", the construction seems as solid as any small combo amp.  they are stackable, but I wish they stacked better.  I know they weren't designed to do so.  The metal speaker grille and black vinyl covering seem durable, and the plastic edging and metal corners look tough enough.  The chrome plastic knobs seem a little cheesy; time will tell.  My only complaint is with the lack of EQ.  A 3-band would have been most welcome, and even just hi-low would have helped.  I'll need to bring my little Rolls unit (and I suppose most musicians have a little EQ unit hanging around somewhere.)  I also wish they had used better handles: they're plastic recessed ones on the sides.  Great for 2-handed carrying, but nearly impossible with one hand.  So I need 2 hands to carry a 12"x14" box that weighs less than 20 lbs.?!?!?  I would have preferred a single top-mounted guitar amp strap handle, but the iPod dock is right there in the way.  I am toying with the idea of putting a strap style handle on the side, but we'll see.

I am going to go buy another one of these today (they're $90 at Costco!) and I would highly recommend the unit to anyone looking for a portable, inexpensive amp(s) that sounds like it costs more than it did!

Jer

11
I was considering using a keyboard damper pedal with a TRS connector since a hi-hat control pedal uses the same connection.

I have not tried this, but I don't think it will work.  As far as I know, damper pedals are a simple switch (on/off) while a hi-hat pedal requires positional sensing for half-open, etc.  Also, the physical feel would be not at all analogous to a real hh pedal.  You'll be much happier with one designed for this purpose.

Also, HH pedals DON'T need TRS connections.  They use mono TS connections.   As you probably know, you can use TRS cables for TS applications (although not the other way around)- the ring connection just doesn't get used.  E-drum kits often include TRS cables for HH simply because then ALL the cables are TRS and you can't go wrong.

Good luck; post pics when you're done with this cool idea!

Jer

12
Tech Help / Re: How do you connect?
« on: May 06, 2011, 11:07:08 am »
I use a MOTU UltraLite MKIII audio interface.  FAST, and excellent high-quality outputs- balanced and hot!  great headphone amp in it too, if needed.  pricy, but I'm all about balanced signals, especially with all the interference associated with a laptop.

Jer

13
Tech Help / Re: ZX won't power on
« on: May 06, 2011, 11:03:44 am »
Yeah, I have been caught with my proverbial pants down on occasion, usually concerning a dead or missing cable.


(Wouldn't that be a great band name: Proverbial Pants???  I have now copyrighted it... >-D)

You know what I think would be the perfect last-ditch backup plan?  An old Roland SPD-8.  I used to have one, and sold it for a laughable price; I now wish I hadn't.  It's self-contained and I could limp through a gig on it if I needed to.  Sounds pretty dated but better than going home, and takes up basically no space.  Could double as a controller if ZX happened to die, could act as module if MacBook crapped out, or even as both if needed.  eBay, here I come...

Jer

PS:  SO sorry to tout the virtues of Brand-R here!  LOL

14
ZenChat / Re: Pedal Suggestions
« on: May 04, 2011, 02:59:51 pm »
My picks:

Alternate Mode FatKat and HatKat (beaterless feel does take some getting used to)
Roland KD7 and FD7

Personally I like the FD7 better than the HatKat because of its pedal sensor position and tension adjustments.

Jer

15
ZenChat / Re: I was looking forward to showing off my Z4...
« on: May 04, 2011, 02:57:05 pm »
DD,

Hosa makes a cable specifically for this application.  It's also perfect for sending your iPod through one channel on a board for break music at the gig.  It's a male 1/8" stereo on one and and a male 1/4" mono on the other.  It's wired such that it sums the L-R outs so you can still hear all the background vocals when you listen to early Beatles in mono!

Jer

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