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Messages - Zendrumdude

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376
ZenChat / Re: Playing things other than drums...
« on: September 17, 2006, 01:59:29 PM »
Wow, 109...hard post to follow!  I almost hate to add anything, as that post should be read last!  But I still want to chime in.

I too use the Zendrum as a melodic voice, and have ever since I started playing it.  I currently use a ZX on a strap for drums/perc, and another on a stand for melodic stuff.  I started out playing just one for both applications, but I really like switching back and forth without having to mess around, playing both at once, and I like the layout melodically when both hands can reach all areas of the instrument without playing "Twister" (hence the stand).  I am currently looking into whether a Laptop ZD would suit me better for stand-mounted melodic applications.

Here are some thoughts for melodic players:

1.  Do your homework as far as scales and modes, and practice it as well!  (Jazz musicians often practice with Jamey Aebersold's CDs of background tracks of jazz standards...rock guitar solo practice CDs work great too, and have simpler requirements as far as scales/modes).  You don't want to just cram a minor pentatonic over everything you play; it gets old fast and just doesn't have the "colorations" you need to really sound good.  I am dabbling (without much luck yet) working out how to play a completely chromatic setup. That would be the ultimate...if anyone else IS doing that, please contact me!

2.  Since the ZD plays all its melodic presets in "C", you will either need to rewrite the maps to different keys, or, better yet, transpose on your module.  Again, if you know your modes, you can really make this easier (C Major is also D Dorian, etc.)

3.  Get familiar with the Attack/Sustain/Decay/Release functions of most synth modules.  They are IMPERATIVE since we ZDer's can't control the note length by hand.

4.  Some very cool patterns can be played by using Roland's Tap Sequence feature...play repetitive bass lines, chord progressions, seemingly random strings of melodic notes or horn hits behind drum solos, etc.  In one of my bands, my Zendrum is the keyboard as well as the drums.

I hope these ideas help; best of luck!

Jer


377
Tech Help / Re: Dumb cable question
« on: August 05, 2006, 09:18:49 PM »
Guys,

I think one of the main confusions here (as this question, or ones like it, come up often) is in the nomenclature.  It's not an "Active" Midi cable, it's an ALL-PINS ACTIVE cable.  What that means is, all 5 pins are wired, which we need for the power portion of the Zendrum Midi jack.  I believe people are confusing this with "active" electronics, etc. and worrying about it.

Hope that clears up someting for someone!

Jer

378
ZenChat / Re: Muse Receptor
« on: August 04, 2006, 10:11:51 PM »
Well Guys,

I have been putting off writing about this...but it's time to announce that I am happily using Receptor with my Zendrum.  I bought the model sold by Alternate Mode, which has all the DFH libraries (and MANY more sounds) and 160 GB of hard drive.  I upgraded to 2 gigs of RAM as well (it came with 1.25 GB).

I have had some issues with it which may result in some tech support from Muse, but overall I have to say it really is the best thing I have ever heard.  The sensitivity is very Zen-friendly (I am using rc-0) and the sounds are SO real, which is exactly what I am into.

**If any of you are also using this setup, please let me know if "Cached Mode" is turning on for you by itself.  That's the "bug" I am dealing with.

I also have to put out a couple thank-yous for MAJOR help with this project: Inspector 109 (who talked me off the ledge), Mario and Chris from Alternate Mode, and our very own John Emrich.  All these guys have gone WAY above the call of duty, especially John, from whom I have received MUCH sage advice, and to whom I have given no cash...(but I should, right JE???)  Alt Mode's tech help is some of the best I have experienced; right up there with Zendrum as far as personal help and a great customer/business relationship.  I love the companies I have been dealing with lately!

I still don't have everything ironed out yet, but I know this is the most exciting piece of gear I have bought since that Lacquered Maple ZX I bought in January of 1997...

Jer

379
ZenChat / Re: Warm-ups, Cool-Offs, General Maintenance
« on: May 21, 2006, 12:41:35 AM »
I concur wholeheartedly with the "Flat-Top 127's" Air-Force comment.  If you are getting sore, my guess is, as stated, that you are really whackin' the thing.  To be honest, I LIKE to do that at times, and I have pleaded with the powers that be to put a Trigger Gain control in the next wave of ZD software, so that the top-out is at a higher range for us crazy Zen-guys. 

That being said,  Try this:  Set your ZD to crossfade mode and practice playing WITHOU triggering the highest level of crossfade!  It's harder than it sounds...but I have found that when I get in that "Zone" where I am playing right in the right velocity range, my hands feel like they are ...umm..."Carressing" the instrument (Geo, PLAY NICE on that comment...I mean it!)  When I notice myself feeling and playing that way, it's a state of, for lack of a better term, ZEN.

Jer

380
ZenChat / Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« on: May 21, 2006, 12:35:00 AM »
My rig is in a state of flux, but here goes:

Zendrum 1 (Flame maple/Purpleheart/Flame maple "Sandwich")
MidiJet Pro wireless
Roland TD-20

Zendrum 2 (Flame maple...purple burst)
Zendrum stand
Korg Triton Rack

Both modules into:
Behringer rack mixer
Digitech JamMan Looper

QSC PLX3002 Amp
Pair of AccuGroove Tri-210 cabinets
Pair of Mackie 15" Powered subs

In the near future, I plan to ditch the TD-20 and the Triton in favor of a Muse Receptor.  Both ZDs will run into an ancient Peavey MidiMaster midi patch bay (unless someone knows of a midi merge that actually works with 2 Zendrums...the 2 I have bought have not!!!)  The JamMan will be replaced with a Boss RC50.

Jer

381
ZenChat / Re: cymbal choke
« on: May 21, 2006, 12:25:53 AM »
Guys,

I have experimented on this to death, and unfortunately I CAN'T figure out how to choke cyms with the TD20.  I definitely don't want to just use a choked cymbal sample.  You cannot set up your own "Mute Groups" like you can with Alesis.

Let me know if anyone does find a way...

Jer

382
ZenChat / Re: Wireless
« on: May 21, 2006, 12:21:28 AM »
I highly recommend the internal battery mod from Zendrum corp.  It really makes batt changes almost instant, and doesn't require yet another thing on your strap.  I had a battery go dead on me on stage a couple months ago, and I was back on in less than 30 secs.  READ:  DO change battery before a gig.  Period.  I save my half-deads for practice.  I get about 6 hours each.

Anyway, the MidiJets work great!  I have the original and the pro.  ANYONE want to buy my original MidiJet for $200?  I'll pay shipping.

Jer

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