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Topics - JimmyTheSaint

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ZenChat / BFD is better live than NI drummers?
« on: March 30, 2014, 07:44:23 AM »
Do people feel that BFD (2 or 3) is better for live playing than NI's drummers? For me, NI Studio Drummer has a good response and sounds good, but BFD's nuance and sound (especially the cymbals') are a little better, but enough to make me permanently prefer BFD. Sound quality might simply be a matter of taste, and maybe I could do more tweaking in NI. But it seems to me that BFD is objectively more sensitive to live playing nuances. Do people agree with that, or does it once again depend on personal taste? I think the difference in responsiveness might only be noticeable to Zendrummers.

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Tech Help / best way to use multiple drum softwares at the same time?
« on: March 02, 2014, 08:55:18 PM »
To use BFD2 on my Macbook Retina and still get system audio, I had to install a USB audio device (Roland MK2 Duo). That's because ASIO won't allow the system and BFD2 to use the same WDM device at the same time. I've also started using Kontakt 5's drummers, and ASIO requires Kontakt, BFD, and the system to each have exclusive control over their WDM device.

I guess I can add yet another physical USB audio device, but is there any other, perhaps more convenient way? Is there a way to enable BFD and Kontakt to share the same ASIO out? If I add a third physical audio out, I'll have to add a mixer because my monitors only have two simultaneously usable inputs.

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ZenChat / ZenDrum mini?
« on: January 21, 2014, 10:43:52 PM »
Has there ever been any consideration for a "ZenDrum mini"? I'm thinking a tabletop unit with maybe up to ten triggers that you put next to your laptop and play one-handed. It would have a more "palm friendly" shape and layout, like my LT. If it weighed under 1lb., I would really love to be able to tote something like this around along with my laptop. To actually be useful in that case, it would need to be free of AC power. One USB port that powers it from the laptop and that's also the MIDI connection would do it. Eliminate the user interface stuff entirely to save power, weight, and space, instead providing a software utility that for the LED readout and parameter selection. The idea is: cheap, light and portable, yet usefully playable.

Is this feasible as a custom job, or would it require so much re-engineering that it would be too costly?

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ZenChat / ZMP
« on: December 05, 2013, 03:41:56 AM »
Any ballpark estimates on when the ZMP will be available and how much it will cost?

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ZenChat / request: backup sound module recommendations
« on: November 03, 2013, 07:38:39 PM »
I'd like to buy a sound module to keep as a backup whenever my Mac isn't available to use BFD2. I'm looking for convenient, and will go beyond cheap if it's worth it. I'd at least like to get as close to the feel of BFD's 128 layers as possible, and can sacrifice the number and variety of patches: I don't need to be picky about the sound as long as it sounds generally like a drum kit. I don't really know this kind of gear, but I suspect if I want BFD-like playing response, I have to pay more, and the unneeded extra sounds and functions will be included in the higher price. But I do really want a small footprint: if I have to go 19" rackmount form factor just to stay in the ballpark of what I want, I won't bother because then I might as well use my keyboard/workstation's drum sounds.

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Tech Help / map sustain switch to BFD automation?
« on: October 06, 2013, 05:46:40 AM »
I want to have my sustain button trigger BFD's panic function to use as a choke just as John Emrich suggests in one of his videos. As I read the manual, it says the sustain button can put out CC 64. So in ZenEdit, I set the button's value to "sustain" (64), set its channel to 10 like all my other triggers, verify that its MIDI message is "control change," and upload the SysEx, but I still can't detect any MIDI information happening as a result of pressing my sustain button. When I press it, ZenEdit doesn't register anything, and neither does BFD's MIDI inspector. In fact, the sustain button only shows in ZenEdit when I select "Show unused items," even after programming it.  I've tried toggling its polarity, but that makes no difference. I think I know what to do on the BFD side (drop the "Panic" parameter onto CC 64 on the automation page),  but I need to verify what's coming out of the sustain button. What am I missing here?

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ZenChat / playing two at the same time?
« on: September 23, 2013, 08:59:41 PM »
Does anyone have experience with setting up two Zendrums for playing simultaneously? I'm trying to think of a setup where you could play both comfortably for a long time just to have more sounds and redundant locations available. I only have one, but I play my LT on a stand next to a keyboard. Comping keyboard with Zendrum works well enough, but it soon gets uncomfortable so that you don't want to do it too long.

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Tech Help / power on 24/7 ok?
« on: September 08, 2013, 04:31:34 AM »
Even when I'm not playing my LT, I want to leave it powered on because it sits on a snare stand where I will frequently and randomly go over and play it. I do sleep my computer frequently because it has different electronic considerations, but in my setup it would be convenient to just leave the LT on even when the computer (my only sound module) is sleeping. Is there any substantial reason to see leaving the LT on 24/7 as an unnecessary risk of some sort?

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ZenChat / BFD2 feels good, Battery doesn't
« on: June 16, 2013, 02:42:06 AM »
I tried all kinds of adjustments on my new LT (with ZenEdit) and inside NI Battery, but Battery just continues to have a lousy feel: you have to strike comparatively hard to reach an audible sound level, and then there's little headroom in your finger energy left for dynamics. I did indeed fiddle quite a bit with response curves on the LT and layers inside Battery etc., but playing the ZenDrum with NI is still dissatisfying. I'm not an expert, but I'm not technically illiterate, either.

BFD2, on the other hand, just felt good right out of the box. It responds to light taps and then with a natural-feeling continuity to heavier strikes. That verifies that my technique and expectations are reasonably normal. So I'm curious if Battery can be radically adjusted for a better feel, or if it's limited in a way that bothers me more than most people? It's not a big deal since I like BFD2 just fine, but the option to use Battery's electronic sounds  would be nice, and its smaller installation footprint would be convenient for a different computer.

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ZenChat / what's this drum controller?
« on: May 31, 2013, 08:44:44 AM »
Attached are pictures of a controller in a local music shop, but no one's sure what it is. They seem to be sure it's a drum controller. The logo says "JD21." Any ideas?

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