« on: April 06, 2010, 06:54:29 pm »
We've been very busy here with R&D projects lately.
We've designed, built, and delivered Zendrumdude's 30 trigger LT-D, and we've enjoyed watching you debate the merits of an expanded production model version of his custom layout idea. We've also designed and built a 28 trigger ZAP starting with the original diagonal grid layout where almost every inch of the face was filled with triggers- no room left for the branding iron logo!
These projects are born by your imagination and made possible by the Z4 circuitry available in all new Zendrums and also as retrofits to existing Zendrums. Still going strong with instrument rebuilds and wireless installs, additional triggers, knobs and jacks, etc., so the Custom Shop is always busy with something interesting to scratch our heads over. The answer is almost always "yes" now.
I wanted to clarify our thinking here regarding sounds and maybe tie together some ongoing threads about this.
We have no plans to make sounds generate from inside the Zendrum although I can see where that may appeal to some users. The cost of undertaking such a project would be quite large, and I'm afraid, quite limiting sonically.
The power consumption, cabling, and a static library of sounds would immediately date the Zendrum in a way we have avoided for over 15 years of production.
What makes more sense to us is a separate robust sound player unit, with expandable/upgradeable library.
This would be something that ANY musician could have the option to use with ANY Zendrum, old or new.
This is also more in keeping with our idea that Zendrums should never become obsolete, but instead should grow with the player's talent and taste over time, like any fine acoustic instrument always has.
We are now seriously discussing the development of an EXTERNAL sound player for reasonable end-user cost, with simple hardware and intuitive software. This is also something that could serve as a MIDI expander for any existing drumset trigger interface- Roland, Alesis, Yamaha, KAT, Pintech, etc., or any keyboard or computer system.
Use the Zendrum, or use your drumpads, or both. It serves as the ideal system for first timers and gigging musicians alike or anyone else who needs good sounds in a portable, reliable package. I should know because I've been searching for the "right" thing for a long, long time.
This will still take quite a while to get done, but we're already working on the first sound libraries to go in it now and debating amongst ourselves about memory, speed, and connectivity. You can help steer this discussion, too.
Don't worry, our consistant aim is to never leave anybody behind as we move forward, and your comments and practical ideas are always very welcome.