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Topics - Inspector 109

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ZenChat / Vintage Drums recording session photos on my FaceBook page
« on: January 24, 2010, 06:16:06 PM »
Here are some shots of my ongoing project to sample and play my 1937 and 1962 vintage drumset with my Zendrum.
My son Chris and I are editing the ProTools session now into Native Instruments Battery software and creating ready-to-play kits from the entire collection- struck with Sticks, Rods, Brushes, and Mallets. We've been listening and designing drumsets around our favorite drum recordings and testing our sounds against finished mixes. This is the completion of a 15 year quest for me to finally hear my drums without hauling them around and is a project very near and dear to my heart. Take a look at these drums and you'll understand why...come visit and enjoy.


ZenChat / Wireless Battery Powered Zendrum
« on: October 02, 2009, 10:33:11 AM »
Hey Everybody,
We are pleased to announce some very cool new developments.

If you have ever dreamed of going wireless with a battery powered Zendrum, then that reality is now here in an easy-to-use and economically priced package.

We are now an approved retailer for the MIDI Jet Pro wireless system.
This well known system has been used by Zendrummers and found to be reliable over many years of live performances.
The standard MIDI Jet Pro system consists of two small boxes: a transmitter that mounts on your Zendrum strap and a receiver that is positioned by your sound source giving you a cable-free operational range of up to 300 feet with any Zendrum, old or new on ZAP, LT, or ZX models.

We are also offering an onboard transmitter option for the Zendrum ZX that will feature the same proven Midi Jet Pro technology discretely embedded inside the Zendrum body. This will include an easily accessed standard 9vdc battery which is capable of powering both the wireless transmitter AND the Zendrum for approx. 4-5  hours per new alkaline battery change. The 9 volt battery will be housed in a battery compartment located in the backplate near the tail.
Zendrum.com can now offer the ultimate in wireless freedom, performance visibility, and dynamic stage persona.
Contact us for complete details, availability, and pricing at info@zendrum.com.

ZenChat / John Emrich on point at AES next month
« on: September 18, 2009, 06:23:03 PM »
Hey Everybody,
Just a note to anyone who might be going to NYC in October.
Our friend and Honorable Wizard Tribesman, Brother John Emrich will be playing in the Muse Receptor booth at the AES show with a newly outfitted Custom Shop Zendrum ZX. This ZX was built to John's specs with his own personalized trigger layout.
He's designed 28 triggers, 2 cc inputs, and 2 external trigger inputs, and has just now gotten the Z4.3 update. He was gracious enough to be one of our beta-testers for the Z4, and until now had the 4.0 prototype circuitboard in this hotrod. I can't wait to see what he says about the new features that have been added. If anybody will know what to do with them, I assure you all that John does and already has an application in mind for all of it. Thanks to John for his years of experience, technical know-how, and adventurous attitude towards Zendrum and our entire community.
Knock 'em dead, John.

Here are the details of his appearance at AES-

AES New York
Javitz Center October 9 - 11
MUSE booth #863
Receptor 2 with BFD2 and Zendrum Custom Shop ZX
Light to Dark Blue Fade Flame Maple Finish

...and a photo I just took of his latest brainchild before it left here Thursday 9-17!
Enjoy the show,

ZenChat / Modern Drummer review October '09 issue
« on: August 28, 2009, 01:14:06 PM »
Hey Everybody!

Cool News Flash!
Someone just brought this to our attention-
All three Zendrum models pictured, VERY complimentary write-up.
Thanks to MD magazine for noticing and for really being "modern drummers".


ZenChat / Brother John speaks.
« on: August 07, 2009, 06:53:44 PM »
Hey Everybody!
Go check out John Emrich's new cool video.


ZenChat / I love engineers...
« on: June 23, 2009, 04:15:21 PM »
You may have seen where I posted that the production model Z4 circuitboards were different than the prototypes that we all tested for several months and had extra features added after we said GO.
Well here's why that makes for a funny story...

Turns out, I didn't understand a very important fact about the features and functions, so the first manuals went out to people with a LARGE omission about how to calibrate each trigger individually. The feature was there already, but my tech support chops were not. This caused Lunatique to believe that things were wrong with his Zendrum that he could not fix himself, and so now, his instrument is on the way back here from California on my FedEx account. I have to rewrite a section of the manuals (now that I understand what is REALLY going on) so it will be another minute before Geosphere gets the pdf on line for you all to STUDY THE MANUAL as I requested.

The new calibration features were added to accommodate any kind of cc pedals because we didn't have a clue what you all would use. Our engineer rightly assumed that we should also give you all the ability to tweak every trigger to your personal taste as well and store the "feel" as your own. Great idea, but try explaining in one sentence that there are three steps and calibrations to get this done, not two. He told me several times, I made notes, drew graphs, and then wrote the process completely backwards from how it really is. Now, after emails, phonecalls, Forum posts, and several days, it becomes apparent that I'm saying it wrong, and Lunatique's Zendrum is taking a transcontinental round trip unnecessarily.
He's being a pretty good sport about it, and laughing now about the pie I took in the face.

You gotta love your job...

ZenChat / Blue Sky suggestions to the engineers
« on: June 23, 2009, 03:40:30 PM »
Hey Everybody

I'd like to open a roundtable no holds barred wish list and suggestion box here.
Almost every idea that went into the Z4 came from suggestions dropped on us by all of you over the last 15+ years.
We listened.

MIDI Channel per trigger was asked for first by Billy Cobham in 1994. He called them "zones".
Hi-hat pedals and continuous controllers, sustain button as extra command switch, non-sequential 4-note velocity switching, video game joysticks and whammy bars, applications other than drumming, anything you want to think about. Get in there and pitch for what you want to see and why.

This is the thread the engineers are going to look at for ideas.
Put your thinking caps ON.

ZenChat / Z4 Retrofits for Existing Zendrums
« on: May 11, 2009, 10:41:52 AM »
Hello Everyone!
On May 1st we announced the Zendrum Z4 series circuitboard as standard in all new Zendrums beginning June 1st. Orders are queuing up quickly for new instruments which we expect to begin shipping during the first week of June 2009.

We’ve also had an enthusiastic response to the Z4 retrofit for 3.0 Zendrums with 4-way cursor OS ($400), as well as Datawheel OS 2.2 and 1.5 Zendrums ($600). There is also the possibility to add up to 6 extra triggers ($30/each), as well as up to 2 extra ¼” input jacks ($30/each) for new continuous controller pedal functionality.

If you choose to do this upgrade and send your Zendrum back to us for the retrofit, we do not want you to be without your Zendrum for very long. Therefore, retrofit orders will be taken on a first-come/first-serve basis with pre-payment now to secure your place in line.

Each retrofit will be customized to your specific requests. Please contact David Haney at Zendrum orders@zendrum.com to discuss the details of your retrofit. We will arrange the quickest turn-around time, confirm shipping arrangements, and calculate the total for your work order and shipping your Zendrum back to you. As soon as we have itemized all the details we will send you an order summary for your confirmation, approval and pre-payment.

There are three ways to make your pre-payment:
1)   Money order or cashier’s check for domestic/US orders only
Remit payment to:
Zendrum Corporation
P.O. Box 5907
Douglasville, GA 30154
2)   PayPal: Send payment to orders@zendrum.com
3)   Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover): Send your credit cardnumber and expiration date to orders@zendrum.com  If you prefer to place your credit card order by phone please email us with your telephone number and the best time to call you back or leave a message on our voicemail line 404-352-1646

Since every retrofit is a custom order you MUST discuss specifics with David Haney and agree to all retrofit details and shipping arrangements BEFORE you send your instrument to us.

Thank you!
David Haney

ZenChat / NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« on: May 01, 2009, 07:03:53 AM »
Hey Everybody,
There's a brand new very improved Zendrum circuitboard in town, and that means it's a new day where possibilities are almost endless. If you are interested in a new Zendrum, or upgrading an old reliable Zendrum to meet current specs, or designing yourself a Custom Shop work of art, this is what you've been asking for, dreaming of, and waiting on. We listened to all of your ideas and suggestions...so here you go! Imagine the open-ended creativity and ENJOY our Newest Brainchild!
Write or call for complete details and customizing options.
David Haney
Inspector 109
404-352-1646 vm

for immediate press release from Zendrum World HQ:

NEW FOR 2009

The Z4 represents a huge step forward in precision, speed, resolution, and dynamic articulation.

The Zendrum was already the perfect midi percussion controller for both hardware and software instruments. Now with the new Z4 upgrade, the best has just gotten even better!

The new Dedicated Save function makes it much easier to try out edits before committing them. You can change several parameters of a preset then simply revert back to the previously saved version with ease. Or you can easily commit the changes to be there when you fire the Zendrum back up.

The new MIDI Channel-Per-Pad feature has vastly opened up the programming options. Now you can control multiple VST instruments with one preset. You can set up some pads to trigger drums, some to control a soft synth, and still others to fire off audio loops in your VST host...all simultaneously! New Hihat pedal control input, volume pedal control input and additional trigger pad expansion maximize today's software and hardware.

Most importantly, the playing "feel" has been improved. It was already the best of any MIDI controller out there, but the designers at Zendrum have managed to make it even more "live" feeling. The Zendrum was already able to detect even the softest of hits, and now it picks up every single stroke and nuance of even 32nd note and 64th note finger rolls. It's like you're touching the sounds themselves! There is no other controller on the market that can equal the Zendrum's touch sensitivity and quality construction.


"I have been playing this new Z4 series Zendrum for a couple of months now and it is a giant leap over what was already one of the best electronic percussion devices in the world. The increased speed was the first thing that I noticed followed by noticeable detail improvements from the velocity curves. The MIDI channel-per-pad function allows for more advanced setups and the Continuous Control options are great! Get this upgrade!"
John Emrich- Zendrummer, Sound Designer, Consultant

Instrument prices remain unchanged for 2009
see our catalog at

Z4 Retrofits for all '96-present Zendrums @ $400 + shipping

Z4 Rebuild for '94/95 Datawheel ZX @ $600 + shipping

ZenChat / Dr. Shark's TD-20 question
« on: April 17, 2009, 05:10:33 PM »
Hey Everybody,

Dr. Shark asked me this question by private email, but I thought I'd post my answer here for everyone...

He asked-"How do I access the melodic sounds in my Roland TD-20 from the Zendrum?"

The drum channel is usually MIDI channel 10.
That's the default in the Zendrum factory presets.
When I test and ship ZX Zendrums here at Zendrum World HQ, I always send them on Set Up 15.
That's the General MIDI map for drums that most resembles my personal trigger layout and illustrates how I'm getting away with not using my feet at all. It will have three bass drum note triggers #36, four snare drum triggers, and a couple of doubled up toms. As primarily a drumset playing musician, this makes the most sense (to me). It's just a starting point that you can edit anyway, but at least gets you going in the first five minutes after the Zendrum arrives with most hardware and software without having to program anything right away. Of course you are encouraged to "make it your own", and nobody plays exactly the same as me, not even my partner Kim. Just as there is no "right way" to set up an acoustic drum set, the same applies here. That's cool. If you are playing drumset, you want everything to stay in the same relative position, even when you change the sound of the kit.

The other 15 memory banks, or Set Ups- (UP) display are really only there because people started using the Zendrum to play melody. Bass, Piano, Vibes, tuned percussion, etc. This turns the Zendrum into something else entirely. "The Mayor" Tom Roady did a whole CD years ago where everything on it was recorded using Zendrum for melodic sounds as well as drums and percussion. Very cool.

So here's what you do to play piano from the TD-20-
Pick a Set UP that you don't use for drums, say #1.
That's a C Major scale as the default.
Bear in mind the notes can be edited to match whatever music you are performing.

1) Left cursor to UP screen
2) Press + to show the current # Set Up
3) Change to #1 by pressing  -
4) Press right cursor to CH screen
5) Press - to change channel from 10 to 1
6) check sound: this should be a melodic note now
7) left cursor to Pr screen
8) Pick sound by pressing + or -. (Piano is Program 0 or 1 for instance)
9) Left or right to show letters not numbers to write into that Set UP's memory.

If your Zendrum is rev. 31, you can also toggle between the Set UP numbers and only send note map changes without sending the other parameters. This feature allows for chord changes within a piece of music. Best results will be if you also toggle the sustain switch polarity (PL) screen from 0 to 1. Then the Zendrum's momentary switch or any external sustain pedal acts as a "kill" to cut off the ringing notes after it's pushed once.

Hope this helps,

ZenChat / Some Roland TD-12 help PLEASE
« on: July 06, 2008, 04:14:38 PM »
Hey folks,
We have a friend who is getting frustrated with trying to set up 4 note crossfades on his TD-12.
I know some are you are old hands at this, can you break it down for the drummer man?
Let me introduce Neil, and ask for assistance in a hurry before he backs his car over it!!!
I've got the Zendrum end covered, but I know zip about the Roland system architecture

I don't have a Zendrum, but... / READ THIS
« on: June 22, 2008, 08:32:11 PM »
Hey Everybody,
Here's a very good resource for MIDI lingo, vocabulary, and understanding.
Thanks to our friend Victor Williams for this link-

ZenChat / New online interview at Sonikmatter
« on: June 05, 2008, 08:45:33 PM »
Hey everybody!
It's been a busy couple of weeks for media postings around here.
There's a new one up now @ http://sonikmatter.com/
Long in-depth interview, lots of rare photos, too much fun.
Enjoy! 8)

ZenChat / EM review
« on: June 02, 2008, 03:40:00 PM »

Hey Everybody,
The June issue of Electronic Musician is online now and features a review of the ZAP.
Check it out at http://emusician.com/hardware/emusic_zendrumzap/

Tech Help / Auxillary Controllers
« on: March 14, 2008, 07:33:20 AM »
Hey Everybody!

In response to requests we get for adding various features to the Zendrum I recommend that you mad scientists out there think about all the things you can do with some of these goodies-
Check it out-  http://www.midi-store.com/Midi-Solutions-mid-2-p-1.html
I use the 2-1 MIDI combiner for my Zendrum and controller keyboard to play the same sound source.
Pleasantly surprised that I could play melodic notes from my Zendrum and bend those notes with the pitch wheel of the keyboard. This implies that you could add any number of customizable continuous controllers, pitch benders, foot pedals, D-Beams, ribbons, etc., to the MIDI path easily and design your own system specific to your needs and wishes.

Put your thinking caps ON...

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