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Messages - Inspector 109

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ZenChat / Announcing the NEW Zendrum ZAP
« on: January 02, 2008, 09:18:15 PM »
Inspector 109 here,

For everyone at Zendrum, I am pleased to announce the immediate release of a totally new Zendrum model for 2008, at a breakthrough price of $999. We have just completed tooling up for production of the Zendrum Articulating Programmer - the ZAP.


(Zendrum ZAP in Walnut)

It is specifically a stationary desktop MIDI controller with the same proven triggers and circuitry used in the mobile ZX and LT models, and designed with a smaller footprint to fit in tight spaces and studio environments. It is the perfect hardware for playing multisampled drum software, which until now has been severely limited by yesterday's mushy-feeling touchpad devices. None of them is as fast, sensitive, or intuitive to play as the ZAP. Nothing else feels like a real instrument that you can depend on for years of hard work. Still the same reliable quality you expect from Zendrum with my personal lifetime warranty.

The ZAP features a unique, very tightly clustered 19-trigger arrangement in five offset rows. This staggered cluster can be played as a single instrument with many different articulations, or used as separate voices that can be expressed either individually or together with a minimum of physical effort. The ZAP is also surprisingly adaptable as a melodic instrument with the Zendrum default note map scales suggesting many new techniques and applications waiting to be explored. Already, VST instrument and sample designers are hard at work creating a new generation of software that maximize the potential of the ZAP. You can even strum it like a guitar!

There are 3 extra 1/4" trigger pedal inputs and a 1/4" sustain pedal input for "drummer-friendly" footwork as well as the Zendrum momentary sustain button on the top that acts as a "choke" for longer sounds and MIDI effects.

This is the smallest Zendrum ever at 12"wide X 10.5"deep X 2"high. Solid heavyweight wood species were chosen for beauty and lasting value as well as for density and trigger isolation under the hardest playing conditions.

Read what leading experts have to say about the ZAP:

"I've never seen a desktop drumpad worth owning, and I've played them all. ZAP takes desktop drum programming to the level it should always have been, and it's no surprise, coming from Zendrum. Great drummers, from Billy Cobham to Future Man, can't be wrong, and I'm not wrong, either. Zendrum is the Rolls Royce of drum controllers, and finally, every MIDI producer can afford to have that legendary quality right on the desktop!"
Bruce Richardson - Sampledaddy

"Today's VST instruments offer unparalleled creativity and sensitivity. The Zendrum Articulating Programmer is the best multi trigger MIDI input device for the computer musician. Programming beats with the ZAP puts life into your tracks, and it's the perfect tool for DJs looking to add some "Live" spice to their shows. Zendrums are known as exceptional, high quality instruments and the ZAP promises to live up to that reputation. These instruments give everyone the chance to be truly creative."
John Emrich - Producer of BFD Jazz & Funk, Percussion, and B.O.M.B. packs.

"My desktop percussion controller has always been the weak point of my live electronic music rig. I have high quality sequencers, samplers, and software, but my percussion controller feels cheap, it looks cheap, and I have to pound on the thing to get any dynamic range out of the inferior rubber pads.  I've always thought of it as a disposable, temporary solution until I could find a true high-quality controller worthy of being called an instrument. Come to find out, there aren't any! That is, until now...the Zendrum ZAP is exactly what I've been looking for! It is a high-quality instrument that I can love, with playability that matches its quality build and good looks. The innovative hexagonal configuration of round pads allows for finger drumming speed and accuracy not possible with the standard grid of 16, and the sensitivity of the triggers is unreal. Ghost notes are back! It's obvious that this device was designed by a drummer, not a keyboard player. What's more, it's a breeze to program, and integrates perfectly with both my software and hardware devices. And the extra inputs on the back allow me to hook up kick, hi-hat and sustain pedals, so my feet have something to do again! Zendrum ZAP has become the foundation of my electronic rig, and my new best friend."
Patrick Petro - First ZAP Owner

Handcrafted in your choice of five beautiful hand-rubbed oil finishes in Zebrawood, Tigerwood, Bubinga, Walnut, and Wenge'. Serial-numbered art from this First Edition of the ZAP -- certain to become collectors' pieces.

Order NOW
$999 (+ FedEx shipping worldwide)
direct sale only from Zendrum

Happy New Year Everybody!
David Haney

(Zendrum ZAP in Bubinga)

(Zendrum ZAP in Tigerwood)

(Zendrum ZAP in Wenge)

(Zendrum ZAP in Zebrawood)

Tech Help / Re: in garageband..?
« on: November 27, 2007, 05:22:05 PM »
Hey MD,

I think what you're asking about is the Set Up memories.
The Zendrum has 16 memory banks, or Set Ups.
This screen is to the left of Pr (program change) and reads: UP (for Set Up)
Each Set Up bank consists of a note map, a program change, a noise floor, a MIDI max volume, and a global MIDI channel.

If it were me. I would assign a note map for each instrument I tracked, or each sound source I wanted to use. I do this now with BFD, Drumkit from Hell, Garageband melodic instruments, and still all the way back to my old drum modules. Each one, I give it's own location and dedicated memory bank within the 16 spots. I have toggled off the program change receive in all my sound sources so that I must manually change directly from each sound source, which gives me the ability to mix and match as I stack sounds together for simultaneous playing.

Then, you can toggle through the Set Ups for each application and the access is immediate and doesn't slow down the creative process when its stewing.

Remember to toggle to show "letters not numbers" on the screen to write your edits into the current memory so they will power up to the same last setting- (very important!)

No dumb questions here.
I've tried to make things as simple to operate as I can think of, myself.
I use the Zendrum onstage primarily, so the main thing is to be able to lock out unwanted button pushes with the "failsafe lockout" feature so I can't accidentally change the MIDI channel and get the dreaded "no sound" in the middle of a song.
I'm always open to suggestions on how to make it even simpler or at least more clearly explained. Everybody step up and speak right into the microphone, please.

Hope this helps,

Tech Help / Re: KD-7 trouble
« on: September 02, 2007, 06:16:46 AM »
Please contact me directly at Zendrum@mindspring.com
This needs my personal attention, not guessing on a forum.
Once we have a conversation I'm sure we can locate and remedy the problem altogether.

Tech Help / Re: KD-7 trouble
« on: September 01, 2007, 06:09:41 PM »
Check the NO note function to see if it is sending a note higher than your soundsource will read.
In some models, the default note was 96.
Is it making the Zendrum display's small LED light up when you strike it?

Tech Help / Re: Velocity crossfade
« on: August 25, 2007, 02:24:22 AM »
Toggle each individual trigger's note number down below 0 and the large LED light will go off to the left. The large LED indicates the four note crossfade is in effect.
Now it will only send one note per trigger.

You can also copy any other Set Up to 14 to overwrite to single notes as a starting point.

Hope this helps,

Tech Help / Re: KD-7 trouble
« on: August 19, 2007, 02:33:20 PM »
Hey there,
Sorry. Get the FAT KAT for that exchange.

ZenChat / Zendrum/Freddy System discount price with financing available
« on: August 19, 2007, 08:59:35 AM »

Tech Help / Re: KD-7 trouble
« on: August 18, 2007, 05:50:53 PM »
Not that I'm aware of, but someone else here may know...

Tech Help / Re: KD-7 trouble
« on: August 18, 2007, 05:07:53 PM »
Hey there,
The KD-7 has a very weak output signal compared to some other triggers.
If possible, use the drum module to massage the pedal's triggering characteristics, and then MIDI into the module from the Zendrum. You can then inject pedals and pads into the MIDI output stream as well. The only pedal that works well dynamically while plugged directly into the Zendrum's external trigger input is the FAT KAT from Alternate Mode. The rest seem very "dead" without their own processing from their respective drum module.
Hope this helps,

Hey Alex,
Buy your domestic converter locally for 110 to 240v.
Don't attempt to rewire the mergebox yourself.
Reversing power polarity will cook off your Zendrum's main circuitboard in three seconds.
Let me know through the Zendrum email links if you need assistance.
David Haney

Hey loosesnare, and Welcome!
Yes, there is an external 1/4" mono trigger input.
It was designed to favor the response of the FATKAT pedal by Alternate Mode.
We do have knowledge that Roland pedals work, but the sensitivity is comparatively weak and not well suited to the Zendrum's global response curve, which is optimized for playing with the hands and fingers. A better solution is to use the trigger input of the Roland module to massage any external triggers/pedals, and inject their specific messages into the MIDI path after the Zendrum. In this way, you can tailor the individual external trigger responses and add triggers as you wish to the entire system. Zendrum MIDI out/Roland MIDI in/ audio out.
Hope this helps!
David Haney

I don't have a Zendrum, but... / Re: Inexpensive sound module?
« on: July 07, 2007, 01:31:15 PM »
Hey there,
All you need is a $40 USB/MIDI adapter for the Mac to get started with GarageBand drumming- which sounds pretty realistic IMO, especially for a free program. There are several Zendrummers here who can help with GarageBand tips and tricks. Ask for "the Mayor" Tom Roady.
Hope this helps,

ZenChat / A friendly notice from Inspector 109
« on: June 10, 2007, 12:24:30 PM »
As a courtesy to anyone who is at this time considering the purchase of a Zendrum, we want to announce that on July 1, 2007, we will post to the Zendrum Catalog Page a $100 price increase for the ZX and LT instrument lines. This new pricing, effective July 1st, will be the first price increase in our 13-year history, a decision which is in response to the steadily increasing costs involved in making the Zendrum. Please contact us before July 1st if you want to place your order and lock in your price before the price increase is posted.

David Haney

ZenChat / Re: My BFD/MUSE Breakthrough
« on: May 24, 2007, 07:20:33 AM »
That's what I said, too! " Where was this?!"
Anything less is like having to learn to build the car before you can drive it.
A few pioneers can hack through that jungle, but all I wanted was to PLAY SOME TUNES.
John's the perfect mix of drummer and technician to break it down for the rest of us.
Freddy's also had the foresight to set up financing options too, and they seem to be trying very hard to "do everything the right way".
More power to them!

ZenChat / My BFD/MUSE Breakthrough
« on: May 23, 2007, 07:11:21 AM »
I have been looking for the perfect thing to use for Zendrum sounds for over 16 years.

The weak link has always been what the Zendrum got plugged into. The Zendrum has been the most roadworthy piece of gear I’ve ever owned and does exactly what I expect it to…every time…but the net effect has never been better than the sounds themselves, limited by the drum samples and voice polyphony of past and current drum modules and rack-mount samplers. This has become the main deciding factor for choosing whether to use Zendrum or acoustic drums on the gigs I play. Sometimes it’s so much easier to express what I want to hear using my acoustic kit with all the subtleties and ghost notes, in-between the big bombs of beat, rather than to fight with one-shot drum sounds with limited dynamic range. I always assumed it was more a technique issue with my personal Zendrum chops (I'm no Futureman) and I figured I was just kidding myself all this time that I could ever master the dexterity and skill needed to move between acoustic kit and Zendrum without losing some of the artistry and musical grace of my kit drumming. It’s obvious that the practical aspects of the Zendrum outweigh making some compromises, and there are many live situations I go into where acoustic drums don’t suit, but it has been frustrating to be this close to a better mousetrap and still have to wait on the sonic elements to catch up to complete the total system. Again, the net effect has only been as good as the drum sounds have been.

I began a few years ago by looking into which laptop computers would run drum software libraries. Something extremely sturdy, like what the 101st Airborne would take on a combat mission, that would stand up to the rock and roll realities I have to deal with onstage. Just like early on in Zendrum's history, the response from experts to my inquiry was, “Why would you want to do that?”  They just didn’t get it that the speed of response and roadworthiness of the high-end laptop computer had to be up to the standard set by the Zendrum and the demands of my working band.  The answers always came back: “Software is used in stationary studio environments by keyboardists who factor-in the inherent latency of key action to the drum sounds they trigger. The tower computer required and peripheral parts are not portable, indestructible, or friendly to deal with, especially for someone who would rather hit things than learn to program them.” After throwing lots of money and time into it I became convinced that the day had not yet arrived when my application was important enough for anything significant to change.

About a year ago I bought (as an anonymous sale) a Receptor unit through the Muse official website in hopes of being able to review and recommend it to Zendrummers as the obvious alternative to the Roland TD-20 kits selling at $5500. At that point in time, there were only two distributors listed on the Muse site, for East and West coast. My costly experiment proved to be unbelievably frustrating because the distributor’s tech support was flippant, the installers hadn’t been invented yet for the BFD software, and I had to learn networking computers together just to load the software and sounds. I had to download, print, and bind the 200 page Receptor manual, and figure out how to protect the exposed USB key dangling from the front panel (the USB key has since been moved inside the metal case now). After weeks spent getting nowhere with this on my own, and hiring a computer tech who also had no success, I was told I should ship the Receptor back for repair. Muse support didn’t understand the Zendrum/BFD application I was after. It turned out that there was nothing wrong with the Receptor, so there was no help coming at all from anywhere: a 100% complete and total failure at every level. I never got as far as taking it onstage with me even once. I can’t say enough negative things about that experience and would warn anyone against following my uncharted path, although a few adventurous Zendrummers did buy and “instantiate” Receptors successfully- probably because they were more computer savvy than I was to begin with and had more patience for reading and assimilating Muse’s technical manual language. Primarily, it made ME feel stupid.

John Emrich has been a Zendrummer for well over ten years and had already created the Jazz and Funk library for BFD. He understood my frustration and vowed to create a solution for Receptor that people could use without fear and loathing of the gear or the learning curve involved. He then set about establishing a system requirement protocol and easy to understand instructions where all the initial installation was done for you, so you could plug-and-play BFD kits first day with the Zendrum’s simple MIDI interface. He found interested partners and financial backing, set up a company and website, and began customizing Receptors and thoroughly testing them out before delivery. That is the key element here: The Freddy units are personally configured by John, himself. He’s a life-long professional drummer/sound designer, and cares about the success of this product the same way I do about the Zendrum:  the bottom-line guy who knows that what matters most is- each satisfied customer. Currently, John is the only person I feel is qualified to tech support a Zendrum-based Muse Receptor/BFD system.

I can say for certain now that the Freddy system is equal to the Zendrum’s potential.
I’ve played it out with my band for a few gigs, and its solid performance and eye-popping realism are making a believer of me and the rest of the band, very quickly. I’m still tweaking things to optimize my live sound but I’m convinced that if I can understand the operating system and extensive editing capability of BFD- you can, too. All I needed was a simple starting point to work from, so I could focus on personalizing the kits to suit my musical needs. I’ve adjusted the sensitivity of every Zendrum trigger’s interaction with each sound on every drumkit and stored them as named patches, called up from the Receptor’s front panel.  It’s almost as if I’m starting completely over with my technique because now there’s so much dynamic expression within the sounds themselves, being triggered under my hands.

John Emrich’s group has created a turn-key product that anyone can implement, and it makes the Zendrum as real and expressive an instrument as any traditional drumset will ever be. In fact, it’s far better than my acoustic drums can sound without using expensive microphones and processing in a perfect studio room environment, and I can play chops on my Zendrum now that I could never play on my 1937 Radio King Slingerland kit. Gone are the days of the “machine-gun” snare sound with the old drum module. Every note I play is slightly different and the total experience is like watching a video instead of looking at a Polaroid snapshot of the sounds. In a word: “Lifelike.”

It’s back to the practice room and more hours spent woodshedding for me, but it's incredibly exciting to feel that this level of Zendrum mastery is finally within my reach. For me, that’s the realization of the 16 years of Zendrum’s potential- to have the sounds be this great with the undeniable practicality of the completely mobile drumset. It’s finally here. The Freddy Turbo Muse Receptor/BFD software combination is everything I could want in terms of detailed nuance and playability. It makes the Zendrum the perfect vehicle for triggering every sound that a drumset can make, plus an unlimited palette of other instruments in a traveling package that I can deal with onstage, night after night. 

I recommend that you buy your Receptor unit directly through the Freddy.com site, only. ( http://www.the-freddy.com/ is the link - Geo ) You’ll get a certified and tested unit with the software and sound library completely installed and ready to run, and a knowledgeable, experienced, and personally involved Zendrummer to follow through for your entire system’s technical support.

If what you want is no compromise drum and percussion for the Zendrum, this is it.
Two thumbs UP to John and Freddy for a job well done.

David Haney

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