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Messages - Inspector 109

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ZenChat / Re: Playing things other than drums...
« on: September 15, 2006, 09:34:20 AM »
Thank you for the good company you place me in, Pyrate.

Let's get this straight - right now & for the record: EVERYONE here plays Zendrum differently.
No one plays it exactly like I do, not even my Zendrum co-creator & partner, Kim.

I've always had the approach of practicality first - less is always more.
That comes from an entire lifetime of playing drums professionally to raise four kids to adulthood.

On MY Zendrum, I play straight-ahead fatback DRUMSET night after night in The GT's, an Atlanta/Southeastern US soul&dance cover band with the same members for 20 years. I am also one of the main singers and the sound man. (AND the truckdriver!)
For 7 years straight I played ONLY Zendrum.
Nowadays for some gigs I sit behind my 1937 RadioKing Slingerland drumkit, for some I play Zendrum out front, and for some I play BOTH together at the same time, wearing the Zendrum and playing the acoustic kit with a stick in my right hand.
It all depends on the room, the stage space and my mood! I make it up as I go, every gig, with the intention of having fun playing music!
My rig currently consists of an Alesis DMPro and an old D4 running through the band's monitors and PA. I also have the advantage of being the onstage monitor mixer so I don't need a personal amplifier.

I originally didn't have in mind to make a product to sell.
Just one, for me. That's all. That's where it would've ended, too.
Everyone who will ever own a Zendrum should thank Kim Daniel for the guts and vision to 'reduce the idea to practice' and make available these beautiful instruments that fly in the face of disposable junk.
As musicians, we both appreciate fine drumsets and guitars, and love craftsmanship when we see it done right.
You either get it or you don't.

This never stopped anyone from using their own drive, showmanship, and musical talent to visualize and master their own "playing fields" for whatever purposes they see for this instrument. There are an amazing amount of things you COULD do, and new tools made available every day to customize into complex (or simple) systems alongside the Zendrum.

THAT IS THE ENTIRE POINT: No rules or schools, just possibilities.
The only real limitation is imagination and your persistence towards a goal.
Look towards what IS possible rather than what you can't do, just yet.
I will continue to promote its value first and foremost as a drumset that has proved itself reliable and roadworthy over 12 years of playing gigs with my band. The rest is all up to you to evolve further.

It takes awhile to develop chops on ANY real instrument, especially one as new as the Zendrum.
There is no substitute for time spent "getting good at it."

I know that I'll never be the virtuoso that Future Man is AND that's not why I play Zendrum.
I play Zendrum to make dance-floors groove!
Find what suits YOU and go for it.

Inspector 109

Tech Help / Re: Newbie ZX owner with TD-20 note mapping issue
« on: August 31, 2006, 04:13:24 AM »
Hey John,
You are correct that the TD-20 needs to be aligned to have every note the Zendrum sends trigger something specific, but the quick and easy way is to edit the Zendrum triggers so that the sounds are coming up where you want them to be. Most likely, the note numbers are up too far for the Roland to read. Try the easy way, first. Get something going that makes sense on every trigger as a total layout, THEN dive into the deep operating system of the Roland.
Another newbie- Dr. Shark found a DVD tutorial for the Roland that he learned from. (Where did you get that, Mark?) Once you understand how they do stuff and what they call it, it gets easier to build your own custom kits.
Hope this helps!

Tech Help / Re: Questions re: Battery Box
« on: June 27, 2006, 05:46:10 AM »
Hey Jaay!
Hypo 1 will work.

Hypo 2 will not.

All three power box options are in here, in stock.


The SPD-20 has built-in banks of sounds and an somewhat exclusive MIDI protocol to access them.
Like all Roland products, they elected to make things a little difficult to route and program when using anyone else's products in conjunction with theirs as a system. MIDI was not the priority they had in mind when they designed it, but there are workarounds to make the most of what is available. Some of the Zendrummers who post here have integrated the SPD-20 very successfully with the Zendrum. Perhaps they can help clarify those specifics for you...

The momentary sustain switch button is an alternative to using a piano type pedal without having an additional cable attached and underfoot. Both the 1/4" pedal input and the switch button were later hardware additions after the 16 note maps were implemented in the first ZX software in 1995. These extra note maps were created in response to the requests for more melodic applications like bass and piano. For triggering most drum sound modules- I find that one note map is enough.

The ZX's sustain feature can be used with anything that recognizes "pedal down" #64 MIDI commands as either a sustain or an "all-notes-off" kill switch. This is useful for long legato soundfiles with slow attack envelopes to let the sound play-through long enough to hear the sample's complete rise and decay, or to start and stop loops. The sustain feature also has an internal polarity toggle for each one of the 16 SetUp note maps.
Hope this helps!

Hey Hitman,
The Z2's were built in 1994-95
A Z2 has one note map, instead of the current ZX @ 16.
It is the same body design as now, but doesn't have a MIDI IN port on the top.
It doesn't have a sustain jack or momentary switch, and requires a $450 total rebuild to bring to current specs from the original datawheel operating system and circuitboard. (It may still play great "as is" if all you need is a drum trigger for a drum sound module- Roland/Alesis, etc.)
Hope this helps!

ZenChat / Re: cymbal choke
« on: May 17, 2006, 05:29:16 AM »
Hey John,
You need help from one of our Roland users to get down into the TD-20's menus and figure out what needs to be toggled to deal with MIDI input from a Zendrum vs. Roland pads and pedals...(Are you listening Drumhead 99?)
What I know is that MIDI notes can be "grouped" to cut one another off when struck. This requires developing your own version of Zendrumming technique that most closely simulates the effect of open/closed hi-hats or choking cymbals.

The more attention you pay to the detail of ALL the sounds you can get from one acoustic drum or cymbal, the more challenging this can be to get "right" with any electronic drum module. What a lot of us have done is assign multiple triggers different MIDI notes with similar sounds and just change the stereo panning and tuning just a little. From the drum throne perspective, this gives me the sound I hear acoustically of left and right hand sticking. I've always done this on every snare, tom, and cymbal sound I use in my "drumset". This also gives me the ability to send separate MIDI notes that will "play through" better than one MIDI note shared by multiple triggers playing the same exact sound. That's where the machine gun snare sound starts to be less obviously electronic and where you can fool the module into producing more nuance and detail than its normal factory presets will allow.

Zendrumdude (Jer) posted a while back about how to assign the Zendrum sustain button to act as a choke on an Alesis DMPro. That post has since been archived at the Zendrum Resource by Geo. It might give you the overview of what you need to get from your TD-20.
The parameters offered may be called by different names on the Roland, but I'd bet the functionality is the same.

As far as the drumset goes, you'll be gaining the ability to sound like a room full of drummers playing at the same time while taking up the same space as a guitarist or bass player. You'll also be the first guy out the door-not the last.

I have to simulate both of the Allman Brother's drummers on a couple of tunes with drum solos.
That's almost too easy.
The "trick" to Zendrumming is not sounding like a herd of elephants stampeding all the time (unless that's your REAL intention).
Just like with any drumming, the key is to relax and play good time and control the dynamics, first.
The finger rudiments and superchops will come with dedicated practice over time.

I still learn something every time I see another new Zendrummer's video.
We all do this SO differently from one another, there can't possibly be any rules laid down.
That's pretty cool...

David Haney

ZenChat / Welcome Home, Tribe!
« on: May 09, 2006, 08:25:53 AM »
Hey Everybody, we're BACK!
This is a nice place here, let's keep it real friendly...
I keep hearing from new Zendrummers how helpful and friendly everyone on our Forums has always been. For that, I can't thank you all enough! I understand that we are all creating as we go, and none of us really knows where it will all lead. Those of you who are so inclined- keep on pushing the envelope and teaching the rest of us about your experiments. It's ALL GOOD!!!
Inspector 109

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