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Topics - DrumWagon

Pages: 1 [2] 3
ZenEdit / Something in your stocking.
« on: December 27, 2011, 12:19:57 AM »
Sorry kids, Santa was a day late.   ::)

The public beta for ZenEdit 2 is now available!  Full details here:  http://nebiru.com/zenedit/index.cfm?event=beta

Here's your chance to check out what's new and to kick the tires.  I still have a few a tweaks to make before the final release, but I could also use your help in testing what's already there.


ZenEdit / 2.0 Beta Test
« on: October 26, 2011, 09:16:50 PM »
Version 2.0 is now wrapping up.  The application is "code complete" and currently I'm just finishing the help file and polishing bits here and there.

I could use a couple more pairs of eyes to see if I missed anything.  If you are interested in helping to test out 2.0 before it becomes public, then please message me.

Some quick bullets:
1)  You must have an existing license, and the beta will need to be installed on the same machine that you have 1.x on.
2)  I'm looking for people that use the existing version of ZenEdit fairly heavily, and know the basic ins and outs of it.
3)  While 1.x files are compatible with 2.0, anything you save in the new version cannot be used in the old one, so you'll need to be careful backing up your files if you want to go back to 1.x

It's totally ok to have both versions on the same machine, so no worries there.

It'll probably be another week or two before I have a suitable beta version packaged up so there is no huge rush.  Just putting out the feelers right now.


ZenEdit / Upcoming release, plus road map
« on: August 05, 2011, 05:29:02 PM »
Hello, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the next few planned releases of ZenEdit and to solicit ideas from the community.

I should warn you up front that this posting will have a lot of MIDI speak.  If your eyes glaze over during discussions of MIDI status messages, or if you could care less what the difference between a bit and byte is, then feel free to skip over these parts.

There are currently 3 planned releases (milestones)., and barring any problems or hold ups, they are to be:
2.0 (product overhaul, many new features)
2.1 (focus on 3.0 Zendrum support)
2.2 (focus on melodic features.)

2.0 Release
2.0 is expected to be released as an automatic update within the next month or two.  It's outward appearance has not changed much however under the hood it's been revamped to better expose more Z4 features.

The main new feature that people seem eager to get their hands on is support for changing note duration (for melodic playing).  Note duration is defined as the amount of time that is allowed to elapse between the MIDI Note ON and Note OFF messages that are transmitted when you strike a trigger. The Zendrum factory setting is 10 milliseconds, which is to say any melodic note you play is equivalent to holding down a key for 100th of a second -- that's not very long, and certainly not suitable for any serious musical performance.

With 2.0, you'll be able to tell ZenEdit, "for these triggers I'll be playing half notes at 120 bpm".  ZenEdit will then do the math for you and set the note durations accordingly.  You can also mix and match durations within the same setup, it's not a one-size-fits-all thing.

Other new 2.0 features include the ability to change the MIDI Status Message types for any triggers or controls.  Triggers are no longer limited to only sending Note ON/OFF, they can now do things like transmit Change Control or Channel Pressure messages.  Likewise your other controls aren't stuck being Change Controllers, but can now do things like Pitch Bend.

2.0 also has improved controls for calibrating individual triggers, an integrated Help system, the ability to rearrange User Setups and a slew of other improvements.

2.1 Release
The next major version of ZenEdit will be focusing on adding support for older 3.x boards.  These Zendrums don't have nearly the same amount of features as the more modern Z4s, however there are still a large number of people that have not yet upgraded and ZenEdit can certainly add support for them, however limited it may be.  When you're ready to upgrade to a Z4 board, ZenEdit will also be able to convert your old 3.x sysex files so that you can keep your old settings.

2.2 Release
The next version of ZenEdit is currently planned to focus on features to better support melodic playing.
Exactly what all this will entail is still up in the air and I'm hoping to get some more input from those of you in the trenches (or orchestra pits as it were).

I myself have a couple ideas which I will try to lay out here.

The ZenEdit "note picker" (when in melodic mode) currently allows you to enter in notes by name.  It also has a virtual 88-key keyboard that you can use for selecting notes.  These are a good start however it occurred to me that it might be too flexible.  Rarely do you want the ability to select arbitrary notes but rather you probably are only interested in notes from a certain key or scale.

So one idea is to add some features to the note picker to aid in selecting notes.  The toolbar at the top could have controls to select the scale type and the root tonic (and possibly the octave).  The keyboard would then highlight only those keys that appear on that particular scale.  The note list below could also be made to filter on that information.  So this way for instance, if you know the song you are setting up will be in C-Major, you can tell ZenEdit that and it will help you locate the notes that will probably be most relevant to what you are working on.

Now, obviously for advanced musicians, having this feature probably isn't a big deal.  But, acknowledging that most Zendrummers are also drummers who may not have a lot of music theory under their belt, then this might be an exciting feature.  I'll lump myself in that latter category in fact.  While I consider myself to be a semi-professional musician, nearly 100% of my time has been spent beating out rhythms and not hammering out melodies.  I know just enough music theory to understand how things work and are put together (and just enough to be dangerous) but I'm certainly no whiz.  I can definitely see the benefit of playing arpeggios and bass lines on the Zendrum though, and am exploring this area and at the same time trying to blaze a path for others who've dared not travel yet.

In working through this idea of showing scales on the note picker, I started to think about ways to take this even further.  If someone is mapping intervals from a given scale onto their Zendrum, then isn't it safe to say that this is something they may do quite regularly?  Wouldn't it be likely that for one User Setup they are playing a phrase in say D-Minor while on another they are C-Major?  How could I make it easier to transpose these triggers per song/setup?

One possible solution is to introduce a new concept of key mapping.  ZenEdit already uses a mapping scheme for drums.  For instance you might have one trigger mapped to kick and another to snare.  What if for melodic triggers you had the capability to map to specific scale intervals?  For instance the 4 large triggers along the bottom of the ZX, what if those could be mapped to the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th intervals, irrespective of key -- and then much like you can change drum kits on a module and that kick is still mapped to a kick, if you were to change scales, those triggers mapped to those intervals just automatically change as well.

So the somewhat fleshed out idea is this:
1) For any given setup, you can assign up to 5 scales (just to keep things reasonable).
2) In the main UI, you'd enter into a special 'melodic editing mode' which would replace the editing panes at the bottom with a graphical layout of the 5 scales and their 8 notes for each.
3) A color coding scheme would show any triggers that are currently mapped to any notes on these scales.  Possibly it would draw lines between the triggers and notes too.
4) The user would somehow be able to map certain triggers to intervals on these scales, by dragging and dropping for instance.
5) For each of these 5 virtual scales, the user could change the type, base tonic and octave.  Doing so would cause any mapped triggers to automatically update.

By using such a scheme it seems it would make it easier for the melodic drummer to be able to layout notes on the Zendrum and to be able to change keys without having to individually edit each trigger. At least, that's the basic idea behind this mapping of scale intervals.

Anyhow, those are the ideas for the near future releases of ZenEdit.  If you have any ideas or comments of your own, I'd love to hear them!


ZenChat / Smaller BFD2 Installer Options
« on: July 24, 2011, 01:05:10 PM »
Has anyone tried using the 'small' or 'medium' installs?  Is the difference in sound quality that noticeable?

I'm starting to think that the 'large' install may be overkill for live performance and I'd like to free up some disk space on my SSD.  Looking for opinions from anyone that's tried the other installer settings.

ZenEdit / Version 1.4.3 Released
« on: May 31, 2011, 01:34:37 PM »
Latest update adds support for the following modules/VSTs:

  • DrumIt Five 2box
  • EZDrummer Latin and Jazz kits
  • iMap (standard and extended)
  • Infinite Instruments
  • Kontakt 2
  • Ocean Way Drums
  • Studio ProFiles

To obtain the update, go to Help > Check for updates...
.. or download the latest version from http://nebiru.com/zenedit


Media / Mention in Drum!, June 2011
« on: May 08, 2011, 11:12:21 AM »
Zendrum is mentioned in the June edition of Drum! magazine.  It's just a brief bit in regards to the new Béla Fleck album, but still warmed my heart to see it  :D

ZenEdit / Help with 3.0 Zendrum needed.
« on: March 21, 2011, 07:37:03 PM »
Hoping someone on the forum that owns a 3.x Zendrum (the version prior to the Z4) can help out.  I need to cross-check some legacy data and I require a sysex dump of the DEFAULT (unmodified) 3.x settings to do so.

If you are in a position to be of assistance, please email me at support@nebiru.com

thanks in advance!

ZenEdit / Possible new features
« on: February 14, 2011, 11:18:44 PM »
It's come to my attention (though I'm not at liberty to go into details) that there are a number of additional features that are currently dormant within the Z4 board.  Most of these were either far too esoteric to make it into the final design, or were otherwise too complicated to express using the LED display and scroll buttons. Nonetheless, it's possible to expose these feature via the ZenEdit interface.

Before I begin investing the required time to unlock these features, I'd like to get a sense of how much interest there are in them.  These features are definitely for more advanced users, who may or may not need them, so I'd rather not waste time on them if they would not get any use in the real world.  So please, chime in with your opinions on these, whether you're for, against or even just ambivalent. 

The first two possible features are as follows:

1) Modifiable note duration.  When you tap a trigger, the Zendrum presently sends out a note ON message, immediately followed by note OFF.  Melodic players may benefit from altering the delay (or duration) between these events -- just like holding down a key on a keyboard.  Of course once it's set you're then stuck with that duration, so I would assume it would only be handy when you're playing along to a click, or can otherwise tightly control the tempo so that the note lengths fit the material. What could you do with such a feature?

2) Interchangeable triggers and continuous controllers.  So it turns out that any trigger on your Zendrum can also function as a CC, and vice-versa.  Would you get any use out of that?  One idea may be to have a trigger which functions as a volume control.  Tap it, and however hard you hit it will determine the value for the volume setting.  Another idea may be a set of triggers that function as program up or down.  Basically any CC message available to your module/software could be assigned to a trigger pad.   And then of course you can go the other way, and use any of your physical CCs as triggers.   In BFD for example, you could have the sustain button send out a MIDI note ON message that you could map as a universal cymbal choke.  The possibilities are of course endless, but is there really a need for this?

There are even more features available, but they get more esoteric from there.  There also are some questions about whether or not they were completed or abandoned.  And some, like hi-res MIDI, are probably not yet ready for prime-time.  The two features listed above are well enough for starting this discussion -- at least for now.

So, whatcha think?  Let your MIDI nerd flag fly and jump in on the comments!

ZenEdit / Version 1.4.0 Released!
« on: January 03, 2011, 02:31:42 PM »
You can obtain it by using the "Check For Updates" feature, or by directly downloading ZenEdit here:

New Features:
  • New "Share My Setup" feature which allows you to send a screenshot of your Zendrum plus its project file directly to this forum!  This makes it easier than ever to share your layout ideas with your fellow Zendrummers.
  • Adding ability to hide "extra" or unused custom triggers, to reduce clutter.
  • Making it so that non-channel #10 setups start off automatically in "melodic mode" which saves you having to manually set them up this way.

Bug Fixes:
  • Fixing some minor issues with scaling and rounding in the main view.
  • Further improving general performance.
  • Fixing problem with notepicker not updating when switching between channel mappings.
  • Fixing problem with dropdown for user setup selection no longer being populated.
  • Always showing at least the midi number in the notepicker, even if feature is turned off (does not affect trigger renderer).
  • Eliminating possibility of duplicate note number labels in trigger renderers.

Example output from the "Share My Setup" feature can be found here:

Please note that the "Share My Setup" feature is not available in the trial version of ZenEdit.

Happy New Year!

ZenEdit / My ZX Setup
« on: January 03, 2011, 02:02:36 PM »
Here is my trigger layout for User Setup #11.

I call this setup 'TD-20 - Perc'.

For this setup, I utilize Roland TD-20 and Roland TD-20 Perc.

Standard TD-20 Layout, plus percussion pads.

See the attached screenshot for complete details.

You can also download the attached ZenEdit project file to import my Sysex into your own Zendrum, to try out this layout for yourself!

Note that you must be logged in to this forum in order to see these attachments.

The contents of this post were created by ZenEdit, the Premiere Zendrum Editing Suite.

ZenEdit / Version 1.3.3 Released
« on: December 02, 2010, 10:19:42 PM »
Latest maintenance release fixes a couple of annoyances, adds a few new features and makes everything a bit spiffier!

To obtain the latest version, select "Help > Check for Updates" from the main menu.

Full details here:


ZenEdit / Version 1.3.0 Released
« on: October 17, 2010, 12:39:19 PM »
This is a fairly big release that fixes a couple important bugs, adds new features and functionality and also further improves the user interface.

New Features:
    - New "Channel Mappings" features allows a different Mapping to be assigned to each MIDI channel, which better facilitates percussion groups.
    - User interface has been furthered simplified and "global" (dangerous) controls have been removed.
    - Edit panels have been rearranged to enhance workflow.
    - Support for new modules and VSTs:
        o - Addictive Drums
        o - EZDrummer
        o - Roland TD-5
        o - Roland TD-7
        o - Roland TD-9
    - New percussion group mappings for:
        o - Roland TD-6
        o - Roland TD-8
        o - Roland TD-9
        o - Roland TD-10
        o - Roland TD-12
        o - Roland TD-20
    - "Modules" are now called "Mappings".

  Bug Fixes:
    - Saved "LT" files would display a "ZX" background when reopened.
    - "LT" and "ZAP" models would have their edit panels flicker when the app was moved, resized, etc.
    - There was no "none" selection available for mappings, which can be handy in some scenarios.


You can obtain the update by choosing "Check For Updates" from the "Help" menu.


ZenEdit / Version 1.2.0 Released
« on: September 07, 2010, 07:55:43 PM »
The centerpiece for this release is a vastly improved "note picker". This is the control that you use to select sounds and notes for triggers.

In this new version, the note picker expands to take up most of the screen, and also sprouts multiple columns. This helps you find what you're looking for much quicker than digging around in the scrolling list from previous versions.

Additionally, the note picker has a new "sorting and grouping" feature. What this does is bubble up any module names to the surface and then sorts them. This makes it even easier to find note names as they won't be sprinkled throughout the list, but rather neatly sorted at the top.

Another new feature of the note picker is aimed at melodic players. This is a full 88 key piano roll across the top of the note picker. Rather than dig for specific note numbers or english names, you can now just select the note directly from the piano.

This new version also does away with the three "panel buttons" that were at the top of the trigger and setup edit panes, and replaces them with a single button. This new button simply toggles between "normal" and "melodic" modes. This further simplifies your workflow as you don't need to mess with the 3 previous buttons just to change views.

As an additional workflow aid, you can also now double-click triggers to edit their note value, rather than having to first select the trigger and then click on the note picker.

I hope you find these improvements helpful!
To obtain the new release, please use the "Check For Updates" item on the "Help" menu.  You can also install ZenEdit at http://nebiru.com/zenedit/index.cfm?event=download.


ZenChat / Dennis Alston
« on: April 01, 2010, 02:22:06 PM »
Does anyone have any info on this custom ZX?  Appears to have about 200 triggers on it.  I'm assuming he's got at least two boards in there.


ZenChat / Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« on: March 03, 2010, 11:29:40 PM »
I'm currently nose-down and working on a cross-platform editor for Z4-based Zendrums.  If you have any requests, please let me know.

Currently planned features are:
  • Multi-platform support.  The editor will work equally well in Windows, MacOS and Linux environments.
  • Support for customized Zendrums -- up to 30 triggers in any configuration and 3 CCs.
  • Ability to specify non-sequential note numbers when using the cross-fade feature.
  • Ability to graphically see and tweak your personalized calibration.
  • Support for ZX, Laptop, Zap and Zap^2, basically anything that contains a 4.x board.

The editor is not planned to be backwards compatible with 3.x boards at this time, but portions of it could be depending on demand.

There is no firm release date for this application, but I expect it to be finalized in either the second or third quarter this year.  Early beta releases will probably be available as it nears completion.

Thanks in advance for your input!

oh, also it needs a cool name!  I've toyed with "Zazen" because of its relationship to Zen but it really doesn't have the right "ring" to it.  For the moment I'm just referring to the project as "ZenEdit".  Any ideas for a better name?


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