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Author Topic: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...  (Read 17228 times)

camcojunky

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2010, 04:32:20 pm »

Slavedave,

This sounds fantastic! Any photos of the finished system you could share?

I have been thinking that there must be a way to get the realism of a Bose L1 system without the  heavy price tag. Your successful DIY project confirms it.

Would you have any plans or diagrams that you could share?

As far as off-topic, I feel that part of a Zen setup would have to include the audio portion, no?

Thanks

Michael
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Slavedave

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2010, 06:42:21 am »

Camco - will have to take some pics on Sunday (+ I am due to play my Zendrum then too - now that it is upgraded to Z4 spec!  Need to get my DAW laptop back from repairs to set it all up ready for the weekend).
My plans for the column speaker were all done on paper with a pencil I am afraid.  Effectively, I sourced the speakers, modelled them in the free software to give me dimensions for a box (inc a port) and then played with the dimensions to give me an aesthetic end result.  this took ages to finalise though, because there were always compromises to make based on the driver dimensions, the need to protect them from over-excursion (and therefore damage), the thickness of the MDF I used as the structure for the box, fittings etc.  In the end the box turned out to be a few mm's wider than the combined width of the driver itself + the width of the MDF.  Depth was the one dimension that I could play with to alter the volume to match the recommended, modelled specs.  It is important to get the speakers as close to each other as physically possible to reduce comb-filtering as much as you can.  And of course, make the box airtight except for the ports.  Cutting 32 holes was very tedious!!
Wiring the 16 speakers in each column followed a series-parallel configuration to give me a combined resistance of 2 ohm (you can find examples on google) but you could wire them differently (ie series) to give you an 8ohm load which opens up more options with cheap amps.  I would probably do this next time too because cheap amps that are happy at 2 ohms AND have reasonably low W outputs are rare (and most are expensive).
The plans for the sub can be bought from Bill Fitzmaurice and are very thorough.  It gives you all the information you need to build one and the forums provide exceptional support.
As an aside, there is a guy (John Murphy) on the Parts Express Project Forum who has published detailed plans of an extended line array set-up (the MCLA) that may take some of the learning curve out of a design.  it looks very interesting and I am following it with interest.
http://techtalk.parts-express.com/showthread.php?t=214300
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camcojunky

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2010, 10:20:17 pm »

Slavedave,

Thanks for the link. I may be trying to build something of the sort, if I end up joining a new band I am auditioning for this week...

As far as my setup at the moment-- I have a vintage ZX (55th one made, Kawai piano black lacquer) that is on its way back from the Z4/ wireless MIDI surgery as I write. For modules, I have (3X) Dynacord ADD-1s, a Dynacord ADD-2 sampler and an ADD-Drive unit all housed in an SKB 16 space shock mount rack and plugged into a Monster Pro 2500 power conditioner (thanks to zendrumdude for the tip!). On top of that rests a SKB Studio Flyer containing a MOTU 828 MK2 (soon to be sent out for the Black Lion Audio analog and word clock upgrade), and soon to also house a Glyph 2T 7200rpm HD, and a MacBookPro 17" with the i7chip. For software, I plan on using Logic and Abelton as platforms, with all the "usual suspect" libraries; Fxpansion, EastWest, etc.

The Dynacord gear, although older analog equipment, has very flexible architecture, and deep editing features that I have not found on any of the Roland, Alesis, or Yamaha hardware. For example is allows sound stacking, programmable crossfade, can be triggered via MIDI, pad or acoustic triggers or audio (mics), has built in programmable delay, repeat and arpeggiation, on board filters and LFOs etc. It is basically a drum computer, synthesizer, studio quality outboard effects unit and mixer in a box. Check out the youtube video for "Dynacord ADD-1"- it gives some idea of the units capabilities. With 24 pads on the Z4 I can have a Dynacord channel for every pad as backup in case the computer goes down. The ADD-2 sampler has a SCSI port, so that the the Dynacord gear can be run from the computer and share data with it.

No sound reinforcement yet, although I checked out the Bose L1s at GC and was suitably impressed. For me clarity is more important than extreme volume, and the Bose was crystal clear, and plenty loud enough for the work I would be using it for. But at 3K EACH... I may be following in Slavedaves footsteps!!!
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Tom Roady

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2010, 07:20:08 am »

I just sold my Add-One and Add-Drive to someone in Austria....I had it since 1986...loved it but very difficult to get serviced...it was my favorite "box" for lots of years and used it in my 15 space Zendrum rack for years..I sold it for more than what I paid for it used in 86 and it didn't even work...."the mayor"
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camcojunky

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2010, 01:32:26 pm »

 Yes, they are quite rare... I believe there were only about 300 units made from about 85 to 89. The list was $4999 in those days and with the pads, pad caddy and program advance pad, the whole set up was just under 8K! Needless to say, I chose to wait for the equipment to show up on the used market. It has still taken a number of years for me to track down these units; they show up (rarely) on Eprey and CL, when they do it seems either no one knows what they are and they go for relatively little, or the gearslutz find them and they get bid up to $$$. All mine have been bargains. To me, they were/are the most user-friendly, best thought out unit I have seen so far.

BTW Tom, I just found that the  3.5 floppy drive  in the ADD drive can be upgraded to a CF card reader.. the unit slides right into the original floppy drive space and the connections are very simple. Since Sony has just announced that are ceasing production of blank floppy disks (they were the last manufacturer) I have been looking for a way to keep these units operational and discovered the CF reader at scsiforsamplers.com

Michael
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spundun

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2010, 01:39:03 pm »


Sounds:

Alesis DM PRO V.2
Alesis DM5
Roland TD-5
Roland SP-404 Sampler
KORG X3R (soon to be replaced by a TRINITY Rack)


I'm new to midi/synth setup so this might have an obvious answer but why does one need so many sound modules with zendrum?

p.s. This is my first post, so hi all :)
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Pocket Master

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2010, 02:49:09 pm »

My answer to your question of why does one need so many sound modules with the Zendrum is, technology is always improving.  Remember back in the 80's and 90's when electronic drums sounded just like--electronic drums?  Now with the new software and hardware that is out there, the sounds have become so realistic to an acoustic kit it is scary.  I have a TD-6V that came with an electronic kit that I purchased long before I bought a Zendrum.  I was using that and it sounded just fine, no different than my electronic kit when I played it (because it was using the same module).  I have upgraded to a MacBook Pro using Superior Drummer 2.0 and in my opinion, blows my TD-6V out of the water, I still take it with me as a backup in the event my software takes a dump.  Each module has different sounds that are unique to that module and depending on the type of gig, you may want one set of sounds over another.  The other factor could be the size of the module.  My TD-6V is way smaller than th TD-20 or even the TD-10.  Some modules are rack mounted and others sit on a table.  It is all about personal preference in my opinion.  Hope this answered your question without causing more questions.

Rob
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randtor

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2010, 06:53:10 am »

Hmmmm, I guess the obvious answer is that one doesn't NEED all that  :-).
Some folks LIKE lots of options and choices. Some (like me) prefer simplicity over quantity.
I use a Roland TD-10, and only use about 6 different drum kits in total. Lots of different percussion sets for different songs, but my 'ear' likes a certain tone for my drums, so I mix and match only certain drums to make each individual kit. Yes, there are lots and lots of choices, but it really comes down to the type of person you are, and what sounds good to you.
Having said all that, I am doing some 'sounding' of different options, like BFD and others. I don't like change though, it's a lot of work! I am still trying to lern how to use ZenEdit!

Rand
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Pocket Master

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2010, 12:54:08 pm »

I have to say, I was using my Roland TD-6V since April 2009, when I first received my ZX, and I thought it was great.  Tom Roady paid me a visit in March of 2010, and he was packing a MacBook with a program called Superior Drummer 2.0 (he was actually using EZDrummer which is the scaled down version of SD2), but the sounds he was able to produce was 10X better than what I was using.  I went out the next day and purchased a MacBook with SD2 and some of the percussion add on packs, within two days, I was up and running and my playing was sounding 10X better than what was going on with my TD-6V.  I am not knocking the drum modules, but after hearing SD2, my ears are so much happier.  BFD seems to be another good one, but from what I have seen as well as talking to others that are not sound engineers, BFD has a greater learning curve and you really have to sit down with it and learn how to use it.  95% of the drum sounds on my you tube video at guitar center are what comes already programmed.  The only things I tweaked were the mics for the overhead and HH channels to make them a little more crisp.  I also layered my percussion such as hi and low congas with a shaker, and an open HH with the closed HH.  You can tweak the amount of velocity it will take to open the HH based on how you play, not to the limitations of the module or the ZX.  I am using a Z3 so I cannot use the new Zen Edit program, but with the software, I seem to product the same outcome as the Zen Edit program.  Dr Shark has an SPD-30, TD-20,  BFD and SD2 and it seems that SD2 is working better for him than any of the other sound sources, so definitely get more opinions on which would be better for you before buying anything.  Dr. Shark is also using a PC based computer to run SD2 so you don't have to have a MacBook to run it.  Hope this helps.

Rob
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spundun

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2010, 01:58:07 am »

Thanks Pocket Master and Randtor for very helpful replies. Actually it wasn't obvious to me that firemusician was using one module at a time. :) For whatever reason I thought the zendrum midi out was fanning out to all the modules in parallel and the modules were all hooked up to an amplifier. I thought may be different modules were responding to different triggers from the ZX in parallel. But now I know :). I was surprised that you'd need so much hardware but I thought fm was describing his setup, I guess it's more like the inventory :).

The next question I had (which has already mostly been answered) is can I just use a macbook instead of all the sound module hardware? Is it common to use a laptop running midi percussion software at a live performance? Would the macbook then connect to an amplifier for the live venue? What kind of connections do you guys use? Just a 1/8th inch headphone jack into the amplifier? Do you use optical audio? Do you have separate usb audio hardware to take the sound to the amplifier/mixer for the hall?

How is the inter-operability of the different software? if you invested in one software, bought sound-packs etc. Then if you buy another software, can you use your old sound packs with a different company sw? Beyond the standard drum kits, I'm mostly interested in the tabla and dhol (another Indian drum popular in punjab(bhangra) and gujarat among other places).

Thanks again.
p.s. Sorry admins if you think I hijacked this thread, please warn me if I did. I think of this as my "future setup" so I thought it'll be ok to discuss here.
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Pocket Master

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2010, 04:01:43 am »

I currently have the old chipset with my ZX, from what I have gathered, with the new Z4 chip, you can assign a separate MIDI channel to each pad on the Z4 that cannot be done with the Z3.  What does that mean, well, you can hook up multiple modules, to include a piano with a MIDI connection and assign various sounds from different modules to any pad on the Z4.  Anyone with the Z4 please correct me if I am wrong, but you could play strings with one pad, drums with others, horns with a different pad, all without having to change your program number on the ZX.  You cannot do this with the Z3 chipset, the MIDI channel is global for that program, channel 10 (drum channel) is channel 10, I cannot put channel 1 and 10 on the same program, but the Z4 will allow you to do that.

As for the MacBook, I have purchased the SD2 software and I use GarageBand with the MacBook to run it as a VST.  GarageBand has tons of sounds in it that are pretty good, and can all be accessed and played with the Zendrum.  My setup is simple:

MacBook Pro (Using GarageBand and Superior Drummer 2.0)
UNO MID to USB cable
1/8" Y stereo splitter that splits the left and right channels to a 1/4" out
Two 15' 1/4" guitar cables (one for the left and right)
300 watt keyboard amp (unless I run straight to the PA and use monitors to hear myself
My ZX

That is all I have used since March of 2010.  You can buy different drum kits for the software and there is a mixer that comes with the program that gives you full control of sound, tone, gates, compression, basically whatever you could do in the studio, you can do with the software.  I have only had to tweak two channels, my HH and Overhead mics, other than that, my sounds are right out of the box.

I would think that you could mix match software (it will take up some memory on your computer though) by running a host program like GarageBand, Ableton, Pro Tools, just to name a few, and load BFD into the program as a VST, then SD2, but my question would be why?   I know some guys that have both but only run one or the other, they both do the same thing, it is just a matter of personal preference.  I have listed to BFD (I know some of the guys that have it) and in my opinion compared to SD2, I like SD2 better, but that is just me.  I am not a sound engineer and I feel that there is so much you need to do in BFD to get a great sounding kit, although possible, I just don’t have the time to sit and go through it, where SD2 for me was easy and sounded great right out of the box.  The mixes were already set and it was literally plug and play.  “The Mayor” Tom Roady would be one to ask about the tabla and dhol.  I believe that the Latin Percussion add-on for SD2 has all of those.  I also think there is an add-on for GarageBand called World Music that also has those drums available to use.  Check out Tom Roady’s CD One Tribe available on Amazon.com, that CD was done using only the Zendrum, and there is a lot of world percussion on there.

Sorry for the long post, hope it helped out, feel free to email me directly at robanderson6287@charter.net if you have more specific question, I will be happy to help.

Rob
« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 04:16:12 am by Pocket Master »
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spundun

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2010, 07:03:27 pm »

Thanks Rob,

This was a wealth of info for me right here. After reading your post last night, using google and wikipedia I got a much better understanding of how the setup works today. I might have a couple of follow up s later but I have a much clearer idea now.
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Zendrumdude

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2010, 12:11:44 pm »

I am pretty late in replying here... I hope this helps!

One addition you may want to consider that I don't think has been specifically addressed here is an audio interface from your computer.  You can run your audio out from the 1/8" headphone jack, but it's a pretty poor signal compared to what you'll get from a dedicated audio interface.  It also takes some load of your CPU to be running audio processing outboard.  MOTU seems to be the unit of choice (I chose the UltraLite MK3, there are others) and I think M-Audio has some units as well.  There are lots and lots of them out there, you just need to decide how much flexibility you're looking for with routing.

Some of the main benefits in features are:
-Balanced outputs (balanced lines, like XLR and TRS, run 3 conductors per side: +, -, ground, while unbalanced lines, like headphone outs, run 2 per side: + and ground.  The 3 conductors on a headphone plug are R+, L+, combined ground)
-Hotter, higher-fidelity signal
-Flexible output connections (TRS, XLR, etc.) for compatibility with different sound reinforcement systems
-Multi-channel outs for outboard mixing
-Some units have EQ, crossover, etc. processing

Another thing you might consider is an external FireWire hard drive for your sample data.  The issue is not so much with SPACE as it is with the transfer path.  Separating your OS/application bus from the bus transferring your sample data really cleans up your computer's operations.

I will credit my friend John Emrich for much of this knowledge; he's the resident expert in the field.

Jer
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Pocket Master

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Re: And your Zendrum set-up consists of...
« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2010, 06:31:16 pm »

I guess you would have to look at what you are wanting to do with your audio processing.  I personally only use it for live drum stereo mixes, so I go headphone jack (1/8" Stereo) out to two 1/4" Left and Right Mono outs into an amp, direct box, or whatever the sound tech is wanting me to use to run to the main PA system.  I would think if you were using the Zendrum for studio work you would want to get more in depth like zendrumdude or John Emrch with the audio processing.  For me, I just keep it simple, and have not had any complaints with the sound quality from anyone.  Like I said, it depends on what your end product is going to be.

Rob
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drumstaylor

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Help with my new setup
« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2011, 10:41:36 am »

Can anyone help me tackle a problem.. I am using Z4, Battery 3, Windows XP and an M-Audio USB to in/out midi interface cable.
The hook up is Battery 3 software to Midi interface to zendrum.....but what I am missing is how to I get all this to an external audio source ( PA system).
Do I need a sound card added to the PC?
I am able to setup Battery 3 with the kits I need and can hear the triggers thru headphones out the PC... but using a headphne port to my pa is a mismatch.
or....do I need the drum module in the setup somewhere... I can play the zendrum thru the drum module to my PA with out any issues... but I really want to use the Battery Library of sounds...I will be playing the zendrum live at gigs and was hoping that all I would need is my zendrum, a pc and the midi interface...
Need some help figuring this out before I add wireless and a foot controller.
Thanks,
slingsman
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