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Sound modules that emulate hand drum technique

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I acquired an older model of Zendrum (16 pads - red plastic body) last summer and have been jamming and performing with it in a trio. My main drumming is with hand drums (doumbek, djembe, congas...) and I got the Zendrum as a way to get kit sounds into my setup without altering my style too much. Previously used a Roland quad sensor pad (the triangular ones that are impossible to replace) with an Alesis D4. The Zendrum has given me much more flexibility in getting the sounds I want, due to the relatively large number of sensors. Combined with a couple of foot triggers, there's not much more I need for triggering.

Two issues I do have are:

1/ in triggering sounds via MIDI and foot pedal (esp high-hat), the trigger mechanisms seem to be completely independent, so a high hat hit on the Zendrum does not squelch the high hat sound from the footpedal (and vice versa - also high hat footpedal plug in to D4 doesn't seem to work when MIDI triggering). Not sure if there is a way to somehow link these in the D4.

and (more importantly)

2/ given my hand drumming background, I'm very interested in sound module capabilties to emulate the variable nature of sound you get with a hand drum. The D4 has maybe 5 sounds that actually alter the basic quality of sound based on trigger velocity (as opposed to similar quality but higher volume). For example, the D4 has some sounds for conga which goes from an open sound to a slap sound for higher velocity. I'm interested in finding out if other sound modules offer up more capabilities like this in a reasonable price range (eg: similar djembe and doumbek sound emulation would be nice). Without this, I am forced to assign more sounds to pads and alter playing technique significantly (or just keep using hand drums, which makes mixing the kit sounds and hand drum sounds during performance more challenging to say the least).

Any advice would be appreciated.

BTW, as for the rest of my (electronic) setup, it consists of a small 4 channel mixer, Roland 40 Bass Cube, and a 2x12" G&K speaker cab to fill out the sound. (My setup's all about portability, given the other drums I need to lug around. The KISS principle applies here.)


1) Not familiar with the D4 so can't help you there.

2) You don't need a module that can do that specifically, the current Zendrum model has velocity crossfade function that allows you to assign different sounds to the same pad beased on velocity. But i'm guessing your older plastic model doesn't have this feature. Maybe its time for a new Zendrum? =)

What you've got there is a Muse.

They were a limited production marketing experiment that didn't pan out.

Anyway, your questions are all answered at the module level. 

I'm not 100% sure how the d4 hihat works, but what you need is a mute function, and I don't know if that module has it.

Alesis' later modules use at least a low filter pass on sounds being hit more lightly.  This results in the 'harder' hits having more presence.

I use a DMPro with a sample card. I have some nice hand drum samples from Sonic Implants and it is very expressive - although I had to spend a lot of tiime tweaking the samples and the DMPro. I can't think of any more cost-effective way to get the combination of hand percussion sounds and expressiveness you want. DMPro's and sample cards can be found on eBay. Try searching for "Alesis QS" on eBay to find the card.

Check out yellow tools culture. It´s the best vst-instrument/sample library for hand-percussion I have encountered so far.


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