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Author Topic: Playing things other than drums...  (Read 4027 times)

firemusician

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Playing things other than drums...
« on: September 04, 2006, 10:55:00 AM »

Hello everyone,  I was wondering who has been playing "non-percussive"sounds out there.   I have been playing some electric piano sounds with some VERY COOL results.  Check out the different scales, there is some very neat stuff "striaght out of the box" as it were.  For those of you working with loops, etc. things really open up as far as possibilities.  Take care and stay safe, Mark
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Mark Nelson:  Fire fighter, Sound engineer, Musician and all around nice guy.

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Jaay

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2006, 12:23:21 PM »

When I was still using my pad-set as my main electric rig, I did a lot of stuff with synth chords and samples, linking bass linse and such.  I sort of shelved that when I got my Zendrum, but i'm slowly starting to get back into it.  I keep joking to my bandmates that if I rigged up my Zen to do a decent bass imitation, I'd never have to work another straight job in my life!

But anyway... yeah, I tend to stick to drum & percussion sounds on my Zendrum, but now that I have a little more free time, I plan on getting back into my synth travels and such.

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john emrich

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2006, 05:02:18 PM »

Melodic playing is a lot of fun on the Zendrum!  My CD, Spirit of the Drum, was done with this in mind.  I played/recorded the Bass, Synth pads, Melody lines, and drums from the Zendrum.  Tom Roady recorded his CD on it as well.

John
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John Emrich
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retro surfer

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2006, 07:37:44 PM »

Oh yeah I play mine about half the time with strange mixes of percussion world music and melody and loops of just about every-kind.  That's one of the reasons I love it I have so much flexibility and the zen is a great trigger for anything including voice loops and things like that if you want to add them and DJ or just jam.   ;D

thats one of the main reasons I use a Yamaha Motif ES rack to get so many different sound libraries  I also trigger a Roland SPD-20 with sticks and a it gets used for everything also  One of my favorite sets I use in the Zen is a stand up Bass  and steel drum with a strange oboe like instrument to close it out ;D
« Last Edit: September 04, 2006, 07:40:16 PM by retro surfer »
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Zennerman1

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006, 08:26:23 AM »

I dabbled a little at first with melody but have recently been really getting into it. It's proving to be a lot of fun. I hope to get a song or two out of it.

Cheers,
Steve
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drehleierguy

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2006, 03:04:50 PM »

All the time!

Since I got a Zendrum, I've realised that it's a terrible drum controller if you want to sound like a drum-kit.  The physicality of playing drum set deeply effects what you play and how it grooves.  Why fix what ain't broke?

On the other hand, it's WONDERFUL for all kinds of other percussive sounds, samples, sampled voice poetry, whatever!  I'm really enjoying using it as a controller for Reaktor.

Just my twisted opinion, of course!

Best to all,

b
 ;)
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firemusician

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2006, 07:55:53 PM »

 I disagree on it being a bad controller for drums. Yes you are limited on a few things, but I have had people (both musicians and non-musicians) compliment me on it. Your sound modules, settings, etc.  are what seperate you from others. Keep pluggin away. Take care and stay safe, Mark
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Mark Nelson:  Fire fighter, Sound engineer, Musician and all around nice guy.

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Pyrate

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2006, 06:58:42 AM »

Arrrgghhhh!!! I also have to disgree to the statement that the Zendrum makes a lousy drum controller. I am an old acoustic drummer.  But living where I do, i do not have  the tolerance of my neighbors for an acoustic set and i do not have the space for an electronic kit.  Sure there are times when I find a certain groove would be more easily performed on a standard kit, but you muddle through.  I have also received compliments on my zendrumming and the sounds and grooves I can make with it.  Adaptation is the key.
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Geosphere

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2006, 07:03:47 AM »

A Zendrum is not a drumset.  To treat it as one would be foolish.  It can emulate a drumset.  But there will always be things you can do on a kit you can't on a Zen.  However, the list of things you can do on a Zen and not a kit is far greater.
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drehleierguy

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2006, 09:09:24 AM »

re: Mark's comment: I don't mean to imply that one can't sound good palying drums sounds on the Zen!  Only that the physicality of any instrument affects what the human body does on that instrument.  Of course I'm all for extended techniques and exploring all possibilities on any instrument, but having both experimented myself and listened to what others are doing on the Zen, I feel that for playing traditional drum kit grooves and styles, the Zen does not do it.  Please note: that's only my personal artistic opinion! On the other hand, for playhing hand percussion samples, or' drum 'n bass' or 'jungle' stuff, the zen is brilliant.

re: Pyrate's comment: see above ;)  Also, the notion of 'muddling through' is not really how I want to be able to perform...  though of course there are times....  I think that my point is that new instruments require new techniques, suggest new kinds of music and opens new doors for creativity!  For instance the evolution of the electric guitar or electric tone wheel organ is very instructive in the development of a new instrument: first imitation of the previous gereration of device (acoustic guitar/pipe and reed organs in my example).  The electric guitar as simply an amplified acoustic.  The Hammond organ as simply an organ more portable than a pipe organ and more flexible than a pump-organ.  Then, well, you know what happened!

As an aside, anyone see this old ad for the Melotron? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrXtmKGkSa4  It's truly brilliant and extremely giggle-worthy!  Imagine if the Melotron (or Moog, or electric guitar, or saxophone etc) kept to its originally concieved function!

re: Geosphere's comment: well and succinctly put!

I hope this discussion continues as it could lead to some interesting exploration.

Happy tappin,

b
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firemusician

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2006, 02:15:49 PM »

No offense taken at all, very well put!   :)
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Mark Nelson:  Fire fighter, Sound engineer, Musician and all around nice guy.

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Zennerman1

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2006, 02:35:51 PM »

Drumset is the main thing I play on the Zendrum. I have always been a single bass drum player. The styles I've mostly played have not needed two bass drums so I just never really learned it
However, with the Zendrum it's quite easy for me to play double bass drums now.

Just one area for me where I can do something on the Zendrum that I can't do with a drumset.

The Zendrum truly has to be considered "another instrument". It may sound like drums but it's not a drumset.

It's a Zendrum

Cheers,
Steve
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brip

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2006, 08:50:33 PM »

I've been playing synthesizer stuff triggered simultaneously with drum kit sounds and percussion. I have a slider set up on my keyboard that allows me to trigger different regions of the keyboard with the Zendrum. Its pretty thick stuff and needs some sorting out but I think it will sound like music some day.  The sustain button  (depending on the polarity) adds a really interesting dimension to the process.
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Pyrate

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2006, 04:58:25 AM »

No offense taken here either matey!  And my reference to "muddling through" is just my way of referring to work arounds that one develops due to the limitations imposed not just by the Zendrum itself but by the skill level of the player.  In my case, it has been many years since I have sat behind a standard kit.  The zendrum was an extremely good choice for me to start playing again within the confined spaces and noise restrictive environment in which I now find myself.  However, I have to admit that I am a little rusty, and making my hands do things that my feet have been used to doing requires practice and more practice.  So I "muddle through" and learn new techniques along the way to accomplish grooves with 10 fingers that my ancient brain says need to be done with both hands and feet.  Performance wise, I rarely play in public, and when I do, I can happily stick to basics and when the oppotunity arises, I can show off a little bit.  I would never put myself in the same class as Geosphere or Tom Roady or John Emrich or even our fearless leader David (Inspector 109) Haney. 
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Inspector 109

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Re: Playing things other than drums...
« Reply #14 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.
As far as I'm concerned, THERE SHOULD NEVER BE ANY RULES MADE UP ABOUT IT.

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





« Last Edit: September 16, 2006, 07:42:31 AM by Inspector 109 »
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