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Author Topic: module advice - electro!? plus rant intro  (Read 2184 times)

aziel

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module advice - electro!? plus rant intro
« on: January 12, 2009, 03:41:49 PM »

hello zendrummers!

needless to say i don't have a zendrum, hence the post in this section but i am planning to get a zx this spring/summer i.e when i have enough money, i'm just a poor lowly drummer!

the main reason for my post other than saying 'hello' and 'wow!' was to try and get some early advice re drum module recommendations anyone might have. i'd almost definitely be more interested in using hardware rather than farting around with software on a laptop. and yes before anyone starts i know how amazing bfd is and how it'll blow my tiny mind, blah blah blah, 'how many usb ports do you have? um i don't care, my laptop runs mainly on willpower and is held together with gaffer tape. it may well be the case that bfd stands for 'big f@*"king drums' (is that true?!) but i'm not really interested in creating ultra realistic and controllable drum sounds for recording/gigs. what i'm interested in is bashy retro electro blip blop beat making on stage. i'm a drummer/percussionist not a dj/synth player/producer so i don't really want to be standing in front of a drum machine/kaoss pad etc just pressing buttons every now and again and randomly twiddling knobs, looking a bit 'special' - i want to be able to get funky, jump around, and perform with everyone else in the band on stage! yeah ok i admit, half the reason for me wanting a zendrum is an attempt to look cool onstage! and i admit i've recently joined an electro - nu rave - punk er kind of bashy band and already have 'knob' envy. at the mo i'm just using a very small 'cocktail' type acoustic kit with an electronic kick (i'm buying a jomox mbase specifically for this and have also been using a roland pc2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO9wlyDWYH0), whoop whoop!) and i'm very happy with the set up. however, i want to have another more electro set up to hand as well.

late last year i bought a roland handsonic hpd 10 which is really cool. this is what culminated in mucking around with different electronic bits and bobs. needless to say i tried out a few different things including low end full on electronic kits (hd1, td3, dtxpress, dm5). the prob was i never felt very comfortable with these and undoubtedly felt much better with acoustic cymbals and triggering my existing acoustic drums. you may argue that if i'm having trouble feeling comfortable with electronic kits why am even contemplating zendrumming, it being a whole different ball game/instrument? the point is having a background in percussion i immediately felt much more at home with the handsonic, suddenly everything felt much more responsive, natural in feel and expressive and if i feel that way about the handsonic...

so back to modules, i'm looking for electro sounds, not realistic drum samples. is there anything in particular anyone would recommend out of experience? and please bear in mind i'm not made of money! just to try and put things into perspective a bit, i've been playing around with a dtxpress3 and i'm completely underwhelmed by the sounds, both electro and acoustic.

now for some more specific questions. i know nothing about midi hence these undoubtedly stupid questions! if i bought some kind of analog module which is midi how does that relate to the sounds i'm able to create/assign to each pad?! is that a really stupid question? on the budget side of things i was quite impressed by the korg electribe er1 drum machine being sort of pseudo analog. am i going to be able to get the best out of this thing using a zendrum in terms of sounds? more generally though i'd love something retro sounding that is also pretty portable. would anyone recommend any retro midi drum machines/modules? and yes i'm not completely stupid, i do realise that i could go and pick up almost any roland/boss drum machine with some poo bog sandard 808/909 samples but then that'd be a bit rubbish.

two things i have been seriously thinking about are:

jomox airbase 99: http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/airbase99.shtml

mfb 503: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYyy5gi15wA


if anone has any suggestions/advice or alternatively if you'd prefer to just bang my head against a brick wall to get some sense into it, please let me know!

apologies for the rant but hello anywho!

ps: if anyone has any experience with using realtime fx units i'd be really interested to learn.

cheers in advance and keep bashing stuff!

aziel
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Jaay

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Re: module advice - electro!? plus rant intro
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 08:33:59 PM »

Greetings brother.  Welcome in.

Okay, with regards to the Zendrum and sounds.  Essentially, what sounds the Zendrum makes is entirely dependant on what module to which you hook it up.  There are exceptions to this rule, however.

I for example have a DTX 2.0.  If I were playing the trigger pads, I could stack notes, or change filters based on velocity, or alternate notes.  these are not things easily done with the Zendrum.  However, I'm sure that with the proper external MIDI gear I could make this happen as well.

If you want retro sounds, you should get some retro equipment.  That's the simplest way to get where you want to go.  A TD-7 from 1992 will not sound as "acoustically authentic" as a TD-20 from 2006.  Again, however, there are exceptions.  With the proper filtering and pitch alterations, you can make whatever kinds of sounds you like.  I've made gong sounds from pitched and filtered China cymbals, and I've made snares from gunshots. 

The best thing to do is just look at sounds from your favorite machines and see how well your Zendrum talks to them.  The sounds will not be any DIFFERENT with the presence of the Zendrum; just triggered differently.

Good luck, and have fun!

-Jaay
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Pyrate

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Re: module advice - electro!? plus rant intro
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2009, 06:27:59 AM »

Avast Thar Matey,

      Synth modules are highly subjective.  What sounds right to one sea dog may not sound right to a land lubber, etc.  Personally, I use a Roland TD-20 because it has such a wide range of sounds.  It is also a very portable unit that works well on stage.  Some folks like other units from Yamaha or Korg or others.  The best thing to do is if you have a Guitar Center nearby, take a visit and try out as many synths as you can.  Hope this helps.

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
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timecutter

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Re: module advice - electro!? plus rant intro
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2009, 08:50:55 AM »


Welcome!

Whatever MIDI unit makes the sounds you like is going to work just fine with the Zendrum.  If you've got the sounds you like, you're gonna love triggering it with the Zendrum.

I am very fond of an old module called "Planet Earth" from EMU.  It has a lot of tweakable world percussion stuff and a lot of very cheesy but lovable sounds.  There are some electronica/ethnoambient drum kits on there that always bring a smile for me. The Planet Earth may not quite what you're looking for, but you might want to check out some of the other old EMU modules like the "Planet Phatt" type modules which are still out there on eBay, and have a lot of beat making potential - though it may not be quite the era you're looking for.

Mark
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jeff sanders

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Re: module advice - electro!? plus rant intro
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2009, 01:18:09 PM »

hello zendrummers!

needless to say i don't have a zendrum, hence the post in this section but i am planning to get a zx this spring/summer i.e when i have enough money, i'm just a poor lowly drummer!

aziel

welcome, poor lowly drummers own!
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jeff sanders

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Re: module advice - electro!? plus rant intro
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2009, 01:56:34 PM »

man thats a great sound and performance from the link. you are not happy with those sounds? i thought it sounded right. anyhow hit the music store and a/b modules side by side from the same sound source is what id do. let your own ear decide on your preference. id also suggest a sound sweetener too. i use a peavey kosmos pro but there are many things similar like BBE exciter for one. im sure a good engineer could do what those do with eq etc. but if available put one in line when you audition modules to give you a listen. theres a bypass switch so you can toggle it as you dial in your tone. hopefully the saleperson will be willing to plug some ins and outs to make a sale.

good luck getting what you need. thanks for sharing that vid, it is awesome to me.

peace
jeff

not sure what i did last time but i found the video of the performance i was talking about. i thought i just clicked the link from here last time to find it. i thought this was you on your present setup. sorry for confusion. heres the link i admired:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ohS3nHHzTo


« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 01:30:20 PM by jeff sanders »
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aziel

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Re: module advice - electro!? plus rant intro
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2009, 08:39:48 AM »

hi again,

thanks for the responses and advice, i know some silly questions, (how long is a piece of string?) so yeah i know i'll just have to experiment with different modules and stuff to see what i like best. kind of on that note tho does anyone use a sampler (mpc series etc)? thought it might be a great option allowing me the scope to have really any samples of well anything i guess, be it oldskool drum machine and acoustic kit sampler packs, to me mucking around with bubble wrap, popping corks and anything else i can find in the kitchen!

so if there's any zenners out there who use samplers and advice they may have i'd love to hear.

thanks again!   
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