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Author Topic: BFD2: a couple tips-n-tricks  (Read 3444 times)

Zendrumdude

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BFD2: a couple tips-n-tricks
« on: March 12, 2009, 07:59:00 PM »

Hi Guys,

Having used EVERY major module out there over the years, it seemed to me that every one of them could do stuff no other could do, and I was constantly trying to get my Roland stuff to do Alesis features and vice versa.  I have recently moved over to BFD2 and have discovered some ways to do tricks that I liked in other units.  Hope these are useful to someone!

-I really like to play tip/edge style on HH on acoustic drums, but didn't want to dedicate 2 pads for this on my Zendrum.  I have just lived with tip-sound-only for years.  Now, I set my HH pad into Velocity Crossfade mode.  Since BFD2 allows multiple mappings of individual sounds, I have the lowest 3 notes in the crossfade set to the HH tip sound, and the highest number set to the edge.  When I use finger dynamics to play hi hat parts, it SOUNDS like I do when I play drums!  Awesome!  I am also using this technique on cowbell (side/edge), and I could see using it for snare drum/rim shot, ride/bell, bow/edge on crashes, you name it.  Any sound with more than one articulation can be crossfaded, and you can map them within the 4 notes however you choose to fit the expressiveness you want.

-I also use the Zendrum crossfade feature to have 4 separate conga articulations available (although it ends up being somewhat random...still cool though) but it can sound a bit "naked".  Since BFD2 allows layering of mapped keys, I layer a shaker on all the conga notes, so when I play a conga pattern, the shaker plays along.  I also reduce the "velocity to amplitude" setting so the conga sounds are dynamic but the shaker is fairly steady.  It really does sound like 2 guys playing!

-I find that my bass drum and cymbals rarely change song-to-song, but snare and toms can really set a different tone.  I set 3 of the kitpieces for snares: a standard pop snare sound, a fatback ballad snare, and a piccolo.  Then, I have 3 separate notemaps on my Zendrum with the exact same mapping but different snares... I can change snare drums WHILE playing; no load time.  Same with toms; I load 5 toms, and use 4 at a time: the highest 4 with the piccolo kit, the lowest 4 for the fat kit.  I also have a pair of timbales that can act as toms 3 & 4 when I need that reggae vibe.  (Crossfaded with rimshot on top works well here too!)

-See previous posts about how to use the sustain button for cymbal chokes; it works in BFD2 as well.

More to follow!

Jer
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mark

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Re: BFD2: a couple tips-n-tricks
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 06:28:02 PM »

Hi zendrum dude, i want to run bfd2 with my zendrum but my receptor 1 will not do it.  how well is your mac working with bfd2 and your zendrum? or can you recommend another option to play bfd2.

thanks
mark
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Zendrumdude

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Re: BFD2: a couple tips-n-tricks
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 07:16:47 PM »

Yeah, I sold my Receptor so i could use BFD2.  I bought a MacBook Pro, and it rocks with BFD2. 

Here's my whole rig:
15" MacBook Pro, upgraded to 4Gb RAM
1TB Ext. Hard Drive, with eSATA ExpressCard connection
MOTU UltraLite MK3 midi/audio interface

It's an incredible system, and very stable.  The only issue I have had with my system is the fact that the eSATA connection "goes to sleep" if unused for 15-20 minutes (like on a band break) so I have to shut down my HD and eSATA, then restart them after a break.  That's it.  Never crashed on stage, though I have crashed it at home... keeping fingers crossed!  I did have the eSATA thing happen in a gig, and that really sucked.  My own inexperience contributed though...

I recommend it highly.  BFD2 is INCREDIBLE; I have yet to find a feature it lacks.  AWESOME.

Jer
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john emrich

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Re: BFD2: a couple tips-n-tricks
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 09:06:15 PM »

Just to chime in......

You can get a SIGG "Firewire 800 Express Card" for the Mac as well.  They do not go to sleep.  I have yet to crash it, and I run it for up to 10 hours at some of the trade shows.

John
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John Emrich
Drums, Percussion, Producer, Sound designer

Zendrumdude

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Re: BFD2: a couple tips-n-tricks
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 07:55:17 PM »

John,

Yeah, I should have gone that route rather than the eSATA.  With eSATA being something like 4x as fast, I thought i was doing the right thing.  Turns out it's a pain in my ass.  Unfortunately, my HD doesn't support FireWire 800.  Would 400 just suck, or would it work for me?  I know you need to keep audio interface and HD on different FireWire busses... if I did that, could I use FireWire 400 for my hard drive?

Thanks for all your excellent tech support!

Jer
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duojet

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Re: BFD2: a couple tips-n-tricks
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2009, 09:12:25 PM »

John,

Yeah, I should have gone that route rather than the eSATA.  With eSATA being something like 4x as fast, I thought i was doing the right thing.  Turns out it's a pain in my ass.  Unfortunately, my HD doesn't support FireWire 800.  Would 400 just suck, or would it work for me?  I know you need to keep audio interface and HD on different FireWire busses... if I did that, could I use FireWire 400 for my hard drive?

Thanks for all your excellent tech support!

Jer

there has to be a way to disable the HD going to sleep. I know you can do it in windows.

BTW thanks for the hihat crossfade tip. i tried it and it works great.
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Badger

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Re: BFD2: a couple tips-n-tricks
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2009, 09:58:33 PM »

Interesting problem. I don't know if this helps, but...

Some quick research indicates that this is a known issue with some eSATA drives and/or controllers. I know you have a Mac, but I did find the following link to a discussion by someone with a Seagate FreeAgent Pro eSATA drive who had a similar problem with the drive going into sleep mode after around 15 min. As he says, "Note that the "sleep" mode I'm referring to is an internal feature of the Seagate drive--it is not under the control of Windows Power Options in the Control Panel."

Upon consulting Seagate, the solution was to connect it to a Windows machine, install and run the Seagate supplied disc software, and set the Drive Sleep Interval to Never. His problem went away.

http://blogs.mcbsys.com/mark/?tag=/esata

Good luck!

Jeff
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mark

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Re: BFD2: a couple tips-n-tricks
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2009, 04:23:18 PM »

hey zendrumdude i don't get it.  in your tips-n-tricks aritcle on velocity cross fades with bfd2 you said  "I have the lowest 3 notes in the crossfade set to the HH tip sound, and the highest number set to the edge" what lowest 3 notes and what highest number? in the zendrum manual page 16 advanced programming/velocity crossfades, talks about hihat midi note numbers 41-44.  now if i set on my highhat  drum trigger pad midi note number 41 then look in bfd2 midi note section and see which piano note turns the light blue color then drag and drop the highhat and select closed hihat option.   then change the trigger pad to  midi note 42  then see which piano note turns light blue and drag and drop the highhat and select 1/4 closed option, and repeat the process until i get to note 44? because i did and it did not work.  what i don't understand is what you said about the lowest 3 notes and the highest number set to the edge.  sorry for the confusion on my part zendrumdude.  any help will be greatly appreciated.

thanks
mark
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Zendrumdude

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Re: BFD2: a couple tips-n-tricks
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2009, 09:44:13 PM »

Mark,

3 comments and I think you'll be there:

1)  DON'T worry about what the manual says for which numbers go with which sounds!  You'll have to create your own maps, because the velocity crossfade feature accesses 4 CONSECUTIVE note numbers (I think you know that part) and the General Midi map won't allow that without messing up toms and other instruments.

2)  I didn't use the 1/4 open, 1/2 open, etc. articulations.  The method I described was CLOSED sounds ONLY.  These were the 4 sounds/notes I used:

Midi note 70:  Closed HH with Tip
71 Closed Tip
72 Closed Tip
73 Closed Shank

Then, I set my Zendrum HH pad to *70 (meaning it will crossfade between 70, 71, 72, & 73).

3)  About Advanced mode (crossfade mode): the asterisk * I used above shows you that the red LED next to the note numbers in the Zendrum window is lit, showing you you're in crossfade mode.  If you don't know how to get there, you raise the pad's note number PAST 127, and then the numbers will start over with the LED lit.

In case I was not clear in my post long ago, this method I described is just for the closed hat sound.  When I play drumset, I like to accent the hi-hat by playing with the shaft of the stick on the edge of the cymbals for louder notes and just tip-on-top for quieter notes.  This Zendrum method allows me to sound just like, well, MYSELF!

Jer
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Kelsin

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Re: BFD2: a couple tips-n-tricks
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2009, 05:05:18 PM »

John,

Yeah, I should have gone that route rather than the eSATA.  With eSATA being something like 4x as fast, I thought i was doing the right thing.  Turns out it's a pain in my ass.  Unfortunately, my HD doesn't support FireWire 800.  Would 400 just suck, or would it work for me?  I know you need to keep audio interface and HD on different FireWire busses... if I did that, could I use FireWire 400 for my hard drive?

Thanks for all your excellent tech support!

Jer

I have my Apogee Duet + Western Digital MyBook both plugged into the same bus (Duet is actually plugged into the hard drive with firewire daisy chaining). No problems so far :) I do all of my mixing in the CPU so the firewire 400 is easily able to handle recording to harddrive + duet signals. One difference is I have BFD sounds on the HD of the Macbook. I would guess that there would be no issues with the sound card + bfd on same firewire bus though. As long as you're not tracking a drumset and playing 8 tracks back at the same time :)

I know BFD sounds on HD isn't totally recommended but works fine for me, and I love needing nothing but laptop + duet + zendrum for portable playing! I was a build-a-pc guy prior to last years Macbook purchase but I would never go back now. The Macbook has been incredible and I've had NO issues with it, the duet, Logic or my Zendrum except for a bad firewire cable.
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mark

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Re: BFD2: a couple tips-n-tricks
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2009, 05:09:55 PM »

wow, thanks zendrum dude after a little tweeking it works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i really like it for snare drum and ride cymbal but hh is cool also.  keep those tips and tricks comin .zendrum playing feels more and more  realistic.  all thats missing is the rebound from the stick.  hey....do you know how to do that???????  just kidding.  (maybe).

thanks again jer for your time and patience.  thats what cool about this forum and owning a zendrum,everybody is so darn helpful.

mark
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