Zendrum Stuff > I don't have a Zendrum, but...

Some questions on the Zendrum


Hey people,
I discovered the Zendrum on YouTube several months ago, and it has since been on my mind 24/7. It seems to be my dream instrument; I’m a very percussively-minded musician who has never had the space (or permission from neighbors) to have an actual drum kit, but the Zendrum is a truly ingenious concept in that it allows musicians such as myself the capability to play with limited space and decibel constraints. I have been dead-set on saving up enough dough for one, but I think that I should ask a few clarifying questions before I make the final purchase.

1)   Is Zendrum compatible with Reason Drum Kits 2.0 (on Reason 3.0)? I know that Zendrum works with drum software such as BFD and DFH, but RDK 2.0 is what I currently use for drum sequencing, and I’ve never heard about someone using the Zendrum as the MIDI controller for Reason 3.0.
2)   Just how velocity sensitive are the Zendrum pads? With a program like Reason Drum Kits 2.0, there’s a pretty incredible range of dynamics, from ultra light ghost hits to full-force strikes. I want to be sure that a Zendrummer can fully produce that whole dynamics range in a live setting, from the very light touches to the hard hits.
3)   What does it mean when it says that Zendrum supports 16-MIDI channels? Does that mean that the Zendrum is limited to playing one 16-piece “kit” at a time? [sorry, I’m none too MIDI savvy yet!] Also not quite sure what is meant when it is said that “MIDI range of touch control is from 0 to 127.”
4)   Can any Zendrum users attest to which model they prefer, the laptop or ZX model?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

john emrich:
1) The Zendrum will work with Reason.  You only need a MIDI/audio interface to communicate with your computer.

2) The dynamic range of the Zendrum is greater than any other edrum product available!  Reason does not have the extensive layers that BFD or DFH have.  You should have no problems.

3) As a general rule, MIDI has 16 channels available per MIDI connection.  The touch control that you are talking about is actually called Velocity.

4) Your choice!  Most are playing the ZX model.

For you to use Reason, I suggest the following setup.  Build all of your kits within one Reason program.  Each drumset would have it's own Reason drum module.  At the top of the virtual rack, you will see a MIDI assignment section.  You can take each set (with its module) and assign it to a MIDI channel, 1-16.  On the back of the Zendrum you can change the MIDI channel and shift through the different kits.  This will keep you from having to install a new Reason program for each drumset that you want to play!

Hope this helps.

MIDI has 16 channels - this is independent of instrument sounds, it means basically if I want to trigger a Keyboard, both the Zend and the keyboard must be on the same channel.

ALL  MIDI is restriced to 127 levels of velocity, which to us means how hard you hit.  No more.  No less.  It is the midi standard.  Ghost notes are in the 1-20 range.  Solid hits are 80-100.  Accets are up to 127.  This is in Reason, BFD, whatever.

Thanks, John and Geo, for the great info! Zendrum definitely does seem like the right way to go for me, and after much deliberation, I think the laptop model is calling my name...

Hey man!

I use my ZX with Reason 3 all the time. I found a few free drumkits on the web for the NNXT Sampler and they are CRAZY COOL! I really like the Gretsch kit!!! I use the same method John described, having multiple modules in one song file so all my kits are right there when I want them. As for the dynamics with Reason... It is far better than the dynamics out of my Yami DTXtreme IIS Brain, I was a bit shocked actually. The dynamics of the Zendrum itself is amazing, more control than I expected - and I had heard that they were REALLY good.

When I got my Zen I pretty much ate dirt for a few months to afford it, and I do it again right now if I had to. Whatever it takes to get your hands on one of these incredible instruments. 

So, go mow lawns, vacuum pet poodles, cure peoples moosebumps, whatever it takes to get the dough (short of mugging old ladies!!!) and get a Zendrum! If you're anything like me you'll love it!

Hope this helps,



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