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Author Topic: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series  (Read 19132 times)

Geosphere

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #45 on: May 20, 2009, 09:21:08 PM »

is there a new owners manual that explains how to apply all the new functionality of the new board?

Not yet.

It is being worked on.

It will be made available.
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Jaay

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #46 on: June 04, 2009, 10:10:31 AM »

Hey guys. 

I had some questions about the new upgrades.  I tried posting them earlier in this thread, but I don't think I expressed myself the way I wanted.  I also had some new questions come up after reading this thread again.  I figured others may have the same questions, so I'm putting them here.



REGARDING THE NEW CIRCUITBOARD
:
The functionality of the new circuitboard sounds incredible.  However, most of the talk about the response seems geared towards software programs, VSTs, etc.  There hasn't been a whole lot of talk about how the new innards talk to big ol' black-box modules.  Has there been any road-testing done with hardware solutions?  MIDI is MIDI, or so I believe, so I'm inclined to think that a new Z4 will have the same benefits, but on the other hand there's so much that the new VSTs and software programs can do that my DTX can't that it does bring up some concerns.  In short, I want to know whether my DTX and DR-3 will benefit from the same improved tracking and such as the software guys.


REGARDING THE NEW 1/4" INPUTS
:
I am slightly confused as to the purpose of these new 1/4" inputs.  On the first page of this post, David says "Yes, we can add up to four more independent triggers and two cc 1/4" jacks for Hihat and Volume pedals to your older Zendrum". 

However, later in the thread, Gina says:
"Are the two optional 1/4 jacks (CC controllers) assignable to any CC MIDI function?  'Yes'".

If they are user-assignable to any CC command, that's fine (though I would like some clarification on which it is), but I'd like to talk about the volume and hi-hat functions for a moment.  Does this mean that you can now control your hi-hat open and closed from one pad, and would a simple on-off footswitch work for the purpose?  Does stomping the pedal give you the foot-chick?  Regarding the volume command: what kind of pedal would you use for that?  If volume is meant to be controlled over a range, would you need an expression pedal? 

This thought also just occured to me: one of the inputs on my existing ZX is "sustain". Some brief searching reveals that CC Command 64 is "Hold Pedal", 66 is "Sustenuto" and 69 is "Hold Pedal 2".  Would these not fulfill the same functions?  If that's the case, couldn't I just have my Sustain Input rewired to this new soft CC input (assuming the latter of the two earlier statements is the case)?

With regards to the placement of these inputs: My Zendrum has a power switch on the back, and according to the first page of this post, the new jacks would be installed "next to" the other two.  If I got both new inputs installed, does that mean my switch would have to go? 


REGARDING THE NEW CROSSFADE CAPABILITY
:
Someone also asked about the new crossfade ability.  David replied:
"the crossfaded points are hard-switched at preset points for soft/medium,loud,HOT sequential MIDI note numbers. This eliminates the "flanging" sound when drum samples of similar genre are played simultaneously between the crossfade points on the older 3.0 rev circuitboards. The point is- in drum modules you could choose soft brush, to snare rod, to rock batter, to a head splitting rimshot on one trigger as a single composite drum sound."

I'm getting two separate impressions from this statement.  The first half seems to indicate that there is no more "blending" of sounds when one crosses the dynamic thresholds from Note 1 to Note 2 for example, but the second half seems to say that you can use all four sounds at once to make this "composite".  Unless that meant that this was a condition that existed in the past and does not now with the new circuitboard. 


Whew... okay, I think that's all of it.  I know there's a lot of text to wade through and I apologize for that, but having major surgery done to the inside of my most valued instrument does kind of scare me a little and I'd like to have all the facts in front of me before I make a decision.  Thank you all for your patience, I look forward to hearing what's going on.

-Jaay
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Pyrate

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #47 on: June 05, 2009, 04:30:09 AM »

Avast Thar Mateys,

      I guess it is time for the old Pyrate to ask a question.  While I am not quite ready for this great sounding upgrade, I wanted to know if the Jolly Roger Zendrum could be upgraded, not only with the new circuit board and software (I have no doubt that can be done) but I was also thinking of adding another trigger or two.  Given the nature of the Jolly Roger Zendrum, i.e. all that clear coat, I want to be certain that triggers can be added to specific locations without cracking that beautiful finish.  I am also eagerly awaiting the new manual, so I can read up on all the new features before I send in the Jolly Roger for an upgrade.

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
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Inspector 109

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #48 on: June 06, 2009, 10:46:26 AM »

Hey Everybody,

I've been down DEEP in the Z4 with the engineers for the last week.
There are more features that have been added that I will post about as soon as I come up for air again. It's even cooler than I thought!
Trying to get my head around it now to explain simply.
Back to Work...

In the meantime, ZenGina has been working on a Techno-Tribe photo album for the Zendrum (Inspector 109) Myspace page and would like for you to send your Zendrumming photo jpegs to her at zendrum@mindspring.com.

Talk to you soon,
David
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Inspector 109

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #49 on: June 10, 2009, 04:24:32 PM »

Hey Everybody,
Z4 rev.4.1 is ready for release and I'm putting the final touches on the three manuals today.
The code writing engineer added more features than we asked for, such as automatic trigger and input calibration, pedal polarity sensing and user definable cc message assignments, an audible MIDI note change, and a super fast scroll speed between all functions, not just on the numeric edits like before, but the left/right menu pages as well. I'm still getting used to the extra dedicated save function and blinking indicator lights when something has been changed to remind me to save my edits, but it's becoming routine in my mind now to scroll to the right and press + to write into that current Set Up's memory. There are advanced calibrations within the noise floor, volume, and polarity pages that require the +/- to enter, store, and exit, but MAN, you can really tune the response of every trigger like never before! That, and the increased speed and dynamics of 32 bit intelligent processing, and you have one giant leap in performance that must be personally experienced to fully appreciate.

The first Z4s are shipping this week.
Stay tuned for scheduling retrofit shipping arrangements.  Probably start filling those pre-orders in two weeks after we get caught up on all these new instrument orders. I'll be in touch with each one of you as the time approaches.

I've posted a photo here of my youngest and most energetic Beta tester- Angelo, who is 3.
He came by yesterday for a final stamp of approval before I turned the production model loose.
Cool kid. A future superstar drummer. (Log in to see the photo)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 08:29:54 AM by Inspector 109 »
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David Haney
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jeff sanders

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #50 on: June 14, 2009, 06:34:55 PM »

i was reading the first couple replies to this dated may, 1st. a couple tribe members were already talking about how improved the zen performed. did you ship beta models to them? whos a tribe member gotta kill to get on that list please? :)

zen on!
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Inspector 109

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #51 on: June 16, 2009, 07:27:51 PM »

Just shipped the first four Z4s today!
Just sent Geosphere the manual rewrites to convert into pdf asap so you can start asking questions about features after you have time to read it all.
More Z4 circuitboards coming next week. New instrument orders out the door first, retrofits beginning by July 1. Engineer went much further than asked to go and that's why we're two weeks behind right now. You'll like his work, though. It's amazing.
109
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David Haney
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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #52 on: June 17, 2009, 05:58:05 AM »

Yay I got one of the first four! Cheers!
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Jay M

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #53 on: June 23, 2009, 03:24:53 PM »

Will the Z4 allow a Roland HH pedal to work like it does on a Roland sound module?

thanks,
~Jay
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Inspector 109

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #54 on: June 23, 2009, 03:43:21 PM »

Hey Jay,
Yes, it will.
Anybody's pedal can be calibrated and used now.
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David Haney
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Jay M

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #55 on: June 23, 2009, 06:46:01 PM »

Well this is good news!  I'll plan for an upgrade in the near future. 

Too bad the LT doesn't have room for any more pads.  Is there room for more 1/4 inputs?  Although I dont' know how I'd use them;)

~Jay
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Inspector 109

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #56 on: June 23, 2009, 09:21:27 PM »

Been trying to figure that out- and no I don't think we can add anything more physically to an existing LT.
What is possible is that the sustain button and the sustain jack don't have to share the same input on the Z4 board anymore and the cc message (each one sends) is assignable now, and the 1/4" trigger input on the right side could also be repatched and repurposed if needed.
Either 1/4' jack can function as any cc control message number you want to send with it: Hihat/Expression/Volume/Envelope/Filter, etc., or send cc#64 for sustain. Same thing for the momentary button- If you want it to toggle something besides #64 sustain, you just change the number of the control message it sends and store it. Selecting between bells and/or whistles...maybe?
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 09:22:28 PM by Inspector 109 »
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Pyrate

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #57 on: June 24, 2009, 04:29:12 AM »

Avast Thar Inspector,

      I went looking on the website for the new manual to read and review.  I could not find it anywhere.  Pray tell, how do I get a copy?  Also, I never saw an answer as to whether or not new triggers could be added to the Jolly Roger Zen (I am concerned about cracking the high gloss finish).

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #58 on: June 24, 2009, 07:23:28 AM »

Hey guys. 

I had some questions about the new upgrades.  I tried posting them earlier in this thread, but I don't think I expressed myself the way I wanted.  I also had some new questions come up after reading this thread again.  I figured others may have the same questions, so I'm putting them here.



REGARDING THE NEW CIRCUITBOARD
:
The functionality of the new circuitboard sounds incredible.  However, most of the talk about the response seems geared towards software programs, VSTs, etc.  There hasn't been a whole lot of talk about how the new innards talk to big ol' black-box modules.  Has there been any road-testing done with hardware solutions?  MIDI is MIDI, or so I believe, so I'm inclined to think that a new Z4 will have the same benefits, but on the other hand there's so much that the new VSTs and software programs can do that my DTX can't that it does bring up some concerns.  In short, I want to know whether my DTX and DR-3 will benefit from the same improved tracking and such as the software guys.

Absolutely, Jaay. The Z4's sensitivity, speed, and touch improvements will be quite apparent with your DTX. The MIDI channel per trigger will allow you to set up "zones" for drums, percussion, melody, etc. You will also have access now to cc pedal functionality that wasn't available with the 3.0 before.


REGARDING THE NEW 1/4" INPUTS
:
I am slightly confused as to the purpose of these new 1/4" inputs.  On the first page of this post, David says "Yes, we can add up to four more independent triggers and two cc 1/4" jacks for Hihat and Volume pedals to your older Zendrum". 

However, later in the thread, Gina says:
"Are the two optional 1/4 jacks (CC controllers) assignable to any CC MIDI function?  'Yes'".

If they are user-assignable to any CC command, that's fine (though I would like some clarification on which it is), but I'd like to talk about the volume and hi-hat functions for a moment.  Does this mean that you can now control your hi-hat open and closed from one pad, and would a simple on-off footswitch work for the purpose?  Does stomping the pedal give you the foot-chick?  Regarding the volume command: what kind of pedal would you use for that?  If volume is meant to be controlled over a range, would you need an expression pedal? 

This thought also just occured to me: one of the inputs on my existing ZX is "sustain". Some brief searching reveals that CC Command 64 is "Hold Pedal", 66 is "Sustenuto" and 69 is "Hold Pedal 2".  Would these not fulfill the same functions?  If that's the case, couldn't I just have my Sustain Input rewired to this new soft CC input (assuming the latter of the two earlier statements is the case)?

Okay, here's where things got really cool on the Z4. Any jack can send any cc message that is recognized by your sounds, that includes hi-hat expression, volume, filter, OR sustain. MIDI spec between 0-127 is pretty sparse with unassigned numbers included and yes, some commands look like they would be duplicates. The defaults are set to 3 and 9 because they are generally unused. You can train the jacks by assigning the number that does what your module needs to see and also assign a different channel to the appropriate trigger and match the pedal's channel to send ONLY on that channel if you wish. Let's say you wanted drums on one channel and melodic piano on another (you know you've got a whole GM bank of instruments in your DTX, right?) You could assign the pedal to sweep the hihat on channel 10, and use the sustain button on channel 1 to sustain piano notes. As far as pedals, some modules can use simple sustain pedals for hihat sounds like my old Alesis modules did. Your DTX ideally wants to see the same cc sweep as their drumkit hihat pedal sends, but there may be other ways to get around this to have the chik sound on the pedal push of a sustain command. Another cool new feature is that now, you can use anybody's volume/expression as a hihat because it can be calibrated, properly polarized, and stored. I even tried using a hi-hat pedal and assigning #64 to it, and it worked for sustain, too. The reverse is true as well- Anybody's hi-hat pedal can now be told to function as a volume/sweep/filter, etc. Anything that can be toggled with a momentary switch on/off can be assigned to the sustain button as a command other than #64. With regards to the placement of these inputs: My Zendrum has a power switch on the back, and according to the first page of this post, the new jacks would be installed "next to" the other two.  If I got both new inputs installed, does that mean my switch would have to go?  I would recommend that we keep the jacks at three max if you want to keep the on/off switch


REGARDING THE NEW CROSSFADE CAPABILITY
:
Someone also asked about the new crossfade ability.  David replied:
"the crossfaded points are hard-switched at preset points for soft/medium,loud,HOT sequential MIDI note numbers. This eliminates the "flanging" sound when drum samples of similar genre are played simultaneously between the crossfade points on the older 3.0 rev circuitboards. The point is- in drum modules you could choose soft brush, to snare rod, to rock batter, to a head splitting rimshot on one trigger as a single composite drum sound."

I'm getting two separate impressions from this statement.  The first half seems to indicate that there is no more "blending" of sounds when one crosses the dynamic thresholds from Note 1 to Note 2 for example, but the second half seems to say that you can use all four sounds at once to make this "composite".  Unless that meant that this was a condition that existed in the past and does not now with the new circuitboard. 
The problem with the previous 4 note crossfade feature was a flanging effect when similar sounds were crossfaded from one trigger before. That's why I changed this to a 4 note hard switch function on the Z4. At the moment, we don't have 4 -note stacking capability, but the potential is certainly there if more code is written for it. The main issue we have to deal with here is a good way to edit everything we could possibly add- (or simply allow access to that's already there) That will entail a GUI design and then, the sky's the limit!


Whew... okay, I think that's all of it.  I know there's a lot of text to wade through and I apologize for that, but having major surgery done to the inside of my most valued instrument does kind of scare me a little and I'd like to have all the facts in front of me before I make a decision.  Thank you all for your patience, I look forward to hearing what's going on.

-Jaay
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 08:26:16 AM by Inspector 109 »
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David Haney
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Jaay

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Re: NEW FOR 2009: Zendrum Z4 Series
« Reply #59 on: June 24, 2009, 07:54:10 AM »

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and the top of my stick bag, sir.  I'm downloading this text so I can peruse it more carefully  and give it the attention it deserves.  Thank you again!

-Jaay
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