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Author Topic: Let's talk about portability for a sec...  (Read 1181 times)

Jaay

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Let's talk about portability for a sec...
« on: October 16, 2006, 08:29:24 PM »

So; one of the reasons that many of us like our Zendrums is the ability to pack a rather large drumset into a very small space; yes?  I'm gonna take this as a given.

However, there have been gigs I have done with my band in the last few months where I realized that even the mighty Zendrum had it's limitations.  Here I had no outlet.  There I had to carry my pedalboad and plug that in.  Outdoor gig?  I'm banging on a bucket.  This seemed to me a situation that needed rectifying.

Enter: Jaay's ZenRigmkII!

I went to Guitar Center yesterday and bought myself a BOSS DR-3 drum machine--battery-powered.  Then I bought a Crate TX15 amplifier--battery-powered.   And the crown jewel in it all was a Battery Merge Block from our very own Chris deHass.

I am now fully and totally self-contained.  I can play my Zendrum out in the middle of a field if I felt so inclined.  The possibilities for where I can take this instrument have just been blown wide open, and I'm very excited about seeing where I can go with it.  The next step is to actually rig up a harness for this thing so I can strap it to my back and go full-bore mobile (kinda like wireless backwards!!  ;D ), but for right now I'm still learning the gear.

A word about the gear:  The DR-3 is somewhat limited in its sounds.  You can't tune the pitch on any of the instruments, the percussion group is a little limited.  It tracks beautifully, but because it's a drum machine and not a sound module, I'm having a slightly harder time switching the kits and putting the sounds where I want them.  I'm sure it can be done, but it'll take some time on my part.  

The TX15 amp also has it's own limits.  Because the battery is internal, if it putters out on me I can't swap it out and be back on my feet, so unless I want to investigate external betteries I'm kinda stuck there.  However I'm gonna wait for that until the situation arrives.  Because it's such a small amplifier, I'm picking some higher-tuned sounds in the DR-3 to get the punch without needing quite so much low-end.  The way I figure it, a jazz or bebop-type tuning scheme in my lower instruments is the way to go.

Like Geo said, break the rules.   I think I just tore up the book, and I'm gonna see where the pages are gonna fall.  Take care folks.

-Jaay
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"Batman Purple" ZX, Roland TD-9, MIDI Solutions Footswitch Controller, misc. triggers.

Michael Render

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Re: Let's talk about portability for a sec...
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2006, 09:31:45 AM »

Great ideas. I did something similar with a HPD-15. I found an external portable DVD battery will power the Handsoinc for 6 hours. Although I don't have a battery powered amp, this allows me to play using my wireless and run around.
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Mad DR. P

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Re: Let's talk about portability for a sec...
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2006, 02:35:20 PM »

all great ideas. As for myself, I bought a small very portable 2 stroke gas powered generator. It has more than enough power to run a small bass amp, 2 sound modules, and a small mixing board. I know you must be thinking its kinda loud, but that is not true at all. It's very quiet, and 15 feet away and around a corner of a house I could barely hear it over us jamming. I found it on ebay new for under 300 bucks, not bad when your considering portability. And, I use the same rig no matter where I am playing.
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retro surfer

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Re: Let's talk about portability for a sec...
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2006, 03:36:46 PM »

Yep it's fun I have a similar set-up with a Roland PMA-5 I picked up on E-bay and a rechargeable amp.  The PMA-5 is a great little module only about the size of a paperback it has limited sounds but what it does have sound very good  and it has a tone of features for it's size.  It was designed for song-writing on the go and if if you've never seen one think of a midi palm pilot they quit making it a number of years back and no-one really created anything like it  to bad really allot of fun
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