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

Basic Necessary Hardware/Software

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I've been searching around and haven't been able to find an answer to this on the forums--feel free to link me to one if I've missed it.

I know very little about MIDI setups and I was wondering if someone wouldn't mind describing the different basic pieces of hardware and/or software needed to get from a Zendrum to an amplifier and how they're setup. I've got an amp and a reasonably powerful Macbook, and I'm not sure what other stuff I'd need to get in addition to those to start making music. Or what I would need to get if I wanted to use something other than the Macbook.


Pocket Master:
This is what I am using and it works well for me.  I play out live and do not do any recording so I can only speak for playing out.  I have a Zendrum ZX with the 3.1 chip.

Zendrum ZX
Ernie Ball Volume Pedal
Roland TD-6V drum module
FC-300 MIDI foot controller
Behringer 300 watt keyboard amp
MIDI Jet Pro wireless MIDI unit
MIDI Solutions MIDI merge box

My setup time is about 10 minutes.  The FC-300 foot controller allows me to switch between different kits without using the keypad on the back of the ZX.  One problem I was having is that there is no MIDI thru port on the FC-300 so my ZX was not triggering the module when the ZX was connected to the FC-300, the module only excepted inputs directly from the foot controller and did not see the commands coming from my Zen.  To fix this problem I had to purchase a MIDI merge box from MIDI Solutions (I ordered it from Guitar Center) which allows the ZX to send messages to my drum module and the foot controller can also send messages simultaneously, all the box does is merge the two MIDI signals to a single output that my drum module receives.  The MIDI Jet Pro (which you can have installed into your ZX now) allows me to run wireless and has worked great.  Then I just run my 1/4" out of the drum module to my volume pedal (you can have a volume knob installed directly on the ZX now as well) and then a cable to the amp. From the amp I can run another line to the PA if need be depending on the size of the venue.  There are plenty of tribe members on here that use Macs to run their sound samples, I just happen to have an actual drum module from my electronic kit that works just fine.

Hope I didn't confuse you and that this helps a little bit.


Thanks for that--it was somewhat confusing, but I think I get it for the most part. Looking over your set-up, would I be correct in saying that the only absolutely 100% required pieces to produce sound are the Zendrum, the drum module, and the keyboard amp?

Pocket Master:
Yes those three items (Zendrum, Drum Module, and Keyboard amp for stage volume) are all I need to play and get the sound out.  I purchased the volume pedal so I wouldn't have to reach over and turn the knob on the module allowing me to still use both of my hands to play.  I purchased the foot controller so I could switch from a rock kit to latin kit right in the middle of the song without using my hands.  The MIDI Jet Pro just allows me to roam free around the stage or even into the crowd.  When I first got my ZX, all I had was the drum module and the Zendrum itself and it was great.  As I played out I realized that I was running through the PA but had no control over my stage volume, that is when I got the amp.  Then as I played out more I thought about the volume adjustment issue and so on.  The foot controller, wireless, volume pedal are just nice extras that only enhance my sound.  Sorry if I confused you on what the basic needs are to support the Zendrum.


Hmmm...so if I were to hook it up to my Mac and garageband or some such, would it effectively act in place of the drum module?


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