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Author Topic: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software  (Read 4942 times)

yogurtbacteria

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Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« on: January 19, 2010, 10:12:23 AM »

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.

Thanks!
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Pocket Master

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 01:19:44 PM »

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.

Rob
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yogurtbacteria

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 03:37:15 PM »

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?
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Pocket Master

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2010, 06:00:29 PM »

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.

Rob
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yogurtbacteria

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2010, 10:07:03 AM »

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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THUMPER

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2010, 10:41:24 AM »

I think you will need a USB to midi  Like a Fast lane. Some here use a MOTU ULtralite . I have taken the headphone out of my computer to get sound out but I think that this way is NOT reccommended?  Some one with more experience with software should come by and answer this better.  Thumper
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Thumper

yogurtbacteria

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2010, 10:47:11 AM »

Thanks THUMPER. Do you know what the functional difference will be between USB-MIDI and Firewire-MIDI. I have a USB-MIDI cable I could use if that's all I would need.
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Tom Roady

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2010, 01:43:34 PM »

I feel the absolute simplest is to get a M-Audio Uno...less than $40...plug it into the out of the Zendrum Merge box...put the USB on the UNO into your Macbook ...then open up Garageband and it should automatically see the UNO midi device..accept it... and the first track will automatically be a Piano.....open up a new virtual instrument track..choose a drumkit from Garageband....put setup #14 or #15 on your Zendrum (this would be a general midi drumkit map...put the headphones on and play....that I really feel is the cheapest easiest way to go with a MacBook...hope that helps..."the Mayor"
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THUMPER

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2010, 08:31:15 PM »

I have heard that USB2 is slightly faster than firewire but I am not certain. Otherwise it is just a different path to do the same function. Chime in anyone if this is not correct Thumper
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Thumper

Zendrumdude

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2010, 09:53:23 AM »

YB,

I know this is an old post but I just stumbled upon it.

Another thing that may help you to know is that ANY midi-capable device can be a sound module for your Zendrum... a midi keyboard, drum machine, sampler, etc.  My first Zendrum module was an Alesis QSR keyboard sound module, and the drum sounds weren't half bad.

If you are planning to use the Zendrum for drum sounds, as most do, check whatever gear you may want to try as a module to see if it does indeed have drum kits... my Kurzweil electric piano, for instance, does not.

And, I love your username!

Jer
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spundun

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 04:18:17 PM »

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. 

Question about this old postof yours. If you're on MIDI Jet Pro wireless, where do your  foot pedal/controller connect to? Is there a place other than the Zendrum itself where you connect these? Can you connect those directly into the laptop? I mean if you have the pedals connected to the Zd, then now you're tethered to the pedal, right?
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Pocket Master

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2010, 05:51:00 PM »

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. 

Question about this old postof yours. If you're on MIDI Jet Pro wireless, where do your  foot pedal/controller connect to? Is there a place other than the Zendrum itself where you connect these? Can you connect those directly into the laptop? I mean if you have the pedals connected to the Zd, then now you're tethered to the pedal, right?

I have changed the way I hook my rig up since I purchased my MacBook and Superior Drummer.  But to answer your question about how it was hooked up, everything was after the drum module.  Basically, my ZX was powered by the battery box, the battery box is connected to the MIDIJet Pro transmitter.  That is the wireless portion of my setup, from there it would send the signal to the receiver which would be connected to my drum module.  I would then just run my audio out to the volume pedal, and then the volume pedal out to the amp or PA.  When I purchased the foot controller, I had to purchase a MIDI merge brick by MIDI Solutions which allows me to have multiple MIDI inputs going to one MIDI out (which would be my drum module), then from the module to the volume pedal and then out to the amp or PA.  I was still wireless and everything else was hooked in after the wireless receiver.

Since then I have my MacBook Pro and use Superior Drummer 2.0.  I load SD2 through GarageBand as a VST and still use my MIDI merge brick from MIDI Solutions to hook up my foot controller.  I use the foot controller to control GarageBand’s volume and also use it as a sustain pedal for the melodic stuff if I am using it at the time (more GarageBand).  I still go wireless but hook it up to the MacBook now instead of the drum module.

Hope that answers more questions than creates more.

Rob
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spundun

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2010, 08:10:29 PM »

Thanks PM that was very helpful.
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Pyrate

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2010, 10:22:15 AM »

Avast Thar Pocket Master,

     Perhaps ye could provide a diagram of your current setup.  Aye know it would help me immensely.

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
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TNT

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Re: Basic Necessary Hardware/Software
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2010, 11:28:13 AM »

Ooops!

Nevermind... I didn't pay attention to whom the post was directed.    :-[
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 02:58:42 AM by TNT »
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