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Author Topic: Some questions about wireless  (Read 4512 times)

mojotooth

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Some questions about wireless
« on: February 01, 2010, 04:51:46 PM »

Thanks in advance for taking the time to assist a newbie Zendrummer wannabe. :) I tried to do some limited due diligence searching the forum, but wasn't very successful finding answers to my questions. Please don't feel pressured to answer all of these if you don't want.

Regarding wireless options... I'm led to believe from the catalog that the integrated wireless system is only available on the Z1-09. Assuming that's the case:

  • Is that wireless power, or MIDI, or both?
  • What are the battery requirements for the integrated wireless?
  • Is there a wart or brick of some kind that juts out of the body of the Z1-09 or is it entirely contained within the tail of the instrument?
  • Are there any downsides to the integrated wireless that I should know about before I order? Or to the Z1-09 in general?
  • Are people that have a wireless brick on their ZX pretty happy with that?

As you can see, I'm leaning towards the Z1 because of the wireless option, but if the prevailing wind is that it's not all it's cracked up to be, I'll go with the ZX and either live without wireless or roll my own solution. I think I would rather not have wireless at all than have a huge lump poking out of the tail of the instrument.

I'm getting very excited to be a Zendrummer. A long time ago I discovered on the Alesis SR-16 that I could map each octave of my synth to a drum map, and this led to me exploring two-handed synth drumming in a way I haven't been able to duplicate with any device. The Zendrum clearly takes that concept to a whole new exciting level.
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DrumWagon

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2010, 05:13:22 PM »

The wireless option is *very* cool.  I can't imagine ever going back to being wired  ;D

Nothing sticks out of the Zendrum, it's all internal.  A single 9-volt powers everything.  Here's a pic, note that I had to give up a pedal/trigger jack in order to fit the battery box:


I've personally been using rechargeable 9-volts with great success.  I've never gone longer that 3 continuous hours with one so I can't say how long they really last, but they last long enough.  I always charge it up fully the night before and I also carry a spare alkaline for emergencies.

The only downside I've encountered so far is that I can no longer use a wired connection to my TD-20.  Wireless to it works fine, and wired connections do work if I go THRU another device first, but direct wired hookups no longer work.  My Alesis, E-MU and various firewire interfaces all still work fine when connected directly though, so must be some sorta handshake error with the Roland unit.
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mojotooth

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2010, 07:28:43 PM »

Wow, fantastic. Thanks for including the photo, that bit of your time spent is valuable to my decision process and I appreciate it.

Hm, so you're missing one of the 1/4" jacks on the back where the battery bay door goes. I imagine I can probably live with that. There's also the one-off bug of some kind where your Zendrum can't talk to a particular hardware unit. Well.. that's a little disconcerting, only because I'm hoping I don't win the "lottery of MIDI misbehavior" with my setup.

I'm probably not going to use a hardware module on the other end, but rather go software all the way. Addictive Drums is something I have been having a very fun time with lately, so I'll probably wire the Z1 to a MIDI port on my laptop and run it through Cantabile or some other VST host software. Maybe SONAR if I have trouble getting Cantabile to do what I want, although that's somewhat of a crapshoot as well...

Thanks again! Anybody else want to weigh in?
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Zendrumdude

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2010, 06:45:30 PM »

Several years ago I put a MidiJet Pro wireless inside my ZX myself, with Zendrum's internal battery option (just like in the pic above.)  I love it.  No problems... except that same issue: I too am unable to run wired to my Roland TD6.  Not a problem, I never use the thing anyway.  5 hrs. battery life in a Duracell.  get it!

Jer
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mojotooth

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2010, 12:52:46 AM »

Done and DONE! :)
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DrumWagon

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2010, 11:49:07 AM »

In addition to Roland, it appear some M-Audio equipment can no longer be used when wired directly.   Neither my Axiom-25 nor my Midisport Uno are functioning.  :-\
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randtor

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2010, 11:59:02 AM »

I haven't upgraded to the wireless option yet. I am running a Roland TD-10, so I will probably have the same problem of non communication should I choose to go wireless. But I don't know if really hits me. I don't mind the wire thing. I don't want to be changing batteries during the evening, or run out of battery power in the middle of a set or song. Is there enough upside using wireless to offset potential problems like non communication and loss of battery power at a bad time?

Also, losing the the input jack on the back... I haven't used mine at all, but I am going to start experimenting with a foot pedal for bass drum. If you lose one jack, will the other still be usable for a foot pedal option? Drumwagon, my switches say "foot pedal" and "sustain", but I notice your picture doesn't specify which one you still have. And, is the battery readily accessible to switch out? Looks like you have to unscrew the cover, but I assume that is not correct?

Thanks,

RandO
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peabody58

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2010, 07:41:34 PM »

... I am running a Roland TD-10, so I will probably have the same problem of non communication should I choose to go wireless. ...

The TD-10 is not impacted, only the TD-20.  They have already found a fix for it.  My Draken is getting my outboard wireless moved inside right now.  I never had a problem with my Wieless, Z4 and TD-10exp.  I'm really looking forward to no wireless units/battery box taped to my back.  Less things to worry about and only one battery to chage vs. 3.
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THUMPER

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2010, 08:28:32 PM »

They have already found a fix ?  I have been a little concerned as my custom Zendrum is being fitted for internal wireless and I DID want the ability to  have wireless or wired on my TD-20.  I have been using a midi jet Pro for a couple of years now and it has been flawless up to now   making sure that the batteries were always charged was something that I did the night before every gig but sometimes  I just  want to plug in the merge brick and play thru different set ups wired.  so to lose that ability was a concern for me. I would like to see confirmation that this little hiccup has been rectified. That would make me feel better. Thumper
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Thumper

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2010, 08:32:59 PM »

You can always plug your foot pedal into your module if you have one. I am not sure if that can be done with the software route or not? does anyone know if you can ? Thumper
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randtor

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2010, 01:44:11 PM »

I have a couple of PS-15 foot switches that I have used with my SPD6 module for a kick and a hi hat response. I plugged each of them individually into the ZD, and no joy. I tried them in the bass drum jack in the back of the TD-10 and no response there either. I wonder why? They both work, as I can use them to change drum kits when plugged into the TD-10 foot switch jack. And they seemed to work fine with the SPD6 as mentioned.
Must be something to do with the software setting on the TD-10 I assume, and the same with the ZD?

 Any ideas? It would be pretty cool to use the footswitch for bass drum occasionally.

Rand
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 01:45:53 PM by randtor »
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Zendrumdude

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2010, 02:43:36 PM »

Rand,

There is a difference between a footswitch and a trigger pedal.  The footswitch will work for the sustain input on the Zendrum, but you'll need a trigger pedal for the bass drum input, ditto for the bass drum input on your module.

Jer
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randtor

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2010, 10:16:00 PM »

Jer,
Makes sense, thats why they don't work I guess, LOL! Funny that they did work to trigger the bass drum and hi hat on the Roalnd SPD-6 unit, but I suppose that has to do with the way the SPD-6 is set up. So I will need to get a trigger pedal to make this work then. The foot switch did work with the sustain on the melodic sounds, and it also worked to change the drum kits.
Thanks!
Rand
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DrumWagon

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2010, 06:30:59 PM »

Just following up here on the subject of wired connections to some Roland modules not working once an internal MIDIJet is installed.

I've received instructions from David's electrical engineer on how to fix this, and applied the fix last night.  I'm not advocating you attempt this fix yourself, but if you're brave or simply curious I've written up instructions along with some photos here:

http://nebiru.com/drumWagon/index.cfm/2010/7/15/Getting-a-wireless-Zendrum-to-play-nice-with-a-wired-Roland-module

cheers.
-darin
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randtor

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Re: Some questions about wireless
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2010, 08:40:30 PM »


Well, I suppose I should follow up too... I went Wireless..... and I LOVE it!

When I upgraded to the Z4, I added 6 triggers and the MIDIjet Pro wireless app as pictured above. It is fabulous. I run a TD-10, and have not had any trouble using the wired app as well, but I won't go back to that unless I have a catastrophic failure of the MIDIjet... argh! I shudder at the thought, LOL!
I am using the 9 volt Li-Polymer 520mAh IPowerUS batteries, all rechargable, as recommended by Dave. They are not cheap... 4 batteries and a charger for around $100. BUT... I have one battery I use, and another as a backup all charged. I haven't even opened the other two yet, nor do I see a need for them in the near future. I have "tested" the battery staying power. I used one battery for home practice for about 3 hours, then at a show for 4 hours and I left the zendrum on the entire time), then at a band practice, where it finally gave out after about 2 more hours. I would say you can easily play a gig with a fully charged battery and have no worries.
Rand
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