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Author Topic: On the topic of Zendrum sounds  (Read 1260 times)

Inspector 109

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On the topic of Zendrum sounds
« on: April 06, 2010, 06:54:29 PM »

Hey Everybody,
We've been very busy here with R&D projects lately.
We've designed, built, and delivered Zendrumdude's 30 trigger LT-D, and we've enjoyed watching you debate the merits of an expanded production model version of his custom layout idea. We've also designed and built a 28 trigger ZAP starting with the original diagonal grid layout where almost every inch of the face was filled with triggers- no room left for the branding iron logo!

These projects are born by your imagination and made possible by the Z4 circuitry available in all new Zendrums and also as retrofits to existing Zendrums. Still going strong with instrument rebuilds and wireless installs, additional triggers, knobs and jacks, etc., so the Custom Shop is always busy with something interesting to scratch our heads over. The answer is almost always "yes" now.

I wanted to clarify our thinking here regarding sounds and maybe tie together some ongoing threads about this.

We have no plans to make sounds generate from inside the Zendrum although I can see where that may appeal to some users. The cost of undertaking such a project would be quite large, and I'm afraid, quite limiting sonically.
The power consumption, cabling, and a static library of sounds would immediately date the Zendrum in a way we have avoided for over 15 years of production.

What makes more sense to us is a separate robust sound player unit, with expandable/upgradeable library.
This would be something that ANY musician could have the option to use with ANY Zendrum, old or new.
This is also more in keeping with our idea that Zendrums should never become obsolete, but instead should grow with the player's talent and taste over time, like any fine acoustic instrument always has.

We are now seriously discussing the development of an EXTERNAL sound player for reasonable end-user cost, with simple hardware and intuitive software. This is also something that could serve as a MIDI expander for any existing drumset trigger interface- Roland, Alesis, Yamaha, KAT, Pintech, etc., or any keyboard or computer system.
Use the Zendrum, or use your drumpads, or both. It serves as the ideal system for first timers and gigging musicians alike or anyone else who needs good sounds in a portable, reliable package. I should know because I've been searching for the "right" thing for a long, long time.

This will still take quite a while to get done, but we're already working on the first sound libraries to go in it now and debating amongst ourselves about memory, speed, and connectivity. You can help steer this discussion, too.
Don't worry, our consistant aim is to never leave anybody behind as we move forward, and your comments and practical ideas are always very welcome.
David
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David Haney
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MustangMick

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Re: On the topic of Zendrum sounds
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 02:22:52 PM »

Mmmmm.....mmmmmm and more mmmmmm 8)

Mick

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Re: On the topic of Zendrum sounds
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010, 03:22:10 PM »

This is a great idea.  I think the daunting part for a lot of folks, evidenced in recent forum threads, is the ultra-steep learning curve inherent in software systems.  The way I read this idea, it sounds like it bridges the gap between plug-n-play modules, and ultra-flexible software systems.  Bring it on!  Let me be a tester!

Jer
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Pyrate

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Re: On the topic of Zendrum sounds
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2010, 03:27:29 PM »

Avast Thar Mateys,

     Methinks that the Olde Pyrate should be a tester.  After all, with only two functioning brain cells left in me head (the result of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum), if a simple minded denizon of the deep such as meself can figure it out, then anyone can.

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
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Re: On the topic of Zendrum sounds
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2010, 08:22:14 PM »

Have I ever mentioned my middle name is "beta"? "the mayor"
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Pocket Master

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Re: On the topic of Zendrum sounds
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2010, 09:17:54 PM »

The Pocket Master wants to put his bid in to test the next best thing to come out of Zendrum HQ.  Pick me Pick me Pick me........

Rob
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Zebrawood ZX-Z4, 30 Triggers, Honey Sunburst Flame Maple ZX-Z4, 29 Triggers on the ZX BABY!!!!, Apple® MacBook® Pro, Ableton Live, Superior Drummer 2.0 with expansion packs, BFD2, Internal Wireless Midijet Pro, Roland FC-300 MIDI Foot Controller, QSC K12 and Ksub

Slavedave

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Re: On the topic of Zendrum sounds
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2010, 09:34:08 AM »

Hi Inspector 109, were you thinking along the lines of the Receptor or something totally different? I think that many of us have invested in proprietary sound libraries and would love a module that could eliminate taking the laptop, interface and attached sundries out and about with us whilst allowing us access to our favourite kits.  I recognise it is often a case of what is to be compromised ( for example, I used to play my custom vdrums with a Roland TD-8 module upgraded with a couple of v-expression vex packs.  It was easily better than my laptop system with all of it's sample libraries in terms of portability, kit piece tweaking with hardware faders, kit change speed, headphone monitoring to a click etc BUT the sounds didn't compare to software vsti's).  At the time, I played EZdrummer and Battery and always felt that the TD-8 sounds were a poor substitute but i could transport my zendrum (or Trapkat) and the td-8 so readily and conveniently to practices etc.
I eventually sold the TD-8 to fund other things but still occasionally hanker after it's convenience.   My laptop system is as compact as I can get it now (all encased in a SKB studio to Go unit) and it is reasonably portable but IF your proposed system was open-ended in terms of what sounds could be loaded then it would make for a VERY interesting proposition.  With decent kits coming under 1-2 gigs in size, I could see usb drive kit changes or SSD storage as real space savers.  I would be prepared to forego vast tweakability in order to get a rock-solid, high quality sample player that I could either chuck into a gig bag or a 1u / 1/2u rack space that would boot quickly and allow me to get up and running.
Interesting developments in Zendrum land in any case.  Look forward to more posts about it.
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DrumWagon

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Re: On the topic of Zendrum sounds
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2010, 09:56:32 AM »

Pretty much just ditto'n what Slavedave is saying there.  If were talking something along the lines of a V-Machine then I'd be very excited to see where this goes!   

http://www.smproaudio.com/produkte/v-machines.html

-dk
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Inspector 109

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Re: On the topic of Zendrum sounds
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2010, 06:03:26 AM »

Hey Everybody,
Thanks for the posts!
To clarify, there are two lines of thinking here that do intersect.

One is a simple player that could hold a limited number of samples, be nearly as small as a MergeBrick and include the MergeBrick's functionality, too.
It wouldn't have tons of memory, but would be small enough to go in a gigbag pocket.
That's the plug and play first-timer system that we've been searching for, but so far, no one else has produced it successfully. For people who ask- What else do I need to play Zendrum?, this would be our in-house answer with user-friendliness as the main criteria. This would be based around the idea that we would use our own sample library and OS. Basically a Zendrum Module with usb for GUI editing and sample loading. It would also take a lot of time and effort and funds to flesh out, even though the technology is readily available these days. Still my favorite solution for making a Zendrum system EASY for the user, and I could stop being the clearinghouse tech support person for everything else on the planet that can be used as a sound source.

The second, more immediate idea is taking the latest hot-rod computer parts and making them roadworthy.
The processing power will easily rival my MacBook Pro, but we would instead use solid state drives and open-ended software so you could load whatever VST host you wanted for sounds.
We're testing a small prototype today using Battery with the sample library we've created of our own personal drums- TRS Vintage and Modern. Our immediate goal is to make something I can't destroy and let me prove the concept first on my live gig, then all you guys can take a whack at it.

I know there are many interesting products out there, but to be honest, none of them were designed with Zendrum in mind and we've already waited 16 years for someone else to get it done.
We'll start from this premise-
I'm a lifelong professional drummer. I break things for a living in public places.
Any of you know what I mean?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 06:09:29 AM by Inspector 109 »
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David Haney
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Slavedave

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Re: On the topic of Zendrum sounds
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2010, 10:47:59 AM »

Both very interesting propositions, Inspector109 ( the caveat with the first option is to have a sufficiently sampled  kit to rival existing sound modules, eg rack mounted versions of Korg, Yamaha and Roland synths that have reasonable drum collections in them / on add-in cards.  A half rack mount module still remains a reasonably portable alternative to a merge brick module thingumyjig).  As ever though, much would rest on price points etc.
You like breaking things and I like fixing broken things.......will you marry me!!!!  Err, sorry Gina, got carried away :D
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