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Author Topic: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob  (Read 2810 times)

STRUT

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Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« on: August 17, 2010, 06:02:12 PM »

OK, I have never used wireless anything so bare with me on the noob questions.

1. I would be triggering sounds via software so my question is, with an internal wireless setup, what gets connected to my audio interface? With non wireless, I connect the MIDI out of the Zendrum to the MIDI in of my interface but with wireless, what exactly gets connected to the MIDI in port of my Soundcard?

2.  I see there's the option to get the MIDIJet Pro wireless system External *or* the Internal wireless system with shared 9V battery box installed. Am I correct with this assumption or do I need the MIDIjet external system regardless to work with the internal one? Is this external box the mediator between the Zendrum and my soundcard?

Sorry if my questions may be lacking some sense somewhere but again, I am a complete noob to wireless.

3. What's the distance one can travel away from the gear when using the wireless? Is either the external or internal wireless better as far as distance? Or is one better than the other for any reason(s)?

4. I assume I can install the wireless on ANY Zendrum or is it exclusive to the ZI-09? This seems obvious to me being that the option for wireless is available in the accessories section but I just want to play dumb and double check.

I really appreciate the patience with the noob questions and say thanks in advance!
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Pocket Master

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 08:47:05 PM »

I am using the external MIDI Jet Pro wireless system.  You have a transmitter and a receiver.  The transmitter is plugged into the Zendrum and then the receiver would plug into your sound device (computer, sound module, and so on)  The internal wireless from what I understand is the same transmitter, but out of the case and mounted directly inside the Zendrum.  You would still have the same receiver and hook it up the same way, the only difference is once you turn on the Zendrum, the wireless inside will turn on as well because it is powered off of the same power source.  As for the distance, the specs say up to 300 feet, I have not gone more than 50 feet because of a delay from the mains sound system.  It isn't a delay from the wireless, just the fact that the further away you are from the sound source, the more delay there is from what you are actually hearing.  Wireless in ear monitors can eliminate this problem, but a good one can cost up to $1000.

Hope this clears up your questions.

Rob
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STRUT

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 10:01:17 AM »

Excellent info Pocketmaster. Thank you!

Quote
the only difference is once you turn on the Zendrum, the wireless inside will turn on as well because it is powered off of the same power source
So does this mean that it automatically bypasses the MIDI port or if i choose to, can I still go non wireless with the wireless powered on? I believe this is answered in the other thread but I want to double check it by asking  here.

Quote
I am using the external MIDI Jet Pro wireless system.  You have a transmitter and a receiver.

One main priority is portability. What I am thinking of doing is getting the ZX w/o wireless and get the external wireless later. How big/bulky is the external transmitter and receiver? Can they fit in a backpack? Approximately how much do they weigh?


Lastly, is the external battery box mandatory for the MIDI jet pro or is it optional? If it *is* mandatory, what are the dimensions of the unit?

Thanks again for the help!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 10:04:10 AM by STRUT »
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DrumWagon

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2010, 12:46:25 PM »

Not sure portability enters the equation here.  If you *don't* use the wireless receiver, you'll then need to use a merge brick to power the Zendrum.  The receiver and the merge brick are essentially the same size, so there is no gain in portability there.

Of course if you do go wireless, it's wise to carry a merge brick and cable as a backup should something go wrong, so I suppose it could be argued that a wired setup is more portable, if one doesn't care about having backups.

My advice is to get the internal wireless option - you won't regret it.  It's far less clumsy than an external wireless and battery setup, and you can still use a wired connection if you need to.
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STRUT

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2010, 02:16:06 PM »

Quote
If you *don't* use the wireless receiver, you'll then need to use a merge brick to power the Zendrum.  The receiver and the merge brick are essentially the same size, so there is no gain in portability there.
Ok so either way, I'll have to carry an external component regardless. But exactly how big are the wireless receiver and merge brick? Can they fit in a backpack or?

Let me see if I understand this correctly:
1. If I go with the internal wireless w/ shared 9V battery, it'll cost $399.

2. To play it safe and/or to utilize the zendrum without the wireless receiver, I need to get the "Merge Brick
(remote 12vdc power supply/heavy duty MIDI merge box)" for $70. I assume this merge brick comes with the zendrum if i *don't* get the wireless option? Otherwise I have to buy it separately?

3. What exactly is the difference between (a) Battery Mergebox For Wireless Operation for $75 and (b) External Battery Box for the same price? Or are these the same thing? If I have internal wireless for my Zendrum, do I need to concern myself with either of these?
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Pocket Master

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 02:50:49 PM »

It comes with a merge brick, the $70 is if you need another one.  The Zendrum uses DC power.  The merge box converts AC voltage (120V in the U.S.) to DC.  If you go with the battery box, you will need to put a 9V battery in it in order to power the Zen.  There is a MIDI connector to connect to the Zen, and a MIDI connector to connect to the wireless transmitter.  These boxes are no bigger than a direct box that guitar or keyboard players use to convert 1/4" to XLR.  They will fit in a backpack with no problem, they are very light as well.  My biggest concern is that the antenna does not come off so I always worry that if I don't pack it just right, one would snap off.  I haven't had a problem so far.  The battery power supply is not any bigger.  The battery pack has a clip to use on your belt or as I do, attach it to my strap holding my ZX.  I put a piece of velcro on the MIDI Jet transmitter and the battery box so they essentially are one piece that I can seperate if need be.  I know you could buy the external wireless, and when you are ready, send it in to Zendrum and for a price, install it into your Zen at a later date.  If you are going to buy a new Zen, it would probably be worth it to just have it installed as it is built because the price is the same.

Rob
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peabody58

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2010, 03:05:14 PM »

I have done all three power methods.

1.  Merge Brick (in fact I have the first one ever made).  Huge improvement over the 'plastic' Merge Box.  You are however tied down by a cable.  I hate cables!!

2.  External MIDIJet Pro with Battery Merge Box.  This was an evolutionary leap for me.  However, you still have to have a 1' cable connecting to the Zendrum along with the 2 external components, again connected with another 1' cable.  I had mine well affixed to the back of my strap, however, I lost track of the number of times a cable would work it's way out and I'd lose the signal/power.  Also I found that this setup ate up batteries like crazy!!

3.  Last Christmas I treated myself to an internal upgrade.  What a difference!!  The 9V battery lasts forever.  Very clean look with no cables to worry about.  The receiver unit fits perfectly in the Zendrum carry bag pouch.  I have the Merge Brick/Cable in the back of my car just in case, but have not had to every use it.

IMHO - go with the internal wireless.  Being able to roam the crowd with out worry while playing is priceless!
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STRUT

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2010, 05:30:27 PM »

Thanks a lot guys. Excellent info. I may just have to dive in the deep end from the start and just go with internal wireless on a ZX. I like the LT but i play bass and guitar as well and I like having that type of mobility. I just hope playing drums on a ZX will feel alright with me. It seems it would be easier to get a drum feel going with the LT.
Maybe I'll just play the kazoo and make my life easier.  :P
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Pocket Master

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2010, 05:46:16 PM »

The Mayor made a comment to me that I play my ZX heavily with my thumb, almost like a bass guitar.  I do not play bass, but I understand what he meant.  I alternate my kick and snare with my right thumb while keeping my HH going with my right ring finger.  I use my left hand for fills on the HH or the snare as well as toms and congas.  I don't think I would be able to play an LT because I do use my right hand for my main kit.  The pads just seem to line up just right the way I play.  There are so many ways to configure each Zendrum, you can assign any MIDI note to any pad and have a unique setup that only you will be able to play.  I can let another Zendrummer play my ZX and it would be totally different from theirs, it woud be the same if I tried to play someone elses.

Rob
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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2010, 06:30:29 PM »

Avast Thar Mateys,

     Regarding portability, Aye do not have any wireless anymore.  Aye had an original Midi Jet (not the pro) and found the latency to be too extreme.  Other priorities have prevented me from getting the midi jet pro.  However, Aye recently sat in with a guitar duo at a local watering hole.  See the pictures at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=589898998&v=photos#!/album.php?aid=193389&id=589898998 It took all of 5 minutes to setup and another 5 to tear down.  I use a TD-20 synth attached to a Gibralter bongo stand and Zendrum ZX mount.  The TD-20 is loaded into a padded box similar to an SKB and the Jolly Roger Zen is put into its Zendrum Gig bag.  I have a merge brick (also one of the early ones) as well as the original plastic power adapter. The bongo stand folds up.  There are places on the gig bag and TD-20 case for various cables.  Someday I will go wireless again, but until then, even this setup is very portable.

     Hope this helps.

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
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STRUT

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2010, 07:04:06 PM »

The Mayor made a comment to me that I play my ZX heavily with my thumb, almost like a bass guitar.  I do not play bass, but I understand what he meant.  I alternate my kick and snare with my right thumb while keeping my HH going with my right ring finger.  I use my left hand for fills on the HH or the snare as well as toms and congas.  I don't think I would be able to play an LT because I do use my right hand for my main kit.  The pads just seem to line up just right the way I play.  There are so many ways to configure each Zendrum, you can assign any MIDI note to any pad and have a unique setup that only you will be able to play.  I can let another Zendrummer play my ZX and it would be totally different from theirs, it woud be the same if I tried to play someone elses.

Rob

This sounds like how I would end up playing it as well. Something I hadn't even considered is I am a right handed player so I am used to playing the fretted neck with my left hand on the bass/guitar. The "neck" of the ZX goes to the right so that's something I may have to get used to. However, it's meant for drumming so this could actually feel fine. It's hitting as opposed to strumming, fretting etc.

@Pyrate: Thanks for the portable tip! I am aiming to get something along the lines of the Vmachine (but not getting the Vmachine cause it's a pain to load VSTs) and loading it up with percussion samples and Addictive drums. That's it. This way I can hook that with Ableton on a laptop and pretty much just carry everything on a gig bag (sans the ZX of course). I'm still working this out to see if it'll work.
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Pocket Master

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2010, 08:22:54 PM »

I am using my ZX gig bag, (there are some backup cables in the zipper pouch) and a laptop backpack which I have my Macbook Pro, MIDI cables, and all of my other accessories.  I play every week at a local church and it takes me 10 minutes to set up and tear down.  I am usually up and ready before the guitar player.  That is all I use, the MacBook Pro with Superior Drummer 2.0, and my ZX.  I have a stand to put my ZX on between sets also.  I carry it all in one trip.

Rob
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randtor

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2010, 08:45:45 PM »

Hey Strut,
I have the ZX model, and I sent it in this past April to upgrade to the Z4 chip and the internal wireless. I also added 6 more pads.... now I wish there was room for 12 more, lol!
I gig out anywhere from 2 to 6 times a month. I previously used the merge box with no issues. I went wireless for more portability. I was uncertain before I did it if it was worth the $$. Wow.... I am 150% certain now that it was. I carry all my cables, an extension cord, a light (for the music if needed), extra cables, a headset, a mike and mike cord, and even a Humdebugger(for that occasional annoying 110v cycle backround hum, which this eliminates) in my backpack, along with a small case I use for the MIDIJet wireless transmitter, batteries and power cord. I also carry my merge brick and cables in the same pack, wrapped in a plastic bag and tucked way down in the bottom, for that "just-in-case" moment. I use a Roland TD-10 for sound.
OK... I would NEVER go back to being wired! The freedom this allows is incredible. I have become the soundcheck guy in the band, cuz I can stand out front and listen to the sound while playing! The internal wireless setup is terrrific, and I use the batteries recommended by the Inspector (iPower Li-Polymer), which last anywhere from 6 to 10 hours and are rechargable. I have never had an issue with the setup. It is easy to change batteries in seconds, and it is so much easier to wander around! I highly recommend that when/if you decide to purchase a zendrum, pay whatever extra the costs are, and get the wireless internal, and extra pads if you can!  You will not regret it.

On another note, I have not yet subscribed to Drumwagon's software but only because I am currently trying to figure out different settings for my ZX, along with the Roland module. I have been trying different setups, and find it difficult to change the way I play, but I need more flexibility since I added new pads. So, I am trying to work out a better setup. I plan on purchasing the software in the next week or two.

Rob - how do you set your pads up? I like the idea of playing my kit with one hand, and percussion etc with the other, and I am having a lot of unproductive moments trying to get a better setup. I like some overlap with the snare/HH/bass drum, but not too much. I want a lot of percussion instruments as well, thus I added 6 pads. I would love to figure out a better system. Perhaps you can relate how you set yours up? I am also pretty thumb heavy!

Thanks,
Rand
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STRUT

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2010, 04:49:56 PM »

I am using my ZX gig bag, (there are some backup cables in the zipper pouch) and a laptop backpack which I have my Macbook Pro, MIDI cables, and all of my other accessories.  I play every week at a local church and it takes me 10 minutes to set up and tear down.  I am usually up and ready before the guitar player.  That is all I use, the MacBook Pro with Superior Drummer 2.0, and my ZX.  I have a stand to put my ZX on between sets also.  I carry it all in one trip.
This is exactly what I like to hear, the ability to carry all in one trip with ease of take down and setup. Which stand do you use for the ZX? And what about the laptop, do you have a specific stand for that as well or? I am in the hunt for a good laptop stand. Preferably a stand alone one that is adjustable to about 40" high and can fold easily for portability.

Quote
I highly recommend that when/if you decide to purchase a zendrum, pay whatever extra the costs are, and get the wireless internal, and extra pads if you can!  You will not regret it.
Thanks for the tips/info Randtor. I actually thought about getting the extra pads. I'm just going to save up some more and get the whole deal. Might as well be patient and wait but get the flagship.

I see the roland drum modules are popular round these parts. Most are discontinued though and they have no decent selection of percussion sounds which is what I am after along with the standard drum kit(s) sounds.
I found a really cool video on Youtube with someone using Addictive drums (which is what I am getting) and an LT. He makes an interesting point on why he chose Addictive Drums. Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPlItm19ano&feature=search






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Pocket Master

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Re: Some MORE questions on wireless from noob
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2010, 05:01:24 PM »

I use a stand by quicklok.  I put the link at the bottom of this post.  It is adjustable and works great.  You cannot play the Zen while it is in the stand, it is only there to set it in between sets so I am not laying it down where it will get bumped and fall to the floor.  They have laptop stands on that site as well.

Rob


http://www.quiklok.com/catalog/?p=productsMore&iProduct=286&sName=QL-691
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