Here are my thoughts on the GigKAT from Alternate Mode.http://www.alternatemode.com/gigkat.shtml
As some of you may know, I do some work with Mario. He has been a friend for a while and I like and use many of his products. The GigKAT started life as an internal sound chip for his products. That chip is made by Kurzweil and features over 1000 sounds. The key difference between this product and other dedicated drum module units is the scope of the voices. It is better to compare this unit to a synth module. Do to the fact that I am a professional sound designer, I will stay clear of remarking on the audio samples. You can visit the following links to hear all of the different examples as played by Mario and make up your own mind.http://www.alternatemode.com/malletkat_ks.shtmlhttp://www.alternatemode.com/trapkat_ks.shtml
All in all I like this unit because
it offers a lot of non drum sounds. That seams to be a feature that the Zendrum community appreciates because there are a lot of you that like to take advantage of the melodic scales in the Zendrum. There are a couple of things that you need to understand to work with this unit. I will point them out and give you a couple of tricks that work in dealing with this unit.PROGRAM CHANGE
Many devices send program change information, but most only send the 0-127 value. In the case of the GigKAT that is only part of the information needed. The GigKAT also requires bank information. That is two sets of numbers referred to as MSB and LSB.
MSB = Most Significant Byte
LSB = Least Significant Byte
These two sets of numbers are what makes up the "bank" of sounds.
Most drum modules and foot controllers only send out the program change and leave this bank information out. The GigKAT must see this information to get it to the right bank. To deal with this I found a really useful app for the iPad/iPhone called MIDI Tool Box. This app has two add ons that allow for program change and control change.
Using MIDI Tool Box, the apple camera kit, and a M-Audio Uno MIDI to USB cable you can send the MSB and LSB information along with the 0-127 program change info. The GigKAT uses bank 4 and 5 for drum kits. You set the MIDI channel in the app to 0 with the MSB and LSB numbers matching the patch data included with the list of sounds in the GigKAT manual. After that you just hit the button for the program you want to use. It works like a big calculator. Sounds complicated, but it is really easy once you have done it once. I have one more interesting point to make. Once you have sent the GigKAT the correct MSB and LSB information you can use the program change functions on the Zendrum to change kits within that bank.
If you are using the GigKAT with an Alternate Mode kit, the AM device allows you to send the MSB and USB info.MORE CONTROL
An additional bit of control can be gained with MIDI Tool Box in the Control Change screen. I use that screen to control the overall volume as well as the two different effects parameters.HOLD PEDAL FUN
The second trick that I came upon involves the HH. The GigKAT will not do variable HH the way that software does. In fact, most drum modules only use closed and open sounds to begin with. They use a damping algorithm to produce the other variations internally. With the Zendrum Z4 I was able to take advantage of a control input. I set that input to work on CC#64, the hold parameter. Using ZenEdit I flipped the polarity of the pedal. You can also do that with some pedals via a small switch. This produces notes that are always held until the pedal is pushed down. I then selected the HH note for the open HH sound. Holding my foot down produces a closed sound. This is also the way that I prefer to play the Zendrum with melodic voices. I use the pedal to stop the sound.
There you have it. This unit is worth looking at because it does offer a lot of sonic possibility for a relatively small price. If you already own an iPad/iPhone you have a tool that can unlock the control features that you need to take advantage of it from the Zendrum.