Drum Wagon

All things percussive

Version 1.1 of the library is now available and can be downloaded from the NebiruJS Library page.

The library has been updated in order to support 4.6+ versions of Reaper JSFX.

July 8th, 2015

Posted In: DAW, software

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Over the past couple years, I’ve tried a huge number of different sound sources with my Zendrum, trying to the find the “perfect” live rig to suit most situations.

I’ve tried small and simple, large and complex, dedicated hardware modules as well as VST hosts. None of them were quite “right”. With any one rig, I’d have to sacrifice a level of one feature to gain in another.

The key features of a live rig are (to me):

  • Portability. Ideally, it should be as light and small as possible. I’m willing to compromise on size in exchange for other considerations, though.
  • Quality of sounds. A Zendrum is not a drum kit, nor is it a replacement for hand percussion, orchestral percussion, etc. However, when I’m using my Zendrum live, I am trying to emulate these types of instruments and therefore I want the sounds and performance to be as life-like as possible. Not every Zendrummer may agree with this position, but it’s important to me. If I’m going to sacrifice sound quality, there has to be a huge payoff for doing so.
  • Quantity of sounds, ease of kit change. One of my biggest gripes with VSTs used to be how hard it was to switch kits on the fly and how long it would take. I’m coming to terms with this more though by:

    1. Realizing that hardware-based drum modules spoiled me into thinking this was a big deal.
    2. Realizing that I would never expect to be able to swap out my acoustic kit between songs outside of maybe the snare.
    3. Leveraging all the “instrument slots” of my VST to create massive kits of which I just use portions of at a time.
    4. Realizing that much like playing acoustics, changing from sticks to brushes, rods or mallets creates enough variation for one show, and leveraging my Zendrum’s ‘user setups’ to accomplish this rather than changing kits whole cloth.
  • Flexibility. In addition to supporting the Zendrum, a live rig optimally provides different routing options, inputs for click tracks and sequences, etc. In other words, it shouldn’t be a closed solution.
  • Tactileness. A huge deal to me and the purpose of this article. If something in the mix is not right, I need to be able to grab a knob or a slider and fix it — often on the fly and as I’m playing.

(more…)

August 1st, 2011

Posted In: DAW, DIY, hardware, how-to, present, Zendrum

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While I’ve been Reaper fanatic for some time now, I’ve only recently begun to dig into programming my own effects, purely out of necessity. I’ve decided to make the fruit of these efforts publicly available at no charge, under the Creative Commons license.

The library is still in its infant stages. It presently has but one humble effect, though as I gather ideas for more I will be adding them. The initial effect is one that is extremely useful to me personally (and I suspect other Zendrummers as well). It’s a MIDI filter that will turn specific CC messages into MIDI note-on messages. For instance, this enables you to choke cymbals in various VSTs using the momentary switch on the back of the Zendrum.

Please feel free to download and use the library. If you find it useful, then please consider throwing me some loose change. A link to donate via PayPal is on the library page.

January 13th, 2010

Posted In: DAW, present, Zendrum

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