Drum Wagon

All things percussive

A few tracks from an improv Funk group I played with last year are
now up as well as some tracks from my current
Zendrum group.

November 29th, 2014

Posted In: acoustics, present, Zendrum

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For the past year I’ve been using this bassoon stand with my Zendrum. Prior to this I was using a modified guitar stand like the kind most Zendrummers wind up using, however I found out first hand how unstable those can be.

I experimented with violin, saxophone and mandolin stands among others in a search for a better, safer Zendrum stand. Eventually this led me to the Hercules stand.

While a little bit pricier and somewhat heavier than a guitar stand I feel this is the perfect solution for the Zendrum ZX (and probably the EXP model). The stand is rock solid and it fits the Zendrum like a glove. It cannot easily tip over and the Zendrum stays puts even when bumped around. If you’re looking for a solid Zendrum stand then I highly encourage you to check it out.

Here are some photos of the stand folded up and in action.

August 21st, 2013

Posted In: hardware, present, Zendrum

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Seven tracks from our 2013 demo are now up on this site.

We had an absolute blast putting these together, hope you enjoy them!

June 15th, 2013

Posted In: acoustics, present

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I *love* my Sleishmans, but one persistent problem I’ve had are rattles from my floor tom. The depth of that drum requires fairly long tube lugs, which in turn have a significant amount of play at their longest extent. I do keep that drum tensioned fairly low (about low to middle I’d say) and it’s actually possible to grab the top rim like a steering wheel and turn it a couple degrees either way. Tightening the drum might keep it from being able to twist like that, but that’s a tuning compromise I’d rather not make.

When the rim is not twisted and the lugs are correctly positioned at 90° to the hoop, then all is well. However between bouncing around in the car during transport and being pulled out of the case by the rim it inevitably gets twisted a bit. When that happens one or more of the tension rods can be in contact with the side of its hole in the hoop. This metal-on-metal contact is what’s causing my rattle.
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May 11th, 2013

Posted In: acoustics, DIY, hardware, how-to, present

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ZenEdit now powers the Zendrum Custom Shop, on zendrum.com!

This is a stripped down version of ZenEdit that runs in your browser and is used to design your very own custom ZX layout. The files that it generates are fully compatible with the full version of ZenEdit so you can hit the ground running when you receive your custom designed Zendrum!

Check out the Zendrum Custom Shop today!

custom-shop

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January 19th, 2013

Posted In: present, software, Zendrum, ZenEdit

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Just posted some live recordings from a September 2011 winery gig with The Stormy Weathermen.

October 13th, 2011

Posted In: gigs, present, Zendrum

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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.

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August 1st, 2011

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

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Just posted some snippets from the Electric Mandolin Project (EMP) which I was involved in last summer.

April 16th, 2011

Posted In: present, Zendrum

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Latest maintenance release fixes a couple of annoyances, adds a few new features and makes everything a bit spiffier!

To obtain the latest version, select “Help > Check for Updates” from the main menu.

Full details here.

December 2nd, 2010

Posted In: present, software, Zendrum, ZenEdit

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I’d been working on refurbishing my old snare drum recently. Here’s a shot of the finished product.

The shell is from a vintage Duplex Tonecraft (Rogers) snare, from the 60’s. I first acquired it in the late 80’s at a flea market for $10.

Back then it was in blue sparkle wrap. The original hardware was in sad shape, the chrome pitted and peeling and with rust setting in. In the early 90’s I stripped the original wrap and replaced it with piano black. I also replaced the original lugs with the old “Pearl style” ones and sharpened the bearing edges. I also added a layer of satin polyurethane to the interior to help the shell project more.

Now for its second refurbishment, I’ve restripped the shell and sealed it with clear polyurethane. I’ve also replaced ALL the hardware this time, with newer Pearl “bridge” lugs and a modern throw off from Drum Foundry. I’ve also added a larger vent and custom Purecussion snares. This drum just plain sings now! I could not be happier with it.

To add to its personal historical and sentimental value, the rims it uses are now from my very first student snare drum from some 28 years ago. My drum teacher, Mrs. Horst, engraved our names on them so we students could tell them all apart. I’m flooded with memories whenever I remove this drum from its case 🙂

November 22nd, 2010

Posted In: acoustics, DIY, hardware, present

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