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Zombies-The new E-Drum?

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  • Zombies-The new E-Drum?

    Hello all! THIS IS NOT AN AD!!!I am the manufacturer of a new "E-Drum" type, electronic drum in the Baltimore area and step by step we are dialing in the response with the drums. The drums were originally developed using the Alesis D-4 and DM-5, with which we were quite satisfied. Although the Alesis brains work very well (for drummers and studios) and are A LOT CHEAPER, it appears that the Roland TD-8 and TD-10 are a benchmark for live drumming (although I still love the DM-5 for performance, price and value). We are therefore trying to super-tweak the Zombies for best performance with the Rolands and are at the nuance stage. With the Roland Brains, we can get very acceptable head triggering response and we can get similar performance from rim click and cross stick. If we strike the rim hard enough we can get the "Rim Shot" sound BUT we aren't getting the rim shot consistantly when we play the actual (organic) rim shot (head and rim) together. It will trigger the (organic) rim shot between 10% and 25% of the time, but will trigger the rim shot with the rim alone, much more reliably. Any help? Shortly the owner of the Roland TD-8, who was kind enough to bring his brain to our shop for testing will be checking in. He will be able to report on his TD-8 settings that produced what we have so far.

    Our target is to produce an E-Drum with a mesh head (the mesh head is done) that responds very well but costs less than half of the V-Customs. We are 95% there and for the Alesis application they are done. If we can get the rimshot dialed in, we will have 98% the performance at 50% the price. (I'm saying 98% performance because I expect that we will continue to improve on our product with out aspiring to "clone" another drum.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Jim in Baltimore

  • #2
    Ahhh, that would be me. You beat me to the forum today! $^) I'll shortly post some general imporessions of the drums in the 'Products' forum. Right here I'd like to elaborate on the tech issues (triggering).

    Yup, this is a real puzzler. We spent a few hours testing the 10" and 12" Z-drums on my TD8, using the 8RA and 12A pad types. (We were interested in its use as a snare--no problem as a single-trigger tom!) I don't think any of thew other pad types work for dual-trigger snare applications.

    First the good noews: *most* of the stuff worked quite well. I had the head tension slightly to the tight side (I like a fairly tight snare!) and here are the rough settings: Sensitivity: 4, threshold: 4-5, rim sensitivity: 6-7. I also had crosstalk up to about 60 or so, for the heck of it. With these settings, the snare head had excellent sensitivity, picking up both subtle light rolls and hard hits without a glitch. On an XS snare, the rim clicks (cross-sticks) worked reliably, although we were working mostly with a bare rim.

    Better news: I was able to dial in the Positional Sensing (head tension adjustment) without a glitch. I did have the scan time maxed at 4.0, with a reasonably tight head and the head tension setting on the TD8 on 'normal.' I was able to get a pretty consistent single arrow on each side (sometimes a siongle arrow on one side), which is as good as I can tune my PD80R.

    [The 'puzzle' will be explained in my next post!]

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    • #3
      OK (just didn't want to make *too* long of a post!). Now for the puzzler. The drum does not give real rim shots, as Jim mentioned. The head response is fine. Rim clicks work. And you can get a rimshot sound by hitting the rim very hard, by itself. But hitting the rim & head together gives only a head trigger, no matter how hard or light it is hit! (I was using the 'Rim' light on the TD8 as an indicator of a rimshot, in addition to the sound.) I would say it was not even 10% of the time that a 'normal' rimshot could be made. It was as if the rim and head triggers together cancelled the rim trigger signal. I tried a different snare instrument to no avail.

      We also checked wiring. As someone just posted a pic of the piezo wiring in the other forum, we took apart my PD80R to check the exact wiring (center and base leads of both piezos). We changed the wiring to match, and had the *same* behavior: good head response, rim clicks ok, rimshot if you hit the rim alone very hard, and just a head hit (no rimshot) when head and rim are struck together. I played with the rim sensitivity, mask time, etc. a bit to no avail.

      I'm puzzled at this point. We (OK, Jim!) even moved the rim piezo from being sandwiched against the shell (end of the bridge) to being glued directly to the bridge next to the head piezo. (And yes, the head piezo is cushioned from the bridge by a layer of soft foam rubber.) Same lack of true rimshots! (BTW, the head and rim piezos on the PD80R are both located in the exact center of the shell, so I don't think it is necessary to put the rim trigger near where rim hits are struck. Anyplace in good contact with the rim/shell should work, IMO, but we moved it anyway!)

      Any clues about the lack of rimshots??? Suggestions on settings to tweak? We went through just about all of the parameters, just in case, to no avail. Hard head+rim hits give no rim signal, yet much lighter hits on the rim alone do. OK, I'll leave it at that for now, and can't wait to see what youse guys make of this! $^)

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      • #4
        First, turn the crosstalk off? Could maybe be the head piezo is to sensitive as compared to the rim piezo. What makeup are the piezos you are using? Try a large thin brass type for the rim and place it near to or on the shell, make sure the rim piezo is positioned where you normally play rimshots. Otherwise...I don't know?

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        • #5
          OK, I'lll be the first to admit that some of it was *semi*-intelligent tweaking, with a bit of randomness added later! I upped the scan time to get the positional sensing working well. The crosstalk was initially set to zero, which made it hard to separate head and rim hits. I confess I'm still not *exactly* sure what the scan time and a couple of other settings do, but I varied them nonetheless. (Threshhold, sensitivity, rim sensitivity, retrigger cancel, and a few others make sense to me.) We did try a coupel of rim piezo locations (shell, bridge) and with all tweakings there was still a pretty complete leack of 'real' rimshots. The piezos used are very similar to Roland's, brass discs about 1.5" in diameter.

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