Saturday, September 8, 2007

Got rythem?

My nephew (Garrett) got a drum set for Christmas last year. When I was down in NC I help him get it set up properly and showed him how to tune it. After sitting down to play, I realized how bad I suck. I got to thinking about the last time I played with any seriousness and it must have been back in 85 or 86 while I was stationed in Germany. I had played with a group of guys in my unit. 22 years of not playing showed.

This made a perfect excuse to get a drum kit. I currently live in an apartment so an acoustic kit was out of the question, which leaves the only option... an electronic kit. After researching for a few weeks I came up with the Yahama DTX Line. I want a real sitdown kit, not just a drum pad, and the DTX line was a good balance between performance and cost. Then it was off to Ebay. I bad on a kit and actually one the auction. I won a Yahama DTXplorer

It showed up Friday. I went out after work with Daniel and Kevin from the office then to Outback for dinner with Amber and the kids Friday night. So it had to wait until Saturday to set up. Amber and the kids had CCD at the Church so I had a few hours to assemble and play with the kit.

Its really an amazing bit of electronics. It sounds incredible. I can assign just about any conceivable sound to the pads if I'm so inclined. It comes preprogrammed for traditional kits as one would expect, steel kits, Latin & Rage you name it they are there.

The only thing I can find on the down side is, the high hat trigger is very difficult to get right. You have a pad and a foot pedal and getting it to sound and behave like a "real" high hat takes a bit of tweaking. I have it close but not quite there yet. I need to hit the net and see if others have some suggestions.

Another nit is that the pads don't quite "feel" like real drums. After playing for an hour or so, my hand started to hurt. Almost like when you hit a baseball square on and the bat vibrates... same feeling.

The other and last item is that for its output it uses 1/4" jacks. It uses a 1/8" mini for input, so you can hookup an iPod or CD Player, but you can't use standard headphones with it. I have to get over to Radio Shack or somewhere that carries 1/4" stereo to 1/8" stereo adapter in order to listen with any of the headphones that I have. How hard would it have been to add an 1/8" jack. Not much I would reckon. Oh well...

The bottom line is I still suck, but at least now I have an excuse :-)

On other things... Fedora Test 2 went live this weekend. Now its final bug and stability fixes. For my packages (bash & coreutils) not much needs to be done, unless something critical comes in. There are some longer standing bugs I'm waiting on upstream acceptance prior to putting in to Fedora. Once I get word they made it upstream I'll push them into rawhide.

~p