Author Topic: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU  (Read 31973 times)

MarioKAT

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MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« on: October 05, 2009, 03:09:08 PM »
In December of 2008, a new company was founded.   The inventor of FSR technology, Franklin Eventoff and  Mario DeCiutiis from Alternate Mode joined forces with the goal to reinvent electronic drums and percussion.

A team of brilliant software and hardware engineers along with CAD designers, mechanical engineers and others were brought together to rethink literally every aspect of E-drumming.  We are excited that this last year has brought us new and innovative concepts.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars has been invested and soon you will be seeing the next generation of pads, controllers, hybrids, e-pedals and hihats.   You might not see MIDItroniX or Alternate Mode as the brand name, as we have created OEM models for our products.  But you will see an amazing assortment of new products that will dazzle you in the coming months and years ahead.

Everything from the next generation of sensors, capable of capturing the widest dynamic range imaginable, to a real evolution of feel on pads and a new line of intuitive MIDI controllers will soon be made available to the public.

Please excuse us for not disclosing all of the details of our new adventures.  Patents are underway and we need to protect our OEM partners.

In the meantime, please feel free to offer your suggestions.  We might not respond on this forum, but we will be evaluating and refining our new product lines.

pljones

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 05:56:32 PM »
Update your website ;)

Unless, of course, it belongs to this German eBay seller.

(ISP in Houston, TX for the website...)

OK, more seriously...

It sounds intriguing.  If you're OEM-ing, will there be any DIY-quantity gear available?  Tech data sheets and so on?  (Once patents approved, of course.)  And how dependent are you on microcontroller software engineering that could go "bad" -- does the company own all the relevant intellectual property?  How much of this will (need to) be public?

(Ah, the techie in me wants to play... because I still can't make any music!  I'm without a usable PC again... /sigh/)

Orb Vroomer

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2009, 07:16:01 PM »
Is the winter NAMM show going to have any of these products/prototypes ?

Please let the 'kat' (or others) out of the bag.

Thanks,Mario.

zendrumdude

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2009, 09:00:09 PM »
Mario,

Hold on while I wipe the drool away... :P :P :P

OK, WOW, I can't wait to see what's up!  I have one request:

PLEASE plan to apply these new concepts of dynamic range and pad sensitivity to the TrapKat format.  PLEASE, I beg you!  I have only been playing it for less than a year, but I can't live without it.

Jer

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2009, 09:36:23 PM »
Just speculating...but....the makers of  rocket ships usually don't make improvements to Orville & Wilburs models.

Remember analog synths ?  There are still a few around & being built. Does R & Y make any,though ?

How about vinyl ? Or analog tape decks ? Don't see too many anymore.

In MY DAY.........insert dino quote here.......a nickel I tells ya.........fill it with petrol & revulcanize my tires...& check the fluids & wash all my windows.....I remember when $5 actually could buy a nic........never mind..........give me a Pepsi Free...or a Tab......back to the future......I think I found that sound you've been looking for....

spottyscotty

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2009, 11:22:56 PM »
Everything from the next generation of sensors, capable of capturing the widest dynamic range imaginable ...

Wow! Thank you for the very nice surprise, Mario. I am happy enough with the sensitivity of my TK, and my own 'dynamic range' is "play everything at 11"; but nonetheless I will await the next generation of sensors with interest. Here's hoping this new venture bears fruit for you.

Cheers,
spottyscotty


jrcel

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2009, 01:36:01 PM »
That is the best news I've had in the last couple of years. I've been really frustrated ever since the debut of Vdrums, I tried them and it's like, I don't know, they're like real drums but not as real? I mean who cares? I keep going over ground I've already covered a few times, enough already. I want to look forward to the next thing and I'm getting twitchy about it. I want something I haven't seen a thousand times before. Don't get me wrong, I love my Drumkat, but at this point, I know you don't need it, but you have my permission, at least, to chuck the War On Obsolescence at make my stuff obsolete. Pleeeese, I'm waiting, make my day.

Vkat

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2009, 11:06:39 PM »
I love my Drumkat, but at this point, I know you don't need it, but you have my permission, at least, to chuck the War On Obsolescence at make my stuff obsolete.

I highly disagree with that philosophy.  I think you should ABSOLUTELY make your next
generation technology upgrades to existing Dkat and Trapkat chassis.  You can, of course,
have new designs designed from the ground up, for completely new models, but please don't dump the existing Kat form factors.  After all, the top of the drumKat is just a flat steel plate, so you can easily put on any of the new generation of sensor sheets (different shapes, layout, controller areas, etc.).

One upgrade suggestion for ALL products, is to add a MIDI Over Ethernet (IP) port. 
I don't know which format is best:  ipMidi ?, MidiOverLan CP ?, or maybe UniWire which is what the Receptor uses, and force a "defacto standard", like Roland did with the MPU-401 protocol.
Aside from the obvious speed and bandwidth advantages for connecting to a computer,
it can also benefit simpler inter-connectivity between Kat products.
That said, you should always still include standard MIDI ports, and perhaps a USB 2.0 port for MIDI.

"Expander Kats" would use this KatEthernet port to connect to a DKat (or TrapKat), so just a power supply and a CAT5 cable connection would be needed (therefore minimal wires).
This port could also work for "New special Controller surfaces/gadgets" so a completely
modular approach attained. 

An example for a BASIC NewKat Model:
Add a display to a DK-10, and a new layout sensor sheet, variable HH input, BC input, and BD trigger input, regular Midi output, Midi input, USB 2.0 port, KatEthernet port, and DC screw-on power connector for wall wart.  And, of course, also new inputs for "Add-on Kat Controllers" that are dictated by your "new secret" designs.

Wireless LAN inter-connectivity could be another add-on option. Perhaps a very small dongle transceiver that just plugs into the KatEthernet port, and Kat device, computer, etc.
Bluetooth, 2.4GHz radio (like Xbox 360), or what ever.

If KatEthernet connectivity is just not practical and cost effective, then there are still possibly
USB 2.0 and Firewire 400/800, to consider for all of the above mentioned scenarios.
It's all digital information transfer.

Actually, I have tons of designs and ideas for new Kat products.  Mario, email me, if interested.

The_Rain_Man

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2009, 11:57:27 AM »
Please, Please, PLEASE!!! - give me the ability to drop my custum V-Drum kit and module!  I LOVE the KAT stuff... I am a long time user and "Kat Expert" for both the drumKAT and TrapKAT, but I brought in the v-drums, because they play MUCH more like the "real" thing (which I missed!) AND the module is the best solution for LIVE sound, which is 99% of what I do.

Nothing would make me happier than to have a great FSR/sampler based kit that looks somewhat "real" AND is a good live solution.

PLEASE!!!!!  Help me dump Roland!

jrcel

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2009, 09:20:15 PM »
I don't think they're talking about dumping Kat products, it sounds like a brand new range of controllers is in the works. I'd like to have FSR pads that kind of interlock so that you can make custom pad surfaces that you could lay out in any way on a core structure and have them wrap around you. One of the things I don't like about my Drumkat is that it's a small area that you play with your hand out infront of you instead of some pads being to the side a bit. We already have real drums, some foward thinking is what's needed but that points out the problem. You can't market to only drummers because by and large we're hung upon the whole, it has to feel like real drums, unlike keyboardists who just sucked it up and got used to synth action. It's why Vdrums are so popular. You have to make something that everyone can take part in or you won't sell anything.

Orb Vroomer

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2009, 10:58:08 PM »
These posts are confusing the heck out of me.I sure hope DK & TK aren't dropped.If they are dropped ,I sure hope support,repairs,parts,etc. aren't dropped.
When R introduced V,were their pad 8 or whatever it is now dropped ? V seems WAY overpriced to me & I would think a company would need some lower budget gear available,as well.Same with whatever these new products will be.Not that KAT makes anything I'd put in the budget category.It doesn't sound like these new products will be low priced.Having products 'outsourced' may be a good business decision,but then we run the risk of these new entities going bust.I still think Drum Tech made the best external pad,although I realize the pole is not a playable surface for most e-drummers.Most drummers would prefer to hit a pad with a tip rather than a shaft.And a larger round surface is mandatory.The pole had a great dynamic range & curve,plus zero crosstalk.And now it's gone.Supply & demand - always a problem.

Speaking of better dynamic range - I still contend that midi spec is a problem - & I'm pretty sure that's not getting dumped.Even with the Kat products - remember how the steps had 255 levels ?  Then that had to be reduced to 0 - 128.So Kats weren't the problem - midi was.Imagine if the midi range was 0 - 255.I believe that would double the dynamic range - although it's been a while since my calculus class.But I still remember simple addition.Mario stated "capable of capturing the widest dynamic range imaginable". Without changing the midi spec,I'm really wondering how that will happen.He also said "dazzle you in the coming months AND YEARS".So lets not plan on holding our breath.Mario also stated "a new line of intuitive midi controllers".I hope I'm reading that wrong...if that means 'dumbed down for the masses',I'm not liking that.From a business point of view,I would think that "plug & play" will sell more products for sure.Many people in the e-drum world seem to be looking for that feature.Kats went FAR beyond 'plug & play',maybe that's a problem from a mass marketing outlook.It appears that MOST users of Kat products are utilizing about 10% of the capabilities,along with the normal human 10% of our brains.

I sure hope posts like Vkat's will be the standard thinking.Forward thinking,but WITH the DK & TK in mind - not 'obsolescense' style thinking.The latter type thinking scares the heck out of me.I'm nowhere near ready to chuck my DKs.I still use an 'obsolete' kiti.

A lot of us are wanting FSR external pads - I hope that is the first product we'll see.


Maybe I'm old fashioned....but Cristofori invented & perfected the first hammer action (with escapement)  piano around 1710.Guess what - today's modern pianos mechanisms are nearly 100% identical to his.One of the first 3 he built is on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,NY.
Almost 300 years & no improvements.As far as I'm concerned,the Drum Kat should be in that museum,too.But not because it's obsolete.


jrcel

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2009, 04:21:02 PM »
Nothing to do with this thread, but your mention of Cristofori got me wondering. Here are some recordings made with both original and reproduced Cristofori instruments. I was surprised at the sound. They had no rigid cast frames to tension the strings resulting in a quieter tone resembling a harpsichord as much as a piano. I thought it interesting, perhaps you will as well.



http://www.denzilwraight.com/crisdisc.htm

Orb Vroomer

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2009, 01:54:19 PM »
I'm the worst around for skirting the subject...but...

Raise your hand if you still use 'old- fashioned- cave- man' WOODEN drum sticks.Do you use some space age graphite or titanium or that new fangled 'plastic' ?  I'll assume that not many hands went up.Percussion instruments are the oldest known to man - ever since the cave man grabbed a 'stick' ( or club ) & played a 'roll' on another cave man's (or cave woman's)  head. It was a 'head' that resembled a 'drum'. ;D  {police call it a baton,but like they told Bart when he said - "Can I see your club ?"... "We call it a baton.".... "What do you use it for ?"... "Clubbing people." }  ....anyway.. ;D

What is more valuable,or sounds better : a 1960s Les Paul, or a 2009 Les Paul ? The 'new' modern one must be better,right ?  ;)
Or how about a vintage Hammond organ ?  I have plenty of modern organ samples (of a Hammond,played by a professional & sampled in a state of the art studio).
I remember when Steve Howe played in this tiny club,on the second floor,up a small small turning staircase & his key player made the roadies haul a Hammond & a giant leslie up those stairs.

I love new technology,don't get me wrong...but...electronics ADD to the pallet of instruments to chose from  -   electronic instruments DON'T ELIMINATE acoustic instruments.I recently bought a R RD700GX keyboard for 2 reasons : 1) The action is the most realistic feeling e-keyboard around $2,000 & 2)It has about the most realistic piano sound @ that price point.But Y & R sell models of e-keys that cost WAY more than this model - & they are all 'plasticky' & feel horrible & look like they will break quite easily.My crappy MAud Key 88 lost ALL DYNAMICS in the middle range & only outputs velocity 127.Some great technology that was.

I told Ray in here once, "Don't sell your large collection of REAL ACOUSTIC CYMBALS." He may have wanted to use the $ to buy more modern gear,though.But if you keep all this 'obsolete' gear,it can be quite use-able far into the future.Plus ,I would definitely sample those at many velocity levels for future use, as my own personal library of cymbal sounds to pick from.

Anyway...I've discussed this 'obsolete' deal in here before.That's just my personal thinking & advice.I have samples of a 'Ringo' kit that I love.But I still use my 67 Slingerlands on recordings all the time.The best of both worlds.
I'd also like to get this Hammond M3 organ fired up.It's got one of those old-fangled starter motor dealies & I can't get it fired up.The 'old fashioned family organ' from the 60s.It used to sound awesome - & I bet it still does - even compared to my many samples.I don't plan to bring it up any staircases,though.

So I'm an old fashioned 'dumb' drummer ,too.  :o Sometimes I do go 'back to the future' & use new & also 'obsolete' instruments,as well.But I don't really care what it looks like ,I care more what it SOUNDS like.If you get confused,& don't know if it's meant to be hit -- just try hitting it & see if it makes a nice sound.Then you'll know if you'd like to hit it again,no matter WHAT it LOOKS like.But please,I beg you,don't club any one on their head.It usually results in a sound you'd rather not hear. :'(

I will gladly embrace these new controllers & most likely want to buy them.  :) I just don't want to LOSE any current instruments. 8)

PS - ( jrcel ) thanks for the Critofori examples.  ;) I'll need some time to check those out.Very interesting.I just used his piano mechanism to make a point.I was using the mechanical aspect to make a point - not necessarily the sound. ;)
 

vindrums

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2009, 02:03:15 PM »
      I'll reply to Orb's new post seperately..
Tim, I hear you on that first statement….though not sure how it applies. AM products have updated and evolved through the years, with the exception of the flagship controller which hasn’t been updated in many years. I thought it was going to be ‘our’ turn again…..finally. We were teased by the new TrapKAT and waited patiently…We watched as the Mkat evolved into a super cool keyboard….I thought now we’d get to updating the ole 3.8. (or Turbo or whatever the case)
     This TV analogy doesn’t apply to me and my family…..we’ve been saving up for a 32” for a year now, and hope to afford one next summer…..
     I started playing e-drums in the early 80’s, and I’ve seen things evolve, too. I’ve also seen hundreds buy v’s because they are more like real drums, and drummers are dumb and whatever else you said there…..I resent that! Give me an instrument that plays music the best, and I’m happy. KAT products are built in one plane, allowing me to use the ironing board technique I’ve practiced since I was 12, in a much more practical way than any drumset…It also allows me to use the chops I’ve been working on since I was 12, in a more practical way than any drumset. I cherish the fact that I can play 32nd notes on toms that are too big to play in real life, and if I want I can use my double stroke rolls and other rudiments which is way hard on acoustic drums! The 20” tom feels like any other, and I can apply the music I’ve learned over the years to break new ground. An e-keyboard doesn’t play like a real piano, but you can do things with it that you can’t pull off on a real one….There’s give and take here. I’ve fooled many into thinking I was playing real drums, with a KAT. Which is funny, because they always seem to know when I use V’s!
     So Tim; walk over here by this pile of rocks, while we talk about obsolete…I’m a little insulted the word nostalgic came up. We’ve been promised since the beginning  these would never be obsolete. I don’t see how this idea could ever be actually obsolete, even if everything stopped tomorrow, because they fill a void. Keyboard players have master midi controllers allowing them to perform the every nuance of music as provided by the midi spec.. No other companies have successfully provided this for percussion except KAT. Others have catered to the ‘dumb drummr’ and provided what that guy wants.     I understand that it will take some time for all this ‘music’ to seep into the drumming community at large….when I was growing up, it was merely a dream that a drummer might be a soloist someday, or might have the ability to cover any instrument in a band. I hope it’s less of a dream today! My point is: we are still working on basic stuff like getting our hats to work properly, and simple stuff. Many don’t realize the possibilities. I’ve sworn up and down that AT is/ can be the most important controller to a drummer…..Now show of hands……how many here have gotten around to implementing that yet? I’ve praised the possibilities of transpose, about how you can have100 different toms on a DrumKAT without changing kits…..but I know people haven’t tried it, because, those same people are still begging for more zones…more zones….19 can’t get it done. I’m giving it all I got captain. KAT is really the only controller that lets you add lites….has anyone sprung for the 100$ for a light dimmer? These are all in the basic category for me. Let’s learn to use the old stuff. If you are one of the people that don’t use 20%, of the ‘box’, which seems to be the majority, then why is anyone so gunho about the new unseen innovations to come. If you think v’s trigger better than your KAT, then you haven’t set up right….If you are one of the people that thinks the KAT needs dumbed down…then you should probably start to meander away from the rock pile. Because I disagree with that idea vehemently. People ready to make their KAT obsolete, and they haven’t even scratched the surface? Disheartening. I don’t understand.
   You can feel like you’re a realist, and say that change is good….Hey I agree with all that. But be a realist. Look at how this scenario plays out with other American companies. Mario has always had ideas, and with his new partners could certainly corner the market on modern ultimate percussion controllers…(wait they already have done that here). I fear for business reasons, they might want to dumb it down. As long as this dumb drummer attitude persists, and this fear of unknown continues, that’s the sensible way to look at it.
   As for the gumbydrums, I thought that would be a done deal once you saw the fabric FSR stuff. There’s your drumheads!
Vince

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Re: MIDItroniX and what it means to YOU
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2009, 03:12:04 PM »
  Really nothing to add to Orbs'. We pretty much agree we don't want our stuff to be obsolete, and unlike some are not begging to jump into new money, or as some of you might say: jump into new controllers. We're also against all the suggestions to make the new instruments more like guitar hero so they can sell more.
   I have always had a thing about learning to use what I have. A pet peeve if you will. I know many pros that never learn half of what an instrument does. In some cases thier techs know more than them, and it's still not half. I at least try to hold on to stuff long enough to learn how to use it. This is why I get so fired up about talk that says it's time to move on. Show me you can use 50% of the controllers we have now. I'm not seeing it. The DrumKAT truly is an amazing instrument that was designed incitefully by a smart musician. I'm not saying any opinions on the future direction of percussion controllers should hold less weight because you only use simple or multi mode, (constantly) or because the majority only use 10% of what it can do. (after owning one for ten years).or because you use a Trapkat or DK10 yet insist you don't want/need the power of a DrumKAT.....I'm just saying.
   If you only play a Trapkat and you're so unhappy with the way this stuff works, then before we chuck the whole system, have you considered getting a DrumKAT? Don't think because there's more pads on a Trap that it can compare in power to a Drumkat. I mean did you read the forum? pathetic! oh please please please take me into the future, because my controller is too old to work properly in this modern world. I can get a brand new cell phone every two years, and this is the way the world works boo hoo hoo. Vince is a dinosaur........Please release me! Well I come from this old school, where if the tool works, use it. It's the man not the tool. Can we make improvements….Sure. I hope so! Everyone has ideas. I have ideas. Though mine don’t relect any of what’s being said.
         I know it doesn't help your analogy, but I don't use wooden cave man type beaters except on old fashioned cave man type drums. I use AHEAD......both implements exactly the same, they don't absorb moisture, and they never change. The best buzzess...
And like Orb, I will probably want to buy the new controllers, though that doesn't mean I'll afford any.....and if they dumb it out of what I use, and make it cost more, I'll be less likely to afford a change.
Vince