Archive for December, 2010

Stage fright

Monday, December 20th, 2010

I’ve been playing around 1200 gigs since 1993. But this next gig will be different. For the very first time I will play an SDSV on a stage. There are only 4 days left for preparing my gear. Two weeks ago I already set up the same kit for an exhibtion where I got trouble with one module on the second day. One critical part of SDSV, at least after almost 30 years, is the socket where the modules are stuck into. Over the years the preasure of the sockets seemed to have displaced the soft tin-solder on the card side. I also found out that it only takes about an hour to put a fresh layers of tin-solder on the card’s plug-in connector.

All modules work great again now . I can even shake the whole frame without any drop outs. Hopefully this will reduce my nightmares till Thursday. Another issue is that I am still working on the right setup. I rather like when the people have a barrier-free view on the drummer and his movements. That’s why I will mount all 3 toms on the right side from top to bottom instead of left to right starting right above the snare.

Instead of an SDSV bassdrum I will use a Jomox MBase01 triggered by a Roland KD7 and use the bassdrum slot for a side snare instead. The MBase is a full analog bassdrum synthesizer and likely more appropriate for the music I’m going to play. Another point is that kicking “four on the floor” for a whole set of songs will either break my leg or the pad. Playing the KD7 is much more relaxing, but the KD7 is not really the right pad for triggering an SDSV bassdrum module. It’s trigger pulse is simply too pulpy. Still I will set up the SDSV bassdrum pad: It just makes the visual impression complete.
So keep your fingers crossed. I will reward you with media…

SDS64 – Hard Rockin’ Software

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

SDS “what”? Sometimes I stumble over a Simmons gadget which I had forgotten in the meantime. Still these accessories are worth to mention. This time I found the SDS64 which I have actually never seen or even tried before. It’s a sequencer software for … Commodore 64.

Simmons has drummed up a great way for electronic drum players to expand their drumming.
Together with our new SDS64 Drum Sequencing Software, your Commodore home computer and any Simmons drum controller, you can pre-programm patterns to create an even more electrifying sound. SDS64 software allows you to program over 250 different drum patterns which can be adjusted for any tempo and time signature that you choose. By connecting a series of patterns you can form sequences that can be combined to form songs. Patterns, sequences and songs can be stored for easy reference and future performance. Available in disk or cassette, Simmons SDS64 software also features multi-color graphics and comes complete with interface cable and user’s manual. When you consider what SDS64 software can do for your drumming, a list price of $94 is hard to beat.

How come my father did not believe me when I told him a Commodore 64 would help me doing my homework… ?

BTW: Have you noticed that the advertising slogan (“The first name in electronic drums”) is the same that Guitar Center uses to promote their ************ ? (censored…)

Germany’s first Electronic Drummer Meeting

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Review of Germany’s first meeting for Electronic Drums 27th November, 2010

During a huge drum event earlier this year I philosophised with two buddies about the question, why there is no anual event exclusively for electronic drummers at least in Germany. We considered that there are a lot of questions but only a few answers as the whole market is dominated by just a very few products providing more or less obsolete technology. We raved about the idea to organize a meeting where the visitors exhibit as well, self-crafted and vintage kits preferred. We checked the demand for an event like this by launching a discussion on We were rather surprised about the great and positive feedback. With a very restrictive budget but nevertheless enthusiasm and motivation we sucessfully found a local location.
With „Final Virus“, a great German Rock act featuring Sibi Siebert on a hybrid Simmons SDSV kit, Oli Rubow and Robert Huettl with his „Drumallover“ trigger suit we were lucky enough to find fitting live acts.

People from the whole nation came to present their constructions: A welded full metal kit, a kit wrapped with Zebra skin, the brand new Drumi5 Mk II, Simmons SDX, Drum-Tec Pro and many more. Some sets were Software based using Superior or Addictive Drums, some were triggering standard V-Drum or DTX modules. Everybody was invited to test and compare every solution. And every exhibitor was helpful to explain every detail of his instrument.

It’s a pity that no manufacturer dared to join the party. After the success of the initial electronic drum meeting and the coverage of Germany’s leading drummer magazines „Sticks“ and Drums&Percussion“ it is rather unlike that Roland, Yamaha & co. Can afford to ignore the next issue…

Oli Rubow exploring the Simmons/Musicaid SDS3


Sibi Siebert, former Simmons staff, performing on his hybrid kit


Oli during his Workshop with lot’s of analog effect devices


Robert Huettl introducing his trigger suit


Sibi’s kit from behind


Drum-Tec Pro Sapeli kit


SDSV kit retrofitted with mesh heads


Software based DIY kit featuring Addictive Drums


DIY kit – glass/glitter wrapped with standard foil from the DIY superstore


Simmons SDX – #19 of only 250 built


Drum-Tec Diablo


Wronka custom kit – made of welded light metal (see


Exploring the possibilities of DIY


Jobeky Stealth kit with Toontrack Superior Drummer


Handy DIY kit with Roland TD-6


DIY Zebra Skin – needs to be groomed instead of polished


2box Drumit5 MkII

SDSV – making people smile :-)

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

one week after our successful electronic drum meeting I followed the kind invitation of Marcel Vogelmann (at least Germany’s craziest collector of Ludwig gear and good buddy of Bill Ludwig II) and exhibited a fully loaded SDSV at Württemberger Trommeltage. Everybody was invited to check the sounds and the feel of this dinosaur. The reactions where absolutely positive but also different: While the young guys (less then 15 years) asked where this “coolpiece of gear can be ordered”, there daddies got nostalgic feelings.

Some could not believe that they got the opportunity to play a Simmons for the first time (and probably for the last). Even the staff of the local music store raved about that vintage kit. When I tried to find a fitting stand for the cymbal pad, all the employees of the drum departement came to marvel about that strange thing 🙂
The SDSV: Never to old to inspire…