A Preview of Zildjian’s Newest Products
At Avedis Zildjian headquarters in Norwell, Massachusetts, MMR was recently treated to a sneak preview of products and updates that will be on display at the 2012 Winter NAMM Show. John Broderick, VP of New Business/Products, gave a brief demonstration of new updates to the Gen16 AE Cymbal System, and Paul Francis, the company’s director of Research & Development, then went through the new rides, crashes, and hi-hats that are about to be unveiled.
The Gen16 AE (Acoustic Electric) Cymbal System includes a radically new “pickup” that utilizes a patent-pending, dual-head mini microphone design and a Digital Cymbal Processor (DCP) that captures the system’s unique acoustic cymbals. The heart of the AE Cymbal System, the DCP instantly changes the tone of the AE cymbals to fit any mood, vibe, or song. Armed with a wide variety of tone shapes, users can explore a myriad of new musical possibilities with this new and innovative instrument, which has recently benefitted from a Firmware Update. The first improvement in this update is a new System Manager that allows users to customize and save personal, internal settings. Also, a new Audio Manager allows modification of audio levels, microphone gates, and microphone sensitivity of each individual AE Cymbal plugged into the DCP. The DCP can connect to and communicate via MIDI capable E-Drum controllers allowing the user to save kits to memory from both the DCP and the current controller. Users can control the DCP from their drum controller or control their drum controller from the DCP, integrating the Gen16 AE Cymbal System even more with their current setup. Also included in the Firmware Update are ten new Tone Shapes in the current DCP arsenal that provide more creative nuances with each AE Cymbal. Throughout 2012, additional Tone Shapes are planned for release each quarter in an effort to continually grow the Tone Shape library.
On the purely digital side of things, the Gen16 Digital Vault series features high-quality, high-resolution acoustic samples of Zildjian’s most exclusive master “reference” cymbals, along with hard-to-find, limited-edition cymbals never made available to the public. As Internet bandwidth expands, it has become easier and faster to download large files. Gen16 has again teamed up with FXpansion (www.FXpansion.com) to offer its Digital Vault as a download.
Following the launch of the Gen16 line of products, Zildjian has introduced a new Buy Now Program. The full line of AE Cymbal Systems, AE Drum Rack, Digital Vault, and accessories are available to consumers through the new www.Gen-16.com portal. Visitors to www.Gen-16.com will start their shopping experience on the Gen-16.com site and be given the option to complete their purchase transaction through various industry-leading e-commerce retailers globally. Consumers can view an array of product information on Gen-16.com including product details and descriptions, usage videos, Quick Start Guides in 14 languages, artist performance and testimonials, and even a “crash test” video of the AE Rack and mounting hardware. This readily available information brings the potential customer one click away from completing their purchase on a Buy Now partner’s online store. Consumers have the option of choosing an e-commerce fulfiller in their region to facilitate the sale. Global fulfillers have already signed up for the program, and the list of countries and fulfillers continues to expand.
The Gen16 Buy Now program levels the playing field for retailers with active e-commerce businesses because the customer chooses who they wish to buy from. For a retailer to participate, they have to have an active e-commerce business, stock Gen16 products, maintain individual product links, and fulfill orders within 24 hours of purchase. For more information on this, interested parties should write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see the Gen16 product line of acoustic electric and digital products in action, stop by NAMM Booth #3050, where multi-platinum, Grammy award-winning recording artist Russ Miller will be doing a performance each day at 1:00 pm.
With an eye towards filling in the cracks for existing product lines, particularly among the K, K Custom, and K Constantinoples, the new cymbals being offered in 2012 cover a wide array of sizes and sounds, as well as a special Anniversary Ride in celebration of 20th year of production of the company’s A Custom cymbals.
In the K Custom line, Zildjian is introducing two unique K Custom Dark Complex Rides and a K Custom Hybrid Smash Trash. Unlathed but extensively hammered throughout the body and bell, the K Custom Dark Complex Ride features a satin finish that adds to its unique appearance. These rides are dark and complex, with good stick definition and just enough spread. The Dark Complex rides are available in 21” and 22” sizes, at a medium thin weight. The 19” K Custom Hybrid Trash Smash was designed in conjunction with Akira Jimbo, and is ideal for both crashing and riding, either on the outer edge or main body. With its inverted bell, extensive hammering and thin weight, this cymbal lives up to its name, delivering plenty of trash when it’s smashed. The Trash Smash features an abundance of overtones for a completely new sound. The K Custom Hybrid Trash Smash is thin in weight.
Two new ride cymbals are being added to the line of K Constantinoples: the 22” Renaissance Ride and 20” Bounce Ride. Developed in conjunction with jazz drummer Adam Nussbaum, the 22” K Constantinople Renaissance Ride is a versatile instrument that works well in small to medium-size musical settings. This cymbal features smoother lathing on both sides and a bell that is unlathed underneath, adding stick definition to the instrument. Three rows of over hammering and four large hammer clusters give it a dark spread with overtones and a bit of “trash.” The K Constantinople Renaissance Ride is medium-thin in weight. The 20” K Constantinople Bounce Ride is a smaller version of the popular 22” model launched two years ago. Like the 22” model, which was developed in conjunction with Kenny Washington, the 20” Bounce Ride features traditional K Constantinople hammering and eight unique cluster hammer marks on top that add just enough “dirt” to the sound. The new 20” model has more pronounced lathing and tonal grooves to produce plenty of dark wash and sustain. The K Constantinople Bound Ride is medium-thin in weight.
The popular A Zildjian Pocket HiHats will now be offered as a stand-alone product. Originally introduced as part of its successful Inspiration Pack for Gospel and Praise and Worship, these 13” A Zildjian HiHats feature a thin top and heavy bottom that provide plenty of chick that’s explosive, bright, and quick to decay.
Marking the 20th Anniversary of its A Custom cymbal line, Zildjain is launching a new 21” Anniversary Ride, which will be available in 2012 only. The new 21” size is versatile and well suited for all types of musical settings. Retaining all of the A Custom cymbal line attributes, the 21” Anniversary Ride features symmetrical hammering, brilliant finish, and medium weight for a balanced sound that is neither too high nor too low. Known for its crisp, sweet sound, this cymbal’s loud, penetrating bell is also ideal for Latin patterns. To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the A Custom line, a cream white logo and special trademark have been added to the cymbal. Special trade and consumer events commemorating the Anniversary are expected to be announced throughout the year.