Measuring latency of the ZDS Shifter

Posted Leave a commentPosted in ZDS Shifter

While this article focuses on the ZDS Shifter, everything here applies equally to the Zendrum Stompblock.

Approx. 100us to process message

A typical “pure” MIDI thru device can claim to have zero latency as the MIDI In connection is generally wired directly to the Thru/Out port. However, the Shifter (and the Stompblock) use a soft-thru.

Why a soft thru? It’s because these devices need to receive and analyze the entire MIDI packet (typically 3 bytes) before deciding what to do with it. In the case of the Shifter, this includes looking up and processing any “shift rules” associated with the message before retransmitting the message.

The Shifter is a low-latency device and the average time it takes to process an incoming message is 100 microseconds. That’s a tenth of the milliseconds in which latency is usually expressed and completely imperceptible.

1ms from start of message receipt till start of transmission

However, that’s not the true latency of the device. Because as I pointed out, it needs to wait for the entire message before it can start processing it. This means the REAL latency is about 10 times that, but still only around 1 millisecond and generally below the level that a human can detect.

The conversion to USB adds on a bit more latency that varies in length as it needs to line up with the 32-bit (4-byte) frames that USB uses. On the high end, this can add another 500 to 800 microseconds meaning that the true latency of the Shifter ranges from 1 to 1.8 milliseconds. Your mileage may vary as you also need to take into account the hardware (and software if applicable) on the receiving end.
Generally speaking, if you’re connecting to a hardware sound module or a modern computer you should experience very low latency.

Latest Chrome Breaks MIDI Support

Posted 9 CommentsPosted in Stompblock

Chrome version 66 has apparently broken the Web MIDI support that the Stompblock client relies on.

We are looking into workarounds for this issue, but if you depend on the interface, you might want to hold off updating Chrome for the time being.

I’ll post any further information as soon as it is available. Thank you in advance for your patience!

** UPDATE **
The latest version of Opera is still working. Although it uses Chromium under the hood, it’s still at version 65 and isn’t suffering from the issues that Chrome 66 has. Installing Opera is a viable workaround in the short term until we sort out what’s going on with Chrome, though if they release a newer version of Opera it’ll likely have the same issue.

** UPDATE2 **
A workaround is now in place and the client is working in Chrome 66 as of version 5.3

Restomp update available

Posted 5 CommentsPosted in Restomp, Stompblock

Restomp version 1.5 is now available for download.
This version includes a correction to the Pan filter, and also adds new Delay and Phaser filters.

If you’re on macOS, the app should alert you of the update the next time you launch it. Windows users should download and install the update manually.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!

Restomp is now available!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Restomp, Stompblock

Great news! The Restomp application is now available for purchase and download at!

Restomp is the perfect companion for your Zendrum Stompblock. It makes loading custom samples into your Stompblock a snap!

It also enables you to fully leverage the multi-bank capabilities of your Stompblock to double the available instruments!

You can now import ZenEdit mappings into the STOMPBLOCK client

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Restomp, Stompblock

In preparation for the upcoming release of Restomp (the card editor for the STOMPBLOCK), the client application now supports importing ZenEdit map files.

While you’re working in Restomp and typing names for your samples, it’s building a ZenEdit map file behind the scenes. You can then later import this file into ZenEdit (and now the SB client too) so that the proper instrument names are displayed.

This feature was released in version 4.8 of the STOMPBLOCK client and is available right now. You’ll find the controls for managing map files on the main Settings tab.

Restomp Progress

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Restomp

In case I forgot to mention it, the Restomp app is proving to be a real tricky beast!

Things are really starting to gel though, and you hopefully will be seeing a release before Spring!

Here’s a peek at the importer, with a handful of effects. There’ll be more in the final product.

Nearing the finish line!

Posted 1 CommentPosted in ZDS Shifter

I know it’s been quiet around here, but rest assured that the ZDS Shifter has been steadily moving towards a production-ready model!

We were initially projecting it to be available before the end of 2017 and while it certainly will be in final beta by then, I now expect to be accepting orders in early 2018.

A lot of spit and polish has gone into the interface and programming to make sure the final product is as perfect as can be!

As you can probably imagine, with a tool as flexible as the Shifter, there are a great number of setup permutations and scenarios to test — to the point where I’ve had to build out additional hardware testing rigs in order to automate it all. This has taken additional time, but it’s the only way to get it “right”. I won’t put my stamp of approval on each box until I know it can stand up to the abuse of the road and can perform 100% reliably on stage.

STOMPBLOCK Client now supports 3rd party cards

Posted 5 CommentsPosted in Stompblock

Those of you who have purchased John Emrich’s incredible Articulations #1 Card for the Zendrum STOMPBLOCK will be pleased to know that the editor can now display his updated instrument names.

No more having to reconcile the note numbers against the SB defaults!

This 3.0 version of the editor has also been overhauled at should be slightly speedier than its predecessor.

Happy trigger thump`n!