View Full Version : Official Virgildonati.com relaunch thread!

11-07-2003, 11:27 AM
Hi everyone!

Wow, this place really DID grow a lot! A lot of you have developed a severe case of messageboarditis (an addiction) recently. There have been some great posts and threads on how to improve behind the drumkit as well as great posts on general stuff. Thanks to everyone for making this board really cool.

I guess I'll make this the official Virgildonati.com website relaunch thread. I thought I should give you guys a small retrospect on what's been happening and where Virgil and I saw this website going.

Virgil and I have been always wanting to create a really great drumming community. Simply because its great to read posts from people that talk about odd-time signatures, unusual foot/hand techniques, showmanship ideas, etc. What better place to have this but Virgildonati.com? The second this new msgboard was launched a lot of great people joined and started a great place for discussion on Virgil's drumming/performances as well as drumming in general.

This was part one.

For the past year and a half, we wanted to create an intuitive look into Virgil's drumming practices as well as add a whole bunch of new features to this website. There will be a premium membership to Virgildonati.com which will give you access to online master classes (posted and commented by Virgil) with video as well as highlights from past performances with the ability to discuss about everything that is posted. The new website will also include updated content (pictures, articles, etc) as well as new sections. All this and more...

We're pretty close and we sure hope you will enjoy the final product. You can check out the status of it's completion on the official relaunch page at virgildonati.com/relaunch. At the time of this posting, it's about 85% done.

Feel free to discuss about the upcoming launch. I will try to answer some of the questions that come up.


11-07-2003, 01:16 PM
Holy crap!!!!!!!! This is amazing news!!!!!!!!!!

And I was going to get ready for the Montreal Drum Fest this weekend! Now i have to get ready for this stuff!!

This is such good news and I can't wait to see the rest!!!!


11-07-2003, 01:29 PM
I'm curious about how the
premium structure will work
and if it will discourage new
members from coming aboard
in any way. :)

I just checked out the trailer
and I thought it was great.
Count me in, Virgil and
Christopher! Ch-ching!! :D

11-07-2003, 06:51 PM
This is gonna be great!!!! :D

11-08-2003, 02:14 AM
It wont discourage anyone, peter. Anyone can still acccess Virgildonati.com and will have access to some freebie videos. But those who choose to become premium members will have access to online master classes as well as premium additional content such as past performances and more.

Nothing will really change as far as structure goes. There will just be a hefty little portion that will be added.

11-08-2003, 04:30 AM

This is just amazing.
It looks even better than I could have imagined!
I really didn't know what to expect, after knowing about this for quite a long time, - sorry to all my friends here at virgildonati.com, but I take pride in keeping secrets.

You are enhancing the fact that this is the coolest place for drummers to hang on the web.

The ideas you feature are brilliant, and spot-on what fans of Virgil have been craving for in a long time.

I for one, know how much Chris has worked and struggled with this to make it the best possible place for all us fans!
I think I can alreday say that you have done an incredible job Chris!

The future of virgildonati.com is bright!

11-08-2003, 05:32 AM
Maybe because im a bit out of it, buutt, whats this premium member stuff?

11-08-2003, 08:10 AM

Look at the trailer, if you can.
It's really good.

This is going to be one way
that we can directly contribute
to Virgil and also become more
intimate with his directions.

I hope we can welcome more
and more players here on his
behalf and incite more dialogue
that directly contributes to the
knowledge of the kit and how
to approach it - helping each
other in the process.

That's what this will all be
about, I think.

Here's to Virgil, again! :)

11-08-2003, 09:10 AM
Amazing....I got really excited just reading about this new web page, and then I saw the trailer and almost jumped out of my skin!!! It's going to be amazing....I can hardly wait....and you can definitely count me in for the premium membership....thanks Virg and Christopher!!!!

11-08-2003, 09:39 AM
Some people in Europe might of gotten wind of this already at the clinics so far. Since we're kinda close at the moment, we decided to go ahead and announce it. Still some work to be done, but its there.

11-08-2003, 11:04 AM
This will be AWESOME...gret trailer...keep up the GREAT work Christopher!!! Thanx!!!!

Milo Porto
11-08-2003, 03:12 PM
wooohoooo..count me in man!!:D

11-08-2003, 03:37 PM
Hi Christopher, will the premium members have to pay for their membership and if so, will payments only be possible with a credit card?

11-08-2003, 10:25 PM
Yes kyrah, all payments will be through paypal at the moment, but it won't be the regular "donation" type of payment. It will be as if you're going through a credit card processor.

Since a lot of people use PayPal nowadays, I figured this should be easy for a lot of you.


11-09-2003, 05:19 AM
This is AMAZING! Seriously, this is very very good news. Congrats to Christopher and Virgil. any idea on how much $$$ the membership will be? I hope it wonīt be too much for the people (myself included) who donīt have a dollar or euro based income. I hope it all works out!

11-09-2003, 12:06 PM
I'm so excited about this. I can't imagine how amazing this is going to be. Thank you so much Virg and Christopher!

11-09-2003, 12:11 PM
Hi Christopher,

Can u tell us a little about the size and quality of the upcoming Videos, in the members section?
Actually this questions were mauricios, but it seems he can't reach the board by now.

What will the used video format be?
The prelaunch video was wmv, which in my personal point of view is not very good.

The Reason is, to watch wmv videos user of other operating systems than windows, have to use the W32 codecs illegally, and in the future they may be blocked out.:(

Maybe i may suggest another superiour codec which is open and may be used by everyone without paying money, or being concerned about any law.

XVid would make a good alternative, it's free software, which means u can use it for whatevery u want, even modify it, and it's available on every system that's fast enough to play a compressed video ;) and it's ISO MPEG-4 compliant.
more Infos on that: http://www.xvid.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=FAQ&file=index&myfaq=yes&id_cat=1&categories=XviD+User%27s+FAQ&parent_id=0

Maybe u can tell us what you think of it.

Are there going to be regular update cycles, like some weeks?

As well as mauricio was, i'm also interested in the price. :D

11-09-2003, 12:16 PM

I make sure I get that premium thingy.

11-09-2003, 07:21 PM

Thanks for your inquiry.

The reason why I went with .wmv for the prelaunch is mainly because of the statistics of the users here. Most of the users here are on Windows based systems. Mac users come second (a lot of OSX users too!). Yes, there are some Linux users, but I know for a fact that those users are just here for the news and reading material. The most important thing for the site is to have compatibility across the board. I'm trying to be careful with this along the whole way.

I really haven't made a decision just yet on the video compression for the clips, but yes, I've been working with the Xvid codec myself. It's really great and yes, it's free!! At this stage of the project, the video compression and quality issue is a detail as Im still working on the engine on how to present these lessons from a web perspective. Rest assured though, the videos will not be small 30 secs clips that are running at 12 FPS 160X120 pixels. I wouldn't cause that grief to anyone! Then again, the videos won't be a whopping 250 megs every time either. It really all depends of the lesson and the highlight length of the video that will be featured.

As far as pricing goes, there's nothing I can reveal just yet. The lessons as well as some highlights will be updated every week linked up with it's own comment system so that everyone can discuss what Virgil demonstrated/played. Those are just one of the many features that are coming up.

I am updating the progress bar on the prelaunch page as we get further in the development. So keep your eyes over there and here for some answers.


11-10-2003, 05:16 AM
Thanks for the insight in your plans :D
The most important thing for the site is to have compatibility across the board.
yes, i hoped that this is your aim somehow, though it is my believe that the choice of wmv and other windows only formats, or something like real, is the total juxtaposition of what you're aiming to.

Anyway, i'm sure you wont leave others behind ;)Im still working on the engine on how to present these lessons from a web perspective.

I always was intersted in the traffic that those "embedded-web-videos" cause, because people like to see videos very often, thus the video has to be downloaded several times, i wonder how the impact will be :D and also hope there will be a download option, for non flatrate users :D
The lessons as well as some highlights will be updated every week linked up with it's own comment system so that everyone can discuss what Virgil demonstrated/played.
guess those will cause a lot of lively discussions ;) sounds really nice

one question about the Board: when i'm writing a post, the input textarea, is quite narrow, they just look like Peters posts ;) is that wanted?

keep up the good work

11-10-2003, 06:00 AM
VirgilDonati.com v2.0!!! Give it to me babeh!!.. (Chris, unfortunately PayPal doesn't allow creditcard payments from my country, Malaysia. Any other methods of payment via creditcard?)

11-10-2003, 06:49 AM
and also hope there will be a download option, for non flatrate users

I hope so. Otherwise I will quickly use all the bandwidth avaliable to the site :) .
Iīll be watching these videos for HOURS at a time, and Iīm pretty sure no one here will watch a video less ten times in a row.

11-10-2003, 08:19 AM
This is all great news, really looking forward this new website.

11-10-2003, 09:10 AM

Yeah, XVid is great, I love it very much myself. However, I don't think I was clear on the streaming vs non-streaming issue that may arise. I'm going to try to keep the traffic at an acceptable rate so that it doesnt hog the server all that much. I mean, we DO have some good server power, but it's not something like we're connected directly to the pipe or anything. So, some admins might get pissed if we do the bonafide streaming solution.

Hey BrettLee...
PayPal will be the first method of payment. We're looking into other ones but Im pretty fussy about most of them (processors).
Its funny that Malaysia is not allowed :(


11-10-2003, 11:27 AM
That's great news!!!!

Keep up the good work Christopher!!

Any idea how much the premium membership will cost?

11-10-2003, 01:23 PM
Mac users come second?! But Macs are the best! :D Will this XVid program be able to be used on OSX?

11-11-2003, 02:38 AM
Originally posted by Lucius
Mac users come second?! But Macs are the best! :D Will this XVid program be able to be used on OSX?
yeah right after Irix users ;)
seriously... sure it's available, mostly all System that come to my mind have an XVid Port. On Unix u can even render those Vids on a textterminal with aa.lib, looks really cool it's like watching the matrix, when all those ASCII characters move along the screen ;)

11-11-2003, 04:13 AM
:confused: maybe i should of payed attention in my computers class!! :D

11-11-2003, 03:07 PM
recognise anyone? ;)

...just for fun

11-12-2003, 12:06 AM
Wowie.. Virgil in AsCII.. cool!

11-12-2003, 06:42 AM
Wow, how did you make that? I don't really see VIRGIL but it's definitely a drummer behind the kit! :)

11-12-2003, 09:15 AM
hehe if you lean back, not focus the image , u can even read Pearl on that kickdrum :D

just rendered hat video with aalib instead of normal X11 output ;)
so if i'm not at home but want to watch another virgil video, i can just watch it though a terminal in a command prompt :D

11-12-2003, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by Tom24
hehe if you lean back, not focus the image , u can even read Pearl on that kickdrum :D

just rendered hat video with aalib instead of normal X11 output ;)
so if i'm not at home but want to watch another virgil video, i can just watch it though a terminal in a command prompt :D

Wow! Clever Idea... :D

11-15-2003, 11:58 AM
Now, to the point! How much will it cost? I'll pay it anyway, but I'd like to have an idea... ;)

11-16-2003, 08:18 AM
Xen, the prices will be pretty much revealed when we're close to launching the new site. You'll get an idea of it then.


11-17-2003, 01:38 PM
Quite exciting! Even we in the shadowy parts of europe will be able to get a portion of the cake:) Unbelivable. Quickly, let's start warming up! :D

11-17-2003, 01:45 PM
I see in the trailer that you have footage of the famed hamburg drumfest performance Chris!! I hope a clip of this will be available!!:D

11-17-2003, 02:07 PM
Should be, Jimi.

Can you guys guess the rest of the performances/snippets? :)

11-17-2003, 03:54 PM
Any from Chicago???

Not just the clinic but the CAB show???

11-17-2003, 05:04 PM
Oh yeah, there are lots of stuff in store, Peter.

11-17-2003, 07:24 PM

11-17-2003, 07:49 PM
I'm so excited!!!

11-18-2003, 04:22 AM

@chris: someone on the HOD board mentioned that he thinks the premium member footage will probably appear on kazaa, the way things are these days,
are you incorporating WM9 licences or anything like this to combat this problem??

11-19-2003, 07:13 AM
Well....the footage will PROBABLY be floating around. But, since we Virgil fans are a somewhat restricted (non-mainstream) group, the "leak" will come from one of the members, as opposed to coming from a piracy-related release group.

I just hope the price wonīt be a problem, especially for the people that donīt have a dollar/euro income. The currency here in Brasil, for example, is very weak when compared to those. Minimum wage here is around U$100 (Iīm not kidding!).
I also hope that we get really LONG videos.

11-19-2003, 09:55 AM
Jimi, Im glad you asked this question. I was going to address this fairly soon anyway.


Well, there's really nothing anyone can do about it at the moment. Even the RIAA and the MPAA are trying to battle it and the more and more they are doing it, they are embracing the whole "take one step forward, three steps back" theory. Which is wrong. I really really like where MP3's and videos are today and I think it's such a healthy medium to get one's music across. Then again, everything has it's bad side.

I've gotten quite a few emails from people telling me that "Information should be free". Yes, they are right, and I'm all for it. There will be a lot of "free" stuff for you guys, but I believe that someone like Virgil who has a status in the drumming world today, the word "FREE" should be questioned when a premium members area is mentioned.

That being said, piracy is for sure a big concern in this whole project, and it's being carefully put together. However, no special 'licenses' will be put forward to 'protect' these videos/lessons right now. It may go that way in the following months after the launch. A lot of rules will be set forward on this board to ban the users who REMOTELY talk about pirating or sharing videos.

The most important thing is that we're creating is a great drummers/musician's community where everyone and anyone could come and talk about drums and drumming as well as music in general. The lessons and extra insight is what's offered as a plus for the people who really love hanging out here.

However, I have very very good faith that each and every one of the virgildonati.com members here will stay true to their membership and not throw around the lessons and pirate them to keep everything 'free'. Mind you that a lot of hard work is being put into this and it's being made for drummers by drummers. The members who will share these videos will simply be hurting the site. But like I said, I know that the people who will pay to get online lessons will stay true to their membership and will hopefully appreciate all the extra goods this place will have to offer.


11-19-2003, 10:51 AM
True... I too, think that only a true virgildonati.com members would appreciate the effort in putting those videos together anyway.

11-19-2003, 10:51 AM
Although I agree that "information should be free" for the most part, I am not at all opposed to paying for a premium membership at this site....as far as I'm concerned, Virgil and Christopher are in a sense doing us a great favor by putting in the long hours and effort it takes to put a project like this together.....and given all the new goodies that will be available, I'm sure it'll be more than worth the price we have to pay....anybody who takes private lessons, think of how much you pay for these, and then think about the fact that by paying for the premium membership, you will esentially take lessons with Virgil (one the greatest drummers ever) at a far smaller cost than you normally pay your private teacher....I think it's well worth it....and I think Virgil and Christopher need to be compensated somehow for the amount of time they are putting into the relaunch....So I truly believe that the premium members idea is well worth it, and we should be thanking our lucky stars that this area is even going to exist....because it would've been a lot of easier for Virgil and Christopher to not put in the effort at all....

11-19-2003, 12:47 PM
Another intersting thing brought up :D

to Chris

I do think people can do something about piracy, from my perspective the problem is not the oppurtunity for the people to get things free, but their lack of feel for worth.
I believe this problem originates at what we call pop music. Nowadays pop music is created very fast and with the intention to make it sound good at the first time, and after several times it's getting boring, that is not a thing that occured because of the time or deevolution of music, but because big labels want to earn money, and think about how to make that most efficiently, and find this a perfect way to use the nature of human beings connected to music ...this abuse is a shame.

And that is where i highly dislike organisations like the RIAA and MPIAA, what they are doing is cheating and to me they are criminals, especially when you read the news about them everyday (take a look onto slashdot.org)
they enforce the continuation of legal misuse of music.

I also believe that people here, know what Virgil's playing is "worth", they know how much time he spend on it and infact he is hardly able to do another job, if he did he wasnt able to give us such joy, he does now.

so i want to think more of a small contribution that many people make to Virgil and you, for presenting us what we can enjoy, than of a fee :)

Art is something that makes a rich society a great deal richer, and it's also an important part of what we are ...human

People want art, not products, but mostly products that pretend to be music (art) are available.

So let's contribute in order virgil can continue, in the end it's for our own good.

P.S. i forgot to draw the other side ;) as mauricio already said, there are people that hardly can affort some things, sometimes i count myself to that people, though i have and euro income, but even coming to the virgil clinic this month put me into financial trouble, so thinking of the "not that rich" people is also important. For example Alias put out a free learning edition of "Maya" (a very expensive and highly professional 3d modelling software) so people can learn and are not bound to financial conditions and ahve the same opportunities.
or look at the OpenSourceSoftware community, so many people are working just for the good of the community, not holding back or preventing other peoples use of that information, i mostly use free (means open not free of charge) software, and try to contribute back as much as i can, though it's hard work, but i know it's worth it.

Musicians like Virgil etc. dont need Digital Rights management, but products like Chrisina Aguilera need it, and we dont need them.

EDIT: i also like quitous interpretation about the lessons :D

11-19-2003, 01:10 PM
Tom, thanks for your thoughts. You're going pretty deep in the psychological part of piracy from a mainstream perspective, which is not wrong. It's just that Virgildonati.com represents a very concentrated set of drummers coming together to talk. I hope this thread wont become a "SUPPORT NAPSTER" thread. We can start that some other time :)

Trust me, I see the whole thing the same way as you do. It's all good. I was just answering a question as easily as possible.

Jimi asked me if I will be looking into any kind of 'license' to protect the videos. I think my post explained that I believe everyone here shares the same passion, and that passion is Music (Drums, art, you name it!). As long as we're on that same wave length, Virgil and I are not worried.

I really appreciate all the kind words of support till now. We hope everyone will enjoy it once it's all done.

Cheers guys!

11-19-2003, 01:48 PM
Hi Christopher,

i just believe (and i really hope, my believe holds some truth) the people here know what they are receiving from Virgil and appreciate that, at least that's my impression, which is just great, and a good example of how it could be.

I really never wanted to question your plans (how could i without knowing) maybe i just wanted to remind the people around, and myself of some things ...somethings just happen and you dont really know the reasons.
Jimi asked me if I will be looking into any kind of 'license' to protect the videos. I think my post explained that I believe everyone here shares the same passion, and that passion is Music (Drums, art, you name it!). As long as we're on that same wave length, Virgil and I are not worried.

11-19-2003, 03:33 PM
Ok chris, of course i forget you have the right to allow or not allow someone to become a member, esp. if you believe their reason for joining isn't legit.
This guy just mentioned kazaa on the HOD board thread i started and the first thing that came to mind was a file available to portnoy forumers at christmas that installed a windows media licence on whatever computer it was played on and it couldnt be transferred after that. i think the webmaster said that you could download it from any computer and just not to watch it until you were at your own comp.
I really hope you don't have this problem and it's great that you've looked over this relaunch so thoroughly!:)

11-19-2003, 03:54 PM
Like I said at HOD, I have
no problem paying Virgil.

As I see it, I already owe him! :D

11-19-2003, 05:41 PM
As it seems, this whole comecept of a constantly updated instructional video series is a very great idea. For some great reason, many of my favorite drummers are releasing or have released instructional DVDs as of late. But from all the interviews I have read with Virgil, he seemed to avoid making another instructional video even though he probably has the most insightful information about drumming to give. I'm glad to find out that one of the purest students of the drums is approaching his teaching method as an evoulationary work rather than a single volume taken from one moment in his musical apprenticeship. This allows the students of virgil to grow with him as he learns new concepts and masters them.
But I would like to know if premium members can save the videos to thier hard drive or if it will be a streaming video server only? As cool as this is I want to be able to watch the videos while not being online.

11-20-2003, 01:56 AM
Chris said there would be a download option for non flat-rate users, so this would work for you too AshefieldDrum, don't worry!

11-21-2003, 04:10 AM
If you've not already done so, you may want to check out this company for accepting online payments.


11-21-2003, 07:32 AM
I'm looking forward to becoming a premium member
... and of course I'll pay for it, because not everthing
should be free ... hey the man practiced the whole life
so he should get money for it.

It's really worth to pay for it I think!



11-26-2003, 12:25 PM
Hey Chris,
Earlier in this thread you asked if we could guess a few of the other clips, are any of the others OTV studio footage, Dog boots being recorded, and perhaps some moonbabies studio? I don't have a clue about the other live ones.

11-26-2003, 12:48 PM
I bet the "The Moon is Falling" sessions were taped at MI. Thereīs a segment un the relaunch clip that has Virgil playing the Green/Blue black hardware kit and his toms are more to the right side than usual - It would be cool if that was from the TMIF sessions

11-27-2003, 07:25 PM
When is it going to be 90% done? ;)

11-28-2003, 02:32 AM
I CAN'T WAIT - Been checking this space out daily guys...:D

12-03-2003, 01:29 PM
My day just got better!

I just checked out the relaunch page and it said 90% DONE!

Awesome. I can't wait!

12-03-2003, 03:52 PM
Sweet!! :D

12-03-2003, 08:21 PM
90%....getting closer:) I can hardly wait:D

12-09-2003, 08:50 AM
this is a great news, cant wait to see it, and i just want to ask how much the membership fee, any idea??

12-12-2003, 11:12 PM
I sure cant wait until 95% :D :D

12-13-2003, 09:21 AM
DAMN! I canīt wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12-13-2003, 10:46 AM
okay, where the crap is trailer? if u dont mind telling me. sry, im new.:confused:

12-13-2003, 11:01 AM
nm guys, i found the trailer and am lookin so forward to it. it's gonna be so freakin awesome. i mean seriously. holy s**t!:D

12-24-2003, 01:06 PM
Looks like it's right around the corner. 95% DONE! :)

12-25-2003, 05:49 PM
95% done:D almost there....I am really looking forward to it:)

12-25-2003, 08:11 PM
I almost fell off my chair when seeing that!! Excellent! I cant wait!! :D :D I just hope I have enough money to pay for premium membership hehe :D

12-26-2003, 02:10 PM
yeah, thats my problem. i dont know if ill have the money. i can always scramble somethin together but still, money is tight!

12-29-2003, 04:58 AM
Arrrggg I cant wait!! :mad: Hehe, sorry Chris, just really looking forward to it!! :D :D

12-29-2003, 08:01 PM
So, the pre-relaunch page said that the new site would be up in "late december". I donīt mean to sound like an ungrateful bastard, but are we still on schedule ???

12-30-2003, 10:56 AM
*lol* reminds of of a sad statistic, wich said for germany, that almost 70% of the IT projects fail, most frequent reason is delay. ;D
oops seems im the ungrateful bastard

12-30-2003, 02:06 PM
Hey guys,

Good thing that it's not a HUGE delay like another month or anything... In fact, it's right around the corner. As it turns out, we're waiting on some final things to continue. It would be safe to say that I'll give it another week at the latest.


12-30-2003, 04:14 PM
seriously!!! awesome!!!

12-30-2003, 04:49 PM