Drummers have a whole new world they get to look forward to — drumming on anything and everything and actually hearing it outside of their head! A Kickstarter campaign has been launched for Freedrum, a virtual drumkit that fits in your pocket and can be played anywhere.
“We want to bring the drumming experience from soundproof studios to the outdoors, your sofa, or any other place you have access to a smartphone,” their description reads. “Whether you’re an aspiring drummer or you have been doing it for decades – Freedrum is designed to create an immersive experience for drummers of any skill level!”
Freedrum is designed to give musicians the most natural drumming experience. It is small, lightweight and easy to setup. Drummers can just slip the Bluetooth sensors on their drumsticks, pair them with their smartphone, and take them anywhere. It doesn’t require an internet connection and runs on a battery that should last for a week of regular use. The Freedrum units are interchangeable, so they can be used on feet, too, without buying a special product. When not on the drummer’s sticks or feet, it can fit in their pocket for easy transport.
Officially, the developers have tested and guarantee Freedrum’s use on iOS with Garageband on iPhones and iPads with iOS 10.0 or later. However, Freedrum has been tested on a variety of different music apps on iOS that supports Bluetooth Midi, including DM1 by Fingerlab, MoDrum and Vatanator Drum Machine. It’s also been successfully used through MacOS and Windows 10.
Freedrum does technically work with Android devices as well, but there appears to be a “slight audio latency that makes the sound appear a few milliseconds too late for our very high standards.” The developers say it’s out of their control, but Android is working to fix the issue.
Inventor of Freedrum, August Bering, says the idea came to him when his young son began playing drums and he looked for alternative source for the noise and size.
“A year ago, my 10 year old wanted to learn to play the drums. So we brought his grandfather’s old drum kit home for him to practice. It was falling apart and when we eventually managed to put it together it took up half his room. Also, it was just as loud as I remember from when I played in a rock band in our garage in the 90’s. And now I don’t even have a garage,” Bering claims.
“We want to bring the drumming experience from soundproof studios to the outdoors, your sofa, or any other place you have access to a smartphone.”
“Well, being a resourceful father and musician myself I looked around for an alternative. Of course, there are the usual electronic drum kits out there, but they’re just as large and not really silent either. Great I said, this is an opportunity to make the coolest drum kit in the world! I stole my son’s drum sticks and started building…”
Freedrum is powered by a tiny, high-capacity LiPo-battery, which can be fully charged in just under an hour, while providing enough power to keep Freedrum running for seven hours of constant drumming. It’s extremely lightweight and precise and includes a PCB with a gyroscope that detects movements and interprets them as hits on a drum. Together with the detected force, and a few other magic parameters, the movement is translated into MIDI. The MIDI signal is sent via Bluetooth to the connected app which then plays the actual sound via headphones or onboard speakers.
A standard Freedrum package includes two Freedrum units, a micro USB charger, two straps for drum sticks and two straps for your feet. Backers can select a variety of options with a few already sold out.
The campaign launched earlier this month and will wrap in early December. More than fifty percent of the $150,000 goal has been reached as of this writing. The units are expected to start shipping in August 2017.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.