Freedrum – A Revolutionary Virtual Drumming System

Freedrum – image credit:

Today we’re also going to discuss a very innovative virtual drumming instrument called Freedrum. It’s a very impressive and ingenious approach to silent playing, as well as playing on the move.

We try our best to keep pace with and inform our readers about new trends in the electronic drumming world. In a recent review, we talked about the Aerodrums air drum kit. However, Freedrum is even simpler than Aerodrums and comes with fewer equipment items.

So, let’s see how Freedrum works and how drummers can benefit from this virtual percussion instrument.

1)     The Freedrum concept

Freedrum is the brainchild of a Swedish inventor August Bering, inspired by his own child’s effort to try to learn how to play drums. Just like most parents whose kids start playing a musical instrument in a flat, he realized that the noise coming from drumming wasn’t the most convenient sound for their neighbors.

That’s when he started developing some ideas that have later evolved into a virtual drumming kit.

The entire campaign for funding Freedrum was launched on Kickstarter and he also established a collaboration with the Black Zero tech company. All these efforts have resulted in the instrument we have today.

2)     The Freedrum technology

This instrument is based on four strap-on sensors that look like USB-sticks. Two of them are hollow in the middle and these two holes are where you should insert your drumsticks.

The other two are attached to two straps. The drummer needs to put them on their feet. The interaction between these sensors creates a virtual drumming set in front of the drummer. You can see what drumming with this kit looks like in this video.

Each of these sensors consists of two parts: a circuit board with an integrated gyroscope and a rechargeable battery. The gyroscope is the ‘soul of Freedrum’, since this little device identifies the moves you make while drumming and processes transforms these drum kicks into MIDI-format.

After that, you receive these data on the device you’re using through a wireless connection (usually Bluetooth). We’re going to talk about the devices and the belonging software tools later in the text.

The software solution then sends the sound to your headphones. Also, you can put your drumming on Freedrum through speakers.

3)     The elements of Freedrum

You’ve installed all the technological features required for Freedrum drumming and it’s time to get your party started. The first question that will come to your mind is whether this drumming experience can reach the real drumming feel that you get when you play a traditional drumming kit.

Since the sensors follow the movements and positions of your hand and the sticks, you’ll have all the elements of a regular drumming kit right where you would find them in such a kit.

To be more precise, you can play your bass pedal and hi-hat pedal, as well as the ride and crash cymbals the same way you’d play them on a regular drum set.

As you sit down, launch the app, turn on the sensors and start playing, you’ll notice after a while that the positions of the elements respond to the ones of a tangible drum kit.

What’s more, the Freedrum kit can be adjusted so that it suits left-handed players. Go to your Sensorware app and choose the drumstick sensors. Here you’ll see an option called Left Handed Drumkit. Switch on that function and now Freedrum is set for left-handed drummers.

4)     The devices and software tools

In order to play your Freedrum drumming kit, you need to connect it to a mobile device. Although there were some issues with the Android OS, latency-wise, the good news is that those issues have been resolved. As a result, users of iOS, Android and Windows 10 can play Freedrum via their phones. Still, make sure that you download Android 6 or later versions. It’s less likely that you’ll experience audio lag with these versions.

The first thing you should do is download the Freedrum Sensorware app for your OS.

After that, switch on the sensors on the drumsticks and foot straps. When sensors are turned on, you need to calibrate them, but don’t worry, it’s not technically demanding. Just put them on a flat surface for a moment and you can start using them.

Bear in mind that they come with LiPo batteries which are charged with a dual USB-cable. It takes about one hour to charge the sensor batteries. Once fully charged, they can last up to 13 hours. Another great thing about these sensors is that they have a LED light that shows the battery level and the connection with your mobile device.

Now that your sensors are on and you’ve downloaded Sensorware, launch the app and switch on Bluetooth, as well.

Choose the option Pair in the app for all the devices in your Freedrum kit.

This option will connect your app with the drumsticks and the foot sensors.

In case the Freedrum app doesn’t meet your demand, you can use other software solutions. Many drummers opt for GarageBand. It’s a reliable software tool with many practical options. For instance, here you can easily activate the background music option for your rehearsals with Freedrum. In the Advanced section, choose the option Run in background. You can play music from Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services while practicing your Freedrum.

5)     The potential disadvantages

We think Freedrum has massive potential. It doesn’t take large space and you can carry the set around without any difficulties.

When it comes to playing comfort, experienced drummers are highly likely to immediately spot the benefits that this drum kit brings. They can be played at home without making any noise that would bother your family members of your neighbors.

On the other hand, beginners might need some time to get the right playing feeling. This is why it might be better for them to make their drumming baby steps with one of electronic drum sets. When you get the gist of the rebound feel and the touch of tangible drums, you’ll be ready to try the advantages of Freedrum.

As for the sound quality, don’t forget that the Freedrum team are still trying to improve the features of the Android OS – make sure that your version is supported!


Freedrum is a great choice for different sorts of drummers, since it isn’t a demanding drumming kit and it can be played anywhere. Also, you can listen to your playing practice both on headphones and on speakers.

It could be a great gift choice for drummers or those that have expressed an interest in playing the instrument.

Since this instrument is still getting additional features and it’s already a futuristic drumming gem, getting Freedrum is a great leap into the tech-enhanced drumming future.

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Our Comprehensive Aerodrums Review

For decades drummers have played traditional drum sets and electronic drum kits. Today a technological development has yielded a futuristic drumming option: air drumming.

Instead of buying a tangible set of old-school or electronic drums, now you can get an Aerodrums air drum kit.

Since it’s a relatively new product on the market, both experienced drummers and drummers-to-be might need more information about this innovative drum set.

This review will present the key features of the Aerodrums air drum kit and stress out some pros and cons of this product.

Before we get into it, have a look at this video to see Aerodrums in action:

The Aerodrums equipment

When electronic drums came on stage in the 1970s, some musicians were delighted with their practical aspect. They were much lighter and easier to carry around than those large drum sets.

The emergence of air drums is another step forward for practical drumming. The only thing you need to take to your practice session is the Aerodrums box, with all the items it contains.

You also get the Aerodrums lamp within the box. This lamp contains a lens and is connected to a computer.

Then there are two drumsticks. However, these aren’t regular sticks. They come with reflector heads, which receive a signal from the Aerodrums lamp. This is an important part of the entire product.

For the sake of smooth playing, you also get two foot straps, which are used for the bass drum and hats.

Finally, the Aerodrums box will contain a product key and a PS Eye High-Speed Camera, except for the US market. Here you need to buy the camera separately.

How to get Aerodrums ready for playing

This drumming system works in a much simpler way than you’d think.

Basically, it relies on the motion capture technology that records the movements of the player.

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to play your air drum kit.

First and foremost, connect the lamp and the PS Eye Camera to your computer. They’re both connected via USB ports.

The next step is to download the Aerodrums software from their website. It’s compatible with the Mac OS x 10.6 and later, as well as with Windows 7, 8, 10 and Windows Vista. As for the storage space, you’ll need between 800 and 900 MB of free space to download and install this software.

After that, you should launch the downloaded software and start the installation process. You’ll have to enter the product key that you got in the Aerodrums box.

As you set the software up, you’ll get some instructions from the software. At this moment, you should place the camera on the lamp.

Get ready for air drumming

Then you’ll be instructed how to position your body in regard to the lamp-camera duet. It will be shown on the software interface. This is only an illustration where your drums would be placed in the space around you.

This is where you’ll see where you should sit in order to ‘put’ those invisible drum elements within the right drumming distance.

Also, the software might warn you to reduce the level of light in the room, since the lamp is sensitive to extensive light.

The next thing you’ll see on the computer screen is a sketch of a drum set. The purple and the pink dot above the set represent the heads of your sticks. This picture will help you orientate in space and locate each and every drum within the air drum set.

Now you can start your first air drumming session!

Playing with the Aerodrum sounds

You’ve probably noticed by now that once you get into the system behind the Aerodrums air drum kit, the drumming is pretty straightforward.

What you can do to improve your air drum experience is literally play with the sounds you get while drumming.

This drum set brings seven integrated drum kits, as well as the range of 32 different sounds of percussions, cymbals, and drums. If you’ve ever played electronic drum kits, you know that those sets offer an abundance of sounds. In comparison with electronic drums, the Aerodrums kit falls behind when it comes to the number of sounds.

Still, you can overcome this problem by inserting your own samples that you create on your computer. The more different sounds you create and add to the Aerodrums software, the larger variety of sounds you’ll be able to produce on your air drums.

Since the Aerodrums is compatible with MIDI options, you can connect this set to any other hardware or software and increase the number of sounds.

Virtual reality projects the invisible drums

In 2016, Yann Moran and Richard Lee – the wise tandem behind the Aerodrums – announced that there will be a VR upgrade to their air drum kit.

As a result, drummers will be able to project the once-invisible drums into the space around them. Instead of hitting the empty space before you, now you’ll be able to actually see the drum elements you’re hitting.

This addition will mean a lot to drumming beginners. It will enable them to make faster progress and improve their drumming techniques. The only appendix to the items from the regular Aerodrums kit will be an Oculus Rift headset.

The pros and cons

Just like any innovative product, the Aerodrums air drum kit brings numerous benefits to its users, but it also has certain weak spots. We’ve listed the following pros and cons of this set.

The Pros

  • Drummer-friendly portability

You can carry your set of air drums in your rucksack or even in a plastic bag. Its dimensions are 16.3 x 7.4 x 1.4 inches. Wherever you go, you can just plug the lamp and the camera into a computer and do your drumming rehearsal. Of course, the computers in question need to have the Aerodrums software installed.

  • Neighbour-friendly sound options

If you live in a block of flats, you just put on a pair of headphones and nobody will hear you playing your drums.

Those drummers living in more relaxed surroundings can simply let their drumming blast through computer speakers or an amplifier.

  • Countless additional sounds and pre-set kits

You can expand the number of additional sounds and drum kits, which is a great perk for a drum kit in this price range.

  • Intuitive software interface

The Aerodrums software interface on your computer screen is intuitive. The visual elements you follow there are clearly organized, which is extremely important for every drummer, especially the ones still learning how to play this instrument.

  • Fair accuracy

For something that’s called an ‘air drum kit’, this set is pretty accurate when it comes to playing accuracy. Also, if you adjust the camera and the lamp well, there will be no latency, as well.

The Cons

  • Camera brightness

The PS Eye Camera is pretty sensitive and bright, which is why you shouldn’t play your air drums in spaces that are far too bright. Also, we would recommend that you get sunglasses to protect your eyes against the camera brightness. However, cardboard ones come as part of the product.

  • Setting up the camera and lamp

Some users might find setting the camera and the lamp a bit tricky. It’s nothing too complicated, but it does take some time to adjust these two parts. Follow this tutorial to find the perfect place for the camera.

  • High sensitivity to lights

Some users have reported that the lamp is too sensitive to lights, not only to daylight but also to mere white walls in their rooms. So, you’ll need to find the right space in your home where you’ll be able to play this drum kit.

The final word on Aerodrums

Easily packed and light to carry around with you, the Aerodrums air drum kit is a nice option for drummers with some experience. This set will serve a great purpose as the rehearsal set or you could even try it out in a show!

Also, the option to add as many sounds to it as you like significantly increase the number of playing variations. Together with the VR-update, this drum kit represents a great value for money and we recommend that you try it out.

2 new from $199.00
as of March 18, 2018 8:02 pm
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