Freedrum and Senstroke look very similar but function quite differently to each other. I have had the pleasure of trying out both of these products and can give you a good comparison between the two.
The main differences
Freedrum is an air-drumming product. With Senstroke, you need to actually hit something!
I found Freedrum to be a bit more fun to play, more portable, and a bit easier to use. Their sensors also work very well for playing with your feet.
Senstroke, on the other hand, feels more realistic, it has better sensitivity when detecting drumstick hits, and has an ‘improve’ mode on their app which is a nice feature.
Which one you go for is very much a matter or a preference, so make sure to keep reading!
Air Drumming vs Drumming on a Surface
Freedrum is an air-drumming product. You play with your drumsticks in the air and don’t have to hit any surface. With, Senstroke, you need to actually hit a physical object.
With Senstroke you get the tactile feedback from actual drumming. Whereas with Freedrum, you are air drumming. There are certainly benefits to each approach.
With Freedrum, you can practice anywhere. With senstroke, you need you set up a practice area and actually hit things!
Before we continue, we have published review videos of Freedrum and Senstroke, you can see both of them below:
Portability and setup
Verdit: Freedrum wins when it comes to portability.
After playing around with both options, I found that it’s easier to get up and running quickly with playing Freedrum.
You can play it in the middle of a park bench, at the office, at home on your couch, basically anywhere you want!
With Senstroke, you’re going to need to have a playing surface and set it up, and calibrate your sensors to make sure it’s right
Sensitivity of the Sensors on Drumsticks
Verdit: Senstroke wins on sensitivity for the drumsticks.
Because you’re actually hitting something, Senstroke is much more sensitive for faster drumming. If you want to go for the more subtle strokes, like double stroke rolls, ghost notes, etc, Senstroke picks these up better, probably because it’s a lot easier for the sensors to pick these up because you’re hitting something.
Sensitivity of the Sensors on Your Feet
Verdit: I found the Freedrum foot sensors to be more sensitive (including double bass drum pedals).
I found the freedrum sensors to be better and more sensitive towards faster playing and more subtle movements. From what I could tell, both approaches only work properly with the heel down approach.
Also, Freedrum allows you to angle your foot, to use either with the hi-hat or double bass drum, while you are playing, this is a really nice option. Whereas Senstroke does not allow you to do that. For Senstroke, you need to assign it to either the bass drum or hi-hat.
Verdit: I found there to be similar angle drift problems with both Freedrum and Senstroke. If this happens, you need to point both drumsticks forward and click the buttons on the sensors briefly to realign them. The process is the same for both products.
The orientation of the sensors sometimes drifts while you’re playing with both of these products. In this case, the senors will start detecting the wrong drum and cymbals being played. What you have to do in this case is to post your sticks forward and press the buttons briefly to reorient your drum kit.
I have found this to be an issue for both products. For both products you need to make sure to play a little bit lighter than you might usually do, and
play with more deliberate angles with your elbows close to your body.
These products work much better based off the angle of the drumstick. When you start playing these first, you might find the movements to be a bit strange in comparison to playing on a drumset.
But as you start playing both of these you’ll just get used to it and you’ll understand kind of what’s the best approach to playing is.
Freedrum App vs Senstroke App
Verdict: I think the Freedrum app is cleaner and easier to use. But the Senstroke app has more features (such as improve mode).
I only tested out the Android app so I can only speak for that. I personally found that the Freedrum app is easier to use and has a better user interface.
I found that configuring the kits with Freedrum is really easy.
The Senstroke app has more features than the Freedrum app. It has an ‘Improve’ mode which is like a game which teaches you different type of drum beats and grooves. It also allows you to record your playing.
However, I found the user interface of Senstroke a bit awkward to use. There are a lot of popups to guide you on what to do, and configuring the drum sets was a little bit awkward to use in my opinion.
I assume that the iOS apps are similar to these, But I cannot be sure about that.
Which is more fun to play?
Verdict: I would probably lean a bit more towards Freedrum for most uses, but I found Senstroke to be better and more fun to play for faster drumming.
I thought that the Freedrum was more fun to play for just basic drum beats. Whereas Senstroke is more fun to play if you’re looking to play really fast drum rolls drum beats and so on.
When you’re playing double bass drum beats. I taught the Freedrum was a lot more fun to play. Whereas Senstroke is more fun to play if you’re doing quick rolls on your snare drum and ride cymbal and so on. I taught that central rock was more fun to play. So, that’s a very unclear answer. And it just depends on what you’re looking for
Configuring your drum kits
It’s probably a little easier to configure and add more elements onto your drum kit when you’re using Freedrum solely because you do not have to have separate playing surfaces, and the app is a bit easier to use.
However, I found that with both of these products, it’s best if you keep the number of drums and cymbals to a minimum. Because if you add lots. You can easily trigger the wrong elements, and it can become pretty annoying to play. Though when you get used to how they work and get used to the movements required to play these, then you can slowly increase the amount. For starters, I do suggest that you just keep the low amount of drums and cymbals and just keep the default kit configuration.
Both of them have MIDI over bluetooth with function in the same way. Therefore you can connect it to a DAW to trigger sounds on it.
Both Senstroke and Freedrum are nice products, and definitely worth a look.
Keep in mind the differences between these because they are not interchangeable products and they function quite differently. Which one you should get is dependent on your needs, and the type of experience that you want.
If you want a fun product which is easy to use, easy to set up and you can play absolutely anywhere, then I think freedom is probably the better option for you.
If you want something that feels a bit more realistic, if you’re happy to spend some time on something that takes a little bit more time to set up, and if you want to actually hit something when playing, then Senstroke might be for you.
We hope this comparison has been helpful to you. If you have any questions, then be sure to ask in the comment section below.