I have been a Freedrum owner now for less then 48 hours, and am already really enjoying the experience. Having spent time browsing the forums while I was waiting for the delivery, I was aware of all of the discussions around drift, and was kind of expecting the worst (aim low, avoid disappointment…). Right out of the box, the sensors actually worked pretty well for me, though. What does really seems to help, though, is the suggestion of one poster here about using tape around the sensor. So far, with the tape and being aware of my playing technique, I have had no problems drumming through entire songs (even longer Pat Metheny compositions). I do have to remind myself that this is a unique instrument and as such has its own performance techniques, but to be honest those adjustments seem to be about playing with less effort and more control. In the long run I feel I am getting more sound for much less energy than playing real drums.
While the Freedrum app is OK, as is also true of GarageBand, my favorite virtual drum kit on IOS is DrumPerfect Pro. The app is easily the most realistic I have come across (different samples for L and R sticks, random sample selection, snare buzz on toms and kick, etc.) In order to integrate it with Freedrum, I am using MidiFlow, which allows me to “transpose” one of the Freedrum sticks to different pitches, allowing me to map the left and right samples in DPP to each stick. I can also do things like trigger different crash cymbals with the different sticks. The only trick I am still trying to work out is mapping CC04 data from the foot sensor (hihat pedal) into DPP so that I can have foot control of the hats. I am convinced I will get it working eventually!
Of course I have suggestions of things I would like to see (native mapping of MIDI note output, naming sensors, more zones…) but even as is, Freedrum is going to be a very useful tool to have. My students (I teach high school music, including a rock ensemble program) were very excited to see what it does and I could easily see some of them making use of Freedrum in the future.
Thank you for developing Freedrum, and I can’t wait to see what improvements and updates are coming next!