Some first experiences and thoughts from the Netherlands


#1

Hey Community,

First of all, what a cool product!

The ability to drum anywhere is awesome. I don’t however find myself grabbing the set (I have 4 sensors) on commutes as much as I thought I would and there’s a number of reasons.

I also happen to own Aerodrum made by the Irish so I have some material for comparison. I will try not to compare it to Aerodrum for each point .but that’ll be a tough one I suspect.

A few things I’ve noticed/experienced so far are:

  1. Precision (Latency/Hit registration)

The latency is good, but not really good. It’s a combination of factors that makes it genuinely strugglish for me to just relax and play, and latency is one of them. I’m on an iPhone SE (6 internals) so I think the hardware is fine. Using Freedrum on a surface feels plain unnatural for me. Without a surface my brain adjusts to compensate for the difference in timing but it still detracts from the overall experience. Maybe I’m fooling myself or I/m extra sensitive to latency? Could be, I dunno.

It could be my technique (I’m an amateur drummer, pro pianist) but with Aerodrums I had no problems with doing rapid successions of snare hits with my left hand, and this seems to be a problem now, maybe it’s garageband that’s somehow not calibrated perfectly or Aerodrum is compensating for my non-existent technique (: but a lot of fast snare procedures sound clumsily, even when using a surface to be absolutely sure that the rhythm I intended was correctly performed.

  1. Hit registration

Feels unnatural to me. I have to adjust my playing to the system instead of vice versa or something in between. After a minute of playing it seems like hit points/directions are shifting/drifting slightly? The angle for high hit registration seems too to be unnaturally low. I don’t normally hit the hi-hat sideways/downwardly as seems to be required. It’s incredibly frustrating to be disturbed by an insanely loud unintended crash bang while getting in the groove or playing.

So customizability is a nice goal I think, but the team is already on that I believe.

  1. Software

The Sensorware app is nice and straightforward. Works just fine.

Garageband is a nice tool for playing the drums, albeit a little limited. It seems the crash doesn’t work with all the available kits? I would love to see more software integration. This is well executed with Aerodrum as well, everything from volume and hit sensitivity to drum-placement is customizable with Aerodrum. Aerodrum’s integrated drum sound is also really good. Right now, the only advantage Freedrum has over Aerodrum is its portability and ease of setup but not really anything else.

  1. Potential use.

I’m a certified music therapist and I’ve some knowledge in the field of neurologic music therapy. I believe the possibilities are endless when it comes to rehabilitation after stroke or neurologic music therapy with parkinsons disease, using Freedrum as a midi controller.

Heck I’m probably going to request a couple of kits at the specialneeds children-school I work at. There’s so many applications for this product besides just drumming.

  1. Hi-hat

Nuff said.

Keep up the good work team, this product has so much potential!!

Greetings from Holland,

Ruben Stolp, Pianist, Teacher, Music Therapist


#2

Nice review. Pretty much confirmed what I suspected. I’m am definitely going to buy a set, very definitely, but I think I’ll be waiting until a few more of the kinks are ironed out! Thanks again for the review.


#3

I´ve gotten the set for Christmas, but frankly I am underwhelmed, for pretty much the same reasons:

  1. Hitzones
    I suspected the zones to be a bit awkward, when I was watching the videos.
    But boy… it´s pure drummer hell. 50° off, and 10° down? And everything above the 0° line automatically turns to the upper zone? That´s not cool. Frankly, the drummer should decide, where his snare ends and his tom begins.

  2. Automatic recalibration, aka drifting
    Just don´t! When you finally found your sweetspot and start grooving suddenly you hear a ride, where there should be a tom. You check colors, and it is confirmed. Frankly, I was furious. It took me right out of the groove, and another 20 minutes to recalibrate for the sweet spot.

  3. Sensitivity
    Boy, the floor sets are amazing. Highly responsive and super precise. But alas, same is not true for the stick. even when running a perfect form and strict routine, figuring the exact height via metering with both a plane surface as refernce and a meter, it should be fine. but no. Due to the autocalibration and just unnatural angling of drums, it shifts velocity as it likes.

Please, for the love of all that´s holy, remedy that, because the set itself has so much potential, I can´t even begin to spew out the ideas I got.