Will Freedrum 2 work as a MIDI controller without an active subscription?

I backed Freedrum 2 on Kickstarter tonight but having read the FAQ it kinda sounds like unless you have a paid subscription you lose access to basic features like editing your kit or even MIDI output…is that the case? Or am I reading it wrong? Because locking those functions only to people who are paying monthly sounds like a really bad idea.


We as a company are moving towards a subscription service. We have seen with this method that we can continually update and add more quality to the software experience.

We know that users of Freedrum 1 would want to have the same experience that they had in the past. That is why we are offering a Kickstarter Exclusive to purchase the $199 option. This will give you all the same uses as Freedrum 1 but with the hardware updates of Heel Up and Haptic Feedback.

Frankly I am not happy with that solution, as Freedrum V1 Users are left with all the hassle and none of the benefits. Especially Heel-Up and Drifting were V1 Issues from Day one, and never really got resolved.
As someone who has already ponied up full price, and owns the MIDI-Compatibility should come for free.

First because it was a kickstarter promise at the time that never fully got fulfilled, and secondly as it would be a good business move for you to include your first generation customers who made V2 possible at all.

Especially as you targeted existing customers in your kickstarter opener with the very-early-Bird offer, it would be more than fair, as those are the same people who got your second product running.

New business is fully free to pay full price, as they did not troubleshoot for years on end together on this forum.

I do not feel well with supporting another 200$ investment, after having bought a full kit at full price that did not work. You know me @Seyran I have always been supportive of Freedrum, and I was among the first backers of V2 EB, throw us a bone, I think we earned it.

Ok, so are you confirming that pretty basic/important features like MIDI output will require a constant payment via subscription OR a more expensive Kickstarter price of $200? What exactly do we get for $80 if we don’t choose to continue subscribing? And can we ‘upgrade’ from the $80 Kickstarter price to the ‘full’ $200 later if we want?

My issue is, I never heard of Freedrum before this and so for $80 it seems like a low risk backing, especially when I have no idea If this product actually works for me as a drummer or whether it’ll be a feeble toy that I put in a drawer a week after receiving it never to use again… but if I have to keep paying in order to keep seemingly basic features of a product like this then it’s essentially like I’m just renting it for $80.

I really hope you can change your policy on the MIDI output which is such a basic and important feature or I’m going to have to reconsider my backing, and I dare say many others would also if they realised this feature would require a subscription because right now it’s kind of only visible in the small print, especially for existing Freedrum 1 users who have this functionality at no extras monthly cost.

For V1 Users it´s even more frustrating, because it means, their product will not be finished, but the company just moved on to a new and improved product with all the learnings taken away from the labrats at V1.

I know it sounds harsh, and I still hope Seyran and Co. will change their mind, but it feels like a pretty huge slap in the face, especially considering, I for one worked with MT-Power Drumkit to get it to run with V1 on Win10 in the first place, as Daniel, the creator is a close friend of mine, and also my producer.

Many here have researched, hacked and worked a lot to make V1 usable in an creative environment, some have even designed 3D Printable Hulls for V1 and researched shortened Sticks for higher portability. There was so much done by the community of V1 to make it a better product, and now if they want to reap the benefits, they are asked to pony up another 200$.

It feels unwarranted, especially if you were on board from early on, in times of Corona every music company supports their musicians by making special deals, high discounts, provide learning environments, Hands on and so on… Izotope, Presonus, Akai, Korg, Zoom, Behringer, Palmer, Nektar, you name them, they got a deal to make your life easier and enhance your productivity.

Then along comes Freedrum and says: You know guys, we never really -finished- V1, but here is a great offer for you to make it up to you, and easy to switch to V2… just… you know… you will lose MIDI in the Process… no hard feelings, right?

That’s sad to hear; making me reconsider my backing even more… I understand that subscription models are the way most things are going these days, heck I know first hand how nice it feels to see royalties coming in every month from projects you worked on years ago, but the fact is, unless you’re Nintendo or Sony, selling hardware at a loss and then hoping to make your money back long-term is not really a viable business model…

Are there groups for freedrum users on Facebook or elsewhere? Has there been much backlash to this or have most people not noticed given that it’s kind of buried, almost hidden in the small print?

1 Like

I understand what you mean, and I am really considering whether I want/will back at 199$ and remove any benefit of the doubt, but apply full accountability. A company that wants/tries to skin existing customers has then to perform like a professional company and forfeits all rights to making “mistakes”.

IN August 21 I will have forgotten the -amount- missing from my account, but I will definitely remember, that they didn´t offer a special service/deal to their existing customers during the biggest crisis of the 21st century.

That´s not even a threat, I work in Customer Relationship Management/Marketing Management and I majored in Gamification and Motivational Theory, I am just writing on the wall what will most certainly be the fallout of certain business decisions.

I know they themselves are disappointed in what V1 became, and surrendering it to a MAGIX Bundle is testament to the devaluation of a product with once great promise. But if they want to convert existing customers to V2, it´s just bad business to make them pay the same as new customers.

Then again, if you just give up on old customers and try to bury their problems in the depths of the internet…
Well the Internet remembers, and I know a lot of VST-Programmers and Influencers still have an eye on Freedrum… me included.

Hey Peanutismint. Another V1 user here, and to be honest, I reckon my original $200 spend paid for itself after the first 3-6months, especially if I compare the enjoyment I got (and still do) to what else I could have spent that money on. I’m let’s say, a novice drummer having played other instruments, but believe my drumming has improved considerably since using Freedrum. Especially when I recently tried on my nephews real set, after a few minutes of adjusting to the differences, I was able to play so much more than ever before…without forking out for a full set, nor having the space to do so…let alone waking the baby, playing on any chair I want, inside/outside, at the beach, up on a rock in Germany, on the plane, train…the freedom I have with Freedrum to apply new ideas and practice fills from online etc is amazing. With a good set of headphones (eg my Bose), or good speakers (eg Bose S1 pro) and connecting to GarageBand with the expanded DrumKits (NeoSoul my favourite), when I first tried was blown away by the accuracy of the feel and sound. Volume / speed control etc. Even more realistic feel if you hold sticks slightly loose, letting the upper end of stick hit the inside of my hand helps simulate the missing feel of hitting a real drum. I also didn’t have the drifting issue anywhere near as bad as a few others…yes on occasion, but definitely workable. …maybe the way I had it configured, or just a practice thing.
There is a lot of noise on V2 campaign about subscription model etc, and hence why I opted for lifetime MIDI as that is how I’m currently using V1, playing along to Spotify with GarageBand and Cant wait to see the new version and a few new hardware features. I’ll probably give the subscription a try too down the track and see how I like it. Long story short, still playing V1 I am more than comfortable forking out another $200 for what will hopefully be an improvement on V1. Good luck with your decision.

Here’s a few clips you may not have seen.

And me only after a few months of playing with them:

Thanks for the input. I might still keep my backing with the $80 level; hopefully if I like them there’ll be an option to upgrade to the full lifetime subscription by paying the difference…

Given it “works” in the videos, but we are still talking very basic drumming here, there are no rudiments played, no complicated rhythms, no speed, it´s all just super relaxed 4/4 on not more than maybe 80-100bpm.
Plus it is recorded, noone tells you how many takes that took.

I´ve playing them -live- for 4-5 hours really -trying- to make it work, and I´m a stage drummer working 8-12 Shell drumsets with Cymbals on a rack, when I was still performing and had a practice room. Also I´ve been running 3 years of live-streaming now, with a fully-featured studio.

Yes, if you want living room drumming with no strings attached, I concur, V1 works, but if you wanna be productive, recording live midi and performing to songs on air, with a up to 300 viewers a night, you better be -sure- that it does not drift, the internet is no forgiving place if you fail live on stream.

Let me be the advocatus diabolum, MIDI is an absolute -must- in 2020 for everything music related, so any backing below 200$ won´t get you there, also at a yearly price of 99$ rhe subscription will punish you right at the end of the warranty. At a 180$ added up monthly price in a year, it punishes you doubly, as you will have paid more by the end of the 2 year warranty cycle.

So in any event as a V1 user you only ever got the option to pony up 200$ to even get the chance to make it worth your while, or you are stuck with the unfinished V1, and a toy for your iPhone, that´s the bottom line and it´s not pretty.

Again, I am talking from the perspective of a professional musician who wants to have a -tool- in his box to -work- with, and not a plaything or gadget to goof around with in his living room. Freedrum had the most promise in the market, and they botched it the first time.

Now the existing customers were lured in with the 49$ loyalty deal that won´t give them the same basic functionality as V1, but 3 months of playalong like it´s a gaming console appliance.

Be sure, -if- I back at the 200$ level, I will make sure that the pledge is fulfilled to the fullest and the set works. Because I´ve been supporting this project for 3 years now, it´s time that the gloves come off.

Well today it looks like they announced they reconsidered and will allow MIDI output without a subscription after paying a fee to unlock it forever, which seems like a pretty good compromise to me. We’ll see what that fee ends up being, I guess…

That is true peanut, it´s a compromise, it remains to be seen if it´s a good one. A least we don´t run out of options. Nonetheless, for V1 owners the price should be considerably lower, as they have put up with the issues for three years straight, four if you count the early kickstarter backers in.

But the fact that they -have- decided to extend MIDI out of the kickstarter means a) it didn´t sell great, and b) they are aware that people are not happy with their options.

So if I get it right, the drifting issue of my V1 will never be resolved, so I can throw them away, or sell them to someone who won’t mind this issue? :thinking::disappointed_relieved: BTW there’s another indiegogo project from another company that seems to use a more advanced technology (9-axis sensors). :sunglasses:

Don’t try to get a complaint resolved or return your sticks they DON’T CARE once they got your money
I have been trying to get my money back since I have returned the sticks. and they have been radio silence for the past 4 months.

VERY POOR customer service and that makes or breaks a company…
order # 10238

Hey Kovbenc,

We have also ordered a kit to test out! We would love to see where this virtual drum kit space is headed.

Hey drumslow,

Your refund is in the process now and we will update once we have more information.