About this project
Freedrum is a virtual drumkit that fits in your pocket. We want to bring the drumming experience from soundproof studios to the outdoors, your sofa, or any other place you have access to a smartphone. Whether you’re an aspiring drummer or you have been doing it for decades - Freedrum is designed to create an immersive experience for drummers of any skill level!
"The best part? You can put a pair of earbuds in and won’t have to hear anyone complain about your skills." - Brittany A. Roston, Slash Gear
"For dedicated musicians who always want to be able to practice." - James Vincent, The Verge
"Freedrum has seemingly found a clever way of helping you take your drum kit anywhere" - Conor Allison, Digital Spy
"Shut up and take my moneeeey!!!" - Facebook Fan
"Feels very natural... except there's nothing here" - Mario, Drummer
"I need this more than my kidneys" - Facebook Fan (Disclaimer: Freedrum does not accept payment in any kind of intestines.)
"I would bring them with me so that I can practice anywhere, while waiting for the bus, waiting for class in school, on a coffee break... anywhere" - Kristian, Drummer
"It feels great. It feels almost like playing drums. Kind of natural the way you move to hit the different drums like the hi-hat the snare and the ride. It feels good." - Emil, Drummer
"HFS!!!!! I need this so bad all my kickass air drumming will actually be worth something!" - Facebook Fan
"I was really not expecting that much feeling when I play. I could really feel the drums… in a way. I couldn’t believe it." - Mario, Drummer.
"This is f*cking cool. It really is amazing." - Jonas Norberg, CEO of Pacemaker
Just slip the sensors on your drumsticks, pair them with your smartphone, and take them anywhere. It is that easy! It doesn't require an internet connection and runs on a battery that should keep you drumming for a week of regular use.
If you want the full experience, slip two more units onto your feet. The Freedrum units are interchangeable, so you won't need to buy special feet units.
Officially, Freedrum supports iOS with Garageband, that's what we test and guarantee. We recommend iPhones and iPads with iOS 10.0 or later.
However, we have used Freedrum with a variety of different music apps on iOS that support Bluetooth Midi, e.g. DM1 by Fingerlab, MoDrum and Vatanator Drum Machine. We have also successfully used it through MacOS and Windows 10. Freedrum works with any program or app that supports Bluetooth Midi.
Technically Freedrum works with Android too. But it's complicated for us to say what Android devices will work well compared to iOS (iPhone and iPad) because there are a million different devices out there. If you have a recent device which run Android 6 or 7 you will most likely have a very low audio latency. Have a look here for some actual numbers on many devices: http://superpowered.com/latency. We have done tests with Nexus 5 and Nexus 5X using the free G-Stomper drum synthesizer and have found no noticeable latency.
Historically, Android has not been optimal for music making, but times are changing. Have a look here for a more in depth analysis: http://www.androidpolice.com/2015/11/13/android-audio-latency-in-depth-its-getting-better-especially-with-the-nexus-5x-and-6p/
Conclusion: While we cannot guarantee performance for your particular combination of phone and Android OS version, if you have a recent Android device that is up to date, Freedrum will probably work great for you!
"A year ago, my 10 year old wanted to learn to play the drums. So we brought his grandfather’s old drum kit home for him to practice. It was falling apart and when we eventually managed to put it together it took up half his room. Also, it was just as loud as I remember from when I played in a rock band in our garage in the 90’s. And now I don’t even have a garage."
"Well, being a resourceful father and musician myself I looked around for an alternative. Of course, there are the usual electronic drum kits out there, but they’re just as large and not really silent either. Great I said, this is an opportunity to make the coolest drum kit in the world! I stole my son’s drum sticks and started building…"
- August Bering, Inventor of Freedrum
We have worked hard to make Freedrum extremely lightweight and precise. Freedrum uses the new Bluetooth MIDI standard which provides very low latency and makes it compatible with most iOS and macOS music software. Windows 10 support has recently arrived with the Anniversary Update.
Freedrum is powered by a tiny, high-capacity LiPo-battery, which can be fully charged in just under an hour, while providing enough power to keep Freedrum running for seven hours of constant drumming.
Inside the enclosure there's a PCB with a gyroscope that detects movements and interprets them as hits on a drum. Together with the detected force and a few other magic parameters it is then translated into MIDI. The MIDI signal is sent via Bluetooth to the connected app (e.g. Garageband on an iPhone) which then plays the actual sound via headphones or onboard speakers.
Freedrum is designed to give musicians the most natural drumming experience. We have achieved that by making it small, lightweight and easy to setup. Freedrum is adaptable to any size drumstick and you can place it anywhere on the stick to suit your drumming style. When Freedrum is off the stick it can fit easily into your pocket.
Freedrum can take a beating. We will use shock-resistant ABS plastic for the enclosure to ensure it is strong and lightweight. We have reduced the number of parts and it is designed to be repairable.
We have designed Freedrum with a single button that turns the device on and calibrates it so that you can start playing as quickly as possible. An LED is incorporated elegantly above the button indicating the connection and battery level.
A standard Freedrum package includes two Freedrum units, a micro USB charger, two straps for drum sticks and two straps for your feet.
We have a special deluxe package offer for Kickstarter supporters that includes a pair of premium drum sticks from Vic Firth.
The team consists of the inventor August Bering, together with the design and technology studio Block Zero in Malmö, Sweden.
Risks and challenges
While Freedrum is still under development we are very comfortable with the functionality and the design.
The possible risks we see lie within the mass production. As Freedrum is made out of custom components and a completely new product, a factory line needs to be set up. We've calculated our shipment date based on this and we feel confident in that. But if we would experience any delays, that's where they will be.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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