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Monday, February 29, 2016

New Music Gear Monday: AeroDrums Air Drumming Instrument

AeroDrumsWe've all played air drums at one time or another, but what if those motions in the air actually did play something? Now you can with AeroDrums.

AeroDrums is a MIDI controller that uses a pair of special sticks and foot attachments that allow you to trigger sampled drums from either your own library or from a supplied library with Gretsch and Pearl samples. The only difference is that you're hitting air instead of pads.

It's all based on motion capture technology. A bright light illuminates reflective markers on your sticks and feet and a high speed camera tracks the motion of these markers and determines when sounds should be triggered in response to their movement. On your computer screen there's a diagram of where the drums and cymbals are so that you hit the right spots, but drummers seem to acclimate quickly to it to where they don't need to look after a short time (see the second video below).

It also has a high degree of accuracy so the drummer can play ghost notes or heavily accented notes since it measures the speed of your sticks/feet. As a result, there's a full range of MIDI note velocities and continuous controller data is utilized. In the case of the included samples, 16 levels of openness are provided for the hi-hat with up to 58 different samples for each degree of openness and for each hand. Unlike electronic drums, Aerodrums is able to tell which hand you're hitting with and will trigger different samples for each hand.

Aerodrums has been tested with Reaper 4, Garageband 10, Ableton Live 9, Logic Pro X and Digital Performer 8 so far, but the company doesn't anticipate compatibility issues with other DAWs on the market.

The package comes with sticks, two feet controllers, a high-speed camera, and paper sunglasses (since the measurement light might be too bright for some users). The software and library, which work on both Mac and PC, is then downloaded. It's just $199 directly from their website.

Check out the videos below.

1 comment:

Rand said...

Goodness, gracious Tech!

A wonderful innovation and more convenient portability/travelling option for silent practicing besides electronic drum kits (Alesis, Roland, etc.)

Worth considering for learning drums for non-drummers like me as well.


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