Virtual Drumming with Freedrum

I recently received the Freedrum virtual drumming kit, which was one of the most interesting kickstarter campaigns over the last few years for me personally. I was supposed to get it for my birthday and have been waiting for quite some time to try it out.

freedrum


Freedrum sensors as MIDI controlers

Basically Freedrum created motion sensors with bluetooth connectivity that can be attached to drum sticks as well as shoes for tracking hand and foot movement. The sensors are connected via bluetooth to a mobile device, an iPhone 7 in my case. With the corresponding iOS app the sensors can be calibrated and allocated to right and left hand as well as right and left foot. One might also use the Android app, the Windows 10 or the MacOS app instead.

The connected sensors can then be used to control a MIDI instrument in apps such as Garage Band, Logic X Pro, Ableton Live 9, DM1 Drum Machine, Groovebox etc. and utilised to play virtual drum sets. For people traveling a lot this might be a good option to keep on grooving on the road. Although Freedrum advertises the sensors in live band situations, I somewhat doubt that this will be a dominant usage for the devices. Since I am living in an apartment with no option to play a analog or electronic drum set, the sensors are a nice option to keep practising.

Although I was pretty excited in the beginning, the sensors lack functionality and the software still seems to be pretty beta. I am willing to wait a few more months for updates and keep you updated. Until then, you might want to check them out for yourself… In any case, it is an awesome idea.


Tower of Power live at the Fabrik in Hamburg 2015

On December 9 2015 epic recording artist Tower of Power from Oakland, California, was showing off their awesome tower groove and world’s best horn section at the Fabrik in Hamburg. As was advertised repeatedly during the show, the band is celebrating its 48th year of existence, providing the world with urban soul music… and as you may know, I have seen them quite often already and highly recommend them as one the most energetic live bands I have ever seen. Just check out Youtube

I especially like their new lead singer, Ray Greene, who joined the band 2 years ago, substituting for Larry Braggs, and also joins the horn section on the trombone at times. This certainly adds to the mix of the already outstanding setup of the band. I really hope Emilio Castillo and Stephen “Doc” Kupka, the founders of the band and both well in their sixties, keep it up until at least 50 years of Tower of Power for a hopefully awesome and global anniversary tour.

For anyone interested in the Tower Groove, I especially recommend the video “Tower of Groove” by David Garibaldi, the bands drummer and probably the the most relevant funk drummer of all time.

TD-40KV V-Drums Demo

TD-40KV V-Drums Demo, “Brush Today” Performed by Dirk Brand.

I like the all new ROLAND TD-30KV Flagship V-Drums with advanced sensing technology and SuperNATURAL sounds. With a rather steep price point of around 7.000 € it is nothing for a quick buy though.