What's cooler than being a rock star drummer? How about being a rock star drummer with an invisible drum kit!
Aerodrums is a musical instrument without the instrument. Instead of reverberating skins stretched over tubes, simply drum on the air in front of you.
The reflectors on the drumsticks are captured by the included camera and interpreted as drum hits by free software you download on your own computer. The result is an amazing way to experiment with music that actually creates impressively realistic sounds without requiring a dedicated space for a kit!
- For people who like:music
Features & specs
- Computer controlled electronic drum kit with real drumsticks
- Allows you to play the drums without having any drums
- Includes software code, two foot pedal reflectors, two sticks with ball reflectors, sunglasses, two extra ball reflectors, and silicone adhesive
- Compatible with MacOS and Windows
- Dynamic range, selectable kits, and expandability make it more than just a toy
Aerodrums are the kind of thing that blurs the line between technological innovation and straight-up wizardry. The set allows you to play air drums that actually create sound!
The reflective drumsticks and foot attachments allow a camera to capture your movements and interpret them to make the acoustic resonance of a snare, toms, and cymbals—even though they're nowhere but inside your computer. Aside from the obvious enjoyment of playing air drums for real, Aerodrums allow you to inexpensively practice without annoying the neighbors or requiring a ton of dedicated space for your skins.
Aerodrums let you make drum sounds without a drum kit!
Record your rhythms
Aerodrums can support your dream of becoming a rockstar from the garage to the studio. Even if you don't yet know how to rouse a crowd with a six-minute solo, pantomiming a killer fill in the air is an enjoyable experience—for you.
But as any parent knows, it takes a lot of patience to live with a drummer learning their craft. Luckily, Aerodrums empowers burgeoning musicians to practice their paradiddles without bothering anyone else in the house. When you plug earphones into your computer, the drummer is the only one who can hear your four-hour fills. That is, unless you decide to record and share your funky beats with friends.
Learn, play and record!
And the winner for the coolest digital instrument is… drumroll, please… Aerodrums, of course!
Straddling the real and make-believe, Aerodrums software includes plenty of different options for creating your own custom kit. Select a different sound for each drum in your kit and enjoy the quality samples that even take dynamic range into account to create a realistic result.
Setup in seconds
Setting up Aerodrums is so easy that you can begin to bang out your breakbeat even before someone could set up a conventional kit. Set the camera in front of where you'll be seated and connect it to your computer. Then attach the foot pedal reflectors to your feet and let the software detect the sensors as you hold the sticks. That's all it takes for you to be ready to rock and roll!
Place the camera, attach reflectors, calibrate, and rock out!
Part of the charm of Aerodrums is banging away at an invisible kit. But if you want to immerse yourself in a virtual world and see the digital drums you're striking, don a VR headset (sold separately) and live the fantasy rock star life you've always wanted.
Play Aerodrums in a VR environment and begin to question reality.
The drum kit kit
Aerodrums comes with seemingly everything but drums. The included camera attaches to the computer you already own (running Windows or MacOS), and the included product code gives you access to download the software that unlocks the potential of the set. Two drumsticks with attached reflectors join forces with dual pedal reflectors to complete the kit.
Includes sticks, pedal sensors, replacement tips, setup guide, and software download code (Windows/Mac).
Q. How does playing Aerodrums feel compared to a real drum kit?
A. Once you get used to it, air-drumming feels very natural. Of course, some hand techniques are better suited to it than others. In general, letting the butt of the stick collide with the palm of your hand (German or French grip) will provide a sensation similar to hitting a physical surface. It will also provide some rebound compared to gripping the stick tightly and relying on your wrist to do all the work. For a demonstration of this, watch this video.
Q. Does Aerodrums have good dynamic range? Can I play ghost notes?
A. Aerodrums can measure the speed of your sticks/feet to a high degree of accuracy allowing for soft ghost notes to heavily accented notes. The 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 are hitting with and will trigger different samples for each hand.
Q. Does Aerodrums work for left-handed drummers?
A. Yes, Aerodrums works equally well for left-handed and right-handed drummers and there are left-handed versions of all the preset drum kits.
Q. Can I use traditional instead of matched grip?
A. Yes, just as with matched grip, playing traditional grip with the stick held tightly will inhibit use of finger control. We recommend a looser grip where the stick can bounce between the index and ring fingers. Again, this requires practice but can feel very natural once you get used to it.
Q. Is there any difference between Aerodrums sticks and normal sticks?
A. Yes, there is a light reflective ball at the end of each stick. However, the sticks are balanced to compensate for the weight of these balls (~4 grams) and to preserve the feel of normal sticks.
Q. Can I use my favourite pair of sticks with Aerodrums?
A. Yes, included in the Aerodrums box is a spare set of balls and glue. You can use these to adapt any pair of regular sticks for use with Aerodrums. Those that have gotten used to air drumming may in fact find that heavier sticks give a more realistic sensation of hitting a physical surface and offer improved rebound when using your palm to stop the stick’s motion.
Q. What kind of foot techniques can I use?
A. You can play using heel-up and heel-down technique. For advanced techniques such as heel-toe we recommend using Aerodrums in conjunction with a physical pedal as shown in this video.
Q. How does Aerodrums work?
A. Aerodrums is based on motion capture technology. A bright light illuminates retro-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.
Q. What do I need to run Aerodrums?
You will need the following:
- A Windows or Mac computer from 2009 or later. Aerodrums is compatible with Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10, and Mac OS X 10.6 and up.
- A Sony Playstation 3 Eye camera. The camera is included when you order from us, or purchase from most dealers. When purchasing from Amazon.com (U.S.), the camera must be added to your basket separately.
- One time internet access to download the software and samples (~900 MB).
Q. Can Aerodrums be used outdoors?
A. Generally speaking Aerodrums will not work outdoors in daylight. It will work outdoors if there is not too much light, e.g. in very shaded areas or at night time.
Q. Can Aerodrums be used at concerts?
A. Yes, provided the stage is suitably lit. We already have users gigging with Aerodrums.
Q. Why does Aerodrums come with paper sunglasses?
A. The sunglasses are provided to protect your eyes from the Aerodrums lamp. Although this lamp is at least five times less bright than a typical 60W light bulb, it can seem very bright in low light environments and looking towards it for prolonged periods can be dazzling.
Q. Will there be charges for future software updates?
A. Our policy is to not charge for “quality of life” updates, or any updates that make the experience of playing with Aerodrums closer to that of playing on an acoustic kit. We will only charge extra for ground breaking things that you couldn’t do with a normal kit.
Q. Can I install Aerodrums on more than one computer?
A. Yes, you can install Aerodrums on more than one Mac computer or PC for personal use.
Q. Are replacement parts available in case something breaks?
A. The lamp and foot pieces are covered by the one-year warranty. Two replacement balls are included with Aerodrums in case they become damaged or you wish to modify your own drum sticks for use with Aerodrums. If you need additional replacement balls, you can purchase them by contacting us.
Q. Can I make my own drum kits?
A. Aerodrums comes with a selection of preset kits that use the Aerodrums audio samples but you are free to make your own kits or use your own samples. You can configure which pieces your kit contains and position each piece by hitting the air at the desired location.
Q. How many pieces can I have in my kit?
A. There is no limit. However, the more pieces you have the more accurate you will need to be to hit them. If you’re new to Aerodrums we recommend you start with a very small kit until you’re happy you can hit everything with 100% accuracy.
Q. How many pedals can I have?
A. As with drums and cymbals, you are only limited by the amount of space you have. You can see an example of a setup with two kick pedals, a hi-hat pedal and a cowbell pedal in this video.
Q. Can I play double bass drum?
A. Yes, by adding two bass drums to your kit you can play double bass drum. (You can also use both feet to control any individual pedal by placing them close enough to the pedal.)
Q. Can I perform cross-stick hits?
A. Cross-sticks are triggered by a separate drum that can be positioned wherever you like. It could be placed in between the snare drum and floor drum and triggered in the usual way or it could be placed off to the side of the hi-hat and triggered using normal hit gestures.
Q. Can I perform snare rimshots?
A. Aerodrums in its current hardware incarnation cannot detect stick orientation so we are not able to trigger rimshots based on hit angle. However, the snare drum can be easily configured to trigger rimshots when the hit speed is above a specified threshold. This works very effectively since generally you only perform rimshots for accented hits.
Q. Can I hit the bow and the edge of the hi-hat separately?
A. As with rimshots, currently we provide the ability to configure the hi-hat so that hits below a certain speed threshold correspond to bow hits and hits above the threshold correspond to edge hits.
Q. Can I hit the bell of the ride cymbal?
A. The ride bell is treated the same as any other cymbal in Aerodrums. By positioning it appropriately it can be hit in the same way you would hit a real ride bell.
Q. Can I hit the sticks off a hard surface?
A. No, the balls that are affixed to the sticks are fragile and will break if you treat them like regular drum sticks.
Q. I’d like to record a video of myself playing Aerodrums. Any advice?
A. One option is to use speakers and record your entire video live. However, for better audio quality you may want to produce the audio track separately and overlay this onto your video. If you’re using MIDI you can use your DAW to record (and clean up) your performance and produce an audio track. If you are not using MIDI then you can record your performance using the record button, accessible from the drumming menu. After you’re done, you can go to the Recordings screen from the main menu and choose “Export wav…”. If you had a backing track playing in Aerodrums while recording you can choose to exclude this from the wav file, e.g. in case you’re not happy with the mix between the drum track and the backing track. You can also disable the reverb effects, e.g. in case you want to apply a higher quality reverb or additional effects using other software.