Aerodrums - Play Drums on Air

Aerodrums, the fully functional drum kit that utilizes motion capture technology to let you play drums on air, is now available.


This impressive piece of tech was introduced earlier this year at the NAMM Show, to the amusement and amazement of many that tried the kit.

Acoustic and electronic drum kits have always been plagued with bulk, space and noise problems, and many drummers simply have no choice but to stop practicing when they find themselves at college dorms or small apartments.

To solve this dilemma, the developer of Aerodrums decided to remove the physical drum kit altogether and utilize a high speed camera to capture air-drumming gestures. The result is a kit that comprises of just a pair of drum sticks, foot pieces and shin pieces. This makes it very portable, quiet when used with headphones, and more importantly it requires very little space for practicing.

The official description says "Aerodrums is an air-drumming instrument. It runs on your computer and understands your drumming intent by watching you drum through a high speed camera". The high speed camera being mentioned is the Sony Playstation 3 Eye camera, which you need to buy separately.

Check out the official teaser video:

Aerodrums System Requirements:

  • Windows or Mac computer from 2009 or later. Aerodrums is compatible with Windows Vista, 7 and 8 and Mac OS X 10.6 and up.
  • Sony Playstation 3 Eye camera (not included, currently retails for just under $11
  • Important limitation, Aerodrums cannot be used to drum outdoors in daylight.

Initial concerns about this air-drumming kit would be expressiveness and realism, especially since there are no physical pads to hit and to "rebound" on. The company however assures that they designed Aero drums to provide "very high quality sound and expressiveness on par with a real drum kit". This is achieved via the camera detecting the difference of speed in your stick attacks, which is then translated into multiple sound samples to emulate the openness of physical kits drum kits.

As an example, they say that, "Aerodrums supports 16 different levels of openness for the hi-hats and uses as many as 58 different sound samples for a given openness level, per hand. Aerodrums uses different samples for the dominant and non-dominant hand." Aside from the built-in samples, you can also use Aerodrums to trigger other MIDI compatible software drums, making for a good replacement for pad controllers.

Drummer and Aerodrums co-inventor Richard Lee addressed the lack of tactile response and stick rebound in this video:

Finally, you can easily calibrate and personalize your air drum kits and use your own sound samples.

Related Article:
Check out our roundup of Affordable Electronic Drum Kits

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