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Feedback: thoughts on improvements

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:14 pm
by JRC
Got mine yesterday, and it's addictive to play for sure. A few thoughts:

1) You can never move your stick in a pendulum fashion to hit the cymbals if you want a clean strike. That's since the upstroke creates a smaller hit which essentially makes the cymbal hit a flam hit or a double hit. To solve this I disregard finger movement when doing quick accents on cymbals as to not trigger these hits on my way up. Basically only doing a quick "arm snap". Thoughts on this? A clean accent seems to be hard to find.

2) Related to this is when quickly moving over the kit do do fast doube paradiddles between ride bell and hihat, for example, there will be a lot of drums in the space in between that the hand need to cross in order to reach the bell, which more often than not will be triggered unintentionally. Some algorithm to remedy this would be nice. When setting up to VST via MIDI there should be the unfilter effect, but that only goes so far.

3) As I have understod it, even if you have less kit pieces (to make it easier to play), they will proportionally eat up more of the 3-D space since there are more "free space". Is there a way to go around this? Setting up a small kit is done intentionally to have a lot of dead areas. Or am I missing something?

Re: Feedback: thoughts on improvements

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:54 pm
by Richard
Thanks for the feedback. Apologies in advance if I've misinterpreted what you're describing but I'll comment on your points in turn:

1) Hits are only triggered on downstrokes, not upstrokes. It might be the case that what you're experiencing here is excessive bouncing of the stick after the primary hit which is triggering additional, unintended hits. There is a setting in the Aerodrums' Latency screen labelled "Drum hit detection sensitivity". This controls how hard you need to hit a drum for it to be triggered. You might find that the unintended hits go away by changing this to 'Beginner'. As your ability to stop the stick abruptly improves you can set this to 'Proficient' or 'Expert' so that Aerodrums is more sensitive to subtle gestures, thereby making it easier to play quieter ghost notes.

The other possibility is that just before you hit a cymbal you are swinging your stick back too far such that the tip of the stick moves down and then back up at its furthest point from the cymbal. This motion will trigger an unintended hit (see (3) below). If you think this is the problem, I recommend reducing how far back you bring your sticks in preparation for the downstroke of a hit. In other words, if you play quieter and keep the sticks low, does that prevent the double-hit effect you're seeing?

As for disregarding finger movement, I actually recommend that people achieve clean accents by relying on finger movement. If you "release" the stick by dropping your fingers and then subsequently bring the fingers back into the hand so as to rapidly snap the stick into your palm you can generate a forceful hit that will not cause any spurious hits if done correctly. The reason for this is that when the stick snaps back into your palm its movement is stopped dead. If instead you hold the stick tight and abandon finger movement then you will be relying on wrist control to prevent unwanted secondary hits. Developing this wrist control (in my opinion) is much harder to do. Hope that makes sense.

2) We notice that first-time users of Aerodrums have this problem a lot. From our experience, it seems to go away with practice though - you will naturally learn to move the sticks around in a cleaner way so as to prevent those spurious hits.

3) Your observation is correct here. Any time you make a hitting gesture with a stick, the closest drum to the stick at that moment will be triggered. This means that in the current version of Aerodrums, hits can be triggered everywhere in the 3D volume. We have already implemented a new feature that will filter out hits that are too far away from a drum where "too far" can be defined by the user. This will be released in a future update and will go a long way towards preventing the unintentional hits due to wide swings (1) and also those that occur when moving around the kit (2).

Re: Feedback: thoughts on improvements

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:53 pm
by eagleeyez
I am looking forward to an update, any ETA?
and any ETA on oculus Rift / GearVR?

Re: Feedback: thoughts on improvements

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:56 pm
by JRC
Hello Richard and thanks for your swift elaborate reply.

Being a jazz/funk/fusion drummer that also teach privately on the side I'm a heavy user of Moeller, snapback, Spivack etc. I think your second guess comes closest. My backswing does trigger unintended hits, hence why I have opted to just "move the arm quickly" to the cymbal insted of actually moving the stick in the grip. Will continue to experiment. Thing is - I could of course only rely on finger movement, but the range the stick have to travel will either be impaired, or stay the same (while still using the fingers). If the former, (keeping sticks low and reducing dynamic range from mf to pp basically), I would then likely need to bring up the sensitivity far higher (per drum) to max out on my hardest hits, and feels like the dynamic range would suffer overall.

I do look forward to the update you describe however, and I have to say that the thing I am most impressed with so far is the hihat triggering overall. Both in terms of using Aerodrums as standalone and by triggering kits in SD and AD.


Re: Feedback: thoughts on improvements

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:10 am
by Richard
@eagleeyez We plan to have it ready for May or June with Oculus Rift and Gear VR support. The filtering improvements I mentioned above will probably come around the same time.

Re: Feedback: thoughts on improvements

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:47 pm
by JRC
A few other things just off the top of my head. If they have already been discussed somewhere, accept my deepest apologies:

1) Will there also be a velocity treshold for ride egde articulations - and possibly also tom edges - in the same fashion as we now have for hat edge and rimshots in MIDI mode?

2) Regarding the VR helmet development: Will there be some form of "opacity mode" or is that part of the specific helmet? Meaning that it'd be nice if one could tune in the amount of see-through if/when you play along with other musicians in order to see them and have visual cues.

Re: Feedback: thoughts on improvements

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:35 am
by Richard
1) This omission of ride edge and tom edge samples was an oversight and something we want to correct soon. We have done some experiments with a "crash-able" ride using some quick samples we recorded and it feels really nice so it's in our plans to record proper samples and release this at some point.

2) It depends on the VR device. The Oculus Rift headset has no outward facing camera so it's not possible to overlay the virtual drum kit on the real world. The Gear VR has a passthrough mode where it uses the mobile phone's camera to capture the real world so something similar to what you describe should be possible. Of course, really what you want is an augmented reality device such as Hololens or Meta but we'll need to wait a bit longer for that.

Re: Feedback: thoughts on improvements

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:34 am
by Smasha
You have to change your technique to play these and drummers rely on the feel of the stick hitting the drum or pad.

I can't get it and it would require years of technique adjusting to perfect.
My ghosties and hard hits are all over the place.

On a real kit, they are fine.
I also have to play the drums like a mouse making sure I don't accidentally trigger a cymbal when hitting a tom where with real drums or edrum pads you can play them without sight.

The camera doesn't really pinpoint the positioning of each piece accurately.

Maybe in time with new technologies.
Be interested to see how Aerodrums fares with the Oculus Rift,funny wearing one live at a gig though lol.