Shots fired

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Sipaliwini
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:40 pm

Shots fired

Post by Sipaliwini » Tue Jul 27, 2021 3:04 pm

Hello there, Yann here, Richard’s co-founder.

Sorry I don’t post more often; I have been very busy with admin and product development. (The former is going awfully, the later much better but we’ll post about that later.)

Today I wanted to tell you about a change we are making that could interest you as air drumming pioneers.

You may have noticed how quiet we have been about where we think Aerodrums fits in the range of drumming tools that’s out there.

We just described the product and pretty much let people guess why we made it and who it might be for.

So those of you with a better sense of commerce than us probably wondered “from whom are they going to take market share from to become successful? And when are they going to start!?”

Well, we’re starting today. And we think our main competition is entry level electronic drums.

Most people don’t know air drums are a thing now, but they know what e-drums are. Even if only from seeing Antman play some:).

So, we’re going to think about our instrument as a type of electronic drum: you can have pads on a rack, you can have tabletop, you can have mesh pads etc; or you can have air drums.

Our first step is to publish a page about how good electronic drums can sound, I’d really like you to check it out:

https://aerodrums.com/do-electronic-drums-sound-good/

For two reasons:

So you can tell us in this thread what you think (of the page but also the whole enterprise).

And so I can bum you for a link if you have the ability to create these (for example on your website, another website where you edit or post – like a forum, or god forbid, Wikipedia -, or social media).

It would be great if you could do either or both.

We’re planning for this page to be the first in a series we’ll make to explicitly place Aerodrums in the e-drums category and make our case as to where it fits in there.

I will let you know when we publish the next one so you can help improve it and get the word out there.

Thank you for reading and happy drumming!

Yann

P.S. We know about SoundFont and that Roland has sample-based sound synthesis methods of its own, but the reality is this way of doing things doesn't sound as good as actual samples, so we kept things simple when writing the page.

Ringowig
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:54 am

Re: Shots fired

Post by Ringowig » Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:22 pm

Hey Yann,

1st of all congratulations on the new sounds...it’s so good to have a whole new palette of lush sounds to play with...and here’s the thing, Aerodrums (in my opinion) blows ANY budget electronic kit OUT OF THE WATER for sound, let alone other factors such as portability and cost.

Gigging Musician?...Aerodrums are the perfect solution for hotel, tour bus, cruise ship cabins...so it’s way more than entry level but I understand your pitch as far as market placement is concerned.

As far as the ‘air drumming’ category I haven’t tried any of the other products such as Freedrum etc, but I haven’t seen any videos yet to convince me that Aerodrums has any competition at all within that market...after 5 years of owning my Aerodrums I’m still amazed by how it all works and the possibilities :D

Best of luck with the marketing drive!

Cheers!

Mitch

johnnyM1984
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:00 pm

Re: Shots fired

Post by johnnyM1984 » Tue Aug 03, 2021 8:53 am

Hi, Yann. Please let me start with critics, although you may not like it as much.

Of course it is your vision and your product, bur to my mind Aerodrums is seriously lacking the definition of a problem it is solving. E-drums with piezo triggers and mesh or ribbon heads solve exactly the problem of loudness of acoustic drum kits, the cheap e-drums solve the problem of high cost of e-drums. Having cheap e-drum module with midi out you can have both cheap price and realistic sound via vst pligins. Those sound packs that manufacturers download into their cheap edum kits is just rudiment and are not competing with VST plugins, its obvious. Buying a cheap edrum kit you get pads for practice, vst plugins via midi out and small compact size. Buying aerodrums you dont get practice pads, for practice you still need a practice pad and bass kick pedal.

Aerodrums can without any doubt target cheap e-drums audience but in its nature it is innovative product with tons of possibilities to compete in other market areas and even form its own area. I'll give few examples (its my imagination):

* aerodrums lets disabled people with one hand or one foot to play musical instrument
* aerodrums is the only drum kit that can be played in open space, in zero gravity, during space flight
* aerodrums is a virtual drum kit that interactively teaches you how to play your favourite songs
* aerodrums is capable of muting drums on your favourite song and let you to play the drum part instantly
* aerodrums can play drum part for you if you are guitar player, for instance (just like digitech trio for instance)

But in the first place I think it must be fun to play aerodrums, with more interactive features.

condordontsurf
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:59 am

Re: Shots fired

Post by condordontsurf » Tue Aug 03, 2021 7:50 pm

Johnny is spot on and pretty much said everything I was thinking.

Sipaliwini
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:40 pm

Re: Shots fired

Post by Sipaliwini » Mon Aug 09, 2021 11:00 am

Thank you for your support Mitch. It's only recently that we realised how much you needed to spend on electronic drums to get good expressivity. Before then we had assumed most branded entry-level models did a good job.

About Freedrum and Pocket drum, here is a post I wrote a while back about how we looked at the technology they use and concluded it wasn't suitable. Here it is: viewtopic.php?t=6886

I drafted a more detailed page on the topic a while back but never pressed the publish button, I probably should.

When Freedrum showed up I thought it could be positive in helping popularize the air drumming instrument concept (something looks more credible when there is more than one company doing it).

But now I've changed my mind: I think the experience provided by Freedrum and Pocket drum is so poor when looking at it from the point of view of actually playing the drums that it will lead many people to conclude air drumming instruments are still not possible.

Sipaliwini
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:40 pm

Re: Shots fired

Post by Sipaliwini » Mon Aug 09, 2021 11:57 am

Hello Johnny,

thanks for the constructive criticism.

I completely agree that the technology behind Aerodrums has a lot more potential than just replacing entry level electronic drums.

But for us to be able to explore that potential we need to have good commercial success.

So for example there are not many astronauts and NASA would probably not buy more than a couple of copies of Aerodrums on Amazon if they wanted to keep a drummer astronaut entertained. We did think about it before as a PR stunt, if people have contacts in the human space flight industry, we're takers:)

We have been exploring Aerodrums as an instrument for the disabled, we participated in the DaDaFest festival in 2018. But again the intersection between drummers and the disabled is not a large group of people, and we don't want to artificially charge a lot of money when someone could simply adapt a vanilla Aerodrums box to their needs.

About interactive drums learning (automatic drum track removal can be a component of that), we agree that there is great potential, and we are working on an offering. We will give more info when we are ready.

Going back to the topic of electronic drums.

It is the case that they make a lot less noise than acoustic drums.

But I don't agree that they solve the noise problem. There is a lot of touting of mesh heads, but plastic/rubber is still used for cymbals, and that makes noise. So to me it's like saying: you could have had an elephant trumpeting in your house but it's just a woodpecker tapping, so be happy:)
Also, in many cases (apartments) the main problem is vibrations from the bass pedal, and e-drums don't solve that.

Electronic drums definitely don't solve the space problem: they're still a piece of furniture that always takes up space; or the portability problem: the few electronic drums models billed as portable that aren't tabletop pads are not really portable.

About cost, a good sampler plugin combined with a well made entry level electronic drum set will set you back at least £400 / $500 / €450. That's over double. But more importantly, you will only have 2 or three levels of openness on your hihat and you won't have as much dynamics (high soft hit floor).

You are definitely right that if your aim is to play on acoustic drums, you need a practice pad.

Here is the way I look at it: each year there are tens of thousands of households that buy cheap electronic drum sets. Most of them never use a sampler, they just get the stock sounds.
Spending less money, they could get Aerodrums and a practice pad. In many cases they are just getting sold the wrong thing, and we need to change that.

johnnyM1984
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:00 pm

Re: Shots fired

Post by johnnyM1984 » Mon Aug 09, 2021 12:15 pm

Hi, Yann. Its nice to know that you are already exploring the ML stuff with aerodrums, very exiting to have a feature of drum stems removal from any song.

When I was reading your reply I came across idea of lending aerodrums for some fee, just like people rented DVD disks a decade ago. Maybe you could arrange with musical shop some pilot program, for people who are unsure if they would play drums but have not decided yet and dont want to invest money in it. Renting would be ideal option for them.

Sipaliwini
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:40 pm

Re: Shots fired

Post by Sipaliwini » Mon Aug 09, 2021 12:26 pm

Thanks, I think the rental idea is something we need to look at more. The logistics of it are tricky though. Maybe buy the sticks and foot markers, rent/return the camera, lamp and software.

johnnyM1984
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:00 pm

Re: Shots fired

Post by johnnyM1984 » Mon Aug 09, 2021 1:37 pm

Sipaliwini wrote:
Mon Aug 09, 2021 12:26 pm
Thanks, I think the rental idea is something we need to look at more. The logistics of it are tricky though. Maybe buy the sticks and foot markers, rent/return the camera, lamp and software.
You could generate one-week keys for rental users, aerodrums would ask a client for a key and validate it through the internet. So that when a user decides to withdraw the rent, the key he used would be expired automatically.

The kit could be delivered by regular mail, in original package. When rental contract expires the client could post it simply with regular mail, your package is enough to protect camera and sticks from being damaged.

A lot of people already own playstation with pseye camera, so they need to rent only lamp and markers.

One big advantage of rental business model is that your kit yelds its cost few times durin the life cycle. Especially those kits which do not include camera. The cost of recovery damaged hardware parts is not significant. I think you should consider this business model as well.

condordontsurf
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:59 am

Re: Shots fired

Post by condordontsurf » Mon Aug 09, 2021 7:19 pm

I know for me personally, Aerodrums kind of changed my life. Have had Aerodrums for about 3 -4 years now. I just turned 40, been a guy who plays music whenever I could since I was a kid. After moving into a condo, noise become an issue. Couldn't even sing and play and acoustic guitar without somebody saying something. I wouldn't have considered myself a drummer before Aerodrums even though I have owned a couple of drum kits. Aerodrums allowed me to at night really sit down with my favorite music and play along, somewhat discreetly. I drove my neighbor mad for a while, because nobody could figure out where the vibrations were coming from. I was creating that energy. Super cool.

I really believe in the power of music and rhythm as meditation. Even if you are just listening to a song and hitting the kick or the high hat. Aerodrums (when everything is going right) allows you to have submersive experience. The beauty about rythm really is you dont have to have a ton of experience to connect right away. Just a willingness to connect.

The thing I really started to dislike the most about Aerodrums, is the fiddling around with all the settings using the sticks, and most of all the light. I really want to be able to control everything, with a mouse or a keyboard before I sit down to play. Whatever Johnny is doing with the lightless cameras is amazing.

Having finally got a electronic kit, the one thing I really missed about Aerodrums is that they are completely silent. For a while i was playing guitar with just the feet pedals and man sometimes it sounded soooooo good.

With the advent of cell phones and social media, it seems like all music products are becoming niche, so I certainly feel for you guys.

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