French startup gets rhythm with portable, app-connected e-drum
France's Redison hit Kickstarter in 2017 with connected sensors that gave drum sticks a voice of their own with the Drumistic (now called Senstroke) system. And now it's hoping for a repeat of that crowdfunding success with the Senspad, a percussion pad that wirelessly connects to a smartphone running an app that puts a kit at your disposal.
The Senspad system starts with a single 11-inch (279.4 mm) diameter pad and a pair of drum sticks. It's wirelessly connected over Bluetooth to an iOS/Android app running on a smartphone or tablet, with lag during play reported to be less than 20 ms of lag. If that's too much for your needs, there is a USB latency adapter that's said to cut latency even more.
Each Senspad weighs under 2.5 lb (1.1 kg) and has its own battery that's reported good for up to 16 hours of beat bashing per charge. It rocks different hit zones, to which drum sounds can be associated and combined, and players can also adjust pad sensitivity. If you want more kick drum realism, you can opt for a Senstroke sensor and put one on your foot. The same goes for the hi-hat.
The app allows for real-time play, or recording to share with the band, but also offers interactive tutorials, and practice with this system should be a whole lot quieter than with a full acoustic kit.
If you find that your single pad playing surface cramps your style, you can add more pads to your Senspad kit and assign individual kit components to each one.
The system is compatible with digital audio workstations and music production software over USB MIDI or Bluetooth, and Senspads can also be used to augment traditional drum setups, without trailing wires getting in the way.
The Senspad project has launched on Kickstarter to fund production, where pledges for one pad start at €130 (about US$145). A package with a Senspad, a pair of drum sticks, two Senstroke sensors and the Redison pro latency adapter comes in at €450. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in March 2020. The video below has more.