FAQ

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The sensor we designed only fits drums with a metal rim or hoop: basically all the drums in a standard kit (snare, toms, kick). For our first version, we wanted to build something that was going to be secure as well as flexible for kit players. The sensor is unique in that it fits both snares and kick drums. Unfortunately, that means our hardware doesn’t really work on hand drums.

In order to use Sensory Percussion, you will need a Mac or PC computer and an audio interface that has as many phantom-powered mic inputs as sensors that you want to use (also some XLR cables). Our software runs on its own and will ship with built in samplers, effects and great sounding presets and samples. You don’t need to buy any other software.

That being said, you can shoot MIDI over to any DAW you want. So, if you already have a workflow setup with Ableton or another sampler or any other software that accepts MIDI, you can integrate SP directly into it seamlessly, just like a standard external MIDI controller.

Sensory Percussion works on Windows 7 and up and Mac OS X 10.8 and up.

Our unique sensor fits all drums in a standard kit, from 10 inch rack toms to 14 inch snare drums to 22 inch kick drums and more. Our software has pre-sets for each type of drum and diameter and will work with the unique sonic characteristics of your drums.

However, you might notice that you get more range and control from drum heads that have tighter tunings. This is because Sensory Percussion feeds directly off the natural acoustics of your drums, and smaller more tightly tuned drums are naturally easier to get consistent sounds from. (Try playing fast flams on a 14” snare drum vs. a 16” floor tom to see what we mean). We’ve found that 14” inch snare drums give the biggest and most accurate range of control, but we often use SP on a full kit as well.

Sensory Percussion needs a standard audio interface to convert the analog audio signal coming from the SP Sensor into a digital signal our software can process. Also, the interface needs to provide 48V phantom power to the SP Sensor. This kind of phantom is a standard feature of audio interfaces with microphone preamps.

We’ve had great success with several USB, Firewire and Thunderbolt interfaces. We’ve used everything from $40 single channel interfaces for very simple single drum setups, to four-channel USB interfaces from Apogee, Focusrite and MOTU. We like the MOTU because it has very handy VU meters on the outside and is reliable, sturdy and has great latency performance.

If you have any questions about your specific interface, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we’ll do what we can to help. The most important thing to remember regarding interfaces is that it needs to have as many 48v phantom powered XLR input channels as sensors you want to use.

No. Our sensors are not triggers and will not be compatible with other trigger devices. They are designed specifically to pair with our software, and vice-versa. So, in order to use Sensory Percussion with all its unique capabilities, the sensors and software must be used together.

Unfortunately, Sensory Percussion will not support Linux in the near future. We support MacOS and Windows. We’d love to support as many platforms as possible, but each additional platform greatly increases the development and testing overhead for our small team.

Our software runs as a standalone application on MacOS or Windows and has a fully built out sampler with great sounding effects as well as sophisticated MIDI output capabilities.

MIDI out is a core feature of Sensory Percussion. You can send MIDI output over a bus and receive it in any other program (like a DAW) that understands MIDI. You can read more about the MIDI output capabilities in our manual here.

Yes! Sensory Percussion works great with mesh heads (we use them all the time here in the office). Mesh heads are perfect for when you really want to focus on the electronic sounds (or if you have neighbors).