Drums are cool. Everyone knows it. When you were a kid playing in a rock band with your friends the two hottest spots were lead guitar and drums. And then, when you were playing Rock Band as a teenager or adult, that plastic kit made you feel both talented and grateful that you weren’t stuck on bass like Johnny (seriously you only have like three notes to play how do you keep messing us up?)
The problem with living out that rock star fantasy in real life, however, is that drum kits are bulky, expensive and even louder than your neighbor’s newborn. This makes drum ownership a non-starter for most of us, but a new VR application is on the way that could bring a highly realistic drumming experience right into your living room.
The name of this VR drum app is Paradiddle and it is the solo creation of the young musician shown above. His name is Emre Tanirgan and he says he created Paradiddle out of a desire for a cheap, space-efficient drumming solution.
“I love drumming, but I’ve always found it to be a somewhat inconvenient hobby, especially if you live in a small apartment in a city,” Tanirgan said. “Good drum sets take up a lot of space, are expensive, and noise is a problem if you want a non-electronic set. I started developing Paradiddle as I was about to move to a different city. I was no longer going to have easy access to a drum set to practice, so I figured I could try and make my own set in VR.”
According to him, what sets Paradiddle apart from other VR music applications is its realism and dynamic responses:
“I’ve yet to try out another realistic/responsive enough drumming application in VR, and this is why I started developing Paradiddle in the first place. In Paradiddle, you almost never end up getting the same sound from a drum twice in a row – the drum will sound different based on certain parameters, such as how hard you hit it, or where on the drum you hit.
…Here are the current capabilities of Paradiddle. The app allows the user to set up their own drum kit in VR by letting them drag in as many of the 9 different types of drums currently available into the scene. Users can freely position, scale and rotate the drums to customize the drum kit to their own liking, and then play on them using the two controllers. It’s also possible to save drum setups to file, so users can load back their favorite kits without having to set them up all over again.”
Tanirgan built Paradiddle to support the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift with Touch controllers. Tanirgan is already working to include more new features including “more types of drums, real-time MIDI communication with virtual studio technologies (VSTs), exporting note sheets from recordings done within the app, support for other peripherals like pedals.”
Paradiddle also received funding from Oculus as part of its Launch Pad scholarship program for emerging VR developers. Tanirgan says he is putting that money to work on art asset creation.
There will be a complete visual overhaul completed for the app’s eventual launch on the Oculus Store and Steam Early Access. Tanirgan is planning for that “in the next 2-3 months.”