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What Is a Virtual Drum?

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  • Written By: Andrew Kirmayer
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 24 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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A virtual drum is one drum or a set of them that are represented online. There are various types of software for virtual drumming, including inexpensive programs on the Internet and some online applications that can be used at no cost. Drums can often be played using the keyboard or mouse to trigger the desired sound. Virtual drumming can range from simple online games to software that simulates drumming machines. High end systems sometimes simulate full drum sets with which a player’s motions can be computed into sounds and other feedback.

By searching online, one can usually find many virtual drum games. Computer requirements are often just a keyboard or mouse to use with the program, and flash player software to load the game. The online drums can be played for fun or be used to get creative in making music. In some cases, the drum track can be stored as a computer file and even be combined with other music tracks. Drum programs are often useful for someone to express ideas in between other computer tasks, or on their laptop as he or she travels.

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High end virtual drum software costs more than an online application. It is, however, generally less expensive than buying instruments and electronics at a music store. Some programs work as a fully functional sound board and it is possible to change the pitch of the sound or the intensity of the beat, for example. This is often beneficial for learning how to use such systems rather than spending a lot of money on equipment. Creative ideas can also be expressed without expert knowledge of the machinery.

Virtual drumming is often found online, but there are more sophisticated virtual drum systems as well. Such setups can include a computer system that calculates a person’s movements and translates it to the motion of sticks on drums. In some systems, a player’s position and speed are detected by cameras. The program can account for lighting, as well as the player’s distance from the camera, when the virtual drums are being played. Video data are typically acquired in large quantities, and the system may have to be programmed to detect the sticks in relation to each virtual drum.

Internet drumming is often beneficial for someone who does not play traditional drums. A virtual drum can allow him or her to play without taking the time to learn drumming in the real world. Whether for leisure or for stimulating creativity, virtual drumming is one of many technological phenomena on the Internet.

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