Elastic Drums celebrates its 2nd birthday – here is the story

It is Elastic Drums‘ 2nd birthday now. The very first version of Elastic Drums, which was for iPhone only, has been released 2014 in December the 17th already.

Birthday Party

To celebrate Elastic Drums‘ birthday, it will be on sale for 2 weeks ($9.99 -> $4.99) until the end of the year. AND there is another update available! Elastic Drums Vers. 1.9.5 (the 27th update!) has lot’s of great new presets by different artists and some bugfixes and improvements. Additionally there is now a sample kit available via InAppPurchase by German sound designer Matthias Sauer aka App-Sounds (app-sounds.com), that offers you a broad variety of sounds (170 samples), usable for all kind of music styles. See a video I made for the update:

And another video by App-Sound, more focused on the App-Sound kit:

You can listen to an audio file of the App-Sound presets here also:


The Story

After being a musician and a programmer for many years, Elastic Drums was my first mobile  project which I started from scratch and it was my first project where I could combine my two main interests: Music and programming. As I never studied something tech-related and I had no knowledge about Digital Audio Processing at all. So I was really excited, when I first heard of libPD, a framework, that allows to use PureData for creating audio apps for mobile devices. Even I never was a crack, I had some practice with visual programming languages like Max/MSP, Reaktor and PureData. Here is a video from some early work on a Reaktor/Max4Live drum patch for a joystick: https://youtu.be/l7tN89b45L4


The first commit was already in 2012

So I started in late 2012 with some PureData percussion patches from a library called DIY (http://forum.pdpatchrepo.info/topic/1821/diy-library-part-i-diy-perk) from an unknown guy and dived into learning Objective-C, which is needed to program the user interface of iOS apps (while libPD/PD is kind of the audio backend). After working on the project for a while, I tried to get in contact with the creator of the PureData patches, which was not that easy, because he had no website, not much of a presence in the internet at all. But after contacting him via email, that was in one of his patches, he wrote me back and we had a first Skype chat. The guy’s name was Matt Davey, an Australian guy living in Japan and we kind of liked us from the very beginning. We agreed, that Matt should design all percussion synths from scratch and also work on the sequencer and a bunch of effects. We skyped regularly, whether the time difference of 6 hours between Japan and Germany was a little issue sometimes.

The main root PureData patch

The main root PureData patch

The drum synths DSP patch

The drum synths DSP patch

The project was growing and growing and I got more of a concrete idea where I would like to go with the drum app: It should enable you to create a great variety of unique sounds, constantly changing, based on synthesis (not samples), with an intuitive user interface, similar to the Korg Electribe drums machines, which I owned and liked so much. It should be the ultimative drum app, that should fulfill all the needs I was always dreaming of, what a drum machine should deliver. A rather hard to fulfill goal, though 😉

After 2 years of working on the app – during the weekend, at night after daily work, during holidays, after thousands of chats and Skype meet-ups with Matt in Japan, Elastic Drums grew up to a state for being released. I was happy to get a great design for the app from Carsten Schneider from meyermillersmith (http://www.meyermillersmith.com), a company I was working for, as a freelance programer for several years. And I cooperated with the guys from Mouse on Mars, who I helped to finish their WretchUp app. They helped me with creating great presets and promotion visa versa. In late 2014 the iPhone version of the app finally hit the stores and fortunately was a great success from the very beginning. Here is a video of an early version around the first release: https://youtu.be/odwB7ffCweU The strategy to release an iPhone version before an iPad version had a reason: I wanted to cook down the complexity of the app, so that it still fits on a small iPhone screen. Of course it’s more fun to use the app on an iPad, so it was only a matter of time until the iPad version of the app came out. With a rather different layout, to have the best handling on both device platforms.



The future (VST)

I always had this core idea: You start with a beat on the iPhone – in the train, in the plane, wherever and send it to yourself via email, to continue with that beat on your iPad on the sofa, in the bed, etc.. And finally you incorporate that beat in the DAW of your choice! We want to fill the missing gap and started to work on a VST version of Elastic Drums. There will be more informations about that quite soon. To get updates about the VST version follow the Elastic Drums Facebook site or join our newsletter below.
Stay tuned, stay elastic ?