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Kickstart this beautiful iOS-powered electric drum

by Jacob Kleinman | April 6, 2015April 6, 2015 7:00 pm PDT

The drum is the oldest instrument on earth, dating back thousands of year all the way to ancient Egypt. Since then a lot has changed, even if the basic concept remains the same. Now, one Kickstarter project wants to bring the drum into the 21st century by linking it directly to your mobile device.

On the surface, Jambé looks like a pretty simple traditional drum with its classic wood and metal design and portable shape. Under the surface is a sensor-packed gadget that can tell exactly how much pressure you put in each of its 10 separate zones. Each can be programmed to make pretty much any sound using an app on your iPhone or iPad.

The app itself is almost as impressive as the high-tech drum. You can pick between a huge variety of sounds with a few quick taps or find new ones using the in-app store. You can even dig into each individual sound until it’s perfect. Jambé’s software also exists entirely on your iPhone or iPad, meaning new features and bug fixes can be delivered with a simple App Store update.

Jambé is also extremely portable, though there’s no built in battery. You can power it by connecting to a iPhone or iPad or plug it straight into the wall. Unfortunately there’s no Android option. We asked, and the company says it’s just hasn’t found a way to transfer the audio over Android without any lag.

Still, for iOS fans this is a pretty awesome device. Jambé’s creators say it’s simple enough for a child pick up, but powerful enough for a serious musician. It works on its own or makes a sweet addition to your regular drum kit.

You can order a Jambé in light or dark variants on Kickstart for $499 thanks to an early bird special that ships in August, or grab two for $999. The company is also offering a limited edition walnut hardwood model with a special carrying case for $1299.

Ordering on Kickstarter always means facing some risk, but Jambé’s team says it has plenty of experience manufacturing, testing and shipping products in the past. The company already has a working prototype, though it’s still finalizing the software that goes with it. Still, if you don’t mind taking a chance on a crowd-founded gadget this seems like a pretty great option.

Kickstarter

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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