Percussa micro super signal processor
No kit - but no sequencer. Using the <a href="http://www.zendrum.com/">ZenDrum</a> controller, musician Nick Froud (left) is one of a handful of growing artists using finger dexterity to trigger electronic sounds in an entirely human fashion - no machine timing needed. Photo by <a href="http://josephshepherdphotography.wordpress.com/">Joseph Shepherd</a>, courtesy the band.

No kit – but no sequencer. Using the ZenDrum controller, musician Nick Froud (left) is one of a handful of growing artists using finger dexterity to trigger electronic sounds in an entirely human fashion – no machine timing needed. Photo by Joseph Shepherd, courtesy the band.

For years, drummers have had to look sideways at drum machines — boxes with step sequencers blinking, out to replace them. With acts like The Age of Glass, tables are turned. The sounds are electronic (Access Virus, Machinedrum), but the playing is all live. Drummer Nick Froud plays all those parts without any sequencing, fingers blazing.

The band has a self-released (Bandcamp) EP out this week, as well as some videos of them working away at the studio. The results are jammy, trippy, grooving good times. Great to see the studio work and recording, but this must be a lot of fun to dance to live; the band is making its way round the UK now.

Watch the band in action:

Nick is a CDM reader and tells us a bit about the experience of working this way:

Finger drumming is used as an integral part of the sound. We play dance music entirely live, no loops or sequencing. It has taken serious practice for playing digital sounds to feel like a real instrument, but the Zendrum really helps. It is a serious investment but well worth it — no other finger drumming pads come close, being mostly based on force-sensing resistors rather than the Zendrum’s piezo-based approach.

To be clear, the piezo-based approach means that the Zendrum is closer to drum triggers used on kits than the drum pads you typically see on drum machines. I’m no finger drummer, but having seen this hardware up close, it is extraordinarily sensitive to tiny variations in playing, a kind of unique hybrid digital instrument.

http://www.zendrum.com/

With the electronic sound sources in the background - Access Virus and Elektron Machinedrum - Nick puts those fast fingers into action. Photo by Ed Sprake, courtesy the artists.

With the electronic sound sources in the background – Access Virus and Elektron Machinedrum – Nick puts those fast fingers into action. Photo by Ed Sprake, courtesy the artists.

The EP:

And more videos:

Release and info:
http://theageofglass.com/album/live-at-castle-rock-studios

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