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How to use your Senstroke sensors

You don’t know how to use your Senstroke sensors that you received for Christmas? Play mode, recording mode, learning mode, you don’t know where to start? Or are you just looking for a few tips to get started with Senstroke? That’s what we’re here for 🙂

In a few lines, we’ll guide you through your first steps with Senstroke, introduce you to the basic operation of your sensors and direct you to lots of videos and tutorials that could be useful to you! And if you want to go further, everything is available in detail on our Senstroke website!
Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Summary

I. Presentation of Senstroke sensors
II. How to use Senstroke sensors
III. Some tips
IV. Learn the drums with the learning mode
V. Senstroke for a professional use

Presentation of Senstroke sensors

To get started, a little reminder about Senstroke sensors. What is it all about, exactly? How does it work? What can you do with it?

Senstroke sensors are Bluetooth connected sensors that allow you to drum anywhere, on any surface, and in less than five minutes of installation.
Just connect them to a device (smartphone, tablet, pc, …) from the specific application or any other DAW software to be able to play drums… without a drum set!

How does it work? Very simply: each element of your virtual drum set corresponds to a striking angle, snare drum in front, cymbals on the right and left, for example, and recognizes the velocity.
In other words: depending on where you hit with your sensors, our application will produce the sound of the corresponding element on your device.

Are you a beginner? Senstroke takes care of everything; with its pre-loaded kit, you don’t even have to adjust anything. Turn on, connect, play; that’s the strength of Senstroke, which makes the drums accessible to everyone!

How to use Senstroke sensors

Now that you understand a little bit how it works in their back end, we’ll see how to use Senstroke sensors.

A few simple steps will get you started as soon as possible:

1) Download the Senstroke app (iOS, Android, Windows), essential to connect your sensors, even if you may prefer another DAW software in the future, to mix your rhythms!

2) Turn on your sensors and pair them to the app. It’s simple: on the Senstroke application, go to the “Sensor” screen and simply touch the image representing a sensor to connect it.

3) Calibrate all your sensors. Important! For optimal gaming comfort, you will need to calibrate your sensors the first time you use them and before any long gaming session. It is recommended to do this on a regular basis as well.
This step is often neglected, it allows the sensors to better recognize their environment and thus to get lost less often.

4) Play! You know how to use your Senstroke sensors, they are ready!
Depending on their role, insert them on your chopsticks or on your feet thanks to the elastics provided for this purpose, get into position, go to the “Play” screen, briefly press the sensors’ button to center them and start your session.
To get off to a good start with Senstroke, use the pre-configured basic kit, which will allow you to familiarize yourself with the sensors.

A few tips

My sensors get lost all the time, when I play the snare drum, it makes a cymbal sound!

Don’t worry, your sensors are not faulty and they are the same ones used in this video, recorded live at NAMM 2020:

Did you follow the previous steps correctly? Are you sure? You have calibrated your sensors and are using the pre-loaded kit? You respect the striking angles when you play?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, stop talking to your computer and try to play again within these parameters.

And if you answered “yes” to all these questions, seriously, stop talking to your computer, and try again anyway !

Using Senstroke is like using a new instrument. The sensors allow you to simulate a real drum kit game, but you’ll still need some time to adapt. Play slowly, with calmer rhythms and a soft tempo to get familiar with the angles, the drumming and the kit.

Persevere! You didn’t learn the drums (or the bike, if you’re a beginner) in a five-minute session, did you? It will take time to master this new tool, but believe me, patience and perseverance will pay off in the end!

About latency issues

As mentioned above, Senstroke sensors are connected to the application via Bluetooth. This means that there may be a latency, or delay, between the sending of the message (here, the note) by the sensor, its reception by the device and its processing by the application.

On the sensor side, no problem: sending is almost instantaneous, and Senstroke has been designed to operate with such few latency that it is undetectable in play. If there can be a delay, on the other hand, it is on the side of the device used… For several reasons :

The most obvious is that the device is simply not suitable.

It is often said that smartphones and tablets are concentrates of technologies, but not all technologies are equivalent…
And, in general, cheaper technologies also tend to perform less well.

Latency may be due to audio technology that is not powerful enough to make the sensors work, a problem often encountered on more accessible devices (Huawei, Lenovo) or on mid-range devices of major brands.
In general, Sony devices and the major Samsung references have the lowest latency. Apple phones and tablets, on the other hand, are the reference; the apple brand has always favored its audio technologies and offers playing performance with minimal latency!

Pro tip: Want to know if your Android phone will have latency? Download the app for free and launch it, it tells you the latency of your smartphone!

If there’s one thing we particularly recommend when using Senstroke, it’s to connect your other devices by wire.

Imagine: 4 sensors connected to Bluetooth, plus a headset or speaker.

The sensors send the info to the phone, which processes it, then sends the info to the headset or speaker… Latency guaranteed! When you use Senstroke with a headset to keep quiet, or a speaker to make noise, choose wired!
There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned cable that can be taken anywhere to play in a comfortable environment.
Finally, and even though this is rarely THE solution, feel free to close all those apps that are running in the background: your device has a cache memory, which needs to be emptied from time to time by closing the apps and restarting it.

This advice applies to everything you do, by the way; if you let too many apps running at the same time, it takes more time for the device to find, process and send the information.

Learn the drums with the learning mode

Are you new to drums? You barely know how to keep the rhythm (but you’re still having fun)? Are you eager to learn? We have what you need, the learning mode!

Thanks to the intuitive and easy to use learning mode, you’ll be able to practice playing from home, learn the basics and get used to manipulating your sticks, coordinate hands and feet and even learn a few known beats!

learn-iphone

To enjoy it, nothing could be simpler; with your sensors connected, go to the “Progress,” menu there, you can choose your lesson and practice a session. Try to follow the visually indicated rhythm and play the right element at the right time.

Practice on the first screen and go to the “Test” (top right) when you are ready. You’ll get a score based on the correct number of notes and accuracy, because it’s not enough to know how to play a beat, you also have to play it perfectly! Compare your scores with the community to see where you are in your learning process!

Senstroke for a professional use

Senstroke’s goal is to make drums accessible to everyone, from beginners to professionals. Of course, the needs are therefore very different!
For regulars, drum pros who want more than just a learning mode for fun, we’ve made Senstroke modular, adaptable and versatile.
That’s why so many other applications are compatible with Senstroke, simply because Senstroke sends MIDI messages, a format recognized by all music applications!

Whether you’re GarageBand or Linux, EZDrummer, Reaper or Ableton Live, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for with Senstroke, which connects to all these applications (and many others) to help you mix and edit your songs wherever you are!

Want to connect your sensors to your favorite software? We have a tutorial for that!

“I can do all this with my electronic drums,” do you think ? That’s true, but it takes less than 5 minutes to connect Senstroke and you can take your sensors everywhere with you, in a backpack.
Ideal for rhythms that pop into your head at unexpected moments and for short sessions that don’t require a lot of competition equipment. Give it a try, and make up your mind!

Conclusion: you know how to use your Senstroke sensors

What a trip!
We discovered Senstroke sensors, how they work, how to install them, how to solve the small difficulties of a brand new tool and how to use it, whether you are a beginner or a professional.
And we’ve only just scratched the surface of what is possible with Senstroke, firstly because it’s a constantly evolving tool, with regular updates, and secondly because it’s YOU that makes Senstroke what you want it to be!

Do you use it to learn? To make groundbreaking beats? Are you discovering it or mastering it? Do you have suggestions, comments, an opinion? Share them as a comment, join us on the social medias or on the forum and enrich the Senstroke community with your experience, your personality and your rhythms!

We look forward to seeing you soon on our Redison blog and, until then, don’t forget :
Keep on drumming!

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