We’ve all had remarkable careers as air drummers at least some point in our lives. And no matter how musically incompetent we think we are, there’s always a beat sitting somewhere deep in our bones just ready to bust out. For folks who want to take their air drumming mastery a step further, the Oddball by Oddball Studios takes your air drummer beats and puts them on tracks you can actually listen to.
Instead of flailing imaginary drumsticks, the Oddball comes in the form of a handheld, pressure-sensitive bouncing ball. By throwing it against different surfaces using different applications of force, the ball records a variety of beats which you can either keep to yourself or share with others.
While traditional drum kits require numerous parts, all the Oddball needs are the ball and an app. Sensors inside the ball take the amount of pressure and communicate with the app via Bluetooth to play a beat out of your headphones or speakers. Since the Oddball is pressure sensitive, the beats produced are either louder or softer depending on how much force you apply.
The tracks work well on their own, but you can also add different sounds, loop beats, and play over other artists songs to make them more intricate. If you’re feeling particularly tricky, you can even mix multiple Oddballs and blast their beats out your speaker. The online sharing feature of the app allows you to post your tracks online, listen to other folks’ beats, or maybe even collaborate on a track together.
While the standard method of using the Oddball is to bounce it off a wall by using your hand, the ball seems sturdy enough to handle as a tennis ball or even a basketball. Plugging in your earphones or speakers during a hectic match will produce different sounds every time, but unless you’re particularly good at the sport you’re playing, some of these beats might die down whenever someone scores a point.
The internal components of the Oddball are pretty straightforward: located inside is a protective core which houses an LED, the battery, and motion sensors which calculate the force the ball hits. The electronics are recharged via a USB cable, and it takes about six hours before another charge is required.
With almost zero interface and a fun way of making tunes, it’s no wonder the project already exceeded its Kickstarter goal of $39,310 by over $30,000 (it currently has funding of $70,175 and counting). You can find out more on this odd Oddball over on its Kickstarter page.