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Rock to the Beat of this Drum Kit

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Category: Hardware Published on Thursday, 09 April 2020

Let’s face it, we all march to the beat of our own drummer. But what if you could bring your drummer with you?

The folks at Senstroke by Redison Music ($200 to $280) have developed a way for you to rock your heart out using a pair of drumsticks, a pair of sensors and your mobile device or computer.

The app is easily downloaded from the Android, iOS or Windows app stores and install without a hitch.

We were able to beat on any surface – – – tabletops, chair backs, etc. – – – and sensors attached to a pair of drumsticks transmitted the beat to our devices realistically reproducing our bangs and cymbal crashes.

The app provides several drum kit presets giving you access to a wide variety of drum and cymbal setups, ranging from traditional jazz kits to full (raucously loud) rock setups. The software also allows you to record your sessions.

So, what’s the downside? Truthfully you instantly discover that you have no rhythm, despite all your years of air drumming, etc.

If you’re short on tabletop or desk space, and really don’t want to use another space-hogging power strip, the Accell Power Cutie ($35.99) may fit right in.

This small, ball shaped device is a compact surge protector that can accommodate three plugs and four USB cables, enabling you to charge, connect and use a desktop full of devices without taking up prime real estate on your desk. There are also two notches on the bottom so you can mount it on a wall.

Setup is easy, just plug it into a wall outlet or another power strip. That’s it! Done! A small blue light on the front of the Cutie let’s you know that you’re set up and ready to go.

Be aware, though, that the Cutie’s cable is only six feet long, so you may need to attach it to another power strip if the closest outlet is on the other side of the room.

If you’re “social distancing” during the COVID-19 pandemic you may want to check out AverMedia’s Live Streamer Cam 313. The suggested list price for this webcam is $80 BUT we’ve noticed that some unscrupulous resellers are charging as much as $179, apparently due to the scarcity of webcams because everyone’s working from home.

This small camera delivers high-quality 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second, but you need to download AverMedia’s software and drivers to get the highest quality.

The sound quality delivered by the cam’s two built-in  microphones using AverMedia’s software is adequate, which is what we’ve come to expect from “free” software. If you can afford it, the addition of a decent microphone and a better video/mic software package will deliver better performance.

But, if you’re not producing daily webcasts or trying to use this in place of a professional rig, the Cam 313 is more than adequate.

The other drawback is its fixed-focus lens. This is more than adequate if you’re sitting in one spot attending a meeting or chatting with the family, but – – – again – – – this was basically designed for consumer (and not professional) use.

The camera comes with a small stand that folds out from the bottom of the unit. This allows you to either sit it on your desk or mound it on top of a monitor. Another cool feature is a cover that slides over the lens to increase privacy.

Michael L. Berman has more than 40 years’ experience writing and editing for The Hartford Courant, The Norwich (CT) Bulletin, The Journal of Commerce and The Middletown (CT) Press. Mike’s Techtalk column was syndicated by the Scripps Howard News Service from 1995 to 2000 and appeared as a computer and technology blog on www.shns.com until No. 19, 2013. You can also visit Mike’s consumer technology website at www.jocgeek.com.

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Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman's Jocgeek fan page at www.facebook.com/jocgeek, or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek.  You can also contact him via email at jocgeek@earthlink.net.  Mike's blog can also be found on the Huffington Post website at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-l-berman/.