Drummer Demian Kappenstein and scientist Marc Bangert, Ph.D., from Dresden, Germany, have developed an invisible drumset, fulfilling, they say, all the needs of a professional drummer. The set even features invisible foot switches that one can use to apply effects or load different sound patches.

The system works through a motion capture system. This, the duo explains, means very precise infrared cameras film the sticks’ and feet’s motions in the air at up to 500 frames per second. (Normal cameras work at a rate of 29 frames per second.) Location and speed information is transferred in real time to Bangert’s software, turning the moves into samples of Kappenstein’s real drumset.

“The drums are in the same spot, however their only reaction is the sound,” states Kappenstein. “There’s no rebound sensation at all. That’s a tough bit of practice at first. However, once you get past this point and overcome your muscles’ expectations, playing the thing becomes pure blast.”

Watch Demian Kappenstein play the Invisible Drumkit here:

and see a “making-of” video here: