Electronic Drums

Alternate Mode jamKAT Review: An Electronic Hand Drum?

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Alternate Mode is an electronic instrument maker at the forefront of electronic drums and percussion. They are well-known for the malletKAT as well as the trapKAT.

Today we are looking at a popular product from the company called the jamKAT. The jamKAT is a hand drum MIDI controller. It functions exactly like a real hand drum does, in the sense that you play it in a very similar way.

The controller has twelve velocity sensitive pads and is even smart enough to recognize specific gestures that are programmed into the drum.

The Ultimate MIDI Hand Drum

JamKAT is designed to work in conjunction with the Drum Intelligent Trigger Interface and the GIGKAT Sound Module. You are not required to purchase all of these, but if you want all the awesome pre-programmed sample kits, you’ll need to get the bundle.

The sounds inside the GIGKAT are the same sounds that are in the malletKAT 7KS, as well as the trapKAT 5KS. Check out the video below to hear some of the included sounds.

In addition to using your hands, you can use sticks or mallets if you desire. The combination of the sample library, DITI, and the jamKAT makes for an insane instrument that is both fun to play and totally practical.

You might even fool people in a club that you’re playing real hand percussion! Here’s another video demonstation the capabilities of the jamKAT.

In addition to hand drums, the jamKAT comes pre-programmed with tons of instrument samples. You can play strings, horns, synthesizers, bells, and much more. The best part?

You do not need to know scales, chords, notes, or have any knowledge of music theory. It’s really as simple as loading the patch and playing.

When I had a chance to test out the JamKat at PASIC, I thought the idea was interesting, but it’s an instrument I won’t get value from. But for hand percussionists who want to work with MIDI, it might be a cool drum pad to check out.


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