Imagine this: you want to start drumming, but the setup is a bit of a hassle. And you’re also sure the neighbors won’t be too happy about the volume. What do you do? When you’re an engineer, like the Dutch Wouter Hietkamp, you make your own drum kit. Little did he know that his search for a different kind of drum kit would lead to the launch of Wizzdrum 2.0 in 2020.
“Electronic drumming didn’t feel authentic to me,” Wouter says. “So, I wanted to create an acoustic drum kit.” He created a smaller, wooden drum kit that produced a lower volume but still sounded like an acoustic drum kit.
In 2013 Wouter showed this first model to his father. Gert Hietkamp (also an engineer) was so impressed they decided to patent the design. Though there was a lot to improve on this first model, they had a vision for the drum kit from the start. “We decided to create a model that didn’t use any foot pedals to minimize contact sound and make the drum volume even lower.”
Wouter and Gert introduced the first model in 2014 at the Frankfurt Musikmesse. The responses were enthusiastic, and people loved the unique sound. But the musicians still asked for the option to have foot pedals to play in a more traditional style. That set in motion the creation of the Wizzdrum 2.0 as we know it today.
The 3D printed drum kit
To keep the pedals lightweight, Wouter and Gert started looking at 3D printing. That’s where things took off. “I had another idea to create a drum that was easy to tune, but initially had no way to create it,” Wouter says. “But when we started using 3D printing, that opened up new possibilities to create our revolutionary tuning system.
The great benefit of 3D printing is that we can now manufacture the entire drum kit ourselves. It gives us complete and total control over the entire process and quality.”
3D printing also made the drum kit even more lightweight. And it made it possible to offer personalized color schemes with a matching carrying case.
The latest versions of the Wizzdrum’s kits launched at NAMM in January 2020.