Drumming vs Differential Equations

Apple recently announced the release of Logic Pro X, an updated version of their audio processing software. There’s a discussion thread on MacRumors.com about it. It comes with a new feature called Drummer, which is essentially a drumming machine component, described as a “virtual session drummer”. Several of the comments mentioned this and wondered how good it would be compared to a real drummer.

Cue the inevitable drummer jokes. Some people, while having a good laugh, also expressed the opinion that drumming is actually quite demanding and how they genuinely respect drummers. Then there was this comment:

I agree, drumming is a really hard job, up there with solving complex differential equations, simulating weather, image processing, managing data for millions of users…

Clearly sarcastic, but I couldn’t help finding it hilarious. Since I do image processing and solving differential equations for my day job, and have been taking weekly drumming lessons for over a year now. And I can tell you, in no uncertain terms, that drumming is more difficult than solving differential equations and image processing. I can tell you how the vibrational modes of a drum head are governed by an orthogonal basis of Bessel functions, but I’m still having trouble not swinging my sixteenth note syncopated snares in a straight 4/4 rhythm, or doing consistent 32nd note double strikes with my left hand. :-)

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