Note: This is a Dr Drum review, click here if you want to access the Dr Drum Website
Is Dr Drum good for the ‘beginner beat maker’ or those without more formal musical experience?
I have now used Dr Drum for several weeks and I know my way around it well enough to provide a full review, in the hope that this will make your own decisions about whether to get the software easier.
I won’t hold back here either – I want perfection in my music and the equipment I use, and I want to be honest in this review. No software is perfect after all, and I do think there are a couple of things I would like to see in addition to what is offered in the package for sale.
Who Is The Dr Drum Software Suitable For?
This software has been designed to be as easy to use as possible and is aimed at beginner beat makers, or those with no formal musical experience, who want something they can pick and play. The software simplifies much more expensive studio kit while keeping the ability to compose, sequence and balance a track. These functions have been squeezed into as few individual screens as possible and as a result it is easy for the beginner beat maker to navigate and use quickly.
I found it easy to use immediately, and that the best results came from quickly composing a beat and then building the track slowly by jamming other sounds on top of this.
Dr Drum is an Adobe air application, which means it works on Mac and PC computers, it has also been designed to run on machines that are a few years old (like mine!) There are no minimum machine specs to worry about here.
Ease of Use Of This BeatMaker
Firstly, I am very impressed by how easy the software is to pick up and use straight away. I have used much more expensive software and have often found this to be difficult to use. I used a Digital Audio Workstation piece of software at my best mates house and realised quickly that it would take several weeks to get anything decent out of it. He learned from youtube. He said the instruction booklet was impossible to understand. I haven’t got that time to waste, I have a busy life and it can’t all be music (unfortunately!)
Dr Drum on the other hand was easy for me to pick and use as soon as I downloaded it. There is video training included in the package with the software, which shows you how to do everything from making your beats, importing samples, introducing tunes (keyboard and bass) and exporting your finished music.
Value For Money
I have done loads of research into the best online beat making software, and have tried lots of different things in my search for different tools to use in my music making.
Most of the professional studio grade software and hardware is out of my reach, until I can sell some of the music I make I guess! So for the time being I have to be careful with my money and spend only on things I can afford.
Dr Drum has some of the best individual sounds I have heard on software at this price range. Through headphones or speakers the bass kicks and rumbles when it should, the high hats are crisp and clear. And the synthesiser sounds available even on the basic version of the software are fantastic. The range and quality of the sounds, especially the drum kits available, make even the simplest beat really kick.
Some of the other beat and music making software I have picked up cheap often doesn’t sound any good at all, and I know that in life you get what you pay for. I am okay with cheap software not being perfect, but some of the others I have used don’t even have decent sounding samples in them.
What lets this Dr Drum down a little bit is that the range of sounds isn’t really complete with the additional beats, basses and keyboard sounds sold in the add-on pack. These are so good and mean that you can do so much more with the software, its a shame they are not included in the original pack. I was really glad I paid extra for them though, there is a bass drum that rumbles and a synth that reminds me of the backing track to one of Dr Dre’s hits I like.
I would recommend you get the extra sounds, which lets the value for money down a tiny bit. In comparison to other beat making software however, this still beats them all in terms of value for money – even with the additional sounds added onto the price.
And don’t let the price fool you, a few years ago you would have paid $100s or $1000s for software like this.
Quality Of The Sample Sounds Included
The sounds included in the basic pack are wicked! There is a full range of Hip Hop, Dance, House, Minimal, Electro, Dubstep, R & B, Techno and Trance beats included straight off the bat.
The basic pack also already has 48 bass sounds, all of which can be played from the piano roll easily. I have had loads of fun with some of the more powerful ones, they really make the tune come alive.
The keyboard and synthesiser sounds include synths that remind me of some of the old classic hardware I have heard on more expensive software, several brilliant housey piano sounds, a good selection of polyphonic vibes and pads, organs and leads.
Because most urban music is not based heavily on a knowledge of anything more than what is 4:4 time and what sounds good with a rolling beat, the basic pack has more than enough variety to keep a DJ or producer busy for a good long while experimenting with it all.
As I have said, I valued the additional sounds, that more then double the number available to use in your tunes. They bring a whole new dimension to the software and i’m really glad I got them.
Dr Drum Software Includes:
- A 16 track sequencer, allowing you to mix an incredible range of beats and music in one track
- An interface that minimises the clicks necessary to create a professional track
- Professionally mastered studio quality samples
- A full range of musical genres represented, each drum track has 12 pads – the quality of some of these has to be heard to be believed.
- An integrated 16 track mixer to balance your tracks to perfection
- A built in Youtube uploader for easy sharing of what you create
- A full range of video tutorials to get you quickly started making beats.
- Both Mac and PC compatible (adobe air) software, created to work on lower spec computer equipment
What Would I Improve?.
I would improve the ‘move’ functionality, as I would prefer to drag and drop things more easily when composing. It’s only a small thing, but I do think it would help the ease of use of the software. At the moment if you want to edit and move some of the notes or drum sounds around, you first have to click ‘move’ before doing so. I would have preferred to switch between these functions with the mouse buttons to make this even easier. Maybe this is something they can add as a software update.
I also didn’t feel that I needed to pay the charge for the book telling users how to sell their music. I have found this kind of information online anyway and have a bit of experience in this area. It’s good that they offer a guide to selling your music in the system for people that don’t know how to do this, but I wouldn’t have bought it from them.
So Would I buy It Again?
I would buy Dr Drum again, including the additional sound pack which is sold after the initial purchase, but not including the book about how to sell your music.
I understand that it is not expensive professional studio grade software, I have not got the time or money to spend getting this anyway.As far as I am concerned it sits in a nice place, above the cheap and nasty software synths and music making software that really doesn’t sound good at all, and just below software which costs $100s or even $1000s. This makes it a perfect fit for me and great value for money.
There is one Dr Drum software review online I have seen that I think was written by someone with another piece of software to sell. They get this beat making software wrong however, and I don’t think the writer has used it for any length of time. He makes some claims that are just plain wrong about it. Having used Dr Drum for several weeks and got some banging results from it, I could not disagree more.
But the best test of any music and beat making software has to be what you can create using it. I am so impressed with the results I am getting with this package and as a result I recommend it highly for the musician who might have no classic training, but has a good ear for a beat.