Dr Drum Review

Dr Drum Review
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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.

 

Who Is The Best Hip Hop Beat Maker?

I loved the post on Beattips.com:

‘BeatTips Readers’ Poll™: Who is the Greatest Beatmaker (Hip Hop Producer) of All Time?

the best beatmaker of all timeThere are some truly great names on their list, but in my opinion Dr Dre stands out from the rest – he stands test of time, keeps reinventing himself, is just at as adapt at producing the work of others as well as himself and I love some of the beats he has produced – some of these are my all time favourite tracks.

Dre has it all in my opinion – what do think – who has your vote?

  • Grandmaster Flash
  • Marley Marl
  • DJ Premier
  • Dr. Dre
  • Large Professor
  • DJ Toomp
  • The RZA
  • Pete Rock
  • Just Blaze
  • J Dilla
  • Rick Rubin
  • Timbaland
  • Kanye West
  • Other

Visit Beattips.com’s readers poll to cast your vote

 

How To Make A Beat

There is no one solution to knowing how to make a beat.

How to make a beatThe trick is to discover your own best way of doing it which suits the level of musical experience and skill you have, and is possible with the equipment and software you have available for the task.

I hope to provide you with a few ideas to help you learn how to make beats in this post.

The Timeline

All beat making software works by placing sounds on a timeline.

The beat maker selects the sounds he wants to include, and places them on the timeline. When the track is played back, the sounds play as the play head passes over them left to right.

In the image above you can see several drum sounds placed on the timeline in Dr Drum beat making software.

The trick to making a great beat is to select sounds which suit the mood you are looking to create, and sequence (order) them so the resulting beat sounds good.

While I don’t like to recommend a beginner to dive straight into musical theory, it is important at the outset to realise how music works.

Watch the video below which explains what a tune in 4:4 time sounds like. All the popular genres of music are in 4:4 time, and it will help you to realise that to make your beat work you will need to construct something which works in this timing signature.


Making a beat

So what does this mean when you make your own rap beat for example?

Simply put it means that every fourth beat you can change things.

Take the example in the image to the above – when you are making this tune and placing the drum beats on the timeline, count the bars as you do it. What you compose will sound so much better when you realise the significance of the fourth beat (marked with red arrows above).

making a hip hop beatIn this image you can see a different screen in Dr Drum beat maker, where all the different tracks are being mixed together into one tune.

Notice that I have counted each bar (red arrows) and then marked the end of the fourth bar (green arrows) It is at these green arrow points in 4:4 time music where you are best bringing other sounds in.  All music has builds – where the sounds slowly build together to kick off at some stage in the track, or all of a sudden drop out to leave a part of the beat by itself. These moments will sound best if they happen on a green arrow!

My advice when using software to make your tunes is to count the bars, mark them off in your mind and get used to things happening at the green arrows. It will give the beat your create structure which those listening and dancing to it expect and understand.

Try listening to your favourite tracks – count the bars in your head or by tapping them out on the table. Or watch you tube videos where a timeline is playing and notice the bars in the tracks there too.

To make a killing beat, timing is everything.

Layering Tracks One By One

The following video shows Remo The Hitmaker creating the beat for “A Bad Bitch” by French Montana feat. Jeremih. Watch how he creates a beat, layer by layer.

Remo is obviously an experienced piano player, and can do some things which a beginner can’t. He also has a lot of equipment which I don’t have.

However, the interesting thing which is appropriate to the beginner, is to take the idea of starting with something, then playing that back while jamming over the top until something sounds ‘right’. When it does, add it to the mix.

In this way you can layer the track, piece by piece until you have something which sounds good.

Remo starts with a synth (keyboard) sound. I would usually start with a basic drum beat to help me play along to it – this is probably due to my lack of musical experience but it helps me to jam in time with whats already there.

The equipment Remo uses is a keyboard, but it is actually easier for a beginner to make a beat by entering drum sounds and notes into software and then move them around and keep playing it back until what you have created sounds good.

When you make up beats using software audition (test out) different sounds as you jam along with what you have created so far. Knowing that a sound needs to go in a particular place is one thing – picking the sound that sounds best there is another.

What Beat Making Software Could I use To Do This?

There is a variety of software you can get to do this, and the choice you make will largely depend on how much money you have to spend and how much time you have to invest in learning to use the beat making software you choose.

In terms of money you can invest in a professional beat software like my best mate Phil has in his home studio, he uses Ableton Live. I think he spent £500 ($800 dollars) on it.

The software is very impressive, although to make the most of it you really need other studio equipment, synthesisers and a large amount of musical talent. I needed quite a lot of patience when I tried to learn it round his place. I don’t think the expensive studio grade software is accessible to the beginner.

The one thing in his studio I absolutely love is his ‘Maschine’ drum machine (by Native Instruments).

This is a piece of hardware with some brilliant software included that has thousands of samples which are able to be mixed together. This takes a while to learn how to use however, in Phil’s hands it purrs and he gets great results with it. It’s not cheap either, but if you have $600 and the time to learn to use it it is the best hardware beat maker i’ve seen for the variety of sounds and functions it has.

See how the software works in action below:

 

Are There Cheaper Alternatives?

The good thing is that these days you also have a variety of cheaper options available for under $50 or so. Careful with some of these beat makers however, as many of them don’t have the sample sounds included that will enable you to make a decent beat. What you want to look for is a library of quality sounds and easy to use software to mould them into a tune.

Dr Drum has the samples to make it good hip hop beat software – it also supports many other genres like house, trance, dubstep and many more.

In my opinion Dr Drum is one of the best beat making software options available for the beginner. It is a price which most can afford and the sounds it has available (especially with the extension pack you can buy) is a great solution for the beginner beatmaker, or those working with a tight budget – click here to see my Dr Drum Review.

If you want to find out more about Dr Drum – Click here to visit the Dr Drum website 

How do you make beats? Please suggest your own ideas in the comments below.

 

 

How To Create Beats With Dr Drum

This video demonstrates how to make a beat in Dr Drum beat maker – from scratch.

It clearly shows how easy to use Dr Drum software is to crate drum beats and add other elements of a tune like bass and keyboards or synthesisers . Unlike many more expensive pieces of similar software, it reduces the number of screens you need to use to produce your beats.

When I wanted to make my own beats online, I had to find cheap beat making software that I could afford, and learn to use quickly.

At the price I got it for, Dr Drum was certainly affordable, even with the additional instruments I purchased with the software. These were offered as an extra pack and add a lot of sounds I really like, I find that they spark off ideas for new sounds, beats and mixes.

How to create beats with Dr Drum

How To Make A Beat with dr drumThe video demonstration above shows how to manage the beat you are making on the main screen timeline, and how this is made up of individual pieces – each of which you can compose separately.

I love the way it’s possible to play what you have and then jam over the top until what you are playing sounds good. This is the way many non-musicians are likely to use it and it certainly suits the way I like to work.

The other options online for this kind of software that i’ve used don’t have the ease of use of Dr Drum, they aren’t as easy to pick up and play and the results I have achieved with them just don’t compare.

Dr Drum is solid hip hop beat maker software, but also supports a wide range of other genres from trance and house to dub step.

So what should you look for in beat making software?

If you are looking for the best beat making software, in my opinion you want to look for several things:

Price is important, and many beat software programs like Ableton Live are over priced for what they are. Ease of use is also important to me, I don’t have the time to learn how to use 500 buttons to make something that sounds good. I also need samples that spark my imagination and sound good together.

My advice is to look for youtube videos of the software options available to you in action, and actually see how they work in use before you buy. This is the only way to be sure that what you’re getting will meet your needs and not be a disappointment when you start to use it.

Click Here To Read My Dr Drum Review

Click here to visit the Dr Drum Website

Dr Drum Demonstration

What a tune! I would like to say that this Dr Drum demonstration is one of mine, but it’s not.

In this demo, you can see the timeline of the track and the different elements of the tune on it as it plays. The playhead moves across the yellow elements which you can compose as either drums, bass, or keyboards. Most beat making software looks similar like this, in that each track is placed on a timeline and bought in when the producer decides.

What Is Dr Drum Like To Use?

When making a beat in Dr Drum, the choices in these drum, bass and keyboard sections are huge. But more importantly I have found the quality and range of the sample sounds available to compose my beats are massive and sound great individually. I have found lots of possible sounds to audition, and lots of interesting combinations to try out.

The BPM  (beats per minute) can be easily changed, either when I am starting a track or during playback so I can hear how things would sound with a bit more energy. I have found that this strategy really works when composing drums and baselines too – to record something simply and then keep it playing back in the background. You can just build a tune piece by piece by jamming with what’s playing.

This is what they mean when I say that Dr Drum Beat Maker is easy to use.  I must say that it is a cool piece of beat making software to experiment with in this way.

What Computer Have I Installed Dr Drum on?

I have installed it on both my laptop (which is a PC) and my Mac, it is an abode air application, which means it works across any platform. It also works on my 5 year old laptop, which surprised me a bit.

Dr Drum isn’t meant to replace professional beat software you might find in well equipped home studio. It does include the ability to make the same quality of music however, and I think thats pretty special in one piece of software.

Now all I need to do is get as good as this guy!

Click here to read my in depth Dr Drum review

Make Beats Online

make beats onlineI have been able to make beats online for about 8 years now using my computer. I like creating dance, trance, hip hop and some garage tunes.

I have experimented with a wide variety of software, and currently have a home studio in my attic with a growing collection of kit.

I love the feeling of a track coming together and the surprise when other people listen to my tracks and think they are playing on the radio.

Sometimes I sit and just smile and agree that the track is a good one, other times I can’t help myself – they have to know this beat is mine!

How Did I get Into Making My Own Music?

make beats onlineI started out clubbing and listening to a wide range of dance and hip hop music, and after going round to a mates house after the club one day I found myself playing around with his synthesiser and drum machine until the early hours.

The track we made together was pretty good, I didn’t know how to use the equipment, or play the piano in front of me, but with his help I found it wasn’t that difficult to work it out. After all, making your own beats isn’t about a complex tune much of the time, and I don’t think you need musical experience to understand what kicks.

What Equipment Do I use To Make Beats?

I am also glad to have had experience of a kind of beat making software free of the price tag of the Digital Audio Workstations and professional beat software which would cause my wallet to explode. I don’t have the money to spend on these types of beat creator, or the time or patience to learn how they work.

Create Your Own Beats Free – The Online Beat Machine!

I love to make beats online with odd websites which allow you to play around with the sounds they make, sometimes by hovering over things, or clicking buttons in time to background music are surprisingly good fun for those starting out.

Try these links for some of my favourites:

This kind of online beat maker is free and the sounds they make are sometimes really good! The trouble with these kinds of sites is that getting the sounds they make into your computer at a decent level of quality is difficult. They are useful for playing with ideas though.

Cheap Beat Making Software

A way into beat making is to invest a small amount in some of the cheaper software out there.

One I used ages ago was DJ Booth, I think it was a CD game I bought years ago to muck about with. They still have something similar at my old school – I can’t remember what it’s called.

This had samples which you could load in and sequence and play together. I enjoyed experimenting with this but after a while when you have used all the decent samples, the beats you make end up sounding the same.

Dr Drum ReviewBut what I wanted to look for was something else to create beats with – something that fills  the gap between the free websites, the sample mixers which end up sounding the same and the complex over priced software – and I think I have found it in Dr Drum.

It allows you to bring in samples when you want to, but has a sequencer which allows you to input the beats yourself too. It’s a really nice mixture between being easy to create beats, but not so the end result always sounds the same.

Click here to read my in depth review of Dr Drum beat making software

Dr Drum

Dr DrumI have spent years searching for the perfect online beat making software. Recently I bought Dr Drum beat making software and I have found it has great samples, it’s easy to use and it works fine on my old computer.

After spending far too much money on some extremely expensive digital audio workstation software and then not really being able to work them, a few days ago I purchased Dr Drum Beat Maker and I am very impressed.

I am not looking for something which can make people’s voices in tune, or patch over the top of some dodgy singing. I just want something I can sit and play with until what I have sounds good. This is the way I make music, I am not a trained musician.

I like to play around with the software and create my own instrumental beat and dance tunes. I am into hip hop music and needed to find a good hip hop beat maker. The samples in the Dr Drum library are wide ranging enough to make music in a wide variety of different genres and suit my tastes very well indeed.

Is Dr Drum Good Value For Money?

I must say that for the price I paid for Dr Drum, this is one of the best pieces of online beat maker software I have ever used. I will be writing a full length review in a short time and publishing this here, as I want people to have the chance to try this – don’t let the price fool you, a few years ago you would have paid $100s or $1000s for beat making software like this.

Thank god for the mobile app revolution, which pulled prices of software down!

Click here to check out my in depth Dr Drum Review 

Click here to check out the Dr Drum website

An investigation Into Dr Drum, By A Home Musician And Online Beat Maker.