The Dr. Drum beat maker is a new program geared towards beginners who want to create kick-ass beats without spending hours learning how to operate a complex program.
It has a wide range of features, such as a 16-track sequencer, four-octave keyboard and 12-pad drum machine, and promises ease of use combined with professional quality. I’ve parted with my $40, downloaded the program and started making my own beats, and now I’m ready to share my thoughts.
The first thing that struck me about Dr. Drum is the intuitive layout. I’ve used numerous beat-making programs in the past, and I felt instantly at home.
I didn’t even have to watch the video tutorials available on the member’s section of the website. For beginners, the program would still be simple to use; the main sequencer screen has a grid to arrange samples on and a clearly labelled mixer.
You place the samples you like on a track, positioned according to when you want them to kick in. The bars are marked along the top of the main grid, so you’ll always know where you are in your composition.
The audio quality is second to none. The beats you make are exported in professional-quality, 44.1 stereo .WAV files, which are a must if you want to be taken seriously in the industry. The samples have been professionally recorded and mastered, so your compositions aren’t dragged down by poor quality components.
In terms of being able to shape your sound, the mixer has options for adjusting the highs, mids and lows, as well as for muting tracks and playing them solo. You can also pan the audio into the left or right speaker to create a more detailed stereo experience for your listeners.
The 12-pad drum machine and four-octave keyboard are useful if the multitude of samples included just aren’t enough. You can use the drum machine with any of the included drum sounds or even upload your own, and create individualised beats to set your compositions apart from the crowd.
Likewise, the keyboard includes a wide range of instrument sounds, including guitars, saxophones, pianos and a selection of sound effects. You can easily upload your own if you want more variety.
Overall, Dr. Drum has everything you could need to create beats, and is cheaper than its competitors. Such a high level of control over your sound is hard to reconcile with ease of use, but the program has managed to achieve just that.
It’s a great choice for beginners, and it will also teach you some useful skills that can be carried across to other programs. The simplicity with which you can upload your own samples means that Dr. Drum stays fresh, and will become a valued partner in your creative endeavours.