Serious drummers have a hard time with virtual drum kits. Either they are too complicated, sound terrible, or are nothing more than a fun game to pass the time. It is not often that a musician comes across an app that is both a legitimate drum pad for digital audio files, but also an entertainment app that is enjoyable for just passing time. Drums XD manages to accomplish both feats, and does them well.
The app offers 11 full drum kits, including an Acoustic Kit, a Jazz Kit, a Classic Rock Kit, a Hip Hop Kit and more. Additionally, there are various kit extras that you can add to any kit you like. There are congas, bongos, China cymbals, and gongs. You can also pick individual pieces from the Cymbals, Kicks, Snares, and Toms categories.
Lets start with a pre-existing kit. Users can move each drum piece to anywhere on the screen they like by unlocking the editing feature. Toms, kicks and cymbals can be repositioned, increased or decreased in size, and even deleted from the kit altogether. You can add more to your kit, or downsize to what ever you think fits your requirements.
If you don’t see a premade kit that interests you, start from scratch. There are 30 different cymbals, 35 different kick drums, 50 different snare drums, and 46 different toms. There are also world instrument pieces like a steel drum or Timbalas and a large variety of China cymbals and gongs.
Once you’ve gotten your kit built to specifications and adjusted to fit your finger tapping style, it is time to decorate it. You can change the background image to one of 23 different styles. There are blues backgrounds, heavy metal backgrounds, classical music backgrounds and more. You can also add lighting effects that will trigger every time you tap a drum. You can add stage lights, spotlights, a disco ball or a color ball.
Drums have different dynamics. You can trace your finger around a snare for a drum roll, add paradiddles to each drum in the editing section, tap different zones on a piece for a different sound element and touch a cymbal with two fingers to simulate cymbal stabs.
You can also edit each individual drum piece to have various levels of paradiddle rolls, looping capabilities, left/right pan, pitch adjustments, and volume adjustments.
All these options alone make the app worth downloading, but Drums XD is so much more than a good-looking (and good sounding) app. It is also a useful music program that you can use for recording digital drum tracks.
Users also have the ability to play along with any song in their iPad’s music library. Tap the headphone icon in the upper left corner and import any song that is in your device.
You can record your drum sessions either solo, or with the accompanying music. You can also layer your drum sessions by recording them, playing back what you recorded and recording the new session.
Once you’ve got a good music session, you can share it either through email, SoundCloud, or by using a third-party app that lets you copy and paste the track directly into Garage band.
You can import your own sounds into Drums XD through Sanoma AudioPaste and Intua. To add a file, copy the audio you want into Sonoma or Intua, open Drums XD, double-tap a drum piece and select the sound menu. You can also transfer sound files through the Drums XD FTP server, which supports .CAF, .AIFF, .WAV and .MP3 files.
Lastly, Drums XD supports MIDI instruments. You can use it as the brain on supported electronic drum kits, which is nearly priceless to be able to add at least 11 new kits to your physical electronic drums.
What I liked: My favorite aspect of this app is the ability to move drum pieces around on the screen and adjust how big or small they are.
What I didn’t like: Everything about this app is fantastic.
To buy or not to buy: If you have any interest in drums, you will be amazed at what you can do with this app. The price is an outright steal. It is worth at least twice as much. Don’t waste any more time with crappy sounding apps or overly complicated drum machines. You won’t be disappointed with this app.
- Name: Drums XD
- Version Reviewed: 1.3.1
- Category: Games
- Developer: Squeegees
- Price: $4.99