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DrumPerfect – Updated to version 1.03

DrumPerfect (iPad only), the wonderful drum app from Marinus van de Molengraft, recently was updated to version 1.03.

What's New in Version 1.03

Added Inter-App-Audio-based sync of song pointer and tempo.
Improved Midi clock sync.
Added swipe-left-delete for pattern/kit/sample/song list.
Separate track rendering to Dropbox now saves individual track files.
Removed lag in stroke editing in grid view.
Added selectable UI themes.
Various bug fixes.

I've been playing with DrumPerfect for the last few days now, just trying to fully wrap my head around it. To say that I've got it all figured out would be a lie, and that is a compliment to the app. This app is DEEP. And it is amazing.

To put my review in perspective, I come from a world full of guitars. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years, and my tastes run towards rock, punk, and metal. I've been searching for an iOS drum app that might allow me to create some rock songs, and frankly I've been a bit disappointed until now.

Disclaimer: I hate the sound of 808/909 drums. The majority of iOS drum apps cater to that end of the spectrum, and choices for "acoustic" drum sounds have been slim. DrumJam is an excellent drum/percussion app, but leans heavily on the "ethnic" rhythms and instruments. DM1 has a few good kits, but the flexibility of the app leaves you fairly trapped in certain styles. There are some good loop-based drum apps, but nothing that compares to what DrumPerfect is capable of.

I have finally found my drum app.

I've added a brief description of the app, lifted straight from Marinus' App Store description, as it perfectly captures the basics:

DrumPerfect features three extensive editors to easily create very human-like drum sequences:

- An extensive pattern editor in which each individual drum stroke has its own velocity, timing and probability. Each pattern has its own BPM, time signature and beat subdivision settings. Multiple strokes can be linked to a single probabilistic event. Grid view mode facilitates fast setup of new patterns.

- An extensive kit editor with up to 16 different drum kits with 16 instruments each. Every instrument consists of up to 16 different user-selectable audio samples. Four multi-sampled kits included: Jazz-Funk, Acoustic, Dry and Vintage Funk.

- An extensive song editor in which a song is built of pattern/kit events.

Before we go any further, fellow iOS Musician Zen Lizard has created a YouTube demo which does a great job of showing the basics of the app. I highly recommend watching this app if you are thinking about purchasing DrumPerfect, or you've already bought it and are feeling a bit overwhelmed (which is understandable).

The .pdf manual for the app is a must-read as well, in order to truly explore this app. Sure, you can figure it out pretty quickly, especially since version 1.02 added the grid layout, but there are just so many options available within the app that might not be readily apparent at first glance.

DrumPerfect manages to bring a "human" feel to your sounds which just hasn't been available to date. The ability to choke cymbals, individual velocity and probability values per beat are all there. A "two-handed" option that mimics a real drummer (the sounds have a slight variance that truly do sound like they are being played by two hands) is available, and a handy "humanize" option that makes it simple to give it some imperfection, just like us non-robots.

As I've just started poking around, I haven't even fully explored building my own custom kits. But, if that's your thing, you are in luck. The Kit Editor allows you to choose between an nice amount of samples. And in the Song Editor mode, you can arrange your patterns into full songs. With the option to save 64 patterns, you can build a song with a multitude of variations, even mixing in different time signatures per pattern. Let you inner Math Rock god go wild.

My goal for my app review posts has been to create my own demo sounds on SoundCloud to share, to show what the apps can do. While I wanted to do the same for DrumPerfect, I've found that there are already some amazing demos on the DrumPerfect website that far exceed what I am capable of at the moment, and truly capture what is possible. So, I'll put my ego on the shelf, and let you enjoy these samples.

As you would expect from an app this deep, it is Audiobus and IAA-compatible, as well as options to export via Audiocopy, SoundCloud, or Dropbox. I've been using an iPad Air, and have not experienced any bugs, crashes or other annoyances.

DrumPerfect was originally released in March 2014, and has already seen several major improvements. Based on my chats with Marinus, I expect that this will continue. He is very active in the iOS online music community, and has made several enhancements to the app based on user feedback.

In summary, the amazing amount of control that you have creating beats is astounding, and to me at first, was wildly overwhelming. But once I figured out the basics, I was knocking out beats in no time. Since getting into iOS music, I've been hesitant to even start writing guitar-based songs, since I've not been happy with any available drum apps. With DrumPerfect, I now know that the drums will not be the weak link in my songs, but may even stand out as a strength.

DrumPerfect (AppStore Link) DrumPerfect
Developer: Marinus J.G. van de Molengraft
Rated: 4+5
Price: $10.99 Download

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