iOS MARS is currently closed. Please read this for more information.

Drums XD app review – Custom build your dream kit

Yes, another drum app review. Wait, don't go! Sure, I have featured DrumPerfect, and Rock Drum Machine, and Elastic Drums here on the site in the past, but Drums XD provides much of what is missing with those other apps.

Drums XD does bring many innovative features to the table, and it sounds good to boot. While there are several "acoustic" drum apps available on iOS, not many have such flexibility in the interface and the tweaking of sounds. Seriously, check out the video from the developer below, and see how much customization is available in the interface (this video is a little bit older, but still features much of what is in the current version):

Did you get all that? You can build your dream kit here, adding as many drums, cymbals or other percussion items as you'd like. Rearrange them anywhere on the screen, and even make them bigger or smaller. Rotate them, whatever. If you're a finger drummer, that's got to get you excited. No longer tied down by the preset interface, Drums XD lets you put your tools exactly where you want them.

Not only can you customize the layout of the interface, but you can also tweak the sounds of each instrument. Want to change the pitch on a splash cymbal? Go ahead! Select auto-pan to make the drums on the left side of the kit play in the left speaker, and vice versa. Add a choke to your cymbals by enabling the "two-finger choke" option. You can add paradiddles to your drums in the Settings, and have these play when you "roll" around the drum. Super easy, and it sounds great.


Neil Peart, eat your heart out! (yes, I went a little overboard with this custom kit...)

OK, so I'm getting a little ahead of myself here. I haven't even discussed the basics of the app yet. The app includes 11 preset kits, which tend towards acoustic rock setups. There is an "electronic" set, a "hip hop" set (complete with a turntable scratch effect), as well as a sweet steel drum and an awesome "Percussion" set. This last set includes bongos, shakers, maracas, cabasas, vibraphone, quijada, and cowbells. How many cowbells? Ten cowbells, enough to satisfy even Christopher Walken.


These sets are a great starting point, and could easily be enough to get you recording. But the real appeal of Drums XD is the ability to create your own custom set. Mix and match from any of the preset kits, or choose from the individual instrument kits. Want cymbals? Choose from 31 different crash cymbals. Got a thing for gongs? Perhaps you'll find one you like out of the seven to choose from. This app would make Neil Peart drool.

I think these instruments sound great. Many of the instruments have dynamics, where the location of your taps change the sound. Cymbals, for instance sound different when you play the edge versus towards the middle. Same with the bongos. Snares have rim shots. There is definitely a "feel" to when you play these drums.

If you're into playing along with songs from your iTunes Library, there is a feature here that lets you play along with those, and even record your performance. Nice touch. Some other features here include changing the background image, adding lighting effects, disco ball effect, smoke machine, and a rotating ball lamp. If you're into that sort of thing, it's here.

The app is also both Core and Virtual MIDI capable. So, you can either control Drums XD with a sequencer, or you can control another app (like Beatmaker 2) with Drums XD. If you're one of those musicians who is used to using an external keyboard to play drums, you can do that here as well.

I mentioned before that Drums XD was recently updated. It is now compatible with Audiobus 2, which is much appreciated. Along with the iOS 8 compatibility comes Inter-App Audio (IAA) as well. It seemed to work just fine in both, which these days is welcome news.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, there are only a few real standout acoustic drum sets in iOS. As I'm still a Classic Rock guitarist at heart, it's great to be able to get some great sounding rock drums for tracks. While Drums XD doesn't have a step-sequencer like DrumPerfect, it is great for those who like to play the drums live. If you're looking for a solid drumming app to bang out some heavy beats, Drums XD is a great mid-range option to buy.

If you're thinking about buying Drums XD, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks!

[app 488540496]

Post Navigation