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How Do I Choose the Best Drum Software?

Percussion software is used to take the role of a live drum kit.
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  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2014
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Choose the best drum software by looking at the number of drum kits supplied with each program, the program’s user interface, and the ability to add effects. It is also important to look for a program which allows the user to distinguish between soft and hard strikes of the drums. A potential buyer should find out which drum software features samples recorded directly from acoustic drums. Most programs will also feature pre-set kits for different styles of music, and some give the user the ability to create their own drum kits.

The most basic factor which should be looked at to determine the best drum software is the number of drum kits supplied and the amount of drum samples available. This is simple, because the more drum kits and samples supplied, the more variety offered by the program. More drum kits give the end user more ability to create different beats in many styles, which makes the program suitable for more genres of music. People shopping for a piece of drum software should compare the number of kits provided by each program and look specifically for the ability to create a “custom” drum kit. This gives the user the ability to combine samples provided by the program to create an individualized drum kit.

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Drum software should also have an intuitive user interface. The user interface is the way the program is presented to the user, including how different options are selected. Ideally, the user interface will be simple and easy to understand and present the user with the most important options on the default page. Many drum software programs have an animated drum kit on the user interface, which provides the user with a visual representation of his or her setup. Potential buyers should read product reviews or instruction manuals to determine which program has the most user-friendly interface.

Most drum software programs feature many different options for adding audio effects to the music produced by the simulated kit. Effects allow the user to change the finer details of the sound produced by the drum kit. For example, some drum software allows the user to add reverb, compression, and distortion to the drum sound. A variety of effects is important, but potential buyers should look specifically for effects they are likely to need.

Percussion instruments like the drums are not wholly reliant upon the construction and sound of the instrument. The precise stroke that the player uses to produce a sound has a big effect on the qualities of the sound. Better drum software programs allow the user to select a “soft” or “hard” stroke, which can be useful for accentuating certain notes. Some programs even offer additional variations on a stroke beyond soft and hard.

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