Developer: Magnus Larsson
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Until now, I hadn't been convinced that the iPhone stood a chance at being a legitimate replacement for any music production hardware or software. It seems I've been wrong all along. DigiDrummer from Magnick Software is quite simply the greatest drum machine for the iPhone to date.
DigiDrummer comes loaded with 10 drum kits packed with eight high-quality, 16-bit samples. The kits, which range from Funk to Metal, are a well balanced bunch, consisting of a kick, a snare, some toms and a few cymbals. With a clean, straight-forward design inspired by classic drum machine hardware and the recently added "Big Skins" feature, the user interface makes the most of the iPhone's 3.5" screen.
Behind the well-tailored exterior of DigiDrummer lies a strong backbone capable of handling multi-touch hits with no apparent latency or lag. It comes complete with a recording system capable of saving and loading beats thanks to the beat library. I played around with the app for a few days using only my Apple earbuds and I was immediately impressed by the clarity and depth of the samples. So impressed in fact, that I felt I should test DigiDrummer's performance with some more power. I brought it into the studio and ran it through a couple of studio monitors. Surprisingly, it was up to par with the big boys in terms of sound quality and presence.
One of my main concerns early on was the touchscreen. Having used samplers equipped with velocity-sensitive pads, I was worried it wouldn't provide an adequate surface for beat-making. Turns out I was wrong about that, too. The touch screen is great for drumming and the inclusion of a mixer to set independent volume controls for each drum addresses the lack of velocity detection.
Magnus Larsson & Co. have really hit the nail on the head with this one. They've delivered a clean, stable, rich app for the John Bonham's in all of us. Get DigiDrummer today.