DM1 – The Drum Machine review (iPad)

June 28, 2012

10 word description: Advanced vintage drum machine. 64 drum kits. Pads, Mixer, Effects.

Each song is a sequence of patterns

10 word review: Gorgeous visuals, incredibly easy to use, feature-packed and fun.

Each pattern is a sequence of steps

You will like this if you enjoy: Creating music on your iPad. Drum machines in general.

You can play along or record in real time using the pads

The good news: Very easy to use. I only had to look one thing up in the excellent pdf manual and that was more because of my lack of observation skills than any problem with the DM1. It looks great (see pics). There are over 60 drum kits and many include more sounds/samples than just standard drum kit components, so you can create melodies or even imitation 8-bit theme tunes! Everything is very fast – song loading, drum kit swapping, pattern editing functionality. The mixer and effects add a huge amount of sound customisation possibilities. Loads of different demo songs to play around with and learn from.

There are a lot of different kits to choose from

The bad news: It’s not “a real drummer”. (Hmmm, actually that’s probably good news!). I mean that there is a limit to the sound customisation. For example, you can’t adjust the velocity/volume of individual notes/steps beyond ‘normal’ and ‘louder’; but, hey, it’s a drum machine – what were you expecting? The ability to import your own samples and build your own drum kits would, of course, be an excellent addition.

The volume/panning, etc. for each instrument can be adjusted in the mixer

Arcadelife verdict: I’ve always enjoyed playing around with drum machines and this one is a lot of fun. It makes very good use of the iPad screen and touch interface and is one of the most immediately accessible and easy to use music apps I have seen. Unless you go in expecting way too much, it will be a long time before you start thinking of things that would be nice to have in DM1, as it already pretty much has everything most people would expect or want from a drum machine app. The visuals don’t even have to be this good, but they are and they make using the DM1 an even more satisfying and enjoyable experience.

Two effects can be applied via this very easy-to-use pair of trackpads

Overall – highly recommended. It’s a great drum machine, a fun iPad app, and the developers are open about asking for user comments and suggestions for future updates.

Arcadelife rating
Note: I was going to alter the categories slightly for this app, but then I realised that I didn’t need to.

Visuals – 9/10
Audio – 9/10
Controls – 10/10
Content – 9/10
Fun – 9/10
Final rating – 92/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 2.1
iTunes link

Fingerlab / DM1 website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPad (iOS 5.1.1)


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