Dr. Drum Review
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Dr. Drum is an entry level digital beat making software that gets a bad rep. But does it really suck that badly?
Or can you make some bangers? Find out in our exclusive Dr Drum review below.
Dr. Drum is an affordable, but very limited, entry level digital beat making software. It’s not as good as most other options, but it is very cheap/affordable.
BUT – it’s super dated and it seems like the developers forgot about it.
You probably won’t get a refund and there are FREE options out there that are much better.
Bottom Line: THERE ARE MUCH BETTER OPTIONS AT THE SAME PRICE POINT (Like Magix Music Maker)
2.5/5 Stars Overall
Should You Buy: Probably NOT – it’s not great but it’s ok – especially for beginners that don’t want a steep learning curve and want to spend less than $30 on beat making software. But if you can afford a tiny bit more, we honestly recommend trying Magix Music Maker instead (read full review here).
Note: We’ve also received an email from one customer that said they tried to get in touch with customer support for Dr. Drum but never heard anything back. They wanted a refund but no one responded to the request. We also tried reaching out to Dr. Drum on their behalf, but didn’t receive a response either. And their website hasn’t been updated in years, likely.
If you choose to buy Dr. Drum, do so knowing you may not be able to reach support for a refund or troubleshooting.
- USD$29.95 – Dr. Drum Software (standalone)
- USD$39.95 – Platinum Expansion Sound Kit (optional)
- USD $39.95 – How To Sell Beats Guide (optional)
- USD$4.95 + $19.99/month – Dr. Drum Studio Effects Pack (optional)
- 16 Track Mixer w/ basic Pan/EQ + Transport Controls
- 12 Pad Drum/Instrument Sequencer
- Exports to 44.1Khz Stereo WAV files
- Drum, Bass and Melodic Instrument
- Affordable, Easy to Use/Learn – Good for Hobbyists
- Ability to Make PROFESSIONAL Sounding Beats/Music (yup… we were surprised too.)
- Includes Lots of Sounds – Drums/Bass/Synths/Pads/Melodic Instruments/FX
- Direct Upload Finished Beats to YouTube
- Export to Broadcast Quality WAV Files for Final Mixing/Mastering
- Expandable – Buy Extras or Import Your Own Sounds!
- Full Tutorial Videos Included
- Must Draw In Notes – Not Compatible w/ MIDI Keyboards/Controllers
- No Advanced/Expert-Level Audio Controls
- Not a Push-Button System – Must Use Creativity
- No Audio Effects Included – Must Purchase Expansion
- Can’t Use VSTs/AU Plugins
Buy Dr Drum If…
- You’re thinking of making beats but don’t know where/how to start
- You need a program to make your own backing tracks to jam to
- You’re a beginner beatmaker or hobbyist
- You know nothing about music theory or making music
- You want to produce electronic music easily (EDM, Hip-Hop/Rap, R&B, DubStep,Trap, Dance, Pop etc.)
- You’re an experienced producer + want to re-ignite your creativity through a very limited tool
My Personal Story With Dr. Drum
I’m not gonna lie – when I first learned about software like this I thought it was a toy or a joke. Like most people I looked down on it. But I decided to check it out because I know a lot of people wonder – can it really make good beats?
So I bought the software and 2/3 of the upgrades and put it to the test – with the included sounds, my own sounds and with the additional effects.
After buying and finally finding my license key in my email spam folder, I installed and registered the program on my laptop (it’s compatible with both Mac and PC).
I opened it up and automatically thought… what a piece of shit.
It Looks Like Trash…
Maybe I was just being a beat making snob. Once I started playing around with it, I realized it had a bit of potential as an interesting little toy.
When I actually tore into the program (which you can see in the video above) I was actually pretty surprised. Even though the software isn’t the most advanced thing around (or the best looking…), you can still use it to bust out some bangers pretty easily.
It’s limited, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing.
Some of the best music in the world was made on extremely limited pieces of music equipment. (SP-1200 or MPC60 anyone..?)
The Beauty of Boundaries When Making Beats
And being tied down to a small set of options/controls actually increases your creativity because you have to work with what you have to get the sound you want.
You’re not paralyzed by never-ending options/controls. And as a beginner, that means you’re not overwhelmed and you can get straight to making music.
Whether you want to make hip-hop, r&b, dubstep, house, pop or anything else – you can do it with Dr Drum without the complicated controls and funcions of traditional DAWs (digital audio workstations). And that’s the beauty of the software.
When I first started making beats it was on an old school yamaha PSR keyboard from 1984. You had 3 tracks where you could record 2 bars each of drums, bass and chords.
Want to talk about a limited toy? That was it. But I still made it work and had some pretty hot shit. That’s because it’s not about the tool, it’s about how you use it!
But real talk, I wish I had something like Dr. Drum when I was coming up. It’s a million times more than what I had to start with.
When you’re young and starting out, you can’t afford the $300 software, much less the $3000+ hardware. So a $30 beat maker that can actually do things those traditional DAWs/hardware do is pretty dope.
Dr. Drum isn’t advanced, and is missing many features other DAWs have. But that just means its not complicated to figure out, either.
All in all, it’s probably not worth it to buy in 2022. There’s so many better options than this dated piece of software that isn’t even kept updated.
In all honesty, if you’re serious about beat making go with one of the programs we’ve reviewed here.
Don’t buy Dr. Drum. Use Magix Music Maker as a MUCH BETTER Alternative.
What You Get When You Buy Dr. Drum
- 16 Track Mixer + Arrangement Window
- includes basic high/mid/low EQ, pan settings and volume fader
- 12 Sound Drum Sequencer
- with individual volume controls
- 4 Octave Piano Roll (sequencer) for melodic/bass sounds
- 44.1khz Stereo WAV export
- Direct Upload to YouTube
- Tons of Sounds + Additional Expansions Available For Purchase
Dr. Drum comes with the basic DAW software and a set of sounds you can use to start making music right away. The basic version includes 44 drum kits, 48 bass sounds and 292 melodic sounds.
The DAW features a 16 track sequencer which will let you use up to 16 different instrument sets in your production. You draw a few bars into the arrangement window and then choose to either use Drum, Keys or Bass sounds (keys doesn’t mean only piano – it means any melodic sound in this case).
Once you choose the type of sound you want to work with it takes you into the sequences window. This is where you choose the actual sounds.
If you chose drums then you’ll see 12 different drum sections you can fill with one of the pre-made drum kits. If you choose keys or bass you can choose a sound to play over a 4 octave keyboard/pianoroll.
You can also import your own sounds that you make, buy or find on the internet.
Once you’ve chosen your sound/instrument you draw in the notes in a step-sequencer and build out a pattern. Once you’ve got a few patterns you can arrange them into a full song by copy/pasting and moving them around.
Of course, the software also comes with the standard transport controls (play, stop, loop, rewind) and includes a metronome/click-track so you have an idea of your timing.
If you want to see the inner-workings of the program, just watch the video above.
Additional Expansions Available
When you first purchase Dr. Drum you’re actually offered 3 additional products:
- Platinum Expansion Pack – additional sounds to use with Dr. Drum
- “How To Sell Your Beats” guide – training on making money from your music
- Audio Plugins Subscription – plugins to help you alter your sounds/production
Platinum Expansion Pack
For an additional $39.95 you can also pick up over 2 GB of sounds that are specifically made for use with the Dr. Drum software.
If you do decide to buy, I definitely recommend picking up this expansion. Good beats are all about the sounds you use. You want to make sure you using the best possible sounds.
So the more sounds you have, the better.
Here’s what comes in the expansion pack:
- 120 Bass Sounds
- 82 Additional Drum Kits (including kicks, snares, percussion, hihiats/cymbals, toms + fx)
- 1 Ambient Kit
- 2 Breaks Kits
- 15 Kick/Snare+Clap/Cymbal/Hat/Tom/Perc Kits
- 2 Club Kits, 3 Dance Kits, 2 Disco Kits
- 2 DownTempo, 3 DnB, 3 Dub Kits
- 6 DubStep Kits & 3 Electro Kits
- 8 FX Kits
- 12 Hip-Hop, Urban & RnB Kits
- 10 House, Techno & Trance Kits
- A Bunch More
- 340 Melodic Instruments / Sounds
- 12 FX Packs
- 11 Guitar Packs
- 27 Orchestral Packs
- 19 Organic Packs
- 51 Pads
- 25 Piano Packs
- 95 Poly-Synths
- 100 Mono-Synths
“How To Sell Beats” Guide
I didn’t pick up this additional purchase when I bought Dr. Drum, so I can’t really speak on the information in it. What I do know is that it’s probably not necessary.
There’s a ton of information online about how to sell your beats and make money from your music. If you do want to pick it up, it’s an additional $39.99.
I’m sure it does have pretty good information in it, but you’ll have to see for yourself.
Audio Plugins Subscription
I did pick up the audio plugins because I think they’re super-important to music production. These audio plugins allow you to alter your sounds and make them different.
You can make them heavier, lighter, distorted and much more to add something unique and interesting to your production.
You get the following effects with the pack:
- AutoWah – this is the “wah wah” effect you hear on funk guitars
- Chorus – adds additional voices to the sound – like doubling/stacking sounds
- Distort – adds distortion to the sound or makes it sound lo-fi
- Echo – exactly what it says it does – adds an echo
- Filter – allows you to control the high/low EQ on a sound
- Flanger – adds a cool sweeping effect to the sound
- LFO – lets you modulate a sound and change how it comes out
- Repeat – haven’t tried this effect yet
- Ring – haven’t tried this effect yet
- Tremelo – exactly what it says – adds tremelo to a sound
I personally think if you buy Dr. Drum you should pick them up as well.
They cost an additional $4.95 + $19.99/month. The reason it’s a monthly fee is because they’re always updating and adding new plugins you can use with Dr. Drum.
Training & Support
There are 7 different training videos that come with the software when you buy. An installation video, basic beatmaking foundations tutorial, advanced beatmaking tutorial and 2 videos on how to import sounds.
The final 2 training videos are how to upload a beat directly to YouTube and a full-length beatmaking video. The full-length video shows the maker of Dr. Drum producing a full Trance music track.
The company’s support is pretty good too. Nothing too crazy here, just an email address you can contact in case you have any trouble/questions.
And of course, there’s a full 60-day (2 month) money-back guarantee. If, for any reason you don’t like Dr. Drum, can’t get it to work or just think it’s not for you, you can cancel/return it for a full refund of the purchase price.
All in all, Dr. Drum is an ok piece of cheap software but it’s not something you should buy if you know you want to get into beat making for real. There are FREE options out there that have more functionality than Dr. Drum.
- Our Splice Sounds Review
- Sound Selection Guide
- How to Make Beats for Beginners
- Good Headphone Options for Music Producers
- Good Synth VSTs for Music Producers
- Just Blaze’s Universal Audio Interview
- Influential Music Producers in Rap
- Setup Your Studio Monitors the Right Way
- Learn to Become a Better Producer
Back to Main Music Production Section