A Full Dr. Drum Review for 2019
Does The Dr Drum Beat Maker Really Suck?
Last Update: August 2019
Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive compensation from some of the companies whose products we review, if you choose to make a purchase through our links. However, we don’t recommend anything we don’t actually believe in.
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. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, it might be a good choice for you.
3/5 Stars Overall
Should You Buy: Maybe – it’s not great but it’s pretty good – especially for beginners that don’t want a steep learning curve and want to spend less than $50 on beat making software. But if you can afford more, we honestly recommend trying Magix Music Maker instead.
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. 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 – Perfect for Beginners/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
- Risk-Free 60-Day Money Back Guarantee
- 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.
But It Wasn’t…
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.
When You First Start Out…
When I started to move from the keyboard into more advanced software I was really overwhelmed. I downloaded a copy of CakeWalk and couldn’t figure it out.
Then I tried FL Studio and eventually Reason as well. And damn, those can be super-complicated and confusing to figure out. Way too many buttons and controls and options.
Eventually I figured it out, but I was always getting so stuck tryna find out what this or that button/feature did, that it KILLED my creativity.
Sometimes I just wanted to give up…
I was always feeling overwhelmed during the beginning (which is a crucial time in picking up a hobby/craft). I almost wanted to go back to the ease of my keyboard, but it was WAY too limited.
If I had Dr. Drum back then, though….
A Better Way To Learn…
Yea, Dr. Drum is not FL Studio, Reason, Logic or any other professional DAW. But I think it’s the perfect tool for beginners to cut their teeth on.
Learning the basics of beat making, effects, arrangement, sequencing etc is easier with Dr. Drum because of the way it’s designed.
You open it up, draw in a section, choose an instrument and draw in notes however you want.
So I think it’s a great solution for the beginner beat-maker or someone just starting out to get right to making the music they way, and not messing around with complicated controls or having to learn hardcore music theory.
The Real Problem With Becoming a Beat Maker
Here’s the situation – you want to make beats. You want to become a music producer. You want to make backing tracks you can play live instruments along with.
Basically, you just want to make music.
But every program you’ve tried is super complicated and takes forever to learn – and that’s only if you can decipher the controls/labels/buttons/etc in some piece of software that looks like it controls a nuclear power plant.
So what do you do? You say eff it, throw your hands up and give up trying to figure it out.
But that burning desire to make music – classics that you can show your family/friends and the world – is still there, eating away inside of you.
It’s frustrating, I know…
I’ve been there.. But I can confidently say that Dr. Drum will help you overcome that. It will put you in the driver seat and get you right to making the type of music you want – without being frozen with confusion.
Dr. Drum isn’t advanced, and is missing many features other DAWs have. But that just means its not complicated to figure out, either.
And it can do all the important stuff the other DAWs can so you can actually produce real, professional music.
You can even export your beats to WAV files and get them mixed and mastered by a professional engineer to get that industry polish you hear on the radio.
So all-in-all, if you’re just starting out, want to start or just want an inexpensive beat maker that still works well and is not a toy, I definitely recommend trying out Dr. Drum.
And even if you’re an experienced beat-maker or professional music producer – pick up a copy. It’s very true that if you limit your options, you become more creative.
Once you have endless options, you can start to stagnate or become frozen. By using a limited program like Dr. Drum you force yourself to make due with what you have – and you find creative ways of getting what you want.
Get yourself out of your element and try something new. It will inspire you to create something crazy.
And besides, it comes with a full 60-day money-back guarantee. So if you try it and don’t like it, you can always return it for a complete. hassle-free refund.
What have you got to lose? Nothing.
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 a great piece of music production software for the hobbyist or beginner. Honestly for $30 (plus a risk-free guarantee) you can’t go wrong. Once you get the hang of it you can start pumping out beats like your favorite producers using this software.
Now, it’s not like having a full studio setup with lots of software and hardware – let’s be real. But it is one of the best solutions for brand new producers out there.
It doesn’t compare to the power of something like FL Studio, Reason, Cubase, Ableton, Logic, Maschine or the other hardcore DAWs out there.
But it’s also a hell of a lot easier to learn and use. I’d definitely recommend picking up this software and trying it out before jumping in head first and spending hundreds/thousands of dollars on software/hardware you may not even like.
Once you really dig into the software, you’ll see how easy it is to make beats and instrumentals using it’s simple interface. You don’t need a ton of experience producing to know how to navigate around this thing.
I’d definitely recommend trying it out for yourself. You’ve got nothing to lose, as they offer a full refund if you don’t like it.
Thanks for checking out this Dr Drum review – we hope it was informative.