Feedback on my new Drum App

Stitch Kaboodle

Senior Member
Hi all,

I've released a free drumming app (no ads either) that lets you view, play and edit famous beats and grooves. I'd like to ask the DW community for some feedback on the app. I've tested it on a couple of devices and it performs fine but it's very hard to say how it will fair on all devices.

I'd appreciate any feedback you might have and also your user experience. There's about 100 beats on it already and I'll be adding to them regularly. I might even add whole songs.

Anyway give it a try if it sounds like something you might enjoy.

Android: https://goo.gl/qJfCWe

iOS: https://goo.gl/u9eIEP

Thanks!
 
Cool concept. My only comment would be it would be great to also be able to see/switch between the main view that you have and a view showing rhythm notation. I like it!
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
I've just downloaded it. No issues with it running whatsoever.

For reference: - iPhone 5S running iOS 9.3.4 (build 13G35).

In terms of feedback - the grooves are good and from my limited knowledge accurate. I checked out a fair few of them and they seem right to me.

The user interface (the hardest bit!) is a little unrefined in that the sequencer never seems to quite fit in the screen, however I move it around and zoom in and out. It's not a major issue but the 'mute' buttons at the beginning of each track aren't always easily visible and in terms of discoverability might not be obvious initially. On the same vein, having the press the 'settings' button to load a new groove isn't immediately obvious. To somebody like me that has seen these sorts of things before, it's fine but might be a little difficult to find.

The sequencer interface is pretty intuitive, although aesthetically it could probably do with a little work.

Having stave notation as an option rather than just the sequencer would be nice. My reading is seriously lacking and having it written in the app would help somebody like me.

I think this is a really useful app. I get the feeling that the screen on my iPhone 5S isn't quite big enough and that having an iPad or larger-screen phone would be advantageous. You could try fixing the sequencer element and making it scrollable rather than floating - I think that might fix a few issues.

Good work! Thanks for putting it up and thanks for making it free!
 

Stitch Kaboodle

Senior Member
Cool concept. My only comment would be it would be great to also be able to see/switch between the main view that you have and a view showing rhythm notation. I like it!
Thanks! Yes I plan on adding notation in the future although I expect it to be tricky. Beats can be edited in length and grouping and that must be displayed correctly in music terms, which will take some time.

I've just downloaded it. No issues with it running whatsoever.

For reference: - iPhone 5S running iOS 9.3.4 (build 13G35).

In terms of feedback - the grooves are good and from my limited knowledge accurate. I checked out a fair few of them and they seem right to me.

The user interface (the hardest bit!) is a little unrefined in that the sequencer never seems to quite fit in the screen, however I move it around and zoom in and out. It's not a major issue but the 'mute' buttons at the beginning of each track aren't always easily visible and in terms of discoverability might not be obvious initially. On the same vein, having the press the 'settings' button to load a new groove isn't immediately obvious. To somebody like me that has seen these sorts of things before, it's fine but might be a little difficult to find.

The sequencer interface is pretty intuitive, although aesthetically it could probably do with a little work.

Having stave notation as an option rather than just the sequencer would be nice. My reading is seriously lacking and having it written in the app would help somebody like me.

I think this is a really useful app. I get the feeling that the screen on my iPhone 5S isn't quite big enough and that having an iPad or larger-screen phone would be advantageous. You could try fixing the sequencer element and making it scrollable rather than floating - I think that might fix a few issues.

Good work! Thanks for putting it up and thanks for making it free!
Some great insight there, thanks. There is also a channel settings option above mute where you can edit volume and sample sounds. Good point with the intuitive side of things. I'll work on that end as it's not always obvious to people.

Were you using it in landscape mode yeah?
 

Stitch Kaboodle

Senior Member
I used it in both modes. It was better in landscape but I still think it would be better on an iPad. Still quite usable though!
Would you say the optimum screen size depends on the grid length of each beat? i.e. the sequencer can be anything from 4 to 32 beats long so might fit better depending on screen ratio. 3:2 etc.

Or did you run into other problems viewing on the iPhone 5?
 

Stitch Kaboodle

Senior Member
Just added a few more beats to the app.

Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix) - Manic Depression

Frank Beard (ZZ Top) - La Grange

This last one threw up some differing opinions on how Frank plays the legendary shuffle.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
The transcriptions thing is neat, but what I like is the basic interface.

With more sounds and customizable grid it would be a fantastic drum machine practice tool.

Easy to use grid like that combined with the drum features of my old DR-5 I'd happily pay for.

As is, it works great for how I use drum machines with students, just put on a basic beat and customize quickly depending.


I'm using an iPad Mini, so screen size is no problem.

I'd personally like to have instruments placed in order of pitch i.e. BD on the bottom.
 

Stitch Kaboodle

Senior Member
The transcriptions thing is neat, but what I like is the basic interface.

With more sounds and customizable grid it would be a fantastic drum machine practice tool.

Easy to use grid like that combined with the drum features of my old DR-5 I'd happily pay for.

As is, it works great for how I use drum machines with students, just put on a basic beat and customize quickly depending.


I'm using an iPad Mini, so screen size is no problem.

I'd personally like to have instruments placed in order of pitch i.e. BD on the bottom.
Thanks for your thoughts on the app - very helpful. I plan on adding more channels and improving the usability all round. I thought of assigning each channel, bass drum, snare etc. but then found that in some cases these drums were not being used so left it up to the user.

Right now the app has around 12 bass drums, snares, hats and a few others (toms, rides, percussion). Sounds can be changed by pressing the settings button above 'Mute'.

Adding more sounds will probably be the next step. If anyone has a preference for kit sounds just mention it and I'll add them. I'd like it to have a nice collection of kit sounds to play around with. Right now there's a basic Bonham kit and Jeff Porcaro kit.

The reason there isn't more channels right now is for performance. I just want to see if the app is too slow on some devices before I add more.

Also in time there'll be a 'song' feature where you can link numerous beats together like a playlist. I want to let users save their own beats to the collection (share with other users, lessons, fills etc.) but have left that option out until I figure how to sort them.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Juat having access to these things in one box instead of having tons of hardware like the old days is a load off for me. I generally adapt.

I don't speak computer, so I don't know how this differs from other apps. At high speed something is happening, but I guess that's just hits on the same instrument getting cut short.

Ability to connect several bars would be great.

I don't care that much about notation, but something that indicates counts and subdivisions clearly would be nice.

Variable swing mode would be hip, but probably a bit more complex. Not that I would know. lol

Many beats use both regular snare sounds and side stick, so having those available as well as all hi-hat sounds. Longer open hats and such.
 

Stitch Kaboodle

Senior Member
I love the app, can't wait to see what new things may be added:)

A Chris Adler snare (particularly from Ashes of the Wake) would be awesome.
I'll work that into the next update. Many thanks!


I don't speak computer, so I don't know how this differs from other apps. At high speed something is happening, but I guess that's just hits on the same instrument getting cut short.
Could be that yeah, I can fix this issue, again it just means a bigger demand on the device - but it sounds like it shouldn't be a problem.


I don't care that much about notation, but something that indicates counts and subdivisions clearly would be nice.
I have a setting for grouping which displays the beats in 2,3,4,5 etc. with different colour backgrounds. There's a small green counter above the grid that moves when playing. In time these things can be enhanced I feel.

Variable swing mode would be hip, but probably a bit more complex. Not that I would know. lol
Do you mean different swing feels in one pattern? There is a swing feel adjustment in the options but do you mean more control over each individual note? I hope to work in an easy to view/use triplet feature.

Many beats use both regular snare sounds and side stick, so having those available as well as all hi-hat sounds. Longer open hats and such.
Have you played with the selection of existing samples yet? There are about 60 to choose from right now but I'll be adding more. Again if you have a drummer sound you'd like me to add just post a Youtube link to it and I'll try to import it in.

The settings button is just above 'Mute'. Pic here:



P.s. it's even better if you link to a clean sample like those drumless tracks that people sometimes put up.

Cheers again for the input!
 
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Yes, I seen now the sounds are all interchangeable, so I can do it.

The swing mode basically lets one adjust the degree of swing from straight to extreme 16th note shuffle in 8 to 12 steps, or someting, getting the right type of feel.

To my taste I guess having the grid be the main page and the just being able to choose timefeel, load a groove or add/remove instruments from there would be nice.

Being able to do the two finger zoom thing on the pad would also be nice since it's such a habit ib these devices at this point.

It's easy to use and adapt to. I have no problem using it as is. Quick simple editing is the main feature that makes it useable for me. As a teaching tool that's what makes it useable, beacuse we don't have time to fiddle around. Just by it's nature it already has that.
 

Stitch Kaboodle

Senior Member
Yes, I seen now the sounds are all interchangeable, so I can do it.

The swing mode basically lets one adjust the degree of swing from straight to extreme 16th note shuffle in 8 to 12 steps, or someting, getting the right type of feel.

To my taste I guess having the grid be the main page and the just being able to choose timefeel, load a groove or add/remove instruments from there would be nice.

Being able to do the two finger zoom thing on the pad would also be nice since it's such a habit ib these devices at this point.

It's easy to use and adapt to. I have no problem using it as is. Quick simple editing is the main feature that makes it useable for me. As a teaching tool that's what makes it useable, beacuse we don't have time to fiddle around. Just by it's nature it already has that.
Great to hear.

There is a swing feel slider in the menu that you can drag to alter the swing. It's right above 'Load Beat' in the options.

I'll work on placing this stuff on the main screen so it's easier to find.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Great to hear.

There is a swing feel slider in the menu that you can drag to alter the swing. It's right above 'Load Beat' in the options.

I'll work on placing this stuff on the main screen so it's easier to find.

Then we are probably getting close to a winner.

People have probably different ideas about sound for different reasons. I'd be happy with the basic old Roland GS library. I always went through the hassle of using my DR-5 guitar practice tool as the cowbell in there was the most pleasant metronome sound I've ever found.
 

Stitch Kaboodle

Senior Member
I've taken on what you've all added and there should be a new version up in a couple of days with new sounds and a few other things. iOS sometimes takes a bit longer to get released.

In the mean time here are some new beats added to the collection recently:

Elvin Jones (with John Coltrane) - Acknowledgment
Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) - Naked in the Rain
Jay-Z + Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind
Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix) - Manic Depression
Frank Beard (ZZ Top) - La Grange (controversial one this, differing opinions on how Frank plays the shuffle)
James Gadson (Bill Withers) - Use Me. Taken from this live performance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3hBYTkI-sE

Such a great feel.


Check em out here! :)
http://www.kevoshea.com/groove-vault.html
 
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