I want to start recording songs (I have a few in progress right now, just guitar parts and melodies), and I want to add drums eventually.

The thing is, I don't exactly have a drum kit (I'm no good, either) and I don't know anyone that plays drums (I tried posting ads and such, no replies )

Anyway, does anyone know of any decent drum softwares or even drum machines that will be helpful and are beginner friendly?

They are beginner friendly.... cost nothing to feed...can keep time...is there a down side...?

I probably cant recommend anything ....Ive got an old-as-the-hills Boss Dr Rhythm DR 550...which sounds great...but is not easy to program. If you just want a repeating rhythm though...its easy...
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I use a Zoom RT323 for the drums on all my recordings. It's fairly easy to use and sounds pretty good too - the drums are all sampled rather than synthesised so you get a better sound from it.

You say you want to use it for recording - do you actually have any recording gear yet? If you don't, then you should consider drums at the same time as purchasing your recording kit. If you get something like a Zoom R24 it has a drum machine built into it (actually the same drum machine used on my recordings).

Alternatively, you could set up a PC based system. Go to the Recordings forum & read the Recording Interfaces sticky thread. It will tell you the equipment & software you need to start recording using your PC, as well as providing some information about the pro's & con's of using a standalone multitracker instead of your PC.
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I started off using an almost free program called Rhythm Rascal. It's really easy to use, and you can change time signature, add your own drum samples, have unlimited different patterns, basically everything you'd want.

Then when you're done, just export the complete song's drums as a .wav and record over that. Used to do that for ages, until I upgraded to Superior Drummer for a better sound.
Drum machines are useful when jamming away from the pc. I have a dusty lil Boss DR5 which delivers superb sound (albeit very outdated sound), but as the number guy above stated - very difficult to program.

If you are going to be jamming near the pc for recording purposes and experimentation, Superior Drummer and its cheaper little brother EZDrummer will work perfectly. Soooo many preset patterns to choose from and alter any way you'd like. If you become one of those people who are fussy with sounds then you can give the Steven Slate Drums a shot... or two.

DAW wise, Sonar does have its own drumming program/plugin so there's a little less of a cost factor involved. Cubase has one too but its nasty - at least its nasty to me so you'll definitely have to get one of the programs/plugins mentioned above.
I have a Zoom RT223 that I love using. I use it for practicing on top of it, but I have used it as a backing drum track and it sounds good. It even has some cool drum effects.
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I have bunch of things, software, hardware and even an electronic drumkit. I use all of it as each one has its strengths.

The easiest thing to get started on would be something like EZDrummer:

Their software is a drum machine and sampler at the same time. You can buy real live performances in your style and string them along to the tempo, all editable, so if you want to change hits, accents it is all doable. Works inside a DAW software. I've tried it in Cubase, Mixcraft, PreSonus Studio One and Sonar - works good in all of these. You can also trigger outside samples via a keyboard to this or tap your own on drum pads and use the sounds from EZDrummer.

I like the NK+ drum sampler by NUsofting:
This one is also featured in N-Track in case you have that DAW.

On the hardware side - the most control can be found in the Boss Dr. Rhythm 880 as it can do multiple tempos and time signatures within a song. It is a bit of a learning curve but once you get inside it you can make the kind of arrangement that you just won't be able to with the cheaper machines.

There are two other Boss machines which are cheaper and can do the tempo changes: 660 and 770, 770 is probably the best of both worlds as the 660 can only do different changes by chaining songs with different tempos which adds an extra layer of complexion. I also have an Alesis SR-16 which still goes strong, just that it can't do the tempo changes and you'll probably have to use the DAW to command it to change tempos if needed. This one could be had cheap if you need something to get started and the sounds overall are pretty good.

There are also synths that have drum patches, some DAWs even have a built in drum modules so it depends what you have already and how hands on you want to get.

The reason I live EZDrummer is because for the most part you don't have to think about the samples and sounds, but if you need to you can get under the hood and change the performance midi by putting in your performance of just editing the patch.

If you want the simplest way to go - you can just purchase loops and use these. The problem for me is that every time I want to make a change in the arrangement I'd have to start slicing them and for the more progressive genres it can become a real pain.

There are some other easy options like Instant drummer - these provide small chance of tweaking but you can purchase a-la-carte performances, more info here:

I've barely touched on the subject, but let us know which way you prefer to work and we can possibly go from there and zero in on your options.
Last edited by diabolical at Oct 23, 2012,
I downloaded a trial of addictive drummer and I'm using Savi as my host thing. I don't really know how to do anything with it, and it's pretty limited...

ughghg, I wish I had room/knowledge for a drum set...or a drummer. Starting off is tough alone..
You can go digital drums. I bought an Alesis DM8 with throne and double bass pedal for about $700. Sounds pretty good and it is midi compatible so I can record and edit my performance in the computer.

I think you'd probably be better off to tap drums if you don't want a full kit - you can either get one of the basic drum machines to do it via midi or just get one of the dedicated drum pads, or a cheapie keyboard. A lot easier to program that way than on a grid.
hmmm. If I were to go this way, what you recommend? An electric drum kit, or a drum machine? And what would a keyboard do?
Quote by Green_Ghoul
And what would a keyboard do?

You can use a keyboard as a midi controller to trigger drums just the same as you would an electric drumset.
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I'm really considering a drum machine at this point. I know that they don't sound exactly like real drums, but I'll work around it.

What is a good machine to start with? I was looking at the Boss DR-670.
You can use Ez Drummer (Superior Drummer is better than Ez Drummer) using MIDI tracks that you can made it with Guitar Pro
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The 670 will be fine if it fits your budget. You can also use to tap patterns via midi if you want to program your own beats live. The 880 is great if you can afford it.

I did this one with it:

Currently I am working on a few songs with EZDrummer and the 880 when I need to program a beat but am not ready to post yet. The EZDrummer sounds are definitely more realistic.

Someone mentioned Superior Drummer - if you can afford it is a step up, same with BDF and a few other drum plugs, such as Ocean Way Studios, the realism is a bit better as they have sampled the kits in more detail.
Last edited by diabolical at Oct 25, 2012,
EZ Drummer is a very inexpensive, simple drum program that sounds great!
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Maybe I'll try both..?

If I get a used DR-670 it'll be around 150 from what I see online. Then with EZDrummer I'll be spending the same amount. My brother agreed to split the cost because he wants a drum machine too all of a sudden.

Does EZDrummer need a DAW? I don't have one and those are quite expensive...Except for garageband, but I don't own a macintosh computer.
There are quite a few affordable DAWs out there, try Reaper - unlimited free use and if you decide to buy $70 or something like that. There is Mixcraft as well which is under $100.

EZDrummer works by itself as standalone but to program the tempo changes, edits and things like that you'll need a DAW. Drum machine works as standalone and you can also edit in DAW as well and just use as tone generator later.
I'm gonna vote for EZDrummer. I got it a couple weeks ago and am loving it!
Quote by Green_Ghoul
I'm really considering a drum machine at this point. I know that they don't sound exactly like real drums, but I'll work around it.

What is a good machine to start with? I was looking at the Boss DR-670.

Just a quick point about this one - no experience with the Boss, but my Zoom drum machine uses sampled drums rather than synthesized, so it sounds pretty good. AFAIK most of Zoom's more recent kit is based on the same system so I assume it all uses the same principle of sampling actual drumkits.
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