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What is Audiobus?Audiobus is an award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you use your other music apps together. Chain effects on your favourite synth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app like GarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface output for each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive a synth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDI keyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear. And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.

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Best iOS acoustic drums?

I’ve seen a thread bemoaning the lack of them but to my mind there are absolutely loads of options. If you want nice acoustic drum sets to make guitar/piano written songs what do you recommend? I think straight away of drumperfect pro but I’ve never bothered playing with it much. For me the lumbeat drums all sound synthetic.

But there are loads of acoustic drums in different apps - i love the patterning workflow. How about daw sets like logic/? Beathawk?

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Comments

  • GarageBand and Logic Pro are the best options IMO.

    Lumbeat are pretty good, but not AUv3 as of yet. DrumPerfect Pro is OK but I'm not a fan of the UI. Patterning doesn't have round-robin, which for me is a big drawback.

    I generally like to do my own programming and sequencing, so I really wish there were more apps that just concentrated on offering really good samples rather than sequencing, but since Logic came out I'm pretty happy with the options it offers.

  • It depends on what I’m wanting to do. For loops, Beat Station, Pro Beats, and HeyDrummer are all nice.

    Outside of that, DrumJam is great. There are some good user kits for Patterning2, AudioLayer/Decent Sampler, Digistix 2, and EG Pulse as well.

    That said, I don’t make typical piano/guitar driven rock music or anything so my criteria may be different. But those options are enough for me generally.

  • edited September 2023

    The acoustic drum IAP in Beathawk is decent. I only have no clue how to adjust individual sounds when I load the whole kit at once. The interface does not allow this? When you load drum sounds individually to the pads, then there is more to adjust, like panning, level, reverb, delay.

    I think the acoustic drum IAP in Nano Studio 2 is good too, I don't have that one yet, but it is only 4 euro.

    I have Audio Layer sampler, and if you have Logic on Mac, you can copy and import the Logic drumkits (EXS sampler instruments) into Audiolayer.

    And maybe Gladstone in Korg Gadget is nice, but also expensive, 18 euro. That is too much for me.

    I also tried to import this Bob Clearmountain sample cd in Audiolayer, but tuning and panning get messed up, and it is too much work to repair this. The BD samples are a bit strange, mono for low velocity and double mono (hard panned left and right)for high velocity. I am still looking for an easy way to use that sample set with the right settings.

  • Samples in something like Digistix 2 which has up to 5 velocity layers or a patch/samples in Audiolayer might be the best options if looking for an AU solution.

    GarageBand, sometimes I just use a single track or a couple tracks to record several different drum parts, then export the audio file to use in AUM, and loop along with the rest of my session.

    Gladstone in Korg Gadget is decent, obviously not Au, but you can do something similar to what I mentioned doing with GarageBand.

  • Taste is subjective... But aside from the previously mentioned, I dig Drum Session. But it's stuck in the past and the AU version (which was supposed to be a different purchase from what I recall) never happened

  • edited September 2023

    EG pulse is the best for all your drum needs in my opinion; but the auv3 doesn’t have the greatest interface. There is one called drumss but no one has ever review it. (Also Digistix 2)

    Get EG Pulse if you really need acoustic drums, and if you don’t like the kits in there you can always replace it with a sample ?

  • @Poppadocrock said:
    Samples in something like Digistix 2 which has up to 5 velocity layers or a patch/samples in Audiolayer might be the best options if looking for an AU solution.

    Definitely a good route to go, as there aren’t really any apps that have great acoustic samples.

  • I like building kits from drum samples downloaded from places like Freesound.org and the like, for some projects. Drambo’s built in web browser function for its various samplers (Flexi, Wave Scanner, etc.) work really well for this.

    AudioLayer as mentioned, is another good option for building kits from downloaded drum samples.

    Beathawk has a very nice selection of acoustic drums, also Hammerhead, Digistix2, and of course the Apple drummers (GarageBand/Logic)…

    But.. in my personal opinion, the “undisputed king of realistic sounding acoustic drums on iPadOS award” goes to @LuisMartinez, his Lumbeat apps, and more specifically, for natural sounding acoustic drums; Soft Drummer

    I don’t hear anything that sounds “synthetic” about Soft Drummer, do you have this one?

  • I got (what I believe are) decent results from using Image-Line's "Real Drum Kits" sample pack on this track.

    https://www.image-line.com/fl-studio/samples-loops-presets/real-drumkits/

    I used NS2 to program the drums, but really any sequencer/sampler should do.

  • You can’t go wrong with the drums included for free in GarageBand. Throw on a little Caelum Beef or Toneboosters MBC and you’ve got a solid sounding kit that will cut through any mix.

  • I like FAC Drumkit with the DJ Puzzle Gretsch Kit loaded from PatchStorage.

  • @dreamcartel said:
    EG pulse is the best for all your drum needs in my opinion; but the auv3 doesn’t have the greatest interface. There is one called drumss but no one has ever review it. (Also Digistix 2)

    Get EG Pulse if you really need acoustic drums, and if you don’t like the kits in there you can always replace it with a sample ?

    I remember that Drumss app being expensive when it first came out which is probably why. Is it even on the App Store anymore? I can’t find it.

  • I'm a bit confused. You say there is some talk about lack of acoustic drums. But you also said there are loads of options. If you know that I assume you have listened to them. If you haven't listened to them how do you know there are loads of options?

    I've been involved in threads, personally bemoaning the lack of acoustic drums. Not because there aren't loads of options, but because what exists doesn't sound good to me. That was only determined after I had tried every option I know of.

  • @TurnItUp said:
    I like FAC Drumkit with the DJ Puzzle Gretsch Kit loaded from PatchStorage.

    Oh I forgot about that one. Another excellent choice!

  • @dreamcartel said:
    EG pulse is the best for all your drum needs in my opinion; but the auv3 doesn’t have the greatest interface. There is one called drumss but no one has ever review it. (Also Digistix 2)

    Get EG Pulse if you really need acoustic drums, and if you don’t like the kits in there you can always replace it with a sample ?

    While I like EG Pulse, I can't say I agree it's the best choice, only because EG Pulse doesn't have layers like Digistix does. Sure it's only five layers, but that and the round robin options make it a better choice IMO.

  • For those that dont know there are a few Mozaic scripts that turn Koala into a velocity, round robin machine. Is it easier than using digistix? ymmv

  • @NeuM said:
    You can’t go wrong with the drums included for free in GarageBand. Throw on a little Caelum Beef or Toneboosters MBC and you’ve got a solid sounding kit that will cut through any mix.

    Certainly at a price of “free” it’s hard to beat GarageBand for this. The acoustic kits are great, and the “drummer” instruments are great too. Tip: I love adding a percussion drummer track to spice up a beat and add a bit more texture to an arrangement. Logic and GarageBand have largely the same kits and drummers, but they’re organized and named somewhat differently, and of course Logic is a much more powerful DAW generally.

  • At eGarageband drums velocity layer multi sampled? I don’t think so.. I think Drum perfect Pro is though.

  • @Telstar5 said:
    At eGarageband drums velocity layer multi sampled? I don’t think so.. I think Drum perfect Pro is though.

    Depends on the kit, I think. Some of them have very little variation.

  • @Ailerom said:
    I'm a bit confused. You say there is some talk about lack of acoustic drums. But you also said there are loads of options. If you know that I assume you have listened to them. If you haven't listened to them how do you know there are loads of options?

    I've been involved in threads, personally bemoaning the lack of acoustic drums. Not because there aren't loads of options, but because what exists doesn't sound good to me. That was only determined after I had tried every option I know of.

    And that's the point IMO. What sounds good is a subjective thing. I've sampled what I like best from different drum libraries and drum & percussion loops for my own use and what works great for me might not fit other musical styles.

  • @NeuM said:

    @Telstar5 said:
    At eGarageband drums velocity layer multi sampled? I don’t think so.. I think Drum perfect Pro is though.

    Depends on the kit, I think. Some of them have very little variation.

    Some of them ARE actually are velocity layered? I didn’t know, thanks!

  • @Edward_Alexander said:
    I like building kits from drum samples downloaded from places like Freesound.org and the like, for some projects. Drambo’s built in web browser function for its various samplers (Flexi, Wave Scanner, etc.) work really well for this.

    AudioLayer as mentioned, is another good option for building kits from downloaded drum samples.

    Beathawk has a very nice selection of acoustic drums, also Hammerhead, Digistix2, and of course the Apple drummers (GarageBand/Logic)…

    But.. in my personal opinion, the “undisputed king of realistic sounding acoustic drums on iPadOS award” goes to @LuisMartinez, his Lumbeat apps, and more specifically, for natural sounding acoustic drums; Soft Drummer

    I don’t hear anything that sounds “synthetic” about Soft Drummer, do you have this one?

    Thank you, yeah I do. That was the one I tried more than others actually as sounded less stark and synthetic to me. I still didn’t find it great though but perhaps I’ll have another listen. I really find rock drummer extremely synthetic sounding but I know a lot of people liked it at the time

  • @Ailerom said:
    I'm a bit confused. You say there is some talk about lack of acoustic drums. But you also said there are loads of options. If you know that I assume you have listened to them. If you haven't listened to them how do you know there are loads of options?

    I've been involved in threads, personally bemoaning the lack of acoustic drums. Not because there aren't loads of options, but because what exists doesn't sound good to me. That was only determined after I had tried every option I know of.

    I have most of them - fac drum kit was a new one to me so have yet to try that. I’m confused about the confusion :) I just wanted some people’s opinions really for whom natural sounding acoustic drums are important (as there’s quite a strong production electronic tilt here and we are sensitive to very different things). I have most, and have listened, it’s just that it can be quite overwhelming trying to parse all that. Things start sounding like each other, everything starts sounding synthetic or not. I suppose i thought if there is some consensus around a few apps or one then it would help me formulate my own feelings and focus a little.

    I’m not a drummer. I’m a singer songwriter on piano and guitar (who likes synths). So I enjoy coming up with bass parts but drums for me me, it’s about just finding the right beat and having that sound natural. I can’t dedicate too much time to it. I do think perhaps the way the drums are played is paramount. Much like with the swam apps. An ok sample set can sound phenomenal played well and a brilliant one awful when it’s mechanical. It’s that mechanical thing I can’t stand and am very sensitive to so perhaps i should think more in these terms

    Ideally logic drums would simplify stuff. I could produce them a little to get them how I want. And I’m confused about whether it’s the sample quality…. Then the subjectivity involved in that - i hate a lot of samples people love and the reverse probably applies, or how it’s played.

    How it’s played is complex. Because mostly stuff is programmed. I certainly want to just sequence, but it sounds shit to me when people do that. I need to humanise - I don’t know of logic has that function and in honesty when I’ve used it in other stuff it’s nit done too much but I’m no expert and haven’t tried properly. Is it to do with the round Robin thing? I thought that was just rotating samples a bit. I think drumperfect was supposed to be targeting this stuff, making it sound natural,

    The very best drums I ever recorded were when I was bored and just played them myself with pads on something but I slipped with the timing a few times. However they sounded miles better than anything I hear sequenced to me. Uhh

  • @wingwizard said:

    @Ailerom said:
    I'm a bit confused. You say there is some talk about lack of acoustic drums. But you also said there are loads of options. If you know that I assume you have listened to them. If you haven't listened to them how do you know there are loads of options?

    I've been involved in threads, personally bemoaning the lack of acoustic drums. Not because there aren't loads of options, but because what exists doesn't sound good to me. That was only determined after I had tried every option I know of.

    I have most of them - fac drum kit was a new one to me so have yet to try that. I’m confused about the confusion :)

    AudioLayer. Import your own and get the drum sound you want. Everything else is lacking. That's my opinion.

  • edited September 2023

    There’s a ton of options for drums on iOS but IMO none of them are “close enough” to a good compromise between: feature set, flexibility and a pleasant user interface.

    “must” Features:

    • AUV3: obviously… I’m sticking to apps that can be used in different daws, AUM, loopy… (I do have a hack to do multiple velocity layers on Logic with drum simple sampler if someone’s interested).
    • Custom samples: I want to be able to choose my own samples. Download some free sample packs or buy some sample packs from Drumdrops. I believe in apps like Lumbeat you have pre-built samples. (I don’t have Lumbeat apps, I don’t like the UI and find them unintuitive). Most of the mentioned apps can load custom samples: EG Pulse, FAC Drumkit, Drambo, Koala, DigiStix, Sitala, hammerhead, sds-x, Audiolayer, etc, etc…
      -Multiple Velocity layers: I think we’d all agree that for somehow realistic acoustic drums you need multiple velocity layers. I’m not talking about 60 layers of intricate realism, just 3 layers for soft/middle/hard hitting would be enough for most use cases. Surprisingly not many apps support this, where you can add and edit layers of custom samples. The ones I’ve tried and used: Audiolayer, Drambo, DigiStix2…
    • MultiOut: you want to process snares separately from kicks, you want to be able to automate volumes or send to buses independently… From the ones that support multiple velocities… Audiolayer doesn’t support this. Drambo and DigiStix2 do.
    • Ease of use and User Interface: I love DigiStix2 for the features but I very much dislike the looks and navigation. I don’t enjoy using an app where I don’t “click” with the way it looks and I have a hard time finding what I want. I wish Sitala had multiple velocities, it’s close to perfect in the user interface department.

    So if we follow the above, I’m left with Drambo. It’s an amazing app, you can literally do everything on it. Great for samples. You can use Flexi sampler or the big sampler which is easier to use with libraries and multiple velocities.
    BUT Drambo has got some big drawbacks in using it as just a drum sampler:
    it’s not easy to setup. Things like chokes on hihats or setting up note filtering/mapping are IMO overkill for this use. In general, you just spend a lot of time fine tuning stuff.
    It’s also hard to just switch whole kits on the go while you listen. YES, you can do everything with Drambo, but it’s not straightforward and it gets frustrating when you just want some drums. You make a change to a kit and it’s not propagated to the other presets…
    You need to copy all samples to Drambo. The sandbox thing really annoys me. I want my samples in ONE place, and if possible on cloud storage since my iPad is always low on space.

    I’ve tried a ton of hacks to merge features and ease of use. Like making Sitala or Koala behave like multi-velocity capable. But any hack requires something like Mozaic and a setup that you’ll probably forget. Defeats the purpose.

    My conclusion after this long-ass post?. We don’t have a good solution yet on iOS. DigiStix2 is probably the closest. Which makes me want to give it another try… but I know I’ll leave it again as I really don’t like the UI. I’m sticking with Drambo for now, but I’m not satisfied, got some drum app craving. I’d love to be wrong here, so I’ll read with attention to see if there’s something I’m missing that ticks the boxes.

    Cheers!

  • Agreed to all of that @tahiche.

    A few notes:

    • I prefer to have separate Sampler modules for each drum instrument. Not only because it's very easy to get choke groups (using 1 voice setting in MIDI2CV) but also because I find it the most flexible when constructing drum kits from different sample sets.
    • Once you've built your drum instrument, it can serve as a template for all kits. All you need to add later might be a new set of samples when you need a new sound.
    • Each drum instrument can sit in its own rack so preset switching is faster.
    • I now even compress drum samples to 160kbps (stereo) or 80kbps (mono) m4a audio files. Quality is still great and sample storage is reduced by about 10 times. Just make sure you don't save the presets or the project with samples but rather use them from their original loaction.
  • edited September 2023

    IDK if this helps but the sampling in pulse is great, and they have built in choke buttons if you want., and it does have multi out (I’m not saying to go for Pulse but I still think it is maybe a good way to go)

  • I moaned about the lack of acoustic drums on iOS for years - by which I mean great sounding drums in a sequencing context. Drummer in Logic Pro solved that problem for me - I particularly like the ability to convert a Drummer region to MIDI which enables me to edit the sequence if required.

  • @BillS said:
    I moaned about the lack of acoustic drums on iOS for years - by which I mean great sounding drums in a sequencing context. Drummer in Logic Pro solved that problem for me - I particularly like the ability to convert a Drummer region to MIDI which enables me to edit the sequence if required.

    Same here. In the past, I bought some high-quality Gretsch samples from Drumdrops and made my own loops in the studio to use on iOS, but now I only use Logic's Drummer. Sounds very good imo.

  • @bluegroove said:

    @BillS said:
    I moaned about the lack of acoustic drums on iOS for years - by which I mean great sounding drums in a sequencing context. Drummer in Logic Pro solved that problem for me - I particularly like the ability to convert a Drummer region to MIDI which enables me to edit the sequence if required.

    Same here. In the past, I bought some high-quality Gretsch samples from Drumdrops and made my own loops in the studio to use on iOS, but now I only use Logic's Drummer. Sounds very good imo.

    Agree. When Apple has made additions to the library of sounds in GarageBand and Logic Pro, they spare no expense and provide very high quality options for musicians and producers. Having said that, I'd love it if they would offer even more options to expand kits beyond the current standards so we could choose more unusual cymbals, roto-toms, etc.

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