Version Reviewed: 2.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch 3G, iPad
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Drums! is a neat little app that offers up a full drum set on your iOS device. I am not a professional drummer, but I've played around with more than one set in my day, so I can say with some confidence that Drums! does a decent job of recreating a basic set. While its practical use may be limited, it's fun to play around with.
Drums! offers three drum sets, each with a slightly different sound: Acoustic, Groove, and Standard. There are no options for changing the set around, however; it's always the same drums and cymbals. Within this limitation, you can freestyle as much as you want, or you can use the iPod integration, which allows you to custom craft a play list from your music catalog and play along with your favorite tunes.
Obviously, the range of things you can do here is limited. Drum rolls, for example, are nigh impossible. On the iPad you can get two fingers going pretty well, but it never sounds quite right; and on the iPod or iPhone, the drums are too small for even two-finger tapping. The lack of any set customization can also be a limitation, especially for those who are more than just casual players. But as a basic drum set, the app works well, responding nicely to touch and creating realistic sound.
On a practical level, the app is not terribly useful. It's fun to bang away and make noise, but there's not much else to do. Professionals will find it limiting for composing; not only is the set itself uncustomizable, but there's no way to record your sessions (note to devs -- a record option would be awesome). It's also a poor practice set for learning how to play drums, as it's not offering any practice in stick handling or hand/foot coordination. This is strictly a toy set, meant for fun.
Still, the devs have done well within the limitations of the devices, while still creating a realistic drum set experience that works. Musicians might not find it useful, but casual players should get some fun out of it. Also, when that first all iPad-band appears -- and you know it will -- the drummer might find that Drums! is just what he or she is looking for.