Well, after months of trying to find a real human body to hit some drums for me, I've accepted that its probably not going to happen anytime soon so I'm on the lookout for some drum software or a cheap-ish reliable drum machine. I would prefer something that can sample realistic drum sounds, or something that's percussive but not necessarily a drum noise. Our music is more punk/noise rock with a progressive leaning, if that helps. I'm not playing EDM or dubstep or anything. I would like to be able to program the entire song and just hit play.
I tried Hydrogen for Linux but it lagged pretty badly and would speed up and slow down randomly, which sort of defeats the purpose to me.
As a long-time Hydrogen user (under Linux), it works quite well (rhythmic hiccups are very rare).
In any case, if you have you whole sonng written out in Hydrogen, you can just export it as a sound file, then you will be sure not to have any lag.
Jamstix is an interesting alternative
You can hook up the audio so it changes playing based on audio volume or MIDI. Or you can add a simple expression pedal.
Works great will all DAWs. If you need a lightweight DAW it works find with VSTHost or SAVIhost if you want standalone use.
It does have a learning curve - but there's a lot it can do.
I can't say enough good things about XLN Addictive Drums, I've been using it for years and it's been flawless. You can keep expanding it as I have with new kits and new beats, tailored to you favourite style of music, but what comes with it as initial purchase is pretty darn good. You can do full programming or use their ready made songs. Among the many things you can control is patterns, kits, effects, volumes, temp, on and on.
I use it in my DAW (Reaper, which is equally outstanding). I've never tried it as a stand alone, and am not really sure if you can, but running in a DAW will give you it's full potential. If you don't have a DAW Reaper is a free download, full function (amazingly tiny considering how powerful it is), and if you like it they would like you to send $60 (in my opinion worth 10X that... Hope they're not reading this). I spent way too long with a subpar drum machine before this.
I like it and using it daily. But you must enter "melody" by hand.
Roland R8 machine, or the R8 Mark 2. The best I've encountered, but complex, kind of a learning curve. Lots of noises available. Very programmable with "human touch" features. I've fooled many seasoned professionals.
If you can think like a drummer, you can do a lot of work with a DAW/sequencer and a decent drum sampler. I'm fond of Native Instrument's Battery, but there are lots of good options in this category. Essentially, what you get here is a robust sampler, so you're not limited to conventional drum kit and percussion sounds.
If your drumming vocabulary isn't that vast or inventive, Drums on Demand offers a very useful set of loops in various formats.
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