Give Me Drums offers what according to their site are instant gratification drum tracks - no need to tinker with drum machines, samplers, and other download and manipulation tools. What they offer are no frills tempo adjustable drum tracks in many genres. Their method of delivery is 192kbps MP3 audio, each track lasts 3 minutes and tempo ranges vary for each set in increments of 20bpm.
Each one of these sets is priced at $7, with the Deluxe Edition clocking at $27.
It cannot be any easier than this - as soon as you pay for the tracks, you are provided with a download location and you download the drum tracks as .zip files. Once you unzip the files, you have a regular mp3 files at 192kbps which can then be imported in your recording software, provided that it offers direct mp3 support. The tempo of the file is in the file name - so you have to manually sync it to your DAW's metronome if you like to have it tempo adjusted. Compared to other methods of delivery, like for example acidized wav files, this method is quite primitive.
The quality of the files also comes in question, since most libraries prefer to work in higher bit formats, minimum norm these days being 16bit / 44.1 khz (CD Quality) wav files. Without going into the debate of mp3 vs .wav, the main point is that an mp3 is a lossy compressed file, so personally I would like to have these samples in more detail.
There is no explanation on how these samples are recorded, so we have to guess, but musicians usually don't care if it sounds right.
I'll go over a few of the offered styles, as I believe that would give a better grasp on the subject. The whole package offers, the following styles:
- Classic 4/4
- Hard Rock
- Disco Rock
- Punk Rock
- Metal 12/8
- 16th Note Shuffle
These backing tracks sound roomy, pretty much what would be expected in say an AC/DC song. They are basic meat and potato grooves going from 60 to 140bpm. My problem here is that it is pretty much the same groove, with only a crash accent on the first downbeat, very little to no variation. The sound is good, although I felt the hi hat was overbearing in the mix, the kick a tad lower in volume and the snare was a bit high pitched. There seems to be a bit of a room bleed in the sound which again considering the genre specifics I feel is a good thing. Personally I would like to hear more variety as this was one beat in several different tempos, no variation whatsoever.
These are 5 drum tracks, ranging from 100 to 180bpm. The kicks on these samples sound very mechanical, as if they were programmed on a drum machine. The rest of the groove is a very basic 4/4 pattern with a crash on 1st downbeat. Again, not enough variation and in this instance the kicks were a total downer.
These range from 40 to 120bpm, in increments of 20bpm. The slower tempo patches sounded like they were slowed from the faster one rather than played live. The faster beats show a little more variation and spice. Again - the beats are very basic, with almost no variation. I am not sure this would be the kind of snare I would like in this genre.
Very similar to the hard rock beats, these could be used in any genre, decent meat and potatoes grooves, no variety. Tempo: 60 to 140 bpm.
These have a bit more spunk, as there is now a second kick on the 2nd and 4th beat, actually kinda like you would expect in hard rock. Tempo: 120 to 280bpm.
This is the freebie that is offered with the rest of the pack. It was the most puzzling of all as it had a guy counting as well as drum sticks, no option of one or the other. I am not sure what is the desirability of this as I would rather have just sticks or cowbell when it comes to count, this is way in your face and hard to work with. Tempo: 40 to 180bpm.
These are not bad sounding drum backing tracks, but I am not really sure as to the usability unless it is for bedroom jamming or very basic demo purposes. They just don't seem to have enough depth for anything but maybe a basic jam or if you are really afraid to use a recording program. For a similar price to the pack or a few bucks more I would personally gravitate towards Sony's Acid drum loops, the Beta Monkey drum loop libraries or jump on a virtual drum machine/sampler. All these offer a lot more variety and better sampling quality. Honestly - I I think I could play most of these patterns, even with my limited drum skills, so unless you completely afraid of programming drums or using samples and need more than just meat and potato beats with no fills - I'd suggest you look elsewhere.
Suggested apps/loops: Sony ACID Loops - George Pendergast: alt.rockdrums, Sony ACID Loops - Discrete Drums: Volume 1, Sony ACID Loops - Discrete Drums: Volume 2, Sonoma Wireworks Riffworks, Hal Leonard Classic Rock Drum Beats and Loops (Drum), iZotope iDrum Version 1.7 Drum Machine Software, Toontrack EZDrummer Download Digital Download