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Drum and Music Computer Software

There is a ton of free and inexpensive drum and music software on the Net, but much of it isn't worth the download. Here is some quality software that you can download to emulate drums and percussion. And it weighs a lot less than the real gear, so transportation will be a pleasure.

You'll also find drum/music notation programs and just about any other software that will help you create your music. So check 'em out, whether you're creating your own drum loops, writing songs, or just having fun with music.

For basic music player software, also see our MP3 section.

Acid Pro
Download a demo version and test this expensive but powerful, easy-to-use loop-based music creation tool.

Adobe Audition
This software, originally called Cool Edit Pro, was renamed Adobe Audition after Adobe Systems Incorporated acquired the technology assets of Syntrillium Software in May 2003. This new version does everything the original did and more! You can add special effects, slow down/speed up tempo without affecting pitch, translate one audio format to another, or practically anything else you'd want to do to audio. It's one of my favorite audio tools! Download a free trial demo and take it for a test ride.

Audacity
If you can't afford Adobe Audition, then Audacity is your best bet! And the price is right - Free! It's open source so download it now and try it out.

Beat Creator
This software lets you create bass and snare mono samples at 44.1 khz. It can also create great Drum 'n' Bass style bass samples. Download it and give it a test run. It's freeware.

BioDrummer
This software lets you create complex sounds on a PC with no knowledge of music or percussion required. Uses software synthesis to create realistic sounds and lets you use WAV files for an unlimited number of sounds. Unlimited number of instruments and voices. Download the demo version for a test run. This is shareware and the full version costs $29.95.

CakeWalk
Download a trial version of Sonar, the latest digital multitrack recording system from Cakewalk. Or check out their less expensive Home Studio software, it supports unlimited audio & MIDI tracks, loop creation, composing and printing sheet music, 24-bit audio, real-time MIDI effects, and more.

CD Master
Shareware (free to try) program that provides conversion for WAV, MP3, and CDs. Includes the following capabilities: Burn MP3s to AudioCD, Create CD Labels, Convert (or Decode) MP3 to WAV files,
Simple CD to WAV or CD to MP3 encoding,
Supports multiple CD-ROM devices and more.

Cool Edit 96
Cool Edit 96 is a digital audio editor that, as the name implies, has been around for a while. You can use it to record and play files in a wide variety of audio formats, edit files, mix them together and convert files from one format to another. Especially the great batch convertion features are vey useful to HammerHead users who want a quick way to convert all their samples to 44.1 kHz / 16 bit / mono / RAW files for use with the Userbank Creator. But Cool Edit is much more than just an editor, recorder, and player: it's like a complete recording studio inside your computer.This software was original shareware but, since the Cool Edit software has been discontinued and this program is no longer supported or commercially available, I guess there is no harm in telling you that a serial code for this program can be easily obtained through a Google search.

Dart
Make Karaoke on your PC, restore old recordings, and burn CDs with software from Digital Audio Restoration Technology.

DDClip
Basic and intuitive multi-track audio sequencer that can record and play up to four tracks of digital audio (and one video track) simultaneously. You can use DDClip to mix together your wave samples and create whole songs. Freeware.

Drag and Drop Drummer
Here's a review on a piece of software that you could use when recording your own masterpiece. High-quality MIDI and audio drum samples that you can cut and paste where you need them.

DrumFlow
This program controls and edits XG MIDI drum setup parameters by using NRPN controllers. It's also a drum Sequencer. You can create custom percussion parts and then export them to your MIDI editor via the Clipboard. It's Freeware for non-commercial use. Commercial use and MIDI export capability requires a registration fee.

D-Tab Drum Tab Editor
D-Tab enables easy creation of Drum Tablature and percussion notation. Written by a drummer for drummers. Curent price $14.95.

Drumsite
This software drum machine uses CD quality sampled sounds. It exports WAV songs limited to 32,768 bars maximum length. Time signature changes are supported as are user definable drum sets with an unlimited number of instruments. Download a free demo and try it for yourself. Shareware.

Drum Synthesizer ER-0
ER-0 is a software drum synthesizer, based on the Korg ER-1 drum box. It is capable of producing some deep kick drums, snappy snares, hard claps, bells, toms and crisp hi-hats. All very analogue and old-school sounding. Freeware.

DrumSynth 2
DrumSynth is a synthesizer for producing drum sounds. It can reproduce sounds from classic analogue drum machines with new clarity and programmability as it uses the same building blocks (oscillators, noise generators and filters), but also make entirely new drums, pitched sounds and sound effects. DrumSynth is perfect for use with HammerHead's Userbank Creator or any other drum box that lets you import your own samples. Freeware.

Drumz Wizard
Easy-to-use pattern based drum machine and sequencer. Try the demo. Shareware.

Drumstation DT-010
An easy to use software computer for creating techno-dance loops. Eight drum channels, exports WAV files, effects, and automatic loop stretching. Free software.

Fruityloops (FL Studio)
This software began as a simple drum loop creator but has developed into a complete song creation tool. It comes in three various strength versions. Download the free demo. Shareware.

Goldwave
A comprehensive digital audio editor/recorder you can use to play, edit, mix, and analyze audio, or apply special effects. Supports many formats. Shareware.

HammerHead Rhythm Station
Here's a simple TR-909 like drum computer program that's perfect for Techno loops, Jungle patterns or House beats. Includes six separate channels, 29 built-in drum sounds, six complete breakbeats and you can import six samples of your own. Plus it's Freeware!

intelliScore
Now you can covert MP3 files to MIDI and Wav files to MIDI. It's great for creating MIDI files from your favorite tunes and easily creating transcriptions. Download a free trial demo and try it for yourself.

Jammer Pro
After I realized my Amiga - the world's greatest computer nobody knew about - came to a software standstill, I needed a replacement for a cool music creation program called SuperJam. When I checked out the Windows competition, Jammer Pro was my choice. Great for creating custom music minus one type practice tracks and a million other things. Now they've got Jammer Live too. Try a free demo. Commercial Software.

leafDrums
Now available is version 2.0 of a software drum machine that lets you use standard WAV files for your drum samples. You can do looping and apply effects with no limitation on the number of drum sounds or bars in a pattern. Download a copy and check it out. Shareware.

Little Drummer Boy
Software specifically designed to create drumloops from WAV samples. Program is no longer being developed so this former shareware product is now available as a Free download!

LP Conversion Software
Would you like to convert your old vinyl LPs or tapes to CDs or MP3s? The LP Ripper will do the job. Download and try it for free. Shareware.

Magix
Download demos of all of Magix's software including their Audio Cleaning Lab, Music Studio Pro, Music & Video Maker, MP3 Maker, and more.

MidiNotate
Now you can transform MIDI files (available free from the Net) into standard Music Notation. Test it out with a free trial version of this software.

MPC-Tutor
Here's a site for users of the Akai MPC2000XL drum sampler. It contains tutorials, FAQs, and high quality audio samples available for immediate download, as well as a selection of free drum loops and a busy discussion forum

Muse
Here's a shareware music notation program that you can download a demo to try before you buy.

Myriad Software
They welcome you to download all of their programs and use them for free, as long as you like. These shareware programs can be run in six different languages and include music notation, music recognition, virtual singer software, and more.

Native Instruments
Check out their Battery drum synthesizer that does a whole lot more than just drums. Get a free demo download and play around with Battery and their other products here.

Notation Technologies
Play Music is an affordable 24 stave, 8 voices per stave entry-level Notation Program that includes over 31 templates and 21 Sample Songs. You don't even need any music theory knowledge to use it. Download the demo and try it on for size.

Overture 4
I personally feel that this is the best and easiest to use music notation program on the planet. Owned by Cakewalk for a while, it is now back in the hands of its original creator, Don Williams. Download a free trial version and while you're at it check out Score Writer 4, Overture's less expensive (and less powerful) little brother.

Percussion Studio
Moosware.net's Percussion Studio software lets you transcribe difficult rhythmic parts using a simple notation system. It can play multiple parts simultaneously and each track can be muted, so you can play along. It comes with a standard rhythm set plus you can add your own using WAV files. You can also use Percussion Studio as a rhythm sampler with WAV files. The program allows simultaneous playing and editing, and plays note changes immediately. About 170 percussion instruments are currently available for download. The percussion player itself is a free download and an inexpensive one-time registration fee lets you save your work access various network functions. Very cool. Check it out!

PC Drummer
Thanks to member Greg P. for turning me on to this one. It's software whose realistic sounds come from actual sampled drums. Test drive a free demo to decide if you'd like to purchase the standard or pro version.

Propellerhead Software
These guys put out some cool software, including: ReBirth – the ultimate techno-music machine designed using actual sampled sounds of the classic Roland TB-303, the TR-808 and TR-909; ReCycle – the ultimate tool for sampled grooves; REASON – the complete software synth; and more. Check them all out. Download the demos.

Roxio
Software includes their popular Easy CD Creator software, Toast 5 for the Mac, VideoWave, PhotoSuite, and CineMatic.

SayIt
Computer speech synthesizer that produces output similar to the classic Speak & Spell. The program outputs 44.1 kHz, 16-bit, mono wave files and can handle phrases up to 500 characters long. Freeware.

Shareware
The mother of all shareware sites. New stuff daily. Software for fun and profit. FYI: Shareware is computer software that you can try for free but if you like it and continue to use it, you must register it with the owner. The cost is usually much less than commercial software and the quality can be as good – sometimes better.

Sound Forge
Combined with any Windows-compatible sound card, this two-track digital audio editor lets you create, record, and edit audio files. It also has built-in support for video and CD burning and can save to a number of audio and video file formats, including WAV, WMA, RM, AVI, and MP3. The only downside? It's expensive. The good news is that there is now a less full featured version available at about 1/6/ the price of the pro version.

SoundPlant
This software turns your computer into a custom sampler, capable of triggering unlimited-length sound files from 50 of your keyboard keys. No MIDI or other external devices needed. This is Freeware but there is a paid option that offers support for only $20.

Square Circle Software
WaveSurgeon is a drum loop software tool that comes in two flavors, Basic and Advanced. Advanced offers SMIDI and SCSI sampler support and DirectX plug-in capability. This tool automatically detects loop points within a sample and slows down/speeds up a loop without changing pitch, It can also transpose/pitch bend a loop without changing its speed. Also, check out their latest offering Mobius software, which takes their WaveSurgeon loop editor to a new level. Both are Shareware with demos available.

Squeekbox: Fat Ass Bassline Synth
Download this cool VSTi for PC only bassline synth for free, courtesy of Pilchard Digital Audio.

Steinberg
They've got Cubase pro-music and recording software, WaveLab digital audio editing, MP3/CDR writer, and more.

Stomper Hyperion 5.0
This windows program was originally intended to reproduce 909, 808, and Simmons drum sounds, but has since been expanded with several different waveforms, resonant filters and more. According to its author Zap, the program is Free. And there's a solution for you Mac users as well.

Super
This software has the right name. If you want to convert practically any format, audio or video, to any other format - this is the software to use. As a bonus, you can use it as a multi-media player too. And it's totally FREE! I use this all the time and it's the best. Try it!

SurReal
Use this powerful, user-friendly software program to turn your computer into a pro music quality synthesizer/sampler. Download the demo. Commercial Software. Note that this software is no longer being developed and runs only on the Windows 95 and 98 OS.

Tab Trax
Instantly convert any drum tab to standard sheet music notation and playable MIDI music. This software helps you learn from drum tabs and you can create your own drum tracks as well. Download trial version.

TS-404
This is a virtual analogue, multitimbral synthesizer. It features all of the basic concepts of a real, analogue synth. A step sequencer lets you easily edit the notes. You can freely link the generators to build up to 8-oscillator sounds. Freeware.

Virtual Drums
Here's a fun, fully interactive drum kit that you can play with your mouse. And you can even download it, too!

Vocal Removers
Yes it can be done but the end result depends on the quality of your original source. Vocal removing works best when your source file contains high quality stereo audio. Check out this AnalogX Winamp plug-in. Also, try the YoGen Vocal Remover.

Have fun, stay loose, and I'll see you online!

Tiger Bill

 

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