We know you want to hit that
‘Want to make even more noise? Buy a real drum kit.’ Rock Band cheekily suggests after I’ve shelled out on a Band Bundle to play the game in its glorious ensemble. Anger risen from such badly written economical advice doesn’t exactly help in the task of hitting things with an added sense of rhythm and timing, seeing as senseless violence suits games like GTA or Fight Night: Glee Edition much more. Thank goodness then, for All Seeing Eye’s recent tool Drum Studio, a an 80 Microsoft Points downloadable title which attempts to draw players from the colour spliced road of notes and let their budding, thumping creativity loose.
One of the few titles to grace the Xbox Indie scene that shines as an intuitive gem, Drum Studio provides anyone with a simple to use recording interface and translates any sort of game controller into a portable drum kit, even guitars. Rather than follow a preoccupied track consisting of waves of coloured dots, you’re set to reign free with their impulsive creativity, hard hitting beats and epic vanity.
Though many a controller can be used to create the ultimate drummer, it’s clearly best to use a dedicated drum controller, and those with more money than limbs can even combine up to four to create a kit so manically colourful it would look more at home as a UFO in Lazy Town. Once set up, each pad can have its own sound assigned to it from the vast library available. There are about 50 different types of snare, kick drum and hi hats, as well as a selection of cymbals, bongos, cowbells, tambourines and even the sound of a whale moaning for good measure. All of these can be assigned to each individual pad on your drum kit, opening up almost unlimited combinations. The catalogue and variation of what’s on offer is astounding, and although bewildering at first, it soon becomes apparent that you’re being encouraged by the spirit of a true drummer. Just go bloody nuts.
It’s exceptionally easy to fuel a huge jam session along with creative juices
For those unable to turn their flailing limbs into an art of ear bursting melodic thumping, they can simply record a basic beat and layer it on with others to create a pounding masterpiece. Although you’re told about everything you can do at the beginning, there’s very little guidance for those who want to take things slow from the start. Those who regard the drums as a second home and always select ‘Expert’ when it comes to rhythm games will have no issue here, yet those who feel the need to learn will feel the shallow end suddenly becoming shark infested from time to time. With persistence and a few sparks of creativity, however, it’s nothing that’ll turn away the casual player. Those who feel they can’t go it alone can even play their own music from the Xbox and drum over it, adding cowbells and tambourines whenever they see fit.
Though not essentially a game, Drum Studio is an excellent gadget which builds upon the ‘Drum Trainer’ modes offered in Rock Band. Those interested in learning won’t find it the best starting point for the instrument, but anyone with but a simple beat pulsating through their brain will get to grips with it easily. With such comprehensive recording tools on offer, it’s exceptionally easy to fuel a huge jam session along with creative juices, and simple enough to turn that basic rhythm into something truly awesome.
The Bad: Not much leanway for beginners