Acoustica Beatcraft Review

Anybody who’s spent even a little time looking for drum machine software knows there’s an enormous selection of programs to carry out the task of making a beat. But for the beginning professional or the passionate enthusiast, Acoustica Beatcraft may be the best balance of sheer power and user-friendliness.

Beatcraft works much like LeafDrums, which I reviewed earlier, and fans of the latter will find transitioning to Beatcraft an easy one. When starting a new project, options for the project’s name, tempo, beats per measure, and measures per loop can be modified. However, unlike LeafDrums, the song’s properties can be modified at any time, making time signature changes, long loops, and general unconventional creativity easy to integrate into the drum lines. 13-measure 7/4 phrases at 240 BPM are as easy to write as 8-measure phrases in 4/4.

The included drum samples, in Ogg Vorbis format, are many and varied. The default kits are powerful enough, but additional sounds can be added easily. And with 606-909 drums, brushed drums, low-fi samples, hip-hop/ambient effects and a slew of miscellaneous samples like chimes and bells, the sound of low-end drum programs will never be appealing again.

Entering a few drum hits is only the beginning; from there, the user can accent notes or fine-tune their volumes for dramatic expression, adding to the convincing audio output from Beatcraft. A swing effect can also be worked into the patterns.

After crafting a loop, naming it and inserting it into the sequencer is a matter of a few clicks. Again, Beatcraft allows for maximum expression; the patterns can fit squarely on the rhythm of the project or it can be offset by a few beats. Multiple sequencer tracks allow for a powerful layering of effects and easier management of the patterns.

After finishing the drum track, the user can render either the selected pattern or entire sequence to a WAV file for incorporation into other music sequencing software.

The free trial version, limited to seven days’ use with Sequence Rendering disabled, can be freely downloaded on sites like Download.com. For $39.95, the restrictions are lifted, and the user gets a handful of beatbox samples as well. Additional drum sounds can be purchased from the site as well.

Acoustica Beatcraft is probably one of the best deals on drum machine software available. With such a clean, user-friendly interface, writing quality drum patterns has never been more fun and affordable.

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