DM1 – The Drum Machine: Make Sick Beats on Your iPad [Review and Giveaway] [Winners Announced]

For all of our rhythmic readers out there, we’ve got a special app for you. DM1 – The Drum Machine is an advanced and highly customizable beat making machine for the iPad.

The app is designed for anyone to be able to jump in and start having fun tweaking and creating awesome beats. DM1 is sure to have you making sick beats like Dr. Dre in no time…

Brought to you by Fingerlab, DM1 is definitely the most robust and enjoyable drumming/beat app I’ve found in the App Store. The folks at Fingerlab explain why they developed DM1:

“As electronic musicians ourselves, we, at Fingerlab, have developed DM1 with the intention of delivering the perfect mix between fun playability and powerful sonic capacities. We always keep in mind the importance of a beautiful design with the right balance of powerful abilities while avoiding clumsy, overbusy interfaces.”

I’m gonna say right up front that I am by no means a musician, nor do I have particularly good rhythm. So, after hearing about DM1, I was curious to see if I would actually enjoy using the app. If you’re not a drummer or someone that’s musically gifted, you’ll notice that most music-making apps (minus Garageband) on the iPhone and iPad are pretty difficult to actually have fun with. DM1 is not one of those kinds of apps.

First, DM1 is beautifully designed. It’s just as pretty to look at as it is to create music on, and I enjoyed seeing all the little design and interface details that Fingerlab implemented in the app. The clean, intuitive user interface of DM1 makes it possibile to jump in and start messing around with complex beat-making options in no time. I took me about 15 minutes to get a pretty comprehensive understanding of how the app works, which is impressive because there are a ton of features in DM1.

DM1 boasts 29 different electronic drum kits, 13 classic kits, and even 16 in-house produced electronic kits created by the musicians at Fingerlab. The app is divided into 5 main sections: the step sequencer, drum pads, the mixer, fx trackpads, and the song composer. My personal favorite is the drum pads interface, because I enjoy making beats that way. If you’ve ever used electronic pads in real life, you’ll pick up on DM1’s interface right away.

As you start creating your beat from scratch, you can go in and out of each section to edit and tweak different elements of the beat. The steps section lets you add beat elements by simply swiping your finger across a series of squares for each beat element, which is a really intuitive user interface choice by Fingerlabs. The mixer is also packed with customization for each precise part of your beat, which pitch, level and length controls (to name a few). The fx section is also packed with too many features to name.

You can even create a song from your beat creations and mash them together. However, DM1 does not promise you a record deal for the beats you make.

With more customization and features to name in a review, DM1 is definitely the crown jewel of drumming apps for the iPad. It’s easy to learn, but complex enough to keep you in the app. I found that the first time I opened DM1 I spent about 45 minutes in the app messing around with different rhythms.


“DM1 – The Drum Machine” is available for $5.99 in the App Store. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it if you’ve been looking for an app like this on the iPad.

We’ve actually got 5 free copies of DM1 to giveaway to some lucky iDB readers! (That’s $30 worth of beat-making goodness, folks.)

Here’s what you can do to win yourself a copy of DM1:

Step 1: Click here to retweet this review and giveaway to your friends. Make sure you’re following iDownloadblog on Twitter so we can DM you if you win.

Step 2: Head over to our Facebook page. If you’re not a fan yet, make sure you click the “Like” button. Find the post that asks you to add your Twitter username, enter it, and you’re done.

Unfortunately, this giveaway is open to our US readers only. We’ll be choosing 5 winners randomly by tomorrow night.

Good luck!

UPDATE: Winners have been selected. Check your Twitter DM’s if you entered.