Available as an iPad, iPhone or iPad Touch app, Drum Loops HD is essentially a library of very nicely recorded, stereo, 16-bit/44.1kHz drum loops, fills and endings. These can be copied and pasted into any DAW that supports copy and paste, or simply used to play along to instead of a metronome. The drum parts were recorded live by Hans Eijkenaar at Sound Vision Studios in Arnhem using all the best toys, and the resulting rhythmic loops have been trimmed so that they will loop seamlessly in your DAW.
A number of different musical styles are catered for, and each style section contains loops in two versions: modern miking, with 14 mics around the kit, or vintage style, using only five mics. The styles on offer include Ballads, Pop/Rock, Funk/Hip Hop, Dance/DnB, Brushes, Jazz and Tom Loops, and also individual drum hit samples from the pop and jazz kits. There's also an endings section comprising cymbal crashes, cymbal rolls and so on. The different styles are supplied with a choice of tempos; Ballads, for example, provides five different rhythmic loops plus three fills recorded at 60, 66, 72 and 78 bpm, although some sections have more tempo options than others. As these are all audio recordings, the only way to change the tempos given is to either use a time-stretching algorithm or to convert them to Apple Loops.
Navigating around the App is easy. The first choice to make is the style. Once you're on the right page, there are audition buttons for all the samples, with a Stop button next to each. You have to press Stop before you can audition another loop or fill, but you can use any of the Stop buttons on the page, regardless of which loop is playing. Loops of the same tempo are displayed on a single iPad page, and you simply swipe to scroll down to find the same loops at alternative tempos. Each loop and fill has a Copy to Pasteboard button next to it, so when you find the ones you want, you can copy them, open your DAW and then paste them before moving them into place.
While this App can be thought of as essentially a library of loops and a means of auditioning them, the playing and recording quality are excellent, the styles and fills are all musically 'sensible', and because it uses the basic copy/paste method to get the files into your song, the app is compatible with many pieces of DAW software. It is also very attractively priced, so if you like the sound of acquiring a tame session drummer for the price of a couple of beers, you need look no further.