FAC Drumkit is a flexible drum synth and sample player.
There are a number of notable iOS music app developers who always seem to offer something that is both creative and fun, while also delivering something that’s sonically impressive regardless of what computing platform we are considering. Fred Anton Corvest is one such developer and, while this one‑person development team built a fanbase through very cool iOS effects apps, his latest offering — FAC Drumkit — is a virtual instrument. The App Store blurb describes the app as a ‘Drum Synth Sample Player’ and, as the app combines both a drum synth engine and sample playback engine, that’s a pretty fair tagline.
The app runs as an AUv3 plug‑in (I did my own testing within Cubasis 3.3 where it ran very smoothly) and sequencing is done from within whatever host you are using. In addition, if your host supports it, Drumkit supports multiple audio outputs if you want to process individual drum sounds further within your host.
A Drumkit preset can consist of up to 16 sounds, each of which can be built from a combination of a single sample (up to 1 second in length) and a dual oscillator synth sound. The app’s controls are spread across three screens. A simple but effective mixer and set of touchscreen trigger pads can both be accessed via the tab buttons located at the base of the main UI. However, the sound editing screen — shown in the screenshot above — is where the main action takes place. This includes a drop‑down for loading/saving kit presets, a grid to select a sound for editing and a trigger pad to audition the currently selected sound.
FAC Drumkit is a masterclass in combining ease of use with functionality.
The content of the rest of this editing screen’s sub‑panels change to reflect the settings for the selected drum sound within the current kit. On the right are sub‑panels for loading/editing the sample used for the currently selected sound slot, while beneath this are the synth engine controls. No, neither section is particularly ‘advanced’ in sampler/synth terms but there are enough options to allow plenty of sonic creativity. This is especially so when you add in the very flexible pitch and amplitude envelopes for both synth and sample components that are provided on the left of the screen.
The app ships with a small selection of example drum kits inspired by some classic drum machines and also includes a number of drum samples. However, the fun is really in programming your own sounds. The streamlined control surface, and the rather wonderful ability to drag and drop your own samples into the app from the iOS Files app, makes this both easy to do and a very creative process. FAC Drumkit is a masterclass in combining ease of use with functionality. However, as demonstrated by the presets, it is also capable of some great sounds.
For anyone who might like the idea of creating their own electronic drum sounds, but doesn’t want the headaches that programming some more complex drum synths can bring, FAC Drumkit is an excellent choice.
FAC Drumkit combines electronic drum sound programming made easy with some excellent sounds.