I had heard about Doggiebox some months ago from a friend, and at the time I had the intention of finding more about it, but after a couple of days, I forgot to do so. Until a week ago…
Doggiebox is a drum machine application for Mac OS X that lets you create and manipulate percussion-based songs. What I really like about it is that all sounds are fully customizable. This means that you can create or record your own kits. For example, you can record your friend’s drumset (or your own if you have one) and create a kit with each of those sounds in Doggiebox. You can even create kits of “non-instrument” sounds (for example kits created with your voice, your kitchen pots, etc.). There are three things that make Doggiebox to me a very successful drum machine application. One (in no particular order), it’s only $39 dollars. Two, its ease of use. I was able to create a simple beat after minutes of installation. And three, you can create drum parts that sound pretty real.
This last thing is done by having different versions of the same instrument or variants within a kit:
“Some instruments in a drum kit can be played in several ways, or have their characteristics altered by the drummer, in order to produce different sounds. For example, a hi-hat can be played open or closed; a ride cymbal may be hit on the edge, or on the bell, or stricken like a crash; a snare drum might be hit with a rimshot. Such distinct sounds associated with the same instrument are referred to as variants.”
And by being able to change drum velocity:
“To give texture and realism to your percussion it is usually desirable to perform hits at different volume levels, as a human player would do in real life. Fortunately this is easy to control on a sound-by-sound basis.”
Doggiebox is a MAC only application. Songs of unlimited length can be edited in any number of tempos and time signatures. When you feel the drum part is ready, you can export it to one of a dozen file formats including AIFF and WAV, for use in other audio programs, or play back in realtime to a MIDI device. I’ve had Doggiebox for a week, so I’m sure I’m missing other features (so feel free to comment about your experience with it, good or bad). I still believe there is nothing like having a good drummer available to record your songs. Unfortunately and for various reasons, this is not always possible. Feed your Doggiebox when you can’t get one.[audio:doggiebag.mp3]
(I called that one “Doggie Bag”, a short beat I created with Doggiebox so you can get an idea of what you can do. I used GarageBand afterwards to add a little reverb and a bit of echo).