Having blown our minds with the Trio, which generated drums and bass based on your chord progressions, DigiTech has now set out to give you more control over the beats, with your strums replacing the sticks.
The SDRUM concept is ingenious in its simplicity: hit the footswitch, strum your muted bass strings to program the kick and the treble strings for the snare. When you hit the footswitch again, the SDRUM will kick in, accurately matching the beat you played on your guitar.
A dedicated knob changes the automatically generated hi-hat/ride cymbal pattern, while another adjusts the time signature, groove and complexity of the beat, as well as the sound of the drums. Ten kits are on offer, spanning electronic, jazz brushes, Latin percussion, hard-rock/metal and clean, all taken from quality RealiTone and Digital Sound Factory samples.
Once you’ve got your beat dialled in, you can program verse, chorus and bridge parts, transitioning between them using the footswitch; holding the switch stops the current beat with a crash cymbal. The three parts can be saved as a ‘song’ in one of 36 slots.
The SDRUM is an effective unit for live players (especially given its ability to sync with DigiTech’s JamMan loopers) and, after an hour, the functionality becomes second nature. We can’t help feeling there’s a missed opportunity for recording here, though: there’s no MIDI output to trigger other samples, and the mini-USB port is for updates only. Nonetheless, for players who are seeking to get quick and easy rhythm tracks down, it’s an inspirational tool.