What's got long greasy hair, makes nasty smells in the corner and creates one hell of a din laying into his kit? A drummer, that's what! Now Rachael Smith reckons she's found a more refined alternative - Cheetah's SpecDrum.
Drummers are a real pain for a new band. When you're starting out you can never find one - and if you make it big they're always the ones who drive the sports cars into the swimming pool! Well, SpecDrum may prove the answer. For thirty quid you get a complete drum kit in the shape of a small box to clip to your Speccy's behind, plus a tape.
The hardware contains the electronic wizardry that gives you three channels of percussion. And as nobody in his right mind would want all that mayhem beeping through the inbuilt speaker, you'll just have to connect it to a hi-fi or other amp via the attached phone, possibly using an adaptor.
Mind you, the really clever stuff is on the tape. Here you'll find your kit of eight digitally sampled sounds. You can use any three of them simultaneously - within certain limitations. SpecDrum comes with a standard rock kit, plus high tom or rim substitutes. The versatility doesn't stop at that - there's even the promise of further kits to come, such as a latin one.
But back to the present. Once you've listened to the eleven examples you'll be dying to create your own tracks, building with rhythmic blocks, creating your patterns then linking an looping them into completed songs. And as the instructions are probably the worst part of the package you can take a look at how this process works here.
There's a lot of memory for storing your tracks. You'll soon find that using the system becomes second nature to you. But the impressive feature is that quality of the sound - it'd easily do for demo tapes. That's why there's a synchro facility - I reckon a full MIDI interface would've proved far too costly. As it is, SpecDrum is unbelievably cheap and great fun to use. A definite hit.