Virtual Drum Machine Software For Mac

Online Drum Machine, Virtual Drum Machine, Drum Simulator, Beat Maker Online. Top 11 In-Ear Monitors For Drummers 2020 Review; Top 17 Single & Double Bass Drum Pedals 2020 Review; Top 14 Headphones For Electronic Drums 2020 Review. The newest drum software of the bunch, Superior Drummer 3 is without a doubt the king. The amount of thought and care that went into every section is pretty incredible, and upon launching the program for the first time I felt like a kid in a candy store.

Hydrogen is a powerful virtual drum machine. It is an open source software, free available for Linux, Windows, and Mac but Intel based.

Come across a software dedicated to a specific instrument, which is also of good qualities and free is not very simple. Many times I’ve utilized VST or plug-in which require others software or sequencer to run.

Hydrogen is a virtual drum machine which works alone, and has a libraries of samples and patterns. Adding to this that it is free, open source, and without limits. Download Hydrogen through the official site.

What the main features of this software? First, has a good GUI, simply and essential, with no-frills.Then, it has samples of excellent quality to obtain interesting final results. In fine, Hydrogen can be played with yuor Pc keyboard, interfaced with an external Midi controller or linked to a sequencer software as Cubase.

Hydrogen allow you to generate rhythmic patterns to be used as accompanying for your performances. Hydrogen isn’t only for computer-based compositions, I’ve seen many musicians replace the metronome with this powerful drum machine to give more realism to their private performances.

Hydrogen has four main windows: Song Editor, Pattern Editor, Sample Editor and the Mixer. There is also another GUI that is the classical Main Toolbar, which include buttons like Play, Stop, Record and so on.

The Song Editors allows you to organize the overall composition. Indeed, every blue rectangle indicate one pattern, composed by one or more bars. It could be a verse or a refrain or that what you want. In this window you can arrange all the patterns to obtain the overall form.

In Song Editor we can create new patterns. So, a new window activates called Pattern Editor; where we can also modify those already generated.

The pattern editor has a more essential GUI. Clicking on SIZE we indicate the bars number, notes duration and, in particular, instruments used. On the left, indeed, we have the samples list: snare drum, hit-hat, bass drum, crash and so on. On the center, the grey area, allows to insert a note in a grid which cross instruments with the beats of every bar. Down you can see a drop-down menu by which select a particular parameter: Velocity, Pan, Lead/Lag and Notekey.

The pattern editor can be used through two views: Drum and Piano. The previous picture is in Drum mode, while the following in is Piano mode.

Different views but the same features. In Drum mode Hydrogen is conceived as a drum machine, while in Piano mode it is a sort of general synthesizer used through a common music keyboard.

Adding to these powerful features, Hydrogen comprises a sound editing GUI to make changes to your samples.

If compared with other professional, or not, sound editors, this one integrated with Hydrogen is too much essential but adequate to work rapidly on a sample or to extrapolate a new loop by a more lenght sample. The GUI has three sections: one for the sample visualization (1), another dedicated to time modification but without altering the frequency (2), and finally a third for previewing the final result.

The last GUI is that of Mixer which is a classical mixer, so with fader, knobs, Mute and Solo buttons, and so on. Through the Mixer we can regulate every parameter for each sample.

We can not forget that Hydrogen is equipped with a large loop library, that you can download for free by clicking here.

There is also a practical little manual that you can read easily so to have a good familiarity with the software.

Furthermore on the official site you can find many video tutorials, to start using it immediately. In general the official site is quite interesting, there are also contests to vote the best users drum kits.

Hydrogen is certainly a excellent virtual drum machine, as turned out by the others similar projects which used loop samples realized with Hydrogen.

What do you think? What is your best virtual drum machine?

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MacOS vs Windows already feels like an eternal standoff. Tech media and YouTube reviewers are increasing impact on end-users. But how does one judge the objectivity and honesty with all the fakery and commercialisation going on? Right, trying things on his own. Windows OS and macOS are different and, at the same time, similar in many regards. Virtualisation software is a connecting bridge, i.e. you can install Windows on a Mac and run applications, and vice versa. In this article, we dig into virtual machine software for Mac and its abilities.

If you are totally new to this, we recommend studying the subject on Wikipedia and other sources first. Here, we have divided VMs into three groups based on task difficulty, hardware requirements, and settings:

  • low-level requirements: running a Windows-based program that has no macOS version;
  • mid-level requirements: installing Windows for simple conventional programs;
  • high-level requirements: installing a full Windows system with the ability to run high-performance programs.

Low-level virtual machines

CompatibilitymacOS 10.8 – 10.14macOS 10.9 or later
Size900 Mb550 Mb
VersionStable 5.0, Development 5.1119.0.2.32222
LicenseFree$15 – $500 / 14-day trial
DownloadOfficial websiteOfficial website
ExtraXQuartz 2.7.7 or later
OS supportLinux, macOS, Unix-likeLinux, macOS
OS-based appsx16 / x32 / x64 WindowsWindows

The program does not have an interface. Instead, communication with a user occurs through the Terminal via commands. Wine is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on macOS and several other operating systems. It is a free open source project, relying on donations.

How does Wine work? It translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls, eliminating performance and memory lags. Users need to pre-install XQuartz 2.7.7 or later version to install Wine. It will display a notification warning if you don’t.

What apps can I run via Wine? Well, almost all Windows programs, apps and games. Flawless runs are expected for WoW 8.3.0, Adobe Photoshop CS6, Fallout 3, Sims 3, Team Fortress 2 Steam, Counter Strike, Adobe Animate Flash CS6, etc. A bit more effort will be required for Guild Wars, The Witcher, Deus Ex, Final Fantasy. That’s not a complete list, of course.

To launch an application, we need to prepare its installation .exe file. To test it, we downloaded the program for archiving and compressing files, 7-Zip. Wine offered to download the add-on package (~600MB) for x64-bit Windows, so we did it. Moreover, We successfully installed both x32-x64 packages and unzipped the archive.


  • free open-source app
  • x32 / x64 apps support
  • high productivity

CrossOver is a polished and advanced version of Wine. One doesn’t have to pre-install any applications to launch it. Handily, setup is possible in a few steps straight from the Macintosh Dock. CrossOver has its own program database, so users can choose among thousands of apps, including games, multimedia apps, utilities, etc.

Let’s try to install and launch Quake 3 and see what happens. We download the .iso file and mount a disk image. Then we launch CrossOver and click “Install a Windows Application”, select an image, and install the game without any trouble.


  • application list
  • can install ISO disk images
  • fully functional 14-day trial

Mid-level virtual machine software for Mac

Install Virtual Machine On Mac

VirtualBoxParallels DesktopVMWare Fusion
DeveloperOracle CorporationParallels International GmbHVMWare Inc.
CompatibilitymacOS 10.13 or latermacOS 10.10 or latermacOS 10.13 or later
Size247 Mb410 Mb960 Mb
LicenseFree$59.99 / trial$79.99 / trial
DownloadOfficial websiteOfficial websiteOfficial website
OS supportWindows, macOS, Linux, SolarismacOSmacOS (Intel)

VirtualBox is a free and open-source virtual machine software for Mac, developed by Oracle Corporation. It may be installed on Windows, macOS, Linux, Solaris, and OpenSolaris. It supports creation and management of virtual machines running Windows, Linux, BSD, OS/2, Solaris, Haiku, and OSx86.

To test it out, we downloaded Windows 10 x64 ISO disk, which is freely available on the official Microsoft website. Then we perform the following steps:

  1. Select OS and click Continue.
  2. Select the amount of RAM for a virtual machine, click Continue.
  3. Select to create a virtual hard disk, disk image or fixed size.
  4. Specify space on HDD or SSD (minimum 50 GB).
  5. Wait until VirtualBox manager window appears.
  6. Click Start and select Windows .iso disk image file.
  7. Complete Windows installation in the same way as on PC.

Installation failed. This is a common issue, so firstly, make sure the App Store and Identified developers are checked in System Preferences – Security & Privacy. Then delete VirtualBox, restart Mac and allow the aforementioned items. Other options include manipulations in the Terminal and reinstalling macOS, but that’s a topic for another time.


  • macOS and Windows running back to back
  • free virtualisation software

Parallels Desktop allows users to run Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, Solaris, MS-DOS, and OpenBSD. It literally takes 3 minutes to install and launch it, albeit there are no issues. In our case, due to the fact that we had the Windows ISO disk image, Parallels immediately detected it. And actually, we were surprised with Windows OS performance which was stable and in a full-screen mode.

Often, users face trouble starting Parallels Desktop. There are a few ways to fix it. You can try following the developer guide, although it did nothing for us. We also tried to install older versions of Parallels (13 and 14), but still no success. The last resort, reinstalling macOS, finally solved the issue, but that’s too extreme.


  • use both Windows and macOS at the same time
  • low on system resources
  • 14 days trial


  • Parallels user account required
  • launch issues

Fusion by VMWare is a virtual machine software for Mac capable of emulating Windows and Linux OS. To set it up, several steps are required, starting with obtaining the Windows image, as usual:

  1. Select “Install from disc or image” and click Continue.
  2. Select Windows .iso file in Finder.
  3. Click Continue or select a specific Windows system from the list.
  4. For default settings select the UEFI option.
  5. Check all the data and click Finish.

After this action, Windows installation starts. Go through it the same way as on PC and in a few moments you’ll get virtual Windows 10 on your Mac. Performance and response are not as good as in Parallels, it lags from time to time. To delete Windows, click the VMWare icon in Menubar, go to Virtual Machine Library, right-click Windows 10, and finally click Delete.


Free Drum Machine Software

  • full trial for 30 days
  • easy setup
  • fine alternative to any VM

High-level virtualisation apps

Boot Camp is a multi-boot utility by Apple embedded into macOS devices. It allows installing Windows OS on Intel-based Mac computers. This method is the best way to use both operating systems productively. Unlike other virtual machines, utilizing a part of system resources, Boot Camp makes maximum use to provide the best Windows performance.

There is one restriction: only Windows 10 can be emulated. Apple cautions that it is the only official way to install Windows 10 as the second OS on Macintosh computers. Other methods and software are deemed unsafe. To wrap up, devices containing this utility are: MacBook 2015+, MacBook Air 2012+, MacBook Pro 2012+, Mac mini 2012+, iMac 2012+, iMac Pro (all), Mac Pro 2013+.


P.S. This was just a peek into virtual machines for macOS. Let’s continue the discussion in the comments section below.

Read next: Essential apps for every Mac user.


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