Beat Maker Go! - Make Music & Beats With Drum Pad

App review by
Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Media
Beat Maker Go! - Make Music & Beats With Drum Pad App Poster Image
Ads and learning curve out of sync with cool features.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

There's a pretty high barrier to entry, but kids can get a good sense of what it takes to program and play a digital drum pad. Kids can learn about how to record a loop and use different features to compose, perform, and share their own creations. Kids can also get a sense of the different sound effects that characterize each genre and change, combine, and remix the set options to create their own unique sound.

Ease of Play

The "help" info is hard to find, and it doesn't really give you enough details to help you get the hang of how things work. Once you figure out what's available, it's pretty easy to start playing.


Unless you buy the paid version of the app, you'll see a lot of ads: They stream across the top of the screen, you'll watch them as you unlock sound sets, and you'll get pop-ups that direct you to download other apps from the developer.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Beat Maker Go! - Make Music & Beats With Drum Pad is an electronic percussion pad app for iPads and iPhones. Kids can activate pre-programmed sound packs, record loops, and customize which buttons make which sounds. Then they can share their creations via social media or by email. The app is free to download, but the free version is full of banner and pop-up ads. Getting rid of the ads costs $1.99. The privacy policy is for all the developer's apps and not specific to this app. 

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What's it about?

In BEAT MAKER GO! - MAKE MUSIC & BEATS WITH DRUM PAD users can program sound effects on 16 on-screen buttons that are like a real-life digital drum pad. Users can pick from 10 preset groups of sounds (with names like "Dubstep" and "Urban Trap") and customize the effects by adjusting settings (such as noise and frequency). You can also turn on a click to keep the beat and set the tempo (the number of beats per minute). Users can capture shorter series of notes; longer, looping tracks; or live playing. A very brief walkthrough offers some on-screen text to help users understand how to use the features, but you'll mostly have to explore on your own to figure out how things work. In the free version, teens will see lots of ads unless you pay to remove them.

Is it any good?

Though there are a lot of cool features that budding musicians will love, there's also a steep learning curve and lots of ads. If you don't already know some of the terms used in Beat Maker Go! - Make Music & Beats With Drum Pad (like "noiser" and "tremolo"), this app won't teach you much about what they mean. Even the FX screen doesn't give you a whole lot of guidance about what it means to adjust the speed, depth, and level of the sounds, and it's not even clear which sounds or buttons on the pad you're adjusting. Plus, the in-app ads are extremely distracting: Banner ads run across the top of the screen, and it's distracting to get interrupted by pop-up ads promoting other music apps from the same developer. In general, if you're already experimenting with programming a digital drum pad, this could be a cool tool to experiment with. If you're just starting out, keep looking for a better tool to help beginners build up their skills. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about making music with Beat Maker Go! - Make Music & Beats With Drum Pad. What kinds of music interest your kid most? Why?

  • Talk about ads and commercialism. Is it worth paying the $1.99 to get rid of the ads? Why, or why not?

  • Users can share their recordings with other people. What privacy concerns might arise from you sharing your creations? 

  • Watch live music together as a family and talk about how the instruments and singers interact. Ask how sound layers on sound.

  • Listen to a favorite song. Have your kid identify each instrument or sound, identify where it comes in, and explain what it does to change the song. Consider how you might use a tool like an electronic drum pad to perform that song. 

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Arts: improvising and music analysis, music, playing, rhythm
  • Skills: Creativity: imagination, innovation, making new creations, producing new content
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free ($1.99 for ad-free version)
  • Release date: January 9, 2017
  • Category: Music
  • Topics: Music and Sing-Along
  • Size: 103.00 MB
  • Publisher: Gismart
  • Version: 1.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music and creativity

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