If you're intrigued by the potential but scared by the software and the customisations, or just want some rhythm on your PC or Mac to fill the void that Activision's Guitar Hero ports left, this program has a cool trick that might work for you.
It's called Melodics, and it's a tool designed to help people learn the basics of finger drumming (also called cue point drumming or pad drumming). Ever seen those cool videos of people on YouTube producing music by tapping a board with a bunch of rubber pads.
It seems simple, but it's actually complicated as all hell. While the lightshows a launchpad (or Ableton Push) can create are dazzling, it can also be supremely difficult to get your head around. The muscle memory and dexterity takes time to gain, and the software is another thing altogether.
What you need are tutorials. Melodics does that, and then it makes them fun by turning them into a Guitar Hero-esque rhythm game. The introduction video outlines it all below and you can see the part where the gamifying (I'm sorry for that word) comes in.
It's free to download and the first 20 tutorials are free. The pricing model is subscription based: you pay US$10 a month and for that you'll get new lessons every month from DJs and producers showing you various parts of the software, finger drumming and, ultimately, how to advanced beats that you can string together to produce your own tracks.
Like Guitar Hero, Melodics gives you a score for how well you time each beat. It's not really about the score though, but more learning various types of music. There's 79 lessons so far, teaching you the basics of UKG Shuffle, house, rocking drums and all manner of beats that you might want to drop in a track.
I'm not much of a producer myself, and I'll never drop the money on a launchpad or similar software. But if you're thinking about going down this particular hole, Melodics seems like a really interesting way to help speed up the learning process. Go check it out.