The drums are reasonably quiet, with their soft yet durable rubber pads. The drum kit includes two cymbals for a total of 6 drums, to Rock Band
's five. (Yes, Rock Band 2
has expandability to allow for the addition of cymbals later, but Guitar Hero: World Tour
's drums come with them.) If you're looking for expandability, the fact that the drum sports a MIDI port to allow you to connect MIDI instruments for inputing your own music is right up your alley.
The Drums' MIDI port, the Music Studio feature and the massive amount of character and instrument customization shows that Guitar Hero: World Tour is all about making the game yours. Tweakers, hobbiest song-writers and armchair rockstars (three groups to which I classify myself) will likely embrace the flexibility of Guitar Hero: World Tour as well as its player-generated music community. I, for one, look forward to creating and sharing songs and downloading other people's creations and trying them out, as well. I am disappointed that vocals can't be recorded, but I have to assume this stems from legal issues dealing with the possibility of recording other people's copyrighted material. Perhaps they could create a club of "partners" who sign waivers so that the player is held responsible for any repercussions and have a special screening process, much like mp3.com used to do, and then have a patch that allowed players who are in the club to actually record a vocal tracks and lyrics. You're supposed to record and share your own creations, but the fact that you can't record a vocal track limits this feature to instrumentals.
I have found that the Music Studio feature takes some getting used to and some practice to actually be useful. I also seem to have problems with lag when in the studio feature. This may be partially due to the television and surround sound unit that I use, but using the calibration makes it better, but doesn't quite correct the issue.
All-in-all, Guitar Hero: World Tour brings a lot to the table, offering Rock Band 2 some stiff competition. If all you're looking for is a band game to play at parties, you might want Rock Band 2, since it can use all of Rock Band's content, as well its own and has been on the market longer and has more songs (if you count downloadable content). If, however, you're looking for the nitty-gritty and you want to create your own music, you're probably going to want to pick up Guitar Hero: World Tour. Really, in the end, it comes down to your personal taste.