Best Marching Band Drill Software (Comparison and Review)

At one-time band directors or drill designers would create drill sheets by hand!

That is a lot of matching, counting, and guessing if the formations are possible or if the students can reach a set on time.

Luckily today, we have the power of computers and the ability to write drill online. Finding the best Marching Band Drill Software can be a challenge for band directors or students who are interested in writing their own drill. This article will compare three different Marching Band Drill Software programs to help you choose what is best.

Pyware 3D

When shopping for Marching Band Drill Software, Pyware 3D is highly recommended. Pyware was created in 1982, and the version of the software available for purchase is Version 11. Pyware 3D is simple to use and lets someone draw out various formations.

Pyware can create lines, curves, polygons, and script font while allowing you to specify the precise location of each dot. Not only can you put a dot on intervals, but you can also edit how many students you want and where you want them. 

Pyware 3D can be used for marching band in the fall and for indoor percussion ensembles in the winter. Pyware 3D creates animations of the drill, which can be customized to show: props, uniforms, venues, marching surfaces, and instrumentation. Pyware 3D’s Virtual Clinic utilizes four different analyzers to scan the drill and provide feedback. Pyware 3D will flag collisions, extreme direction changes, excessive strides, and any issues you wouldn’t notice until the band learns the drill. 

Some of the many features Pyware 3D Version 11 includes are a collaboration system that lets directors and design teams write their own drill, and Pyware will sync them together for you.

A Pyware 3D license can be shared on multiple computers, so additional licenses are not needed for each computer on which the software will be used. They have updated their licensing system, something all Marching Band Drill Software requires, and gives access to UDB, the Ultimate Drill Book. With UDB, students can attach a phone holder/lyre on their horns and use their phones as a drill book rather than printing a thousand copies of drill sets. Many college bands have started using UDB recently, and it’s well-liked. 

You can purchase two different versions of Pyware 3D: a Professional package and a Basic package. The Professional package costs $1,274.00 and offers a few more features than the Basic package. The Basic package costs $624.00, and to access certain features and tools, they must be bought separately. Both packages also come with a 3-year Cloud Subscription to protect the drill that was created. 

One of the best features of Pyware 3D is that it can be used on any computer anywhere. It is a single license purchase that doesn’t tether you to a specific computer like the other two software do in this article 

EnVision Visual Performance Design

EnVision is a product of Box5 Software and is a 3D Marching Band Drill Software created for educators and designers for marching band, winter guard, indoor percussion, and drum corps drill writing. EnVision has a 2D and 3D environment where the drill can be placed to create your show better. 

EnVision Visual Performance Design comes with tools that will let you set arcs, circles, blocks, lines, curves, path tools, grouping, and more. This Marching Band Drill Software offers several options for printing size and style best to suit a band director’s teaching and student reading. The Step Timing feature also allows the performers to march in double time, half time, or at any custom tempo. 

Unlike Pyware 3D, there is only one package and one price for the purchase of EnVision Marching Band Drill Software. The price is $499.99. The company does offer discounts if a band wishes to purchase multiple licenses. Buying one license will be $499.94; for 1-4 additional licenses will cost $139.99; for 5-9 additional licenses will cost $119.99; for ten or more additional licenses, the cost drops to $99.99. 

It is important to note that an EnVision user license cannot be shared or used on several computers. Each computer you intend to use will have to purchase a license of its own. The discount they offer per number of license purchases helps make multiple purchases easier and cheaper.

Field Artist,

Another option for Marching Band Drill Software to purchase is Field Artist. Field Artist was created to be affordable and easy to use for both band directors and students. Field Artist runs on all Windows operating systems XP or later; this includes Windows 10. If the software is updated, you will be able to access the latest software for free once you buy Field Artist. Field Artist also was one of the first Marching Band Drill Software brands to offer “lifelike 3D animation”. 

Field Artist has many features that a band can use to its advantage. The Flag Machine feature allows a drill designer to add complex, flowing flag moves, including the ability to exchange flags with other performers. Field Artist enables you to edit the show (draw/resize forms, move and assign performers) in 3D mode from any vantage point while in Tilt or Fly animation options. The software has tools to create circles, arcs, lines, blocks, and rectangles, including Bezier and Hermite curves.  

Field Artist offers an Automatic Crab Step animation for percussion 3D players to better show what the show will actually look like. In addition to many other features, directors can print show charts and detailed step instructions for every band member. So a student can have a drill book that focuses only on their dot throughout the drill. 

Field Artist costs $160.00, and there is an option to install a free trial copy of the software. It is recommended that someone who wants to purchase Field Artist install and try out the free copy. It is the only way to ensure the software runs on your computer before making a purchase. It is important to note that refunds are unavailable once you purchase Field Artist. So try before you buy!


SoftwarePriceDiscount or Packages3D ViewRequires a license for each computerMacOrWindowsEase of Use1-5
Pyware 3D$1,274.00
(Pro Package)
(Basic Package)
EnVision $499.99Only when buying multiple licensesYesYesBoth3.5
Field Artist $160.00NoneYes?Both2

Our Recommendation

We recommend Pyware 3D. It is expensive and takes a little bit of time to learn how to use it, but there are many videos online showing you how to use the software, and the company offers help as well. This Marching Band Drill Software is the best on the market. If you are a band director, go with the professional package. This package gives access to all of Pyware’s many functions and tools, and the added bonus is that you do not need to buy a license for each computer the drill will be worked on with. It is one purchase, and it can open on any computer. 

Even Pyware 3D’s basic package offers a lot to users, but if you want to use any other Pyware tool that you do not have access to, you will have to buy it as a separate purchase. If Pyware is too expensive, EnVision is the second-best Marching Band Drill Software. The only downside to EnVision is that it does not have as many features as Pyware 3D does. It is still great software and is used by many bands who do not want or can’t afford Pyware 3D. 

Field Artist is the cheapest option, but it is not as advanced and refined as Pyware 3D or EnVision. You have to download a sample of the software before you purchase it because it might not work on your computer. The website looks outdated, and the only way to contact the company is by email only. There are no refunds, so if you buy it and it doesn’t work, you just lose $16o. 

If you are looking to purchase Marching Band Drill Software, Pyware 3D is the way to go. The software can be used for more than just the marching season. It is great for indoor percussion, winter guard, and indoor ensembles like WGI Winds ensembles. If you are a student and want to have drill software for free, your best option is to hand write the drill yourself. It isn’t hard to write drill by hand, and this method was used for years and is still used by some drill writers. 

The amount of different Marching Band Drill Software available is small. These three, Pyware 3D, EnVision, and Field Artist are your only choices. There is an alternative program that will animate drill is the Micro Marching League’s Create a Show game. You can move dots around, and it can play through each set. You can create a free account on their website, but what you can do with regard to the number of players, props, or complex drill is limited. 

We hope this article has been helpful and informative for you in your musical journey. Please let us know if there is anything that we could add or change to make this article a better resource for our readers.
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