best drum vst plugins

Best Drum VST plugins for music producers

The relation between the kick, bass, and drums is the most critical aspect of music production. In order to have a professional-sounding mix, you need to have a solid foundation carrying the whole track. Out there, are many great resources offering drums samples but the best ones are still coming from real drums. Below, you’ll find 8 of the best drum VST plugins, mostly recorded and sampled from real drum parts.


Best Drum VST plugins for music producers


1. XLN Audio XO 

XLN Audio XO is a drum vst plugin and drum sample library that offers a diverse range of sounds and beats. It has an easy-to-use interface, a search engine, smart tags, and a drag-and-drop MIDI browser. Over 10,000 high-quality drum samples, MIDI grooves, and loops are included, covering a wide range of musical styles such as rock, pop, hip-hop, jazz, and more. XO also comes with a built-in step sequencer and a humanization engine, allowing users to easily create realistic, human-like beats. XO also works with most DAWs and supports a variety of formats, including AAX, VST, and AU. XLN Audio XO is a versatile tool for creating drum tracks and adding liveliness to your productions, whether you are a professional producer or just starting out.



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2. Native Instruments Battery 4

NI’s Battery has been one of the most used digital drum machines for years. Its layout lets you load up to a total of 48 different samples at which you can change the length, starting point, tune, key, and movement of each sample. Furthermore, you can add different main effects to every sound including a volume envelope, pitch envelope, velocity, filter, compressor, and sends. You’ll also be able to add additional effects, modulation, an extended editor, and control the master output.


3. XLN Addictive Drums 2

Get your hands on professional-sounding drums, high-class effects, and live performances straight away while using this drum plugin. All of the drums are recorded in professional studios all around the world. Expect a massive range of drum kits, beats, and single drums compiled into 1 single vst plugin. Control the kick, snare, overhead, hihat, and room of your drums in order to mix your performance into your own track.


4. Toontrack Superior Drummer 3

Superior Drummer 3 can be seen as a whole software on its own. This massive library holds on to 230 GB of drum samples including 350+ drum sounds, categorized into 7 kits, 25 snares, 16 kicks, and 25 effects. All of these sounds are pre-processed and engineered by George Massenburg. Be the drummer yourself by playing around with your mouse and be the producer while arranging all of the different sounds.


5. Native Instruments Studio Drummer

Studio Drummer brings more than sampled drums to the table. Select the right instruments for your kit and control the room mix, tune, attack, decay, and hold. Head over to the included grooves tab to access over 3300 authentic grooves and mix all of the instruments individually in the mixer tab. Over 3500 different drum samples are included, suitable for a broad range of different genres.


6. Heavyocity Damage

You’re at the right place if you’re seeking dramatic & industrial drum samples. Damage holds on to 30 GB of hard-hitting drums, particularly suitable for orchestral music and Trap. Get your hands on 200+ percussion samples and 500+ single shots, and heavy explosive FX. Heavyocity’s Damage can go from subtle organic to complete devastation. Use this plugin to add bite and color to the sound design of your next production.


7. Native Instruments DrumLab

Drum Lab is specialized in improving workflow for maximal output through its layout. Every instrument has its own space, in which you can control the mix (electronic/acoustic), tune, sub, room, filter, offset, trash, attack, hold, decay, and add a range of additional effects. Furthermore, you can choose a suitable groove and change its pattern, tightness, grid, swing, velocity, and tempo (:2, normal, x2).


8. Skaka by Klevgrand

Skaka is a plugin sequencer that specializes in shaker percussion sounds. It boasts 12 separate slots each with its own unique instrument, various parameters, and pattern. Klevgrand developed both the sequencer and sampler from the ground up to optimize it for these types of sounds. The patterns contain events, which have individual attributes like pitch, velocity (speed of shaking), and envelope. Skaka can produce sounds very similar to that of a human percussionist, even in fast tempos, without having to resort to time-stretching or similar techniques that can compromise sound quality.


9. Spitfire Hans Zimmer Drums

This ultimate orchestral percussion library is curated by non-other than the Oscar award-winning producer Hans Zimmer. Expect an impact of instruments ranging from softly to deafening loud. This plugin holds on to a range of instruments such as Taiko ensembles, Paper djun, Bombo ensembles, Surdo ensembles, Low booms, Gong drums, Timpani, Tamtam, Buckets, and so much more.


10. Spitfire originals drumline

Drumline’s samples are recorded in the Newman Stage, 20th Century Fox by Russell Emanuel. Included within are different ensembles, snare hits, tenor drum hits, bass drum hits, cymbals, rolls, swells, hairpins, 9 different presets, 5 controls, and multiple effects. This 1.5GB-sized library is packed with drums suitable for creating tension in your tracks or to use as a layer on top of your original drum section.




Next article: Toontrack Superior Drummer 3: Giant Drum Production Studio

Image Credits: Native Instruments


Hemant has been actively involved in the dance music industry with over 3 years of experience. Currently working as a Project Manager and heading the We Rave You Tech division. Get in touch via email.

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