In music production, having the right beat is a crucial part of the workflow. Whether you are looking for an authentic acoustic sound or cutting-edge electronic beats, finding the right source of sounds and tools to express your rhythmic ideas is essential. For those who do not have the space or equipment to record a live drum kit, the best alternative is to use a software drummer or beat-focused sound library.
In this article, we will be discussing the best drum plugins and virtual drummers that can give you that perfect rhythm track. The first few options are for those looking for acoustic drum sounds and large libraries, while the rest are for those seeking electronic drum sounds.
Superior Drummer 3
Superior Drummer by Toontrack is an incredibly deep drumming experience, offering more control and processing options than you will ever need. With over 230 GB of raw drum sounds, this software not only responds correctly to MIDI, but also uses artificial intelligence to replace drum sounds in audio tracks with its own sounds.
The included seven drum kits were recorded with multiple microphones and various placements to provide an immersive 11-channel surround sound experience. You can mix and match drum sounds from different kits and choose from a library of 25 snares and 16 kits, plus hundreds of electronic options. The core library was recorded by award-winning engineer George Massenburg at the environmentally silent Galaxy Studios in Belgium.
In addition to its impressive sound library, Superior Drummer also features a comprehensive MIDI library of styles, patterns, and fills to inspire your tracks. The multi-track grid editor allows you to craft your own grooves and build your entire drum track within the software, rather than in your DAW’s piano roll. You can then mix and blend sounds in the virtual mixing studio, complete with channel strips, 35 mixer effects, and a wide range of presets for every drum type.
XLN Audio Addictive Drums 2
Addictive Drums is a less intimidating alternative to Superior Drummer. It has a user-friendly interface and provides fantastic sounds, kits, and grooves without requiring a deep understanding of drum engineering. The software comes with three high-quality drum kits and a huge library of MIDI grooves recorded by top drummers.
While the software’s best features cater to non-engineers, there is also plenty of depth for those who want to tweak and craft sounds. The 10-channel mixer offers control over the drum response, envelope, noise content, and includes options for adding delay and reverb. The integrated MIDI groove system allows you to audition beats and rhythms, and drag-and-drop them into your DAW’s timeline as audio or MIDI.
Toontrack EZDrummer 2
EZDrummer is a simplified version of Superior Drummer, developed by Toontrack to cater to users who find the depth and complexity of Superior Drummer challenging. EZDrummer comes with 5 drum kits recorded at the British Grove Studios and has an improved mixer and effects processor for easy control over drum sound mixing.
The software has a feature that enables the creation of grooves by tapping on drums and pulling up MIDI grooves. In Song Mode, MIDI grooves can be combined into a structure and the software fills in the blanks. EZDrummer comes with 4GB of library, with a wide range of expansions available. It’s a perfect solution for those who need a reliable drummer without the hassle of crafting sounds and composing rhythms.
In conclusion, drum plugins provide a convenient solution for music producers seeking to create the perfect rhythm track. Whether you are looking for authentic acoustic sounds or cutting-edge electronic beats, Superior Drummer 3, XLN Audio Addictive Drums 2, and Toontrack EZDrummer 2 are excellent options to consider. Each of these drum plugins offers high-quality drum sounds, flexible mixing options, and MIDI groove systems to help you create the perfect drum track for your music production. So, choose the one that best fits your needs and bring your music to life with the perfect rhythm!