Having a good drum sound in your mixes is essential, be it real drums, sampled drums or synth drums.
Not everyone has the luxury of having a drummer available to record whatever they need 24/7, so making your own drum tracks and getting them to sound good is a great way of doing things.
Luckily, there are many free drum VST plugins available that should get you sounding amazing in no time.
Table of contents
- MT Power DrumKit 2 (Windows, Mac)
- Drumatic 3 by e-phonic (Windows)
- DrumMic’a! by Sennheiser (Windows, Mac)
- Beatfactory Drums by BeatSkillz (Windows, Mac)
- MiniSpillage by AudioSpillage (Mac)
- SM Drumkit by SMM (Windows, Mac)
- EXD-80 by Third Harmonic Studios (Windows)
- Drum Pro by StudioLinked (Windows, Mac)
- TheDrumSource by Witech (Windows)
- REX 606 (Windows, Mac)
- Line of Legends (Windows, Mac)
- Sean Pandy Drums (Windows, Mac)
- Dub Turbo DrumTROOP (Windows, Mac)
- Single Cycle Vintage Drum Elements (Windows, Mac)
1. MT Power DrumKit 2
The MT Power DrumKit is a free sampler which offers high-quality samples of an acoustic, realistic drum kit.
The Samples come pre-processed which should make them sit nicely in any mix without any tweaking.
In addition to the incredible drum sounds that cut through any mix, it also has a fully pre-programmed groove library, which makes it extremely easy to set up a quick drum track for any song.
It also comes with a mixer where you can adjust the levels of each component, plus you can control the level of compression and panning.
Make sure to check out the official website here.
If you’re thinking about building a home studio, then make sure to read this entire post about the essential home studio components you need.
2. Drumatic 3 by e-phonic
Drumatic 3 is a virtual-analogue drum synthesizer.
All sounds are 100% synthetic and allow for huge flexibility and variation.
It sounds pretty good, just remember that the sounds are nowhere close to a real drum, but that’s the whole point.
Sounds: Bassdrum, Snaredrum, Handclap, 2 Toms, Hihats and a Rimshot / Bell.
- Graphical envelopes for amplitude and modulation
- Load / save presets for single sounds
- Simple but effective effect section for each sound with distortion and bitcrusher and a filter.
- 6 Stereo outputs, assignable for each sound.
- All parameters can be automated (midi-CC not yet supported)
Here’s a link to the Official Website.
Are you also looking for 20 of the best Free Orchestral VST plugins? As it so happens, I wrote an article about the ones I think are the best!
3. DrumMic’a! by Sennheiser
This is a Free drum sample Software which loads inside of the free native Instruments Kontact Player. This one allows you to change between Sennheiser and Neumann Microphones, which will change the drum sound a bit.
This one also comes with a mixer where you can adjust the volume of each individual component of the kit and also allowing you to EQ, Compress, add reverb and delay, pan, etc.
This is a fantastic option, especially because it’s free, check its official website here.
Related: I love free plugins, so I put together a list of the best Free Synth VST Plugins out there which you can check out here,
4. Beatfactory Drums by BeatSkillz
Beatfactory Drums is a free drumkit plugin which works in any DAW on Mac OS X and Windows 32/64-bit.
The kits included in the plugin were created using the MPC 2500 passing through high end outboard EQ, compressors, tube and solid state gear, for a gritty and punchy sound.
It’s a very fun plugin to use and it sounds absolutely fantastic!
- Sampled from MPC 2500
- Created with High End OutBoard Gear
- Volume and Pan for Each Sample Pad
- ADSR Envelope for Shaping the Kit
- 10 Kits Included
- Built in REVERB
Here’s the link to BeatSkillz’s Official Website.
5. MiniSpillage by AudioSpillage
MiniSpillage is a free professional quality drum synthesizer plugin featuring high resolution 64-bit DSP processing that includes 3 exclusive drum synthesis algorithms along with distortion effects and resonant filters.
- HD 64-bit Digital Sound
- 3 Editable Drum Pads
Here’s a link to AudioSpillage’s official Website.
6. SM Drumkit by SMM
This is one of the best free acoustic drum sample packs available. The samples are from a Vintage Ludwig drumkit which just sound fantastic.
The intention behind this was to provide a sampled collector drum kit in an easy to use format (Kontakt) as well as the open WAV samples to map in your own samplers of choice.
To use in Kontakt, however, you will need the full version since the free version of Kontakt only allows you to use it for 15 min.
This Pack adds up to 3.7GB across 3614 samples recorded in 24 bits, and each piece has up to 64 velocity layers and up to 8 round robins.
Here’s a link to the official website.
If you’re looking for a Free DAW to use these plugins with, then make sure to read this guide I wrote on the best free DAWs available today!
7. EXD-80 by Third Harmonic Studios
EXD-80 is a free 32-bit virtual analog drum and percussion synthesizer plugin for Windows.
It is a flexible drum synth that can produce a wide variety of drum and percussion sounds.
From emulations of classic drum machines to crazy, mangled glitch sounds – all synthesized, no samples here!
It is suitable for many EDM styles including electro, glitch, industrial, ambient, dubstep, drum & bass and hip hop.
- 8 Modules – kick, snare, open and closed hi-hats, 5 x percussion sounds
- 4 Stereo output pairs
- Each output pair has its own stereo effects section featuring a Granulator and Waveshaper
- Supports VST host automation and MIDI continuous controllers
- User definable MIDI note mappings
- 128 User drum kit patches (comes with 16 preset drum kits)
Note: It’s only 32-bit.
Here’s a link to the EXD-80’s Official Website.
8. Drum Pro by StudioLinked
This is a fantastic plugin no matter how you look at it. The sounds you can get out of it are great and the ease of use is unmatched.
It is ideal for Hip-hop, Trap, EDM, etc.
- 20 drum kits.
- Global ADSR / reverb.
- 12 pads.
- Volume and pan for each pad.
Also, you can add some paid expansion packs if you’d like.
Here’s a Link to Drum Pro’s Official Website.
9. TheDrumSource by Witech
TheDrumSource is a sample based drum machine with a built in browser and sequencer. It has a simple, very clean interface and very fast workflow which is ideal for beginners.
- support for many sample formats.
- Sample preview.
- Separate output channels.
- Very fast sample browsing.
- Resizable GUI.
- 24 patterns.
- 16/32/64/128 step sequences.
- Each channel has pan, volume, pitch, length knobs and swing.
- Formats (including 24-bit): WAV, AIFF, AIFC, AU, SND, RAW, PAF, IFF, SVX, SF, VOC, W64, MAT4, MAT5, PVF, XI, HTK, CAF, SD2, FLAC, OGG.
- Sample pack included
Here’s a link to TheDrumSource’s official Website.
I’ve also put together a list about the top Free Bass Amp VST Plugins which is definitely worth checking out!
10. T.REX 606
The T.REX 606 is a rompler of classic 606.
It’s got a vintage and Modern GUI Design featuring 7 Classics Sounds and knobs for Main Volume & Simple Reverb.
It’s really straight forward to use, very simple and intuitive. The sound quality isn’t the best, but you should definitely try it out since it’s free.
It works both on Windows and Mac OS.
Here’s a link to the T-REX 606 official Website.
11. Line of Legends
Line of Legends may look extremely simple to you, but don’t let it fool you, it’s a great plugin
It features high quality drum samples from the eponymous free sample pack released by realdrumsamples.com.
The interface is divided in 8 sections (Kick, Snare, Clap, Snap, Toms, Hi hat, Ride and Crash).
Each section uses its own individual output for an easier handling in a productive environment.
- 47 high quality samples.
- 8 individual outputs.
- Punch knobs for attack sculpting.
- Release and Pan knobs
Important Note: Some people have reported that in order to get sound you might need to set up the output channels in your DAW.
12. Sean Pandy Drums
Sean Pandy Drums is a VST/AU drum rompler plugin with Kick, Snare, 4 Toms – and a Sub Blower.
Every drum consists of 6 velocity layers and up to 10 random-robin samples, which means that you should get no machine gun effect even with fast repetitions.
This plugin sounds pretty nice to be honest, on the official website you will find two songs that have been recorded using this drum plugin and it surprised me, so make sure to check it out.
Also, it comes with a reverb, but it sounds a bit metallic, so go easy on it.
Here’s the link to the official website.
13. Dub Turbo DrumTROOP
Ok, this has to be one of the best free drum machines available, it’s just capable of doing way too many things and it does them far too well.
DrumTROOP is a great alternative to constantly creating kits from scratch or messing around with bloated on board functions in most drum vst’s.
- 20 free drum kits.
- 16-20 sounds per kit (some kits are full = 100+ samples)
- 128 triggers on every kit.
- 16 outputs.
- 32x/64x – mac/pc – vst/au
- Universal drum placement on the first 8 pads
- Vol, Pan, Attack, Release per pad.
You can download Dub Turbo from the vst4free website.
If you’re looking for a high quality guitar sound without investing in gear or even software, then make sure to check out my article about the top Free Guitar VST plugins available!
14. Single Cycle Vintage Drum Elements
Vintage Drum Elements is a virtual drum machine featuring the sound of the Yamaha RX5.
The 12 pad interface is super intuitive and easy to use, making it an ideal choice both for beginners as well as experts.
The preloaded samples are of top-notch quality.
The plugin drum machine comes with 4 drum kits, 1 FX set and 4 instruments featuring;
- Yamaha RX5 Kit 1
- Yamaha RX5 Kit 2
- Synthetic Kit
- Ethnic Kit
- DX Bass
- DX Clavecin
- DX Marimba
- DX Orchestra
The plugin is available as a VST & AU instrument for Mac & PCs both in 32 bit and 64 bit.
Here’s the link to the official website.
If you need real drum sample sounds, then I’d recommend either the MT Power DrumKit 2 and DrumMic’a! by Sennheiser.
If you want to create some hip-hop music, then the Drum Pro by StudioLinked is a good starting point.