Best Drums VST plugins
How to choose the best VST plugins for drums which is most suitable for your composing? There are many variances in drums that are specific to the genre. In this case, we have to choose the most suitable drum plugin rather than searching for the best one. Due to that, in this article, I demonstrated a different kind of drum libraries with different sound colors. But we need to consider about sound quality, sound naturality and the quality of beat presets. also. Due to that, in this article, I ranked the drum plugins according to their sound quality, sound naturality, and preset quality. I will try my best to update this article every month when the arrival of competitive new products.
Please refer to the following table which contains important things that we should consider a drum VST plugin. I explained each character one by one after the below table. I am a sound engineer and please note that all of these rankings, scoring, and reviewing are done according to my own ten year working experiences in the music composing field.
|Number||Name||Sound quality (%)||Sound Naturality (%)||Blend/Mix Quality (%)||File Size||Price|
|1||XLN Audio Addictive Drums 2 (2019 release)||100||100||100||11.1 GB||$699.95|
|2||IK Multimedia MODO DRUM v1.1.0||98||95||96||6.4 GB||€299.99|
|3||Native Instruments Studio Drummer||95||95||98||7.4 GB||$149|
|4||Steinberg Groove Agent 5v||93||88||94||32 GB||€179|
|5||Native Instruments Abbey Road Modern Drummer||93||91||90||7.2 GB||$99|
|6||FXPansion BFD 3||90||92||88||+37 GB||$349|
|7||Toontrack UK Pop (Ez or Superior library)||88||90||86||4.11 GB||€75|
|8||Toontrack Rock (Ez or Superior library)||86||96||89||1.14 GB||€75|
|9||Drumagog 5 Platinum||84||77||84||1.84 GB||$199|
|10||Toontrack Pop/Rock (Ez or Superior library)||83||82||82||1.2 GB||€75|
what is Sound quality of drums?
In this character, I measure how much clear that the listener can hear the sound. Sound quality means, clear level of the sound. Here, especially we need to consider bass, highs, and mid sounds. In a good drum VST plugin, all bass, highs and mid sounds should be able to listen clearly and separately with their color.
what is Sound naturality of drums?
In this character, I measure how much drum VST plugin can come close to a real sound of the related drum instrument. This can measure by comparing the VST drum sound with a real drum sound.
what is Blend / Mix quality of drums?
By looking at this measurement, you can choose the best drum VST plugin which can blend with other instruments. It means that how much the drum sound can hear separately and clearly when it playing with other instruments especially in songs. This is a very important character because mix quality is a major factor that affects the quality of a music track.
Let's take the best Drums vST plugins one by one in to action ...
1. XLN Audio Addictive Drums 2 (2019 release)
This is my favorite drum VST plugin. I mentioned this plugin at very first because of its amazing sound quality, sound naturality, a huge number of drum types, and excellent pre-prepared beats. This plugin includes three extraordinary drum kits which are Fairfax volume 1, Fairfax volume 2, and Black Velvet. The full package includes 21 drum libraries, 32 beat libraries, and 14 solo kit paks. This plugin is extremely user friendly and customizable. The beat library containing over 5000 inspiring beats and grooves covering many styles which you can drag and drop to your midi track. I use this plugin a lot and highly recommended it. Here I add the official introduction video of XLN Addictive drums 2 from YouTube by XLN Audio channel. Take your time to watch it. I think it is worth more than explain in words.
2. IK Multimedia MODO DRUM v1.1.0
This is the second-best drum VST plugin which I found at the moment when I am writing this article including 10 iconic drum kits cover every style and genre of music and integrated grooves manager with over 1400 grooves in many different styles. Talking about the customization and controls, Modo drum has options to control dynamic, distortion, modulation reverb, and delay. The downloadable file size is 6.4 GB. This plugin has an excellent sound quality which can recommend any kind of music type. Here I add the official introduction video of Modo drum from YouTube by ikmultimedia channel. Take your time to watch it.
3. Native Instruments Studio Drummer
Native Instruments Studio Drummer delivers the sound of premium kits from Pearl, Yamaha, and Sonor. This plugin includes detailed mixing options, a pre-prepared groove library, and authentic beats of all colors and flavors. It includes any number of instruments which are 3 drum kits, with cymbals, a choice of snare plus tambourine, cowbell, sticks, and claps. The downloadable file size is 7.4 GB. Here I add the official introduction video of Studio drummer from YouTube by Native Instruments channel. Take your time to watch it.
4. Steinberg Groove Agent 5v
Steinberg Groove Agent 5 consists of a wide variety of percussion, modern electronic drums, acoustic drums, and MIDI grooves which can use for the production of many genres such as jazz, funk, and rock. The file size of the full package is almost 26 GB. It has over 37000 samples, 3 different microphone positions, and 20 new presets. Here I add the official soundtrack of Groove Agent 5 from Soundcloud by Steinberg channel. Take your time to watch it.
5. Native Instruments Abbey Road Modern Drummer
Native Instruments Abbey Road Modern Drummer delivers the sound of two perfectly recorded premium drum kits which are sparkle kits and white kit recorded in Abbey Road studio. This plugin includes disciplined sound especially for modern pop and ballads with over 40000 acoustic drum samples. The downloadable file size is 7.4 GB. Here I add the official introduction video of Studio drummer from YouTube by Native Instruments channel. Take your time to watch it.
6. FXPansion BFD 3
This plugin is a Caribbean percussion collection. Indigisounds Laventille Rhythm Section provides a unique sound of traditional Trinidad and Tobago instruments. This plugin includes 7 drum kits consist of rock, metal, jazz, and brush. Also, it has special expansion drum packs which are jazz noir, oblivion, wooden snares, and JM essentials. This is a huge library that has a file size of 37 GB. Here I add an official soundtrack of BFD3 from YouTube by Fxpansion channel. Take your time to listen to it.
7. Toontrack UK Pop (Ez or Superior library)
Toontrack UK pop is a library of EZdrummer that includes four full kits and extra snare/cymbal selections that deliver iconic UK pop sound. This plugin includes sticks, mallets, regular and towel-damped samples, claps, stomps, and also seven mix-ready presets. These mix-ready presets are make work easy for composers. Here I add the official video of Toontrack UK pop from YouTube by Toontrack channel. Take your time to watch it.
8. Toontrack Rock (Ez or Superior library)
Toontrack Rock is a library of EZdrummer which consists of hybrids of mixed and custom made drum sets, tailored for any kind of rock. This plugin includes 8 complete drum kits which spanning the whole range of rock from ambient to dry, vintage to modern. I put this into the best list due to its unique rock sound color. Here I add the official video of Toontrack pop/rock from YouTube by Toontrack channel. Take your time to watch it.
9. Drumagog 5 Platinum
Drumagog 5 Platinum delivers the sound of acoustic drums. This plugin holds the tenth position in the list of best drum VST plugins at the moment when I am writing this article. According to the color of the sound, this instrument is more suitable for pop, rock, and ballad music. The downloadable file size is 1.83 GB which is lightweight comparing to other drum VST plugins. Talking about the customization and controls, this plugin has options to control automate pitch, level, and articulation. Here I add the official video of Drumagog 5 Platinum from YouTube by WaveMachine lab channel. Take your time to watch it.
10. Toontrack Pop/Rock (Ez or Superior library)
Toontrack pop/rock is a library of EZdrummer, which consists of timeless drums spanning the whole range of pop and rock, captured in perfect sonic detail in one of the world’s top studios. This plugin includes custom effect chain presets, GMS drums with optional snares and kicks, a large selection of cymbals, and more than 8000 MIDI drum grooves and fills. According to the color of the sound, this instrument is more suitable for pop, rock, and ballad music. Here I add a demo video of Toontrack pop/rock from YouTube by Legion of loops channel. Take your time to watch it.
There Are Many Number Of VST Drums In Today's Market...
We can find hundreds of VST drum plugins in today’s market. There are some more drum plugins available that have quality sounds that I didn’t include to the above best 10 list. Their sound color, feel and characteristics are different from each other. (Please note that the plugins in the above table are ranked according to my own experience and taste). Due to that, I added another VST drum plugins in the following table which are worth checking.
|Number||Name||Sound quality (%)||Sound Naturality (%)||Blend/Mix Quality (%)||File Size||Price|
|11||Impact Soundworks Shreddage Drums||90||90||89||13 GB||€92|
|12||Drumdrops Drums Bundles||90||91||87||9.61 GB||-|
|13||GetGood Drums Invasion||89||92||86||13.1 GB||$119|
|14||Toontrack New York Studios Vol.2||88||84||88||15.4 GB||$119|
|15||Addictive drums 1||86||95||79||5.48 GB compressed||Not in market|
|16||Toontrack Reggae (Ez Or Superior Library)||90||88||86||1.2 GB||€75|
|17||Toontrack Funk Masters (Ez Or Superior Library)||84||85||90||443 MB||€75|
|18||NI Abbey Road Vintage Drummer||88||88||82||7.56 GB||$99|
|19||NI Abbey Road 80s Drummer||82||84||84||7.7 GB||$99|
|20||NI Abbey Road 70s Drummer||80||84||84||6.3 GB||$99|