Best Percussion VST Plugins
How to choose the best VST plugins for percussion which is most suitable for your composing? I cannot say what are the best VST percussions because there are many variances in percussion instruments. In this case, we have to choose the most suitable percussion plugin rather than searching for the best one. So, in this article, I demonstrated a different kind of percussion instruments. But we need to consider about sound quality and sound naturality also. Due to that, in this article, I ranked the percussion instruments according to their sound quality and sound naturality. 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 percussion VST plugin. I explained each character one by one after the table. I am a sound engineer and please note that all of these rankings, scoring, and reviewing are done according to my own 10 year working experiences in the music composing field.
|Number||Name||Sound quality (%)||Sound Naturality (%)||Blend/Mix Quality (%)||File Size||Price|
|1||FXpansion BFD2 Percussion Expansion Kontakt||100||97||99||6.45 GB||$149|
|2||Native Instruments Discovery Series Cuba||100||96||98||2.68 GB compressed||$99|
|3||Native Instruments Discovery Series West Africa||100||93||98||1.3 GB compressed||$99|
|4||Native Instruments Discovery Series India||100||94||98||2.75 GB||$99|
|5||Native Instruments Discovery Series Middle East||100||94||97||10 GB compressed||$99|
|6||Indigisounds Laventille Rhythm Section||94||92||92||637 MB||$99.99|
|7||Splash Sound Epic Percussion V2||86||88||80||8 GB||$99|
|8||Soundrion Dhol Angklung||96||96||89||3.5 GB||$49|
|9||Soundiron Apocalypse Percussion Ensemble V2||86||86||80||12.8 GB compressed||$199|
|10||XLN audio - Addictive Drums 2 Session Percussion||89||82||91||Inside the AD library pack||$89.95|
what is Sound quality of percussion?
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 percussion VST plugin, all bass, highs and mid sounds should be able to listen clearly and separately with their own color.
what is Sound naturality of percussion?
In this character, I measure how much percussion VST plugin can come close to a real sound of the related percussion instrument. This can measure by comparing the VST percussion sound with a real percussion. In this scenario, I can do only guess because there are thousands of percussion in the world and I don’t have facilities to find all of those instruments in the real world.
what is Blend / Mix quality of percussion?
By looking at this measurement, you can choose the best percussion VST plugin which can blend with other instruments. It means that how much the percussion 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 percussion VST plugins one by one in to action ...
1. FXpansion BFD2 Percussion Expansion Kontakt
This is one of my favorite percussion plugins. I mentioned this plugin at very first because of its amazing sound quality, sound naturality, and a huge number of instrument types. This plugin includes congas, bongos, timbales, djembes, darbukas, udu, ashiko, bodhran, chimes, triangles, shakers and tambourines alongside esoteric effect sounds like thunder-sheets, water-phones and bowed gongs. But I am not saying that this is the best VST percussion plugin. It is up to your taste and requirement as I explained in the first paragraph of this article. Here I add an official soundtrack of BFD2 percussion from Soundcloud by FXpansion channel. Take your time to listen to it. I think it is worth more than explain in words.
2. Native Instruments Discovery Series Cuba
Cuba delivers the warmth of Afro Cuban music with traditional Cuban melodic and percussive instruments including 11970 samples. This plugin includes congas, bongos, trumpets, piano, cajon, and more. Also, it includes traditional ensembles for salsa, rumba, and son, as well as more contemporary dance and pop. Talking about the customization and controls, Cuba has options to control solid EQ, convolution reverb, tape saturation, and compression. The compressed file size is 2.68 GB and you can run this plugin by using a free Kontakt player. Here I add the official introduction video of Cuba from YouTube by Native Instruments channel. Take your time to watch it.
3. Native Instruments Discovery Series West Africa
This plugin focuses on the traditional sound color of West Africa. West Africa includes 26 sampled percussion instruments and 8 sampled melodic instruments, 74 nki’s with 792 percussion sequences, and 96 melodic sequences in total. In detail, it includes two types of instruments which are djembe, dunuba, kenkeni, sangba, bells, krin, and calabash as percussion instruments and balafon, bolon, fula flute, kora and ngoni as melodic instruments. The compressed file size is 1.3 GB. Here I add the official introduction video of West Africa from YouTube by Native Instruments channel. Take your time to watch it.
4. Native Instruments Discovery Series India
INDIA provides the nuance of traditional Indian music. This is a great VST plugin for composers who are looking for south Asian music patterns and instruments. It includes 16 NKIs which are 1 ensemble, 9 percussion instruments, 6 melodic instruments, and 159 pattern sets. The special feature of this plugin is that it includes mix low and high sounds of each percussion instrument. Furthermore, melodic instruments have detailed playability options. The compressed file size is 2.75 GB. Here I add the official introduction video of India from YouTube by Native Instruments channel. Take your time to watch it.
5. Native Instruments Discovery Series Middle East
Middle ease VST plugin is a collection of the traditional musical heritage of Arabic, Turkish, and Persian music. This plugin includes 27 NKIs which are 3 ensembles, 15 percussion instruments, 9 melodic instruments, and 248 pattern sets. In detailed goblet drums, frame drums, miniature kettle drums, finger cymbals as percussions, and two violins, viola cello as strings. The percussion patterns and grooves are customizable. The compressed file size is nearly 10 GB. Here I add the official introduction video of Middle East from YouTube by Native Instruments channel. Take your time to watch it.
6. Indigisounds Laventille Rhythm Section
This is a Caribbean percussion collection. Indigisounds Laventille Rhythm Section provides a unique sound of traditional Trinidad and Tobago instruments. This plugin includes many different types of sounds which consist of iron and metal sounds. The file size is only 637 MB. You need to run this plugin in Kontakt. Indigisounds official web site is mentioned that they included 5 velocity layers for a single strike. Here I add an official introduction video of Laventille Rhythm Section from YouTube by Indigisounds channel. Take your time to watch it.
7. Splash Sound Epic Percussion V2
Epic Percussion includes 14 cinematic percussion instruments which consist of hand percussion, massive ensemble, low drums, twang tambourine, exotic taiko, and classic snare. According to the feeling of the sound, my opinion is that Epic Percussion is more suitable for the background music of movies and dramas. The file size is 8 GB. Talking about the customization and controls, Epic Percussion has controllers for eq, compressor, reverb, and punish. Splash Sound official web site is mentioned that this plugin has 70 built-in rhythmic phrases, more than 100 additional midi loops, and more than 40 sound FX samples. Here I add an official soundtrack of Epic Percussion from Soundcloud by splash sound channel. Take your time to listen and feel the depth.
8. Soundrion Dhol Angklung
This is rank number eight which is a traditional tuned percussion instrument originating from Indonesia. In this instrument, the sound is produced by bamboo tubes which have a unique and very beautiful sound. The complete file size is 3.5 GB. You need to run this in Kontakt. The official website of Soundrion has mentioned that they have recorded a set of 18 Angklung notes, tuned over a major scale spanning nearly 3 full octaves. Here I add a soundtrack of Angklung library from Soundcloud by Soundrion channel. Take your time to listen to the beauty of this amazing instrument.
9. Soundiron Apocalypse Percussion Ensemble V2
Apocalypse Percussion Ensemble is an industry-leading epic percussion that includes more than 40 drums and close to 200 articulations. This plugin includes sounds of bass drums, a whole array of toms, dhols, riqs, frame drums, bongos, cajons, doumbeks, clicks, clacks, a heavy snare, 6 solo snare drum types, hi-hats, stick and mallet rides, crashes, splashes, hybrid and FX cymbals, a 38″ gong and heavy Tibetan ting shag finger cymbals. However, I think this plugin is more suitable for the background music of movies and dramas. Here I add a soundtrack of Apocalypse Percussion from Soundcloud by Soundrion channel.
10. XLN audio - Addictive Drums 2 Session Percussion
Session Percussion instruments were matched to work together as a complete kit. The classic combination of congas and timbales act as the toms, a large orchestral bass drum as the kick, and a Brazilian Caixa as a snare. Blocks, tambourine, pandeiro, and hi-hats round out the kit. According to the color of the sound, this instrument is more close to the ordinary percussions which are used for record in studios. If you are looking for percussion beats that can customize, I think this plugin is the best option for you because it has over 200 beats. You can run this plugin as a library in Addictive Drums 2. Here I add an official introduction video of Session Percussion from YouTube by XLN Audio channel. Take your time to watch it.
Percussion Instruments are uncountable. There are thousands...
There are thousands of variances in percussion instruments. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I cannot rank them because their sound color, feel and characteristics are different from each other. The main reason for these variances is the different cultures of different countries. However, I added another VST percussion plugins in the following table which are worth checking.
|Number||Name||Sound quality (%)||Sound Naturality (%)||Blend/Mix Quality (%)||File Size||Price|
|11||Soundiron Solo Dhol||99||100||98||1.34 GB||$59|
|12||Native Instruments - Action Strikes||88||90||82||2.99 GB compressed||$299|
|13||Indigisounds Indo-Caribbean Samples||92||94||90||1.52 GB||$89.99|
|14||8Dio Water Percussion||98||97||95||100 MB||$18|
|15||Paper Stone Instruments The Clap V2||88||90||86||411 MB||£14|
|16||Native Instruments Symphony Series Percussion||98||100||93||29 GB||$299|
|17||Toontrack Orchestral Percussion SDX||90||93||82||-||€249|
|18||Wavesfactory Samba Drums||88||90||92||418 MB||€79|
|19||Mystical Indian Percussion KONTAKT||97||99||92||1.05 GB||$19.98|
|20||Saga Acoustic Trailer Percussion v1.1||82||84||77||3.9 GB||$149|
|21||8Dio Studio Percussion Auxiliary||95||96||93||54 GB||$298|
|22||Black Octopus Sound Tribal & African Percussion||94||97||91||283 MB||$14.97|
|23||Soundiron Motor Rhythms||95||92||98||3.45 GB||$59|
|24||World Percussion 2.0 - Evolution Series||98||96||91||45 GB||$479|