In this article, we will review 7 Best Drum VST Plugins in 2019. So, sit back and read this article till the end.
VST plugins are the essentials in today’s studio technology. Especially in home studios, where we can’t record original instruments due to the resources, VST plugins are the lifeline for us.
But in the ocean of VST plugins choosing the best ones is not an easy task.
So, time to time, Recording Base compiles and publishes listicles on VST plugins which help you to choose the best ones from them. It’s our duty to provide you with the best solution to your problem.
In today’s article, we will review and compare 7 best drum VST plugins in the market so that you could decide to choose one of them.
These drum VST plugins are for those who want the realistic drum sound in their mix but don’t have the infrastructure to record drums in their studios, such as acoustic rooms, drum mics, and multiple channel audio interfaces.
These drum plugins have the ability to produce nearly the same drum sound like real drums. So, without taking more time let us dig into the ultimate list of 7 drum VST plugins.
1. Geist 2
FXpansion’s Geist 2 is one of the best drum VST plugins on this planet. Equipped with a streamlined environment, Geist2 is ideal beat creation and sound sculpting which provides us the inspiration and new ideas for our audio production.
There are features like deep sample manipulation, arrangement and modulation capabilities with a workflow powered by the intuitive and faster user interface.
Here is the key feature of Geist 2 drum VST plugin.
- We can load or record samples directly to pads, slice them, and intuitively sequence beats as well as manipulate our sounds faster.
- You can retro-capture performances and trigger scenes to take the pressure out from the recording.
- You can also create evolving polyrhythmic beats with individual tracks. There are features like event portability and the new TransMod modulation system helps us to create a good composition.
- You can resize, rescale and reconfigure vector interface as per your needs.
- The new Circuit-modeled filters, effects, loop point modulation, 64 pads for slicing longer loops etc provides its samples extraordinary depth.
- Need some old school touch? Use its Vintage sampler emulation mode.
- Intuitive and Scalable GUI is a charm of this plugin.
- TransMod helps in creating serious modulation effects.
- Best for live sequencing and modeling.
- There is no option to save your workspaces.
- Needs some learning to effectively use this plugin.
Geist 2 comes with 8 sound engines of them everyone is a standalone full version of the Geist 2 environment. Each of them has 64 pads of sounds and each one has 8 layers. The direct record feature is just awesome n which you can directly sample any sound and save anywhere in your hard disk.
On top of that, if you do purchase Geist 2, there is an option to choose 2 free libraries apart from the factory content that comes with Geist 2.
So, do you want to try Geist 2?
2. Xfer Nerve
The 2nd one in our list is Xfer Nerve. However, it has a super basic user interface, it’s an amazing product, which definitely worths your money. There are such huge names stand behind this software, including SampleMagic, Dom Kane, SampleSquad, PowerFX, Richard Devine, etc.
When you look at it you will think that it comes from 2 decades ago, which is obvious because of its super simple UI. Apart from the simple design, this plugin has the capability of producing extraordinary drum sounds.
Patterns like single hits, kits, MIDI mapping, step sequencer are very easy to use.
There are three main sections of its GUI.
- Pattern Editor
- Pads and Waveform section
- Mixing section
Due to the super simple GUI, everything is very transparent and you won’t find any trouble in locating and using any of these functions.
Xfer Nerves Feature
- Powerful plugin – Nerve is equipped with diverse sample library by top sound designers. You can also create your own beats entirely from scratch in format (AIF/WAV/REX/RX2/AKAI .SND), as well as utilize the factory Drum Kits, Presets, Patterns, and Sounds.
- Powerful Internal Step Sequencer – Nerve features ergonomic mouse-driven Step Sequencer in which you can program your beats visually or by clicking rhythmically.
- Compact, hassle-free interface – With a compact and hassle-free simple interface you can create everything you frequently want to control in Nerve.
- Tons of Original Sounds Included – Nerve’s library contains a large, comprehensive 2-Gigabyte library containing full presets, drumkits, patterns, one-shots, and loops made by top-class sound designers.
- Sculpt your own original sounds – You can sculpt the sound files you already have on your hard disk. On-board editing with 22 simultaneous pre-calculated DSP types helps us to slice/trim, sculpt, stretch, and bend and re-synthesize sounds into completely new sounds, with no load on CPU.
- Slice and Re-arrange loops – Nerve allows you to up to 16 slices of a loop, with adjustable slice points, which will automatically get read from REX/RX2 files.
- State of the art samples.
- Unique and advanced effects section.
- Intuitive GUI.
- Built-in sidechain compression
- MIDI mapping is not so good.
3.Arturia Spark 2
Arturia is one of the leading VST plugin manufacturers in the music world and known for the high-quality VST plugin range.
Spark 2 is the frontline Drum VST plugin by Arturia which is a notable drum creation software drum computer. Equipped with analog synthesis, sampling, and physical modeling, the generator which supports a mix of three engines, Spark 2 will provide the real feeling of drum machines.
Compared to other hardware drum VST, it comes with a wide variety of high-quality sounds that are suitable for several styles of music.
Arturia Spark 2 Features
- Step Sequencer – With a dedicated built-in step sequencer, Spark 2 allows you to go creative quickly and start producing your patterns.
- Automation – Automation is one of the best features of Spark 2. This plugin features multiple ways to create and edit automation; such as, you can use the Pencil and Line tools or the XY pad.
- Mixer & Effects – The mixer in Spark 2 provides a familiar interface to control the level, pan, insert effects and sends of your instruments.
Modular Engine – Equipped with a modular synth, Spark 2 is the direct descendant of our TAE® technology.
Macros – Provided with 6 assignable macro knobs allow you to control several types of sounds and loops in real-time.
- Plug-in & Standalone – We can use this software as a stand-alone application or as a plug-in within Digital Audio Workstations such as Steinberg Cubase, Digidesign Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Apple Logic Pro X, MOTU Digital Performer, Cakewalk Sonar and Bitwig Studio, etc
- Import/Export -You can import AIFF, Wave, MIDI and REX2 files in Spark 2.
- MIDI Controller – You can seamlessly use it with any popular MIDI controller.
- New GUI.
- A Vintage drum machine library.
- Great modular section.
- Very stable.
- Improved workflow.
- REX support could be better in the next version.
- Inconsistent genre-based content.
4. Toontrack EZdrummer 2 Drum VST
Toontrack EZdrummer 2 is one of the oldest players in Drum VST plugins. If you are searching for a fully professional plugin under $150 then EZdrummer 2 is can be the best choice.
Over the last five years, EZdrummer has evolved from an instrument to a real drum kit solution. It can be the backbone of a home or mid-size studio with respect to the rhythm. Far beyond just a collection of MIDI loops, its an integrated mixing software, kit customization and more.
Such a best bet to your studio.
- You can tap your rhythm directly into EZdrummer 2 and list the closest matches.
- The power hand feature let you instantly preview different leading instruments, while your groove is playing.
- You can choose one of the many included presets and, if needed, continue to tweak it to fit the track.
- There are 5 complete kits and additional instruments included.
- A completely new mixer and collection of chain preset help you out the vintage feel.
- Powered by EZmix 2 effect engine includes effects like compressors, reverbs, delays, and EQs.
- More than 40 expansion kits are available to purchase.
- A slick interface.
- Great-sounding new kits with expansion kits.
- Search facility lets you easily search the desired sound.
- A new nifty Song Creator feature.
- Needs a little more sound editing skill.
5. Image-line Drumaxx Plugin
Image-Line is known as the manufacturer of legendary DAW software FL studio. Apart from the FL Studio DAW, Imagine also manufactures a variety of VST instruments and plugins for the music enthusiasts and professionals.
Drumaxx is one of those superb VST instruments which supports all VST 2.0 hosts including, Cubase, FL Studio, etc. Drumaxx has some great features and specifications which differs it from the other Drum VST instruments.
Image-Line Drumaxx Key Features
- A Cool interface
- Equipped with 16 Physically modelled drum pads
- Huge range of modelling possibilities covering sounds from kettle-drums cymbals
- Multi-output for individual effects processing on each pad
- Integrated Step sequencer with trigger-key playback
- Velocity modulation matrix for detailed expressiveness
- Integrated effect with presets
- Single-pad version ‘Drumpad’ available supports tight integration with FL Studio
- 130+ drumkits, 900+ drum patches, and 200+ drum patterns
- Runs with any VST2 compatible host.
- Sounds great which transform your recording to the next level.
- Easy to program features.
- Flexible and high-quality synthesis engine.
- As aspected like other Image-Line products, Low CPU usage.
- Needs some practice to create grooves and beats.
- Not especially ‘hard’ or realistic.
6. Spectrasonics Stylus RMX Drum Plugin
Stylus RMX is my favorite Drum VST instrument in this list. I personally use it to create my grooves and beats. As an Indian, I realized that if you want to create some Indian grooves then this is the best VST plugin for you.
You can arrange Bollywood style realistic grooves with it just with a few clicks.
The best thing I like about it is, you can create your own library by sampling sounds and even sell those libraries to others.
No matter in which genre you want to arrange your grooves and beats., with a sleek and easy to use GUI it will transform your recording to the next level,
Let us see the core features of Spectrasonics Stylus RMX
- Powered by award-winning S.A.G.E. technology (Spectrasonics Advanced Groove Engine).
- Innovative Time Designer® help you to grooves to adapt to any feel, genre and time signature.
- Musical variations and “improvising” within stereo audio grooves.
- 14GB Core Library included with the original Stylus core library.
- Includes all five Spectrasonics SAGE Xpanders – Backbeat, Retro Funk, Liquid Grooves, Burning Grooves, Metamorphosis.
- Automatic Groove Simplifying and Pattern Variations.
- Realtime auto-sync to the beat helps grooves to be always in time, especially for live performances.
- Groove Control is always active for optimum sound quality with any tempo.
- Expandable with REX files, which allow a user to import their own audio loops via ReCycle™.
- Unique edit features: You can control the pitch of the snare inside a stereo loop, add ambiance to just the backbeat, reverse specific slices in the loop, etc.
- World-Class integrated Effect Racks: Tube Limiter, Tape Slammer, Modern and Vintage Compressors, Wah-Wah, Power Filter, Stereo Imager, Flanger, 2 different Phasers, 3 BPM Delays, Retroplex Tape Delay and Radio Delay, 6 different Vintage/Parametric/Graphic Equalizers, Flame Distortion, Valve Radio, PRO-Verb, EZ-Verb, Spring Verb, Gate Expander.
- 250 Kits and 500 Multi Grooves.
- MIDI Learn and easy MIDI Control of all 20,000 parameters.
- Hardware MIDI Controller Templates.
- To quickly learn Stylus RMX features, over 9 hours of Video Tutorials are available.
- Multiple stereo outputs (with supported software).
- Favorites Menu creation of user-defined suites of grooves, perfect for project-by-project work.
- Built-in Mixer 8 channels, mute/solo, level, meters, 4 Aux sends, output assignments.
- Drag and Drop MIDI files.
- Allows multiple grooves to be played live on a single MIDI channel
- Half Time / Double Time groove modification
- Build Multitrack Grooves in realtime
- Real-time Jamming in sync
- Powerful sound design features include: Multi-mode Power Filter, 3 sync-able LFOs, 3 AHDR envelopes, Reverse and more
- It’s can work for all genres with the sample import feature.
- You can work in a range of time signatures from 4/4 to 13/8.
- More FX plug‑ins.
- A bit costly than others
- Long learning curve
7. XLN Audio Addictive Drums 2
The last but not least is XLN Audio Addictive Drums 2 VST plugin. If you are searching for a plugin which could deliver the original drum machine feel then Addictive drums 2 is can be the first choice for you.
With the sleek drum style GUI, it will sound just like an original drum machine.
Addictive Drums VST Plugin 2 Features
- You can use this Drum software as a plug-in or standalone operation
- Provides 3 drum kits: Fairfax Vol. 1, Fairfax Vol. 2, and Black Velvet
- More than 5,000 MIDI grooves to help you create drum tracks in any style
- You can fine-tune the character of your drum sounds with Transient Shaper and Tone Designer.
- Unique reverb, delay, and EQ give you lots of options for shaping your sound
- You can easily link kit pieces together
- Add depth to your kit with specialty “Trigger” kit pieces like white noise, sine wave or one-shot samples
- You can make any MIDI groove which fits with your track’s rhythm and beat
- A grid search facility helps you find the right MIDI groove
- Drag and drop finished drum parts as audio directly to your DAW or desktop
Final Verdict: 7 Best Drum VST Plugins 2019
Well, here we have compared the 7 best drum VST plugins. These 7 plugins are the top most drum plugins in the world. Each of them has their own X-Factors.
If you want me to choose one of them, first of all I will tell you to identify your own needs. When you find out your needs, it would be easier to choose the most suitable drum VST plugin from all of them.
Some people’s need is a specific genre, some want for live setup, some of us want an overall good plugin which could help in their home studio recordings.
For example, Spectrasonics Stylus RMX is one of the best drum VST for Indian and world music genres, where Addictive drums are best for Rock and blues. Image-line Drumaxx is best for Hip-hop and live performance.
So, first, identify your needs and then choose the one which could suit the best.
Now, its time to share this article with your fellow recordists and music enthusiasts on social media. Share this article with others so that they could get the authentic knowledge of choosing their drum VST.
And, don’t forget to ask us your questions in the comment section.
Have a good recording session…
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