Best Drum/Percussion Plug-in

Hey Fellows! I’m in need of your expert recommendations.

Totally enthralled with all aspects of GP and as a new user, find it to be exactly the platform I needed to revamp, modernize and enhance the performance aspects of my system.

Great sounding drums & percussion is essential to what I do and coming from a hardware system (Motif Rack XS) which I’ve been programming MIDI tracks for the past decade or so, I’m looking for a vst/au drum plugin with kits that will respond to MIDI bank, prog change and note#s, replacing the Motif. This facility needs to be easily programmed/enabled if the plug-in does not already utilize this function common to hardware sound modules.

I use a MBP, 3.1GHz Dual Core i7 w 16 GB ram and of course wish to avoid processing hogs.

What do you recommend as a Drum/Perc plug-in?

I’m very grateful for any thoughts, advice and the time taken to make them. Thank you!


Hm, I don’t now the Motif Drumset, but if you are OK with this kind of sound it’s maybe worth to take a look at the Korg Triton / Triton Extreme VSTs?

If you look for a dedicated Drum Computer Replacement I like the, another option are the Vintage Drum Machines (Linn, Oberheim) from

And then there are ton’s of sampler solutions.

Sennheiser did a nice and free Virtual Drumset for the Kontakt Player some years ago: DrumMic’a - but I don’t know if it is still available/maintained.

HTH - bbb

Edit: just made a quick check: DrumMic’a from 2013 is still running :slight_smile:

Strike 2 from Air. Highly recommended and used by others on this forum. Plugin Boutique is the location.

Thank you!

I’m using EZdrummer from ToonTrack. It’s geared for realistic drum kit sounds, rather than synth or processed sounds.

The library isn’t tiny, but it’s not bloated either. I can check out their presets, until I get something close to what I need. I can then trade out the snare, toms, or whatever, as I desire. I can also tune each drum and set its volume. This is great for doing covers and matching sounds.

I like its mapping. It has GM, plus many additional notes, which offer many articulations on the snare, hi hat, ride, etc. It’s got some velocity mapping and round robin, so the machine gun effect is largely avoided.

Sound-wise, I like the sounds. Yeah, it could have deeper sampling and longer tails on some cymbals, but it could start getting bloated.

For studio work, I’d recommend springing for Superior Drummer 3, or some other deeper library to really mask the sample repetition, For live work and traditional rock drum sounds in a live environment, EZdrummer is a bit more practical and affordable.

But if you want synth drums, this isn’t it. You could process these for other genres, which is cool if you want to make them your own, but there are easier solutions out there. That said, EZdrummer offers a bunch of expansion packs, so if you want a traditional base and add other sounds as you need them, it could be a good starting point.


I’m a big fan of Superior 3 for real drumming and if you want to build backing drum tracks using their canned midi drum tracks.

As said above, its not great for electronic sounds. And it’s not cheap, it takes a lot of disk/ssd space, and people listening live aren’t going to notice the difference between Superior and EZ Drummer.

1 Like

I love what I’ve seen and heard, so far with Strike. Still looking for a way to facilitate pulling up kits through MIDI bank/prg.


Thanks, JonFair.

I definitely don’t need a huge library and electronic sounds aren’t a priority. EZ Drummer seems closer to what I’m looking for. I’ll check it out.

Thank you!

Thanks, Vindes.The immediate objective is to convert my existing library of backing tracks and to continue building with a better and larger variety of traditional acoustic sounds, leaving the rack modules behind.

One generally get what one pays for when it comes to cost, electronic sounds is not a priority, but great sounding drums for live listening is a must, for me.

I’ll definitely be checking both EX & Superior.

Thank you for sharing!

Thanks, tripleB!

One thing you don’t get in the EZdrummer demo is the Classic kit. The Studio kit sounds great and is very clean. It’s great for most material. But let’s say you’re doing some Mississippi Blues or a 50s/60s cover. The smaller Classic kit is great for this. Its analog sound is warm, slightly crunchy, and able to blend into the mix nicely. It just works for some styles of music. It’s authentic, non clinical sound could be really nice live for many styles. Not sure why it’s not part of the demo. For the 80s and later, go with the cleaner Studio kit. For 60s and earlier, plus some throwback songs, go with the classic. For 70s music, it depends on the song. It’s a nice combination.

This sounds exactly what I’m looking for, at the moment. I’m presently on a short vacation but going to give it a good looking over, work with it a bit and let you know what I think.

Very much appreciate your input. Thank you!

In another post, I see that Melda’s MDrummer is on sale. I haven’t tried it, but it could be worth consideration. At first glance, it seems that MDrummer offers a wider variety of percussion sounds than EZdrummer. EZdrummer really focuses on the kits, though add-ons are available.

For those with Samplers, percussion is probably the easiest thing to make custom samples of. You don’t have 88 keys or endless accent and sustain combinations like piano and violin. Just hit the darn thing at different strengths and positions, cut up the audio, and create an instrument. You probably cant record it at Muscle Shoals, but if you record it dry (like close mic’d in a closet full of clothes), you can apply the room sound later.

On one song, I need a whiskey bottle sound. (Many people think that it’s a cowbell. It’s not.) I’m using a high-hat for now, but it’s just not right. I haven’t found the right sound in any library, so I have a fun little project ahead of me. In many cases, a real percussion instrument costs less than a library. The cool thing in my whiskey bottle situation is that I can bang on various glass items until I find what I want and then it’s part of my unique sound set. :slight_smile:

These are great tips, JonFair. Been at bit more slammed lately, but running through the downloadable manuals, slowly checking each out and will make a final decision soon.


1 Like