Free Drum Samples! (Acoustic Drum Kits)

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When it comes to working with acoustic drum samples, the advantages of using commercial software like EZdrummer, Addictive Drums, or BFD2 are more than obvious. But not everyone can afford these, as they all come with quite a big price tag. These virtual instruments are available in multiple formats, they feature loads of velocity layers, but they also come with a price tag. You could always get yourself a cheaper alternative like the Premier Outfits Kit by Drumdrops for example, but sometimes even a small amount of money is too much.

Luckily, though, there are now numerous free alternatives available online. I selected only the best free drum sample sample packs for this list, picking the ones which come with mappings in fully supported formats like SFZ, SF2 and NKI (for Native Instruments Kontakt).

If you don’t own a commercial sampler like Battery or Halion, I recommend using the free Shortcircuit 1 sampler, as it supports the SFZ format and also offers multiple outputs (or check out BPB’s round-up of the best free sampler VSTi plugins for more alternatives). If you use Kontakt, make sure you take advantage of the multi-out functionality. This way you’ll be able to treat individual drum elements like kicks and snares with 3rd party effects.

Free Drum Sample Packs

Although the list featured below is organized so that my personal favorites appear at the top, my advice is to download all listed sample packs and see how they perform inside your DAW. After that, keep the ones you like and you’ll have an amazing collection of drum samples which you’ve downloaded for free!

Yamaha Hybrid Kit by Drumdrops – Hands down the best currently available free acoustic drum collection. Available in five different flavors, with 2592 individual audio samples and 1.7 GB of audio material in total. Create a free account at the Drumdrops website and use the coupon code “yamahafree” at checkout to get your Yamaha Hybrid Kit version of choice for free!

Yamaha Hybrid Kit by Drumdrops.

You can only get one version of the kit for free, but you’re free to pick any version you prefer. The sample collection is based on a meticulously sampled custom Yamaha drum kit which will work great in a variety of genres from rock to commercial pop and indie. The kit was released on the cover DVD of Computer Music Magazine some time ago, but it is now available as a freebie for everyone who registers for a free user account on the Drumdrops website.

UPDATE: The Yamaha Hybrid Kit is now offered as a free download only in Single Hits Pack format. Simply create a free user account at Drumdrops to download your free copy of the kit.

Big Mono by Analogue Drums – A rich sounding drum kit recorded through a vintage Neve desk, available for free download. How cool is that?! These samples sound really amazing and the only (potential) drawback is that they come with a lot of room reverb which is there to stay.

Big Mono by Analogue Drums

But check out that fatso kick! If you don’t mind a bit of reverb, this free drum kit is still one of the most solid choices. Big Mono features native support for Kontakt and Battery, along with custom SFZ format mappings by Peter L Jones which can be downloaded here. The kit will work for 15 minutes in the freeware Kontakt Player version.

DrumMic’a by Sennheiser – A breathtaking collection of acoustic drum samples for Native Instruments Kontakt and full support for Kontakt Player. It is a huge 4 GB download (over 9 GB of data when extracted), containing over 13,000 individual samples in 24-bit quality and up to 25 velocity layers per articulation. Easily the best free acoustic drum sample pack out there. You can watch a video review here. The download page is in German and you will need to go through a registration process, so be patient.

G&S Custom Drum Kit by Salvador Peláez – One of my favorite free drum sample packs. I love jamming with these samples! They sound just the way I like it and the available mappings feel very natural. These drums sit really well in the mix too. The original download location is no longer available, but we can still get these, and all the custom mappings, thanks to Autodafe.

Salamander Drumkit by RytmenPinne! – A great sounding sampled acoustic drum kit in SFZ format. No compression or EQ, just a set of high quality natural sounding samples ready to be played and mixed to your preference. It is a rather large kit, so make sure that you have enough RAM memory for loading up big sample collections.

Free Jazz Funk Drum by Orange Tree Samples – Completely different than the previously listed packs, these drum samples come from a rare jazz/funk kit. And I somehow always come up with great beats when playing with these. They were created with special attention dedicated to expressive playing, so get your shuffle on and make some groovy beats! Mappings in SFZ format are available here (made by PL Jones).

Vintage Funk Drum Samples by drumsamples.ca – Perhaps the best free acoustic drum pack for Ableton Live users. Features a set of samples from a vintage Pearl drum kit, formatted into an Ableton Live drum rack. You’ll find two more awesome free kits on the same site. Registration is required, but well worth it! Thanks to BPB reader stldrms for suggesting this kit in the comments section.

12 Piece Pearl Master Custom Drum Kit by 1313 – 1313 is a blog mostly known for offering high quality impulse responses of various expensive pieces of gear. But besides that, there are many other goodies on that website, including these great samples of a custom Pearl acoustic drum kit with Zildjian cymbals. A set of SFZ mappings made by SWTrex can be downloaded here.

Basement Drums by Sounds Outside The Lines – A dirty sounding acoustic drum kit sample set available in EXS24 format for Logic Pro users. Recorded with a pair of legendary Shure SM57 microphones and an Apogee Duet, the kit sounds great and catches all those sweet imperfections for a more realistic sound. Great choice for rock and indie tracks!

Free EXS24 Drumkit and Samples by Sam Greene – A Sonor Force 3001 drum kit sampled with care and available in EXS24 instrument format, released under a Creative Commons licence. Sam is offering another, more lo-fi drum kit (recorded with a single overhead microphone) which can be downloaded here.

Dry Studio Kit SL Sample Set by Smart Loops – Unreleased samples which were created during the same recording sessions as the commercial Dry Studio Kit. It’s a fairly compact library, containing 3MB of samples. They’re not breathtaking, but I use them from time to time. Please note that you’ll need to subscribe to the Smart Loops mailing list in order to get the freebie samples.

The Open Source Drum Kit by Real Music Media – A great sounding 600 MB acoustic drum sample pack containing more than 700 samples. I still haven’t had the time to test the mappings for this kit, but the individual samples sound very good.

NSA Custom Series Drumkit by Dean aka ‘Nekro’ – Whooping 777 samples grouped into separate folders for cymbals, hi-hat, kick, snare, and tom sounds. This 132 MB sample pack doesn’t come with any mappings, but that shouldn’t stop you from testing them in your favorite sampler and building your own mappings.

Big Daddy Drums by Bulldawg Sound Design – Several acoustic drum kit multi-samples available in 16-bit AIFF, ReFill, and EXS24 formats.

DrumTaste Free by AcousticsampleS – A Rick Marotta Signature drum set with Paiste cymbals. It weighs around 80 MB and comes with NKI, EXS and SFZ mappings with 6 velocity layers and 2 round robin variations per sample.

1965 Ludwig Super Classic by Plutonic Lab – An awesome free vintage Ludwig drum set for Kontakt 4, made by Plutonic Lab. Uses some custom Kontakt scripts and will only run in demo mode in the freeware Kontakt Player.

Brush Kit by Soniccouture – A full brushed drum kit, with some great articulations, available for Kontakt, Reason, and Battery. You’ll need to register for a free Soniccouture account in order to download the drum sample pack. The registration process is quick and completely free.

Free Drum Kit by Tchakpoum – A free drum kit available for Shortcircuit, Groove Agent One, Drummagog, Battery 3 and Kontakt 4.

Ruffrider and Easyrider by Michael Kingston – Two very useful packs. While Ruffrider is a very raw sounding kit, the Easyrider samples are less edgy and sound more natural. Both are very good though. I like using these two for creating custom breaks. Available in all major formats, including SFZ.

Drum Pack Volume 1 by SmithULTD – A cool collection of drum samples recorded by Riley Smith. Contains 1.8 GB of well organized acoustic drum samples. An optional donation is welcomed as support for creating Drum Pack Volume 2.

Jazz Kit by Gigfiles – A free jazz drum kit with patches available in all popular formats, including NKI, SFZ, EXS-24, Halion, SF2, etc.

Drum Samples Meta! by Ultimate Metal Forum – A collection of links to lots of free custom-made acoustic drum samples posted by Ultimate Metal Forum members.

Groove Bias Mini by Impact Soundworks – A free 150MB version of the large Groove Bias drum sample library, available in Kontakt format. You’ll need to download the complete Trial Pack by Impact Soundworks in order to get the sounds.

Slingerland Drum Kit by Indie Drums – A set of 23 acoustic drum kit samples in 24-bit WAV format. Features a nice Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum and Sabian cymbals.

Culture Collection by The Lower Rhythm – A collection of 158 free drum samples recorded from 3 different acoustic drum kits.

Free Drums by Pipelineaudio – An old set of free acoustic drum samples by Pipelineaudio, revamped in a KVR Forum thread with permission of the author.

MF Natural Drumset by Markus Fiedler – A natural sounding acoustic drum kit, currently hosted by Terz Magazine. Many thanks to BPB reader George for sending me the link!

Drumkits by DrumGizmo – A free collection of acoustic drum sounds for the DrumGizmo virtual instrument. They can be used in other samplers as well. Thanks to BPB reader dk for providing the link!

Bonus #1 – Acoustic Snare Samples

There are a couple of free acoustic snare sample packs available online. These can work come handy as layering tools.

Snare 04 by RW5 Samples – A lovely free snare instrument with 24 velocity layers. Fits like a glove in various styles of rock and pop music. Super warm and fat with GOG and NKI mappings, along with individual WAV files.

The Real Snare Drum by Real Music Media – Mapped multi-samples of a vintage 1972 Slingerland Sound King snare drum.

Tiny Snare by AcousticsampleS – 150 untreated samples of a 12″ snare in EXS24 and NKI formats. Recorded using a pair of Neumann KM184 microphones.

The Cracken by Signals Audio – A set of raw Sonor Chrome metal snare samples with Kontakt, Drumagog, and Trigger mappings (24-bit WAVs included).

Free HQ Snare & Kick Samples by Supersonic Samples – A series of acoustic drum kick and snare samples, recorded from three different kits using various high quality pres and industry standard mics.

Free Acoustic Snare Samples by Anemic Studios – A free set of Vinnie Paul (Snakeskin) 14×8 acoustic snare samples in WAV format.

Free Acoustic Snare Samples by Sylvain Raulin – A set of free acoustic snare samples processed with some high-end audio gear.

Erkan’s Cymbal Pack by Erkan Dogantimur – A set of 615 free cymbal samples recorded by Erkan Dogantimur from Ultimate Metal Forums.

Bonus Feature #2 – Free acoustic drum VSTi plugins

In case all of these samples aren’t enough, here’s a short list of freeware acoustic drum VSTi plugins until I make a bpb Freeware Studio entry about ’em.

Addictive Drums Demo by XLN Audio – Demo version of Addictive Drums. It includes one kit without toms, but the samples are really good.

DrumCore Free by Sonoma Wireworks – A lite version of DrumCore, comes with two kits.

MDrummer Small by MeldaProduction – Contains several drum sets and rhythms taken from its larger brother MDrummer 3.

MT Power Drum Kit 2 by Manda Audio – THE BEST free virtual drum module, period. Features a nice sounding drum kit for rock and pop, along with a handy collection of drum grooves in MIDI format.

My Drumset VSTi by Bluenoise plugins – Bjarte Ludvigsen (aka Bluenoise Plugins) has recently re-released this amazing free acoustic drum module in VSTi plugin format. A must-have freebie!

That’s all we had in store for the second episode of Free Sample Shootout. Enjoy the samples, comment, subscribe, and support BPB by sharing a link to this article on your favorite social network or audio related forums! Also, check out all the other Free Sample Shootout articles by clicking here!

Share it like a boss.

About Author

Tomislav is a musician and a blogger. He writes about free and affordable music production tools on a daily basis here at Bedroom Producers Blog.

70 Comments

  1. rabbitearsmotel on

    i am loving your blog. no need for drum samples (up to my ears in them), but just the fact that you bother doing these lists is awesome. thanks.

      • ive had this kit for a year now, its pretty epic. say what you want about it but i rekocn with good tuning, tweaking, etc this kit gives those pro drum kits a run for there money

        • pro drum kits Iv brought samples before this list is awesome in comparison. real samples…some really nice sounds well allot of nice sounds waooo, what a fantastic list.

  2. Dean aka Nekro on

    Great site, I have quite literaly just found it via Rekkerd.org at 6 in the morning (i do not sleep much!). I have Bookmarked for future exploring, resources and reading material. I really appreciate the work it must take to do this gratis and can feel the passion. It is this sort of community vibe which i love and the straight up information with a very fairly judged and non-biased opinion plus links is just executed very well

    All the best and look forward to keeping up with your blog as and when i can in the future :D

    Cheers

    Dean/Nekro

    • bedroomproducers on

      thanks. :]
      i will need to add loads more stuff here in order to make this blog a truly great resource. but even the way it is now, i think it’s a fun read. mostly because of my perfect engRish. ;]
      enjoy your stay and thanks for yor awesome free drum samples!

      • Nekro aka Dean on

        Anytime bpb/Its a pleasure to give something back to a great community (KVR, Rekkerd, Here and all the other places). Off to check out the Mic’d Speaker Cabinet IRs roundup :D

        Dean aka Nekro

  3. hello,
    In your list you miss my free samples drum kit avalaible and in my website Tchackpoum :(
    For Short Circuit, Groove Agent One (Cubase user), Drummagog, Battery 3 and Kontakt 4.

  4. Wow! Thank you so much for listing all of these great resources! It’s very kind and respectful of you to put them up on this blog. It’s much appreciated. :)

  5. Hi there,

    I downloaded the 65 Ludwig kit for Kontakt but cant get Kontakt to see the folder…can anyone help? I am new to Kontakt and may be putting the files / folders in the wrong place…not sure.

    Can anyone help?

    Thanks.

      • Hello BPB,

        Thanks for the reply.

        Im afraid it still hasnt worked for me so can you give me a step by step guide as Im clueless with Kontakt. Once the file is extracted where does it need to go?

        Hope you can help.
        Thanks

        • ok, try this:

          1) open the Plutonic 65 Ludwig Super Classic folder
          2) minimize that window, then start Kontakt
          3) from the first window, drag & drop Plutonic 65 Ludwig Super Classic.nki to your Kontakt GUI

          does that work?

  6. Hi BPB,

    Sorry still no joy with this method either though I can see that it has recognised the samples but there is no interface from which to work or manipulate the sounds…

    Any ideas.

    Thanks again

    • Bedroom Producers Blog on

      it should work in Kontakt Player, but only for 20 minutes. after that you will have to restart Kontakt Player to play the library again. it’s the limitation of Kontakt Player.

      to answer your first question – inside the folder, find the file named Plutonic 65 Ludwig Super Classic.nki and drop it on the Kontakt Player interface. it should show the loaded instrument right away.

  7. Hello again,

    I checked the folder and thrre was no NKI file so I downloaded and re extracted and a NKI file appeared with the new extract. Tried to load it into Kontakt 4 and it said I needed to upgrade to a newer version. So, I reckon it will work once I have updated my version of Kontakt…I’ll let you know.

    • Bedroom Producers Blog on

      thanks so much for the link, i’ve never heard of these before!

      i’ll check out the samples and add them to the list.

      cheers!

  8. Many thanks for this post. The Plutonic kit is great and the Erkan´s Cymbals greater. But now I´m very interested in the 1313 Pearl Master and can´t find it in that (new for me) ex-
    cellent site. Maybe you can help with this. Many thanks again
    in advance.

    Rudolph.

  9. I don´t even know your name, but many thanks for your prompt reply. The drums in the photographs are impressive. Downloading now. We´re in contact.

    Rudolph.

  10. “anymore” and “alot” are not real words… but the drum kits are fantastic!

    btw many of the sfzs liked to from here do NOT work as general midi drums without some editing… but MAN do they sound good once you’re done editing!!! :-)

    • Bedroom Producers Blog on

      i’ve fixed most of the typos now (hopefully), thanks for the heads-up. english is not my first language, so misspellings do slip by.

      enjoy the samples! :)

    • Bedroom Producers Blog on

      hmm, i think it’s possible. as far as i know, Beatcraft can import any WAV file. simply extract some of the sample packs above and load the samples in Beatcraft.

  11. Man I would to thank you for these samples they are great to have. Now my beats are more complete with these new sounds music is sounding alot better all ready.

  12. AWSOME WORK!. Is there a chance to find and upload the Tommy Zai hihats set. I heard it was pretty good. It was posted briefly in the KVR forums couple years ago.

  13. Essential list!! Well done.
    I’d suggest the demo version of MT Powerdrum Kit. I love the MIDI grooves that come with it plus the built-in composer to arrange them.

  14. WUT DO I NEED TO GET WORKING YAMAHAS’S ???? is it work by itself? or do i need another program and stuff. sry for the caps u.u. ty

    PLEASE AWNSER!!!!!!!!!!! (sry again D;)

  15. I wonder how anyone is sorting their drums.
    I have at least 25 drumkits and I just can’t remember the sound of them, simply choose one by random and mostly leave it that way.

    I listen to a lot of various music styles, but when it comes to choose a proper drumkit, well I simply can’t make a choice.

    Does anyone sort them by sound or what?

    • Tomislav Zlatic on

      Well, your best bet is to remove the kits which you don’t really use and try to keep your sound library compact. If there’s too much stuff in there which you never use (because it doesn’t fit your style or you don’t like the sound), then it’s much harder to find the perfect samples for your project. I try to clean up my sample folders every couple of months, to keep them optimized for future projects.

  16. Thats a wonderful answer, thats actually what i intended to do. I also render a short drum pattern for each kit for a quick preview listen. I actually ignore most of my kits, but i can’t delete them either, such wonderful sounds. Is there a way to ensure a kit has been processed or reverb in the samples?
    You said the salamander kit is raw, while Big Mono has lots of reverb. I cant tell myself. Expect the salamanders sounds very weak, but awesome, favorite.
    How do I best check if a kit is processed?
    Also I need a tip to make a kit sound as if has been played live on a stage. Is merging stereo-width and lots of reverb, put some delay and dampen enough, or should I consider more?

    • Tomislav Zlatic on

      Rendering a short drum pattern for preview purposes is a really good idea! I might do that too. :)

      Whether or not a kit is processed is something that you need to figure out by ear. Listen to the ambience – if it sounds like it was played in a large space (a large room or a hall), it probably has some reverb applied to it. This is not a bad thing per se – it just won’t work if you need a smaller ambience in your project.
      For a live stage sound, experiment with the pre-delay setting on your reverb plugin. A freeware plugin called epicVerb is really good for this.

  17. Hi Riley,

    the link to “SmithULTD” looks like it was taken down or hijacked. Any idea how or where to look for the samples?

    Thanks,

    Paul

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