Beatmaker has announced the release of SL Drums 3, a freeware drum rompler instrument in VST and AU plugin formats for compatible digital audio workstations on PC and Mac.
This company develops plugins intended for, as the name of their website implies, the beatmakers out there, although anyone seeking an easy to use drum instrument will find use in their free SL Drums 3 plugin. It is the third iteration of the sample-based drum rompler made with Maize Sampler.
SL Drums 3 is designed with a straightforward user interface while focusing more on the quality and presence of sound. It features self-contained reverb that each drum part can be sent to, as well as a control for distortion.
Stylistically, these drums seem to be intended for hip hop production, but some of them would fit just as well in house music and other more soulful kinds of dance music. There’s no reason why music style experimentalists wouldn’t find these to be excellent source sounds.
The instrument comes with 75 presets and features samples of classic drum machines and hip hop drum hits. Half of what I enjoy about this plugin is browsing through the different presets and listening to how each one changes the MIDI drum sequence playing in my DAW.
The first four drum parts are a kick, snare, and two hi-hats. The other slots are reserved for miscellaneous sounds such as bells, crashes, rides, shakers, tambourines, claps, various other percussion samples, as well as occasional vinyl scratches, synths, and electric pianos that can stand strong as an element in the mix as much as they could be used in the background as an incidental.
Each part can be routed to a different channel in your DAW. The plugin also features a handy output volume meter on the right-hand side of the user interface to help prevent digital clipping. Finally, the parts have their own individual volume, pan, and release parameters for greater control over the mix.
Beatmaker’s SL Drums 3 is a relatively large download (a 681 MB file), but installation is simple enough as extracting to your plugins folder. It is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit host applications on Mac and PC.
SL Drums 3 is available for free download via Beatmaker (681 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plugin format for Windows & Mac, made with Maize Sampler).