Autodafe has released XoX Drums, a free sample-based drum machine instrument for Native Instruments Kontakt (full version required).
XoX Drums comes with five drum slots (bass drum, snare/clap, hats, cymbals, toms), each loaded with a number of sounds from Roland’s TR-606, TR-707, TR-808, and TR-909 drum machines. The user can combine the included drum hits freely, meaning that it’s possible to load, say, an 808 kick, a 909 snare, and a 606 cymbal in different slots and use them simultaneously. Each drum slot comes with a number of sound editing controls like panning, level, pitch, transient control (attack/release), filter, distortion, and reverb. The amount of sample tweaking functionality on offer is simply fantastic for a free product. XoX Drums also includes a step sequencer and supports multi-out routing for users who want to map each drum to a different audio channel in their DAW.
The sample content that XoX Drums is based on is public domain, meaning that the drums weren’t sampled specifically for use in Autodafe’s virtual drum machine. There aren’t any round robin variations included, but the included samples do sound fine. The samples aren’t provided in WAV format and the instrument will work for 15 minutes only in the free Kontakt Player.
One thing that needs to be pointed out here is that I’d like to see a list of websites from which these public domain samples were downloaded in the first place. Even though the samples are public domain, it’s common courtesy to credit the original sample creators on your product page, especially if you’re providing your users a way to send you donations (meaning that you’ll potentially earn some money from other people’s sampling work). It would also help out the users who want to download these drum machine samples in WAV format. I’m not saying that Autodafe is a dishonest company (far from it!) and they’re not breaking any copyright laws here (the samples are public domain, after all), it’s just that sampling is a time-consuming process and people who do it for free should always be credited for their work.
That said, XoX Drums is certainly a recommended download for Kontakt users who are looking for a solid source of Roland drum machine sounds for their music projects. The checkout process is completely free and the download will be included in your user profile for later access. If you like this release but don’t own a copy of Kontakt, take a look at our BPB Cassette Drums bundle which includes a set of three drum machine VST/AU plugins for PC and Mac.
XoX Drums is available for free download via Autodafe (5.04 MB download size, ZIP archive, contains 1 instrument patch in NKI format for NI Kontakt).