Free drum machine samples were previously covered in Free Sample Shootout #5. Now it’s time to complete your arsenal of drum machine sounds with some high quality freeware drum machine VSTi/AUi plugins, as well as a couple of awesome free NI Reaktor drum machine instruments.
Follow the links for screenshots & download info:
- Attack by Waldorf (Windows)
- BIGROOMKIXSYNTH by Hinton & Fairchild (Windows)
- CBW01 by Saltline (Windows)
- Clone Tonic by gentleclockdivider (NI Reaktor)
- DigiDrum Pro by Audiosonic (Windows)
- DreamDrums by Odo (Windows)
- Drumatic 3 by e-phonic (Windows)
- ErsDrums by Andreas Ersson (Windows)
- EXD-80 by Third Harmonic Studios (Windows)
- Grooove BPB by brunsandspork (Mac, Windows)
- Optik by Psychic Modulation (Windows)
- KickMaker by Teragon Audio (Mac, Windows)
- MiniSpillage by AudioSpillage (Mac)
- Retro Beat Mk2 by Boscomac (NI Reaktor)
- Rhythmus by Elektrostudio (Windows)
- TheDrumSource by Mats Lindfors (Windows)
- Hexagon ’85/Tromine GT/Tromine Z by Marvin VST (Windows)
- TS-808 by Tactile Sounds (Windows)
- VR-08 by Alipapa (Windows)
So, the freeware world still doesn’t offer a real alternative to powerful virtual drum synthesizers like the recently released Tremor, for example. However, I think these freeware drum machines are great tools, and there’s little you won’t be able to achieve using them in tandem with a bit of creativity and imagination.
My favorite free drum machine VST has to be the TS-808 by Tactile Sounds. It’s probably the best free Roland TR-808 clone out there (no sequencer, though). TS-808 doesn’t use samples – all sounds are carefully modeled and synthesized in real time.
If you prefer loading your own drum machine samples, make sure to check out the excellent Grooove BPB drum sampler by brunsandspork. It comes with a decent selection of drum machine hits and supports loading external samples in WAV format.
Drumatic 3 is the most versatile drum machine plugin on the list. It’s basically a poor man’s µTonic (although Clone Tonic for NI Reaktor fits that description even better!). Lots of different sounds can be crafted with Drumatic 3, from classic drum machine tones to straight-up glitchy madness.
V-Pops and Rhythmus are nice little emulations of the Korg MiniPops drum machine. Some will find them bland and boring, but I love these old and simple analog-ish drum sounds.
And that’s all for today. Check out the other plugins on the list too, as there are some real gems out there. If you need more drum machine sounds, check out the free drum machine samples list and load those up in your favorite free sampler.
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