Speedrum Is An MPC-Style Drum Sampler For Your DAW (WINNERS ANNOUNCED)


Apisonic Labs releases Speedrum (€49), an MPC-style drum/percussion sampler plugin. We are taking a closer look at the full version of Speedrum and giving away three free copies of the software to three lucky BPB readers.

Speedrum is the powerful but easy-to-use bigger brother of the free Speedrum Lite sampler plugin which we covered last year. If you’ve ever used the MPC2 or MPC Beats software, Speedrum will look and feel familiar to you.

Akai Professional’s MPC, in its various forms, has played a pioneering role in music production for decades. Stories of the late, great J Dilla turning off the quantize function (or not reading the manual) on his MPC 3000 still inspire beatmakers/producers today.

Dilla wasn’t the only musician to adopt that dragging-the-beat style. D’Angelo went a step further with his “playing drunk” approach to the Voodoo record; starting with the drum kit, each musician would drag the beat behind the last.

I know we aren’t discussing hardware or musical feel, but given half a chance to mention Dilla or D’Angelo, I generally will.

And if you’re searching for an MPC-like sampler for your DAW, Speedrum is well worth a look.

What is Speedrum?

Speedrum offers 32 pads, essential effects, and eight sample layers per pad. Like the MPC, Speedrum starts with a default layout of sixteen pads with two banks (A/B).

The pads are on the left in the default layout, with all effects on the right. If you step out of the default layout, the AB view shows all 32 pads, but only one effect at a time.

Speedrum by Apisonic Labs

Here’s a closer look at the Speedrum drum sampler by Apisonic Labs.

Effects (per pad) include multiple Distortion types, a Multi-mode Filter, Transient Shaper, and Compressor. Volume/pitch Envelopes and Humanize settings for Velocity, Pitch, Time, and Pan expand on per pad sound-shaping options.

Speedrum has the same fast workflow as the MPC software. A browser opens on the right of the resizable GUI, from which you can simply drag and drop samples onto pads.

All pads and knobs have MIDI-learn capability, making it easy to use a controller, like an MPC/MPD or a keyboard with pads. Using a physical controller is sometimes the best way to get the most out of software like Speedrum, especially core pad functions like cut/choke.

The eight sample layers per pad can be arranged with a simple drag and drop functionality, too. Editing each layer includes basic parameters and Lowpass/Highpass filters. You can add a greater level of humanization with layer settings like Round Robin and Random.

A simple Waveform Editor lets you make more direct changes to each sample, like start/stop points, length, Attack, and Decay.

Check out the demo video below to see Speedrum in action:

Speedrum has definitely taken a leaf out of the MPC playbook, and it’s a workflow style that I really like. Even users who don’t have experience with the MPC should be whizzing around this GUI in no time.

It offers plenty of ways to manipulate samples and create unique beats/percussion. More importantly, it does so in a way that everything is clear and easily/quickly accessible.

Speedrum is available in VST, VST3, and AU formats. It is currently at version 1.0.7 which includes the latest bug fixes and improvements.

If you want to check out Speedrum, you can either download Speedrum Lite or the Speedrum demo. The demo version is fully functional, apart from the fact that it won’t load the previously saved state (on plugin reload).

Speedrum Giveaway

Apisonic Labs kindly offered to give away three FREE copies of Speedrum to three lucky BPB readers. A huge THANK YOU goes to our friends at Apisonic Labs for sponsoring the giveaway! 🥳

To enter, simply leave a comment below answering this question: What is your favorite drum machine?

Only one comment per person is allowed. We will randomly (using a software-based random comment picker) select the three lucky winners on Monday, September 6th.

The lucky winners are:

1) Fyrelite: f************[email protected]

2) Shateek Pinchinat: g**********[email protected]

3) Chris D: v**********[email protected]

Congratulations to our lucky winners. You will receive an email from Apisonic Labs with your prize.

Everyone else, better luck next time and thanks for reading BPB! ❤️

More info: Speedrum (€49)

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About Author

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James is a musician and writer from Scotland. An avid synth fan, sound designer, and coffee drinker. Sometimes found wandering around Europe with an MPC in hand.


  1. My favorite drum machine is the Roland TR 808, because iconic duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis still used this drum machine in there Production, they’re have always been a HUGE inspiration to me!

  2. Murray Fenton


    Sound Master SR88 – my first ever drum machine. many have bettered it but fond memories of squeezing some incredible rhythms from the SR88.

  3. My favorite drum machine is the classic TR808. That sound defined my generation (70’s baby 80’s kid). I hoping to win a new favorite withthis post!

  4. Phil B. Warno


    Not perfect, but the Kong Drum Designer! A few tweaks here and there…And hands down it’s my favorite. Lol…


  5. Jared Morrisey


    Hands down winner for me is the SP-1200. So simple yet such a beast.

    (Not knocking anyone’s answer or anything.. I guess it’s just shows how different the question can be interpreted depending on what you’re familiar with or used to using. I just have a hard time calling any software a drum machine. My brain just won’t allow it. Nothing against them tho.. and I do use plenty of them. Hope I don’t get flamed for saying that. Lol)

  6. For a software based Drum Machine it actually is Speedrum, if I was making music like that I would pay full price.. waiting for Blk Fri or a deep discount at some point.

  7. Alfredo Norese


    My favourite physical drum machine is the Roland R8 and in software Izotope Idrum both old but still great!

  8. Have to admit a soft spot for those Dr Rhythm machines, because that was what I had available when I was learning.

  9. I don’t know if it’s a drum machine, but the Roland Octapad/Spd series from the mid-1990s has been in my ears and my personal taste since I was a kid, so if I had to pick one, that would be the one.

  10. I currently use the FPC for drums. But after checking the manual Speedrum is more than enough of a step up to justify the price. I’ve been looking for years for something between FPC and Geist and this looks like it. Sample reverse alone would have been enough for me to get excited.

  11. Hey, I guess it would be a real LinnDrum.
    But currently, the R5K manager within Reaper is my goto “drum machine” :)

  12. OnlyOneNeuron


    At the moment I use Mashine, it is very powerful and flexible, but of course paid.
    Now Speedrum Free is far, far, the best drum machine I’ve ever come across.
    Easy, comfortable, light, wonderful. An all-rounder when it comes to cpu. Says one who has searched and tried tons of free drum machines.
    I was with Sitala a lot, very good too, but Seedrum surpasses her.
    The only thing missing in almost all of them is the possibility of having a step sequencer, at least a simple one, that can drag and drop the midi from the percussion idea to the daw.

  13. My very 1st real drum machine was the TR-505.Poise was my go to drum sampler vst for a good while. Battery is me fav now.

  14. Hi, there are so many cool drum machines out there, it’s hard to say which one is my favorite. Of course I like the classics, but if I had to choose, it would currently be the “Techno System” by Erica Synths.
    Good luck to all.

  15. gary goldfinch


    Have to say my old Boss 550 II, limited but got so much done with it back in my bedroom hardware days. Software-wise I love psychic modulation now discontinued Construct, so many great sounds and features.

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