ML Sound Lab offers ML Drums Free, a modular drum sampler for all budgets.
As the name suggests, ML Drums Free is a free download, but you have the option to expand the kit with paid add-ons.
The initial download comes with a free eight-piece kit, including:
- Kick T SCWB B91A 22″x16″
- Snare T SCWB Mid 14″x5.5″
- Tom T SCWB 12″x8″
- Floor Tom T SCWB 14″x12″
- Hihat S AX Stage 14″
- Ride S HH Rock 22″
- Crash S AX 18″
- China S HX 20″
ML Sound Lab spent almost two years developing what they hope will be the most straightforward virtual drum sampler for beginners, hobbyists, and professionals.
To achieve this goal, ML Sound Lab had to tackle a few common issues, the first of which being to create a consistently realistic sound.
The ML Drums Engine provides realistic round-robin playback by combining as many velocity layers and samples as required. But, with some virtual drum engines, the realism comes and goes when transitioning from one style/feel to another.
With ML Drums, you can use MIDI velocity to avoid unrealistic volume changes, and samples are placed on a realistic volume curve, taken from real drumming.
ML Drums Free comes with some ready-to-go presets and a mixer for when you need to make your own adjustments. Each mixer channel has a use-case-specific three-band EQ. The mixer also features use-case-specific one knob compressors for the kick, snare, toms, room, and master channels.
Another handy feature is a built-in reverb.
Beyond creating a realistic sound, ML Drums aims to make processes like multi-out routing in your DAW far less tedious, which is a common problem in many drum samplers.
The first kit expansion pack (ML Drums Essentials) will cost €39.99, but right now, you can get it for the introductory price of €29.99.
There’s no real shortage of free drum plugins; we have things like MandaAudio’s MT Power Drumkit 2, the TR-606-based 606 Koncept from Samplesciece, and sequencers like BabyDrummer. Of course, we then have paid products like MODO Drums from IK Multimedia; it will be good to see how ML Drums stacks up against the rest.
ML Drums Free is available for macOS and Windows.
Download: ML Drums Free