Having a really talented drummer play the various beats you want in the studio is often the best way to go. However, most people don't have the money nor the time to have a drummer available to them 24/7 or whenever they want to record. Thankfully, technology has come up with a solution to this problem in the form of the best VST drum-kit plugins.
VST stands for "Virtual Studio Technology." These plugins allow you to simulate a wide range of analog studio sounds and incorporate them into your digital recording. VSTs come in a vast range of options from drum kits to piano, vintage reverb units, and even classic studio compressors. By using this technology, you have access to previously unavailable sounds that can greatly enrich your music.
Why Use VST Drum Kit Plugins?
Yes, there is an argument to be made about digitally produced sounds not being able to match the kind of nuances that analog drums and instruments can produce. Be that as it may, digitally produced sounds offer a wider range of sounds, some that simply can't be replicated by analog instruments.
As such, there are some advantages to using digital technology assets such as VST drum kit plugins. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider finding the best VST plugins for your drum kit:
- They offer a wider range of sounds (some previously unavailable or even inconceivable options)
- They are very affordable nowadays
- They are easily available
- They are easy to use
- They are much faster to learn than actually learning how to play drums like a pro
While in the past, you would have had to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get the kind of sounds that VST plugins can give you, today, you can get your own varied sounds for a very affordable price. Some plugins are even free to use.
The Best VST Drum Kit Plugins
Here are some of the most versatile VST plugins in the market today:
Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2.5
This VST plugin is an expansive synthesizer. It was originally designed for pads but has evolved into a versatile playground of rhythms, synthesis, landscapes, and sounds that reflect the hardware. The secret to this VST plugin is its powerful and huge sound that comes with mixing and layering of sounds with the engine.
With this plugin, you can import audio and allows you to pull it apart into individual grains so that you can modulate it. There are 57 effects units to use to push your music to new zones, all of which can be modulated using the same synthesis engine.
You’ll also find over 14,000 presets to work with. It features something called the “Orb” performance interface where you can set things in motion and work it into a sound morphing and discovery.
iZotope Ozone 7 Mastering
The Ozone 7 Mastering can be considered a one-stop-shop for people who have varied mastering needs. This particular bundle comes with a host of features including vintage limiter, a vintage compressor, a vintage EQ, a maximize and a host of other wonderful and extremely useful features.
Mastering can be said to be a soft, yet dark art as it takes an exceptionally well-trained ear to pick up all the necessary subtleties as well as nuances that make up the perfect professional mix.
With the right kind of mastering plugin such as the Ozone 7 Mastering plugin, you have a very able helper that will make things much easier when it comes to the art of mastering.
This plugin pulls all the stops to make itself the best, and there is a complete Ozone 7 Advanced bundle that will cost you quite a bit, but it's well worth the money you spend on it.
- Gives you studio-quality sounds
- Allows for audio editing within the software
- Can export the master in a number of file formats including MP3, AIF, AAC, and WAV.
- It's a little pricey
Developed by iZotope, this plugin was designed by a team that is passionate about sound and offers you a myriad of ways to be creative and produce some of the best sounding, studio-quality digital sounds.
IK Multimedia Amplitube 4
This is a highly acclaimed bass, and guitar tone simulator brought to you by IK Multimedia, a very well trusted brand in the industry. This bundle comes to you fully loaded with cabinets, amps, rack units, microphones and even tuners that you can use to mix and match all the sounds of your heart. The one thing that stands out about the Amplitube series is that they offer you exceptionally excellent sound quality.
Like the rest of the options available in the series, Amplitube 4 is extremely good, and many say it even surpasses the previous installments by offering you easy usability as well as more sound simulator options.
Amplitube 4 is very easy to use. All you have to do is plug your guitar into the audio interface of your computer or soundcard. Once that is done, you are ready to go and you can use this plugin to produce sounds that could cost you thousands of dollars had you decided to go the analogue way.
- Easy to use
- Offers you a myriad of guitar and bass sounds
- You have an almost endless selection of pedals and simulators
- Specifically designed for guitar and bass only
This particular VST plugin is an absolute joy to use and something that every bass and guitar enthusiast should consider adding to their collection.
Native Instruments Komplete 12 Ultimate Software Suite
Native Instruments has built the ultimate production suite in this wonderful offering of Native Instruments Komplete 12 Ultimate Software Suite. The suite comes complete with pretty much everything you might want in a production suite including more than 100 different instruments and effects. Within this suite, you will find premium cutting edge symphonic samples to synths such as THRILL, KONTAKT 6 and about 20 expansions.
Not only is this suite rather easy to use but it gives you the option of altering your sounds in almost every imaginable way. What you need to know, however, is that this suite is heavy thanks to the vast array of resources that can be found within it. That means that you will need an equally robust setup such as a something with quite a bit of RAM.
However, you can choose the number of VSTs that run at any given time to give you efficient performance. Native Instruments has a reputation of offering on the best software over the past years, and this installment is not an exception to that illustrious rule.
- This is the ultimate production suite with well over 100 different instruments and premium effects
- You get more than 45,000 sounds coupled with over 460 GB of quality content.
- It's optimized and capable of efficient use with the KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboard
- It works well with any DAW
- You get seamless integration with MASCHINE hardware and software
- It's quite heavy and will demand a great deal of soft power from your setup
If you have been looking for the ultimate production software, then you definitely have to give the Native Instruments Komplete 12 Ultimate Software Suite a try.
This is the follow up to the original Nexus VST plugin from reFX. Nexus 2 is no joke. It contains well over 2,200 customizable presets and is designed to be perfectly suited for creators who love to play around with EDM (Electronic Dance Music) sounds. The thing about Nexus 2 is that it's exceptionally loaded with lots of filters and effects. This plugin has all the resources you might need to make the various kinds of music within the EDM genre.
You can even experiment with trance, techno, dubstep, and even dance sounds. The fact that this plugin is available for both PC and Mac means that it's highly compatible with all the big-name DAWs and is perfect for all kinds of users.
- It's very easy to use
- Comes with over 2,200 presets that can be customized to your liking
- Works with both PC and Mac
- Is compatible with all major DAWs
- It's limited to only producing typical EDM sounds
If you like to experiment with electronic dance music, then this is the plugin for you.
Yet another entry from IK Multimedia, this is by far one of the most trusted VST plugins on the planet. The SampleTank Max has been a leading VST for use with different kinds of DAWs for over ten years now. It became so popular because it provides you with pretty much every single instrument you might need in any given studio situation.
Within this suite, you will get things like tuba, glockenspiel, and even woodblock. It comes to you with 52GB of loops and samples with which you can experiment. That's not all, SampleTank Max offers you more than an impressive 4,600 instruments and well over 7,400 percussion and drum samples as well as loops. Basically, this is virtually the only plugin you will ever need; it has so much to offer.
Apart from all that, you also get a vast array of built-in plugin effects including things like amp simulators, EQ, reverb units, distortions, filters, delay as well as other modulation effects such as flanger and chorus.
- Offers over 4,600 instruments
- Has over 7,400 percussion and drum samples
- Comes with 52 GB of loops and samples
- Has a host of other plugin effects
- Some of the instruments within the suite don't sound very authentic
IK Multimedia put everything into this plugin, making it one of the most useful and popular in the market today.
You no longer have to spend thousands of dollars hiring equipment and professional players to get that authentic studio sound. With these VST drum-kit plugins, you can get the most varied of sounds and richest of effects once you learn how to use them.