Best Drum Library for KONTAKT

Best Drum Library for KONTAKT

Quick answer:

1) Native Instruments Abbey Road Drum Collection – Get this if you want standard acoustic drum kits that cover six iconic eras of drum sounds and grooves.

2) Wave Alchemy Drumvolution – Get this if you’re looking for the perfect drum synth/drum machine library.

3) Heavyocity Damage 2 Cinematic Percussion Instrument – Finally, if you’re looking for drums for cinematic music, we recommend you getting this.

However, if you’re looking something unique, or you already have those products and want to try something else, take a look at our other recommendations below.

Native Instruments KONTAKT is an integral tool in the arsenal of every audio producer. This powerful sampler is so popular that new libraries and instruments are released almost on a daily basis, and it might be rather overwhelming to navigate through this vast variety of instruments. So today, we will introduce you to our list of the best drum library for KONTAKT.

Top 10 Best Drum Libraries for KONTAKT

  1. Heavyocity Damage
  2. GetGood Drums
  3. Heavyocity DM-307
  4. Native Instruments Studio Drummer
  5. Native Instruments Abbey Road Drum Collection
  6. Native Instruments Drumlab
  7. Sonokinetic Sultan Drums
  8. Wave Alchemy Drumvolution
  9. AudioThing Tank Drum
  10. Heavyocity Ensemble Drums Collection

Best Drum Libraries for KONTAKT Reviews

Heavyocity Damage

Heavyocity Damage

Pros
  • More than 26,500 samples
  • 58 Percussive Kits
  • 16 Percussive Loop menus
  • More than 900 Single Loop Presets
Cons
  • Doesn’t work in a free KONTAKT player
See price @ Native Instruments / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Heavyocity Damage is a library of very industrial and modern percussion and is far from being a classic orchestral percussion library. It has four sections “under the hood”. That being Epic Organic that allows you to compose using modern orchestral drums, and Epic Tech and Industrial Electronic that present electronic drums to you. And Mangled Pop that has a lot in common with a previous one but with slight shifts.

User impressions

Users are quite impressed with Heavyocity Damage because of the huge set of modern-sounding, hard-hitting, beat‑sliced, and tempo-synced loops along with a set of mighty and atmospheric percussive kits, textures, hits, and noises. Heavyocity Damage is a functional and very programmable virtual instrument that is perfect for cinematic scores.

What we think

Although Heavyocity Damage has an unbelievable amount of loops and textures, it leaves you a lot of space to get creative. We were amused by the built-in saturator that adds even more punch to this library.

Bottomline

Heavyocity Damage is an excellent choice for someone who composes a lot of epic music. Nevertheless, this library would shine when used to create pop and electronic music.

GetGood Drums

GetGood Drums Invasion Drum Library

Pros
  • Relatively low price
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
  • A lot of drums for modern rock and metal
Cons
  • 15 Gb of storage space
See price @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

GetGood Drums is a very capable drum kit library that easily rivals its standalone competitors. It offers you a very convincing and realistic sound of 9 snares, 6 kits, 14 toms, and 2 different sets of cymbals.

User impressions

Users like GetGood Drums Modern & Massive for the astonishing sound quality as well as the number of different drum textures included in the pack. Modern & Massive has an intuitive and functional GUI. With this library, users say it’s extremely easy to craft the perfect metal and modern rock music.

What we think

What we liked the most about GetGood Drums is its sound. It almost feels like you are playing the real drum kit inside of a well-treated studio room. It also responds very well to the input from the MIDI keyboard, which isn’t always the case when it comes to the drum libraries.

Bottomline

GetGood Drums is a perfect choice for someone who is looking for a drum kit library with a very realistic sound and great playability. Considering that it works in a free KONTAKT player and has a relatively low price, it truly is a bargain.

Heavyocity DM-307

Heavyocity DM-307

Pros
  • Over 3,600 samples
  • More than 1,500 NKIs
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
Cons
  • None, really
See price @ Plugin Boutique / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Heavyocity DM-307 is a vast collection of loops and samples of various drum machines, organic percussion, and drum kits with an almost overwhelming amount of possible customization. It also has Groove Designer that lets you create complex custom rhythmic palettes.

User impressions

Users say that Heavyocity DM-307 has a user-friendly GUI, although it might take you some time to explore its possibilities. It has a huge collection of inspiring drum and percussion sounds which enlarge your options while composing. Users say that Heavyocity DM-307 is an outstanding combination of state-of-the-art drum sounds and internal step-sequencing that is just right for electronic music or a bit punchy cinematic scores.

What we think

Although this library seems very similar to Heavyocity Damage, it feels more contained and even more controllable.  Heavyocity DM-307 doesn’t have the grandeur of Damage but still has a lot of epicness to it.

Bottomline

Heavyocity DM-307 is a perfect choice for someone who is looking for a very capable percussion designing tool for various modern productions. This library fits rather well both in modern cinematic music and more conventional electronic music.

Native Instruments Studio Drummer

Native Instruments Studio Drummer

Pros
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
  • 3 drum kits with additional percussion
Cons
  • More than 7.4 Gb of storage space
See price @ Native Instruments / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Native Instruments Studio Drummer is an ultra-realistic and playable drums library that offers you the sound of 3 different drum kits from the best drum manufacturers in the world. On top of that, you get additional percussion such as handclaps and tambourine and a lot of very capable built-in effects.

User impressions

Users like Native Instruments Studio Drummer as it has an amazing sound as each piece of the different set was recorded individually at different velocities. This is cool because you can hear more than just a tap on the drum. Users say that NI did such a good job that when you finish composing, you have an instant feeling that you recorded the drums yourself in a pro studio.

What we think

We believe that Native Instruments Studio Drummer could easily become your go-to studio drum library. It’s excellent both for creating quick sketches and more complex and sophisticated arrangements. It also sits well in the mix with live recordings of the real instruments.

Bottomline

Native Instruments Studio Drummer is a perfect choice for audio producers who are looking for an extremely capable and playable studio drum kit library for a reasonable price. It’s also perfect for quickly and easily creating guitar backing tracks.

Native Instruments Abbey Road Drum Collection

Native Instruments Abbey Road Drum Collection

Pros
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
  • A vast collection of drum kits
Cons
  • 43.26 Gb of storage space
See price @ Native Instruments
Best features and specs

Native Instruments Abbey Road Drum Collection is an amazingly vast collection of drum kits that were used in the iconic Abbey Road studios throughout its glorious existence. With this library, you have every imaginable drum sound starting from vintage Ludwigs from the 30’s to the very polished and contained sound of modern drum kits.

User impressions

Users say that Native Instruments Abbey Road Drum Collection has incredibly captured authentic sounds from the 50’s to the 80’s and Modern Drums. Users like that all of the libraries have a slight human feel to the recorded parts as if the real drummer were playing the part.

What we think

If you ever wanted to sound like your drumming in Beatles, Native Instruments Abbey Road Drum Collection offers you exactly that opportunity. And for us, it’s enough of a reason to love it.

Bottomline

Native Instruments Abbey Road Drum Collection offers you every possible drum sound that you can imagine for a relatively low price. The best part about this library is that each drum set has a very distinguishable vintage feel to it, even the modern one.

Native Instruments Drumlab

Native Instruments Drumlab

Pros
  • More than 50 presets
  • 90 grooves
  • Over 100 individual NKIs
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
Cons
  • You can’t import your own samples
  • Is RAM heavy
See price @ Native Instruments
Best features and specs

Native Instruments Drumlab is a mighty drum machine that uses more than 26,000 individual organic samples of various percussion and drum sets. It’s very intuitive to use, and it can also offer you some state-of-the-art built-in NI effects.

User impressions

Users agree that Native Instruments Drumlab has a very intuitive and user-friendly GUI. It also sounds amazingly good and is very playable. It will sound good in a variety of genres starting from indie rock to electronic music.

What we think

Although with Native Instruments Drumlab, you cannot use your own samples, we believe that you wouldn’t feel the need in the first place. It’s arguably one of the most advanced virtual drum machines on the market.

Bottomline

Native Instruments Drumlab is a perfect choice for electronic producers who are pursuing more organic percussive sounds. Since it offers you a lot of layering options, you have a nearly infinite amount of different grooves that can be produced.

Sonokinetic Sultan Drums

Sonokinetic Sultan Drums

Pros
  • Over 1,000 samples
  • 17 exotic drums
  • More than 100 unique and cinematic percussion sound effects
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
Cons
    • Only ethnic percussion
See price @ Sonokinetic
Best features and specs

Sonokinetic Sultan Drums is a collection of very exotic ethnic percussion instruments. This library offers you shockingly great playability with a lot of articulations, each with its own dynamic layers and round robins.

User impressions

Users like Sonokinetic Sultan Drums for being a unique collection of top-shelf recorded drums that will add a note of mystery from the Middle East to your tracks. Each of the drums can be found in one of ten styles which expands your composing possibilities even more. Sonokinetic Sultan Drums has a very intuitive and user-friendly GUI.

What we think

Although Sonokinetic Sultan Drums offers you only ethnic percussion, it still can be used in a lot of different styles due to its high playability. As long as you are not expecting to find conventional shakers and tambourines here, you won’t be disappointed.

Bottomline

Sonokinetic Sultan Drums is a perfect choice for audio producers who are looking for an ethnic percussion library. That being said, it could also be used as a layering tool in various styles of music or as a conventional percussion within more traditional styles.

Wave Alchemy Drumvolution

Wave Alchemy Drumvolution

Pros
  • Over 28,000 samples
  • More than 400 presets
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
Cons
  • 4.6 Gb of storage space
See price @ Plugin Boutique
Best features and specs

Wave Alchemy Drumvolution is a very advanced and powerful virtual drum machine that offers you more than 25 thousand various percussive samples and a very capable engine. It offers you polyrhythmic sequencing, a very capable layering tool, a 12 track mixer, and full integration with your MIDI controller.

User impressions

Users agree that Wave Alchemy Drumvolution is a forward-thinking and very versatile drum instrument with an astonishing amount of samples. Users find it very useful as Drumvolution also offers you more than 400 presets that let you compose any sort of music.

What we think

Wave Alchemy Drumvolution is truly impressive when it comes to creating custom drum grooves. There is something about this virtual drum machine that makes you enjoy producing electronic beats even if this kind of music is not your cup of tea.

Bottomline

Wave Alchemy Drumvolution is a perfect choice for someone who is looking for a new virtual drum machine. For a reasonable price, it offers you a very mighty drum engine combined with a lot of samples of the highest quality possible.

AudioThing Tank Drum

AudioThing Tank Drum

Pros
  • 274 Samples
  • 5 round robins
Cons
  • Requires a full version of KONTAKT
See price @ Plugin Boutique
Best features and specs

AudioThing Tank Drum is a carefully sampled steel tongue drum library that has 3 velocity layers and 5 round robins per sample. It also has 7 convolution reverb IRs and simple ADSR controls.

User impressions

Users say that AudioThing Tank Drum has a very intuitive and user-friendly GUI and is extremely easy to use. Users especially like that it was recorded played by both hands, rubber mallets, and brushes. The drum is recorded quite marvelously and is rich in harmonics.

What we think

We believe that nowadays, every audio producer should have a hang drum in their arsenal, just in case. The only downside to AudioThing Tank Drum is that it is tuned in the key of E minor pentatonic, which limits its usability quite drastically. That being said, it’s very hard to come by a hang drum with a full chromatic scale.

Bottomline

AudioThing Tank Drum is a perfect choice for audio producers who are looking for a hang drum library specifically. But considering its extremely low price and very believable realism, there is no reason not to have one for the rest of us.

Heavyocity Ensemble Drums Collection

Heavyocity Master Sessions Ensemble Drums Collection

Pros
  • More than 1,650 samples
  • More than 30 Kits
  • 27 Loop Menus
  • Over 400 Single Loop Presets
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
Cons
  • None that we know of
See price @ Plugin Boutique / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

It’s very hard to imagine the world of contemporary epic orchestral percussion without Heavyocity Ensemble Drums Collection. You’ve probably heard the sound of this library countless times before in your favorite movies.

User impressions

Users say that Heavyocity Ensemble Drums Collection is a mighty collection of atmospheric drums of exceptional sound quality. You have absolutely all to compose the next masterpiece of any style you feel will sound the best. Remarkable depth of sound and a variety of effects to choose from will help anyone in composing.

What we think

It has epic loops made of Bass drums, Roto-toms, and Taiko drums. We believe that Heavyocity Ensemble Drums Collection sounds just right, to say the least. You might get the feeling that it is too epic, but can it really be so?

Bottomline

Heavyocity Ensemble Drums Collection is a perfect choice for someone who sees the future in creating contemporary epic scores. This library is sufficient enough on itself but fits perfectly with other percussive instruments as well.

Drum Library for KONTAKT Buying Guide

Although many manufacturers recently started to create their own sample players, NI KONTAKT is still an unbeatable champion in the realm of sampling. You can easily see why it’s so appealing both to manufacturers and modern media composers. Firstly, it offers a very sophisticated but yet extremely usable sampling engine with a lot of additional effects. Secondly, it also has a free version that, despite its limited functionality, still is a very sufficient and viable tool for media composing.

Important features

Considering there are literally tons of great KONTAKT libraries, we had to be very thorough while compiling this list. Since budget is an issue for most of us, we’ve decided to include libraries that offer the most value in terms of general usability. In other words, our libraries could be used in far more than one particular style of music.

The other thing that we keep in mind is the ability of those libraries to provide as much customization as possible. It is very important to be able to create your own custom sounds and grooves, but we also wanted to provide an option of producing sounds on the go. So you could use those libraries as creatively and freely as you would like to. So without further ado, let us introduce you to our list of the best drum library for KONTAKT.

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