The Best Drum VST For Metal

The Best Drum VST For Metal

Regardless of what particular type of metal inspires you more, the basics of ‘recipe’ are always the same: heavy riffs, ‘tasty’ bass, alluring or shouting vocals, and… drums. When composing a piece, it is crucial to choose the right ones, which will complement the idea the most.

With a variety of virtual instruments that are nowadays, it is mostly not that easy. But not to worry, we are here to help you choose the best drum VST for metal.

Top 5 Best Drum VST

  1. Toontrack Superior Drummer 3
  2. Toontrack EZdrummer 2
  3. XLN Audio Addictive Drums
  4. Steven Slate Drums 5
  5. GetGood Drums Invasion Drum Library

Drum VST Buying Guide

We all know that drums are quite literally the beating heart of every record, especially when it comes to metal. In this particular style, drums always have very particular and distinguishable sound. In other words, you always know the metal drum record when you hear one. And it is not just about the sound, what really matters is how it feels. Metal is meant to be angry, rebellious, and loud. And it is very hard to achieve that energy with jazz brushes, for instance.

How to Choose the Right One for You

So, in order to help you choose the best drums for metal, we need to ask a couple of questions first. Do you need just metal drums, or are you interested in other styles too? It is unbelievably hard to stumble upon a commercial drum library made exclusively for metal. But don’t worry, we got you covered here.

Secondly, do you have the patience and diligence to take time to learn how to use your VST drums? The thing is, a virtual instrument is still an instrument, so you must learn how to play one in order to achieve any convincing results whatsoever. Virtual instruments rarely sound like you need it to out of the box, you’re going to have to put some work into it.

Lastly, can you actually play drums, or at least do you know how to do it in theory? Since, essentially, with virtual instruments, we are trying to fake something convincingly, it is quite good to have some knowledge on the subject. If not, in our picks for the best drum VST for metal, we chose some that could be used effectively without any deep understanding of drums whatsoever.

Best Drum VST Reviews

Toontrack Superior Drummer 3

Toontrack Superior Drummer 3

Pros
  • Extremely powerful drum sampler
  • 7 drum kits
  • 350 vintage drum machines
  • Audio to MIDI converter
  • 15 mics and 35 effects
Cons
  • Might be too powerful for general use
See price @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 is far from your ordinary drum sampler. It is a shockingly powerful, and highly functional drum station. It would be a pinnacle in a collection of every modern professional audio producer since you are dealing with highly customizable drum samples recorded raw, which means that it is possible to use them while composing and arranging heavy metal tracks also while crafting music in any other genre.

To say that Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 is packed with features barely says anything at all. You can arrange, edit, and apply built-in effects within one instance of a plugin, which means that with this one, you do not have to clutter your mixing session with additional tracks and stress your CPU with third-party processing. This mighty drum sampler also has an internal ability to convert audio straight into MIDI, so you can, without any effort, add more layers to your existing drum recording, or you can replace it entirely.

With Toontrack Superior Drummer 3, you actually might consider replacing your drum recordings straight away. This robust drum station offers you 7 different drum kits with interchangeable set pieces and 350 vintage drum machines. Each and every one of these samples could be set to be reproduced by 15 different mics with 3 preamps, and all of this can be spiced up with 35 insert effects. Speaking about overkill, guys from Toontrack recorded all of the samples in surround sound up to 11.1.

User impressions

Users admire Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 for its authenticity, level of detail, and amazing sound. The users note that the virtual instrument is made in such a way that it attracts them to study it more and play to get the most fantastic results ever. Some add that this virtual instrument is even better than the real drum set. Additionally, a user-friendly interface and MIDI editors make the workflow as pleasurable as it can be.

What we think

Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 is an extremely potent professional virtual drum station, but the thing is, we believe it might actually be too powerful for most of us. The attention to detail is awe-inspiring, but not every project needs that amount of detail. With Superior Drummer 3 you are going to have to apply some work and spend quite some time in order to unlock its full potential.

Bottomline

Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 is a professional, in every sense of this word, virtual drum workstation, which can potentially fulfill every possible musical idea and style related to drums. Owning this drum sampler will definitely exclude the necessity to have another one. That being said, at times, it feels too professional and even complicated.

Toontrack EZdrummer 2

Toontrack EZdrummer 2

Pros
  • Easy to use drum sampler
  • MIDI grooves library
  • Fast workflow
Cons
  • Only 2 drum sets included
See price @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

With EZdrummer, 2 guys from Toontrack decided to go another way. If Superior Drummer 2 is a tactical weapon of precision, EZdrummer 2 is a strategical tool that is there when you need it. With its groove editor and an impressive MIDI library, it was clearly designed with the fastest workflow possible in mind.

As the name hints, it is astonishingly easy to create custom drum arrangements for your track, even without any additional MIDI input. All of the grooves have very convincing velocity layers and are quantized with a real drummer’s performance in mind. Of course, you can create your own grooves with a MIDI input of your choice, that being a MIDI keyboard or electronic drum set. Or you can customize the existing ones since it has drag-and-drop capabilities.

All of the drum samples, even the factory ones, are already polished and do not really need much additional processing. Its processing engine is based on EZMix 2, which lets you give your drum grooves additional polish with some very convenient presets. The built-in mixer enables you to save some space in your mix session since you can edit your drum parts internally. For all that, of course, you can choose to use separate external audio inputs for every drum set piece individually. And by thus treating it like you would a real drum recording.

User impressions

Users love Toontrack EZdrummer 2 for the huge variety of samples and its unbelievable quality, as well as song templates and edit play style. The drag and drop features, banded together with the simplified Midi export tools, let you create and modify drum patterns with as little effort as possible. Also, the user-friendly interface and the numerous add-ons make the music journey with EZdrummer unforgettable.

What we think

Although the factory drum kits are pretty powerful, and you certainly can make it sound convincing in almost every mixing situation, Toontrack EZdrummer 2 shines the most when you use additional expansions. Those guys from Toontrack surpassed themselves by recreating and nourishing the atmosphere and feeling of drum recordings specific to particular music styles. We, personally, love the Progressive one.

Bottomline

It is a simpler and more convenient alternative to Superior Drummer 3, especially if you do not particularly enjoy tweaking things. EZdrummer 2 lets you build your drum tracks fast and with ease. Nevertheless, it is still very adjustable and customizable, and with some third-party effects, you can achieve almost any sound you want, even with factory drum sets. But their expansions are also worth checking out.

XLN Audio Addictive Drums

XLN Audio Addictive Drums

Pros
  • 3 drum kits
  • Tone Designer
  • 5000 MIDI grooves
Cons
  • None that we know of
See price @ Plugin Boutique / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

XLN Audio Addictive Drums is another one awesome drum sampler that was designed with the idea of letting you create drum tracks on the go. In order for you to do that, guys from XLN Audio recorded 3 drum kits with interchangeable set pieces and included a MIDI library with more than 5 thousand grooves. With its Tone Designer and Transient Shaper, you can effortlessly fine tune your drum tracks to make them sit better in the mix. To help with that endeavor, delay, reverb, and EQ are also included.

The best part of XLN Audio Addictive Drums is that you can drag-and-drop audio files of the drum tracks that you have just created straight into your DAW without any additional bouncing. This is quite awesome because if you are confident enough in your arranging skills, you can drag-and-drop audio and delete the instance of Addictive Drums in order to save up some processing and power. The Beat Transformer is also a powerful tool that lets you align your drum grooves with the rhythm of the track to achieve a more lively and convincing performance.

User impressions

Users say that XLN Audio Addictive Drums guarantee you stable and decent performance, with no tweaks, bugs, and delays. The compression settings and EQ capabilities are great, changing kits and adding patterns are simple. Some add that the sync of tempo is pretty good, natural and well-panned sound combined with the easiness to edit drums makes the time valuable.

What we think

We found that the presets section of XLN Audio Addictive Drums is by far the best part because, with one click of a mouse, you can change the overall sound of your track quite drastically. But if the easy way is not your way, you can always send every drum set piece to a separate audio channel and apply your favorite EQ to a snare drum and your go-to compressor on the overheads.

Bottomline

XLN Audio Addictive Drums is a versatile drum sampler with a relatively low price that could be both easy to use and tweakable at the same time, depending on your workflow.

Steven Slate Drums 5

Steven Slate Drums 5

Pros
  • Has a free demo
  • Made by Steven Slate
Cons
  • None that we know of
See price @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

These days, it is very hard to imagine a world where Steven Slate doesn’t exist. We all can agree that today it wouldn’t be the same without his fantastic plugins and revolutionary studio recording gear. There will soon be quite a few people left who remember how gruesome it was to produce music without Steven’s amazing products. And yet some of us are old enough to remember that drums are where it started for Mr. Slate.

Since its creation in 2005, Steven Slate Drums has been changing a lot, and with its current fifth version, it seems like drums are on the top of perfection. However, its GUI design might still remind you of those vintage times. With Steven Slate Drums 5, you are going to get the best of both worlds – fast workflow with ease and very deep and precise tweaking. You can effortlessly cook up some drum tracks with included 50 drum kits and more than a thousand MIDI grooves.

At the same time, each and every drum set piece could be adjusted separately with velocity and dynamics curves. You also can customize MIDI routings depending on your controller and personal preferences. But where SSD 5 shines the most is its breathtaking sound. Certainly, it can complement either jazz or blues recording, but where its heart truly is loud and uncompromising rock music.

User impressions

Users like Steven Slate Drums 5 for the amazing authentic sound and flexibility mixing. The huge library of samples detailed drum-level controls with articulations makes it is worth the money. Drums 5 is especially good in rock or metal tracks as they provide ‘tasty’ depth, punch, and clarity of the sound.

What we think

We believe that how things feel is far more important than what they are. That is why Steven Slate Drums 5 is most certainly giving that unbelievable feeling of being on the top of the music world. If this drum workstation actually would have any flaws, you most definitely would ignore them, just because of how it feels, and it feels like true rock-n-roll.

Bottomline

Ultimately, the best part is that you can get a free version of Steven Slate Drums 5, but with absolutely no limitations but 1 drum kit.

GetGood Drums Invasion Drum Library

GetGood Drums Invasion Drum Library

Pros
  • Metal drums
  • Works in free KONTAKT player
  • Reasonable price
Cons
  • Only metal drums
See price @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

GetGood Drums Invasion is a drum library that works in Native Instruments’ free KONTAKT player. This is far from being the best part of this library. The thing is that other virtual drum manufacturers are trying to give you the most universal and applicable to many styles products, which more often than not requires some compromises here and there.

Well, GetGood Drums Invasion doesn’t compromise at all. It is a full-blown metal made by metalheads for like-minded people. You can try to play some jazz chops with this one, but only as a joke. This drum library was made only for shredding and machine-gun power plays, it does only one thing, and it does it astonishingly well.

And all that metal power is contained in a very simple, almost primitive package inside of a KONTAKT engine. You have phase-aligned samples of a dream drumset of any metalhead and a groove player. If you know your way around the KONTAKT editor, you can certainly tweak it more. But metal is not about control, it is about losing it.

User impressions

Users say that GetGood Drums Invasion is suitable best for composing metal songs as drums sound fully authentic and detailed. With a user-friendly interface and massive drum kit, which is perfectly tuned and engineered, it makes your crafting experience truly enjoyable.

What we think

You’d be quite disappointed if you expect GetGood Drums Invasion to be a well-behaved all-around useful audio producer’s workstation. No. It is a rebel in leather pants who came here to make some noise, and we love it about this library.

Bottomline

It is a reasonably priced KONTAKT drum library made exclusively for modern metal music production. Unless you expect it to be something completely different, you certainly will love it as we do.

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