The 11 Best Free Drum VST Plugins



Nov 18, 2022

Drum VST instruments are a staple in music production. They provide producers with an easy way to add beats and drum sounds to their tracks, without needing to invest in a physical drum kit or hardware instrument.

VSTs save producers a tonne of time, and offer creative functionality to shape sounds that suit your style. Additionally, they come with a variety of presets that you can use right out of the box.

What’s best about some drum VST plugins is that they are entirely free to download. There's no need to shell out for expensive drum plugins when there are so many great free options available. In this blog post, we'll take a look at some of the best free drum VST plugins available. 

11 Best free drum VST plugins: overview

1. Spitfire LABS Drums

Spitfire Audio are a British sample library and instrument manufacturer. Spitfire's LABS series is a growing collection of quirky but useful sound libraries built into a very simple VST interface. The LABS series is free to download, and includes a dedicated drum plugin

The Spitfire LABS drums plugin is a great free VST that comes with an awesome drum sample library. The kit has a chunky snare sound, fat acoustic bass and roomy toms that make it a great kit to use when writing hip hop, soul and funk music. Overall, the sound of the kit can be best described as hip hop inspired with some lofi qualities. If you haven’t downloaded the LABS plugin platform yet, you really should—the sample libraries that come with it are incredible and totally worth having around.

It’s easy to use and has a lot of great sounds that you can load up and play without getting bogged down in the complexity of some other instruments. The only downside is that it’s a bit limited in terms of what it can do. But this is a free plugin, and overall, it’s a great tool to have in your arsenal.

Overview: Spitfire LABS Drums

Price Free
Compatibility macOS 10.13 or later and Windows 87 or later
System requirements 4 GB RAM and a 64-bit DAW required
Best for Hip hop and lofi inspired drum sounds, and overall great audio quality
Check out Spitfire LABS Drums

2. MiniSpillage

MiniSpillage is a professional quality drum synthesiser plugin featuring high resolution 64-bit DSP processing. It includes 3 exclusive drum synthesis algorithms along with distortion effects and resonant filters. The bass drum synth produces natural and synthetic timbres from log drums to toms, while the wood drum synth can create a wide range of natural percussive sounds. The hi-hat synthesiser has 6 oscillators and 2 resonant filters for realistic closed and open hi-hat sounds.

The MiniSpillage drum VST plugin is a great tool for designing your own custom drum sounds. The plugin is easy to use and has a great interface.

The only downside is that the free version is slightly more limited than its paid counterpart. If you want to use it to synthesise other types of drums than bass, wood and hi-hat, you’ll likely have to pay for the full version. But nonetheless, the MiniSpillage drum VST plugin is an excellent tool for designing your own drum sounds.

Overview: MiniSpillage

Price Free
Compatibility macOS 10.4 or later. Not compatible with Windows.
System requirements 1GHz CPU
Best for Designing your own custom drum sounds

3. SSD 5.5 Free

The Steven Slate Drums 5.5 free drum VST plugin is a powerful virtual instrument that gives you access to a wide range of drum sounds. Plus, it’s easy to use, making it a great choice for any drummer or music producer.

One of the main features of SSD 5.5 is the large selection of sounds it has available. You can choose from different drums, cymbals and percussion instruments to create the perfect sound for your track. The plugin also includes several presets that allow you to get started quickly, and you can also create your own custom presets for future use.

The SSD 5.5 free drum VST plugin also includes built-in effects that allow you to add reverb, delay and other effects to your drums for added flexibility. One drawback is that the plugin can be resource-intensive, so it may not be suitable for older or less powerful computers. Additionally, the plugin does not include some features found in the paid version, such as MIDI mapping.

Overall, the Steven Slate Drums 5.5 free drum VST plugin is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a free, high-quality drum sound.

Overview: SSD 5.5 Free

Price Free
Compatibility macOS 10.10 or later, or Windows 7 or later
System requirements 1 GHz CPU and 4GB of RAM
Best for Its large selection of drum samples and real-life like drumkit user interface

4. MT Power Drumkit 2

MT Power Drumkit 2 is a great sounding free drum VST plugin. It has a wide variety of presets that make it easy to find the right sound for your track. The samples are pre-processed so they sound great right out of the box, and you can easily edit the parameters to customise the sound to your liking.

It doesn’t require any complex editing or tweaking in order to get a good sound and so is perfect for people who just want a great sounding acoustic drum kit without having to delve into the details.

This makes it a lot easier to get a good sounding kit quickly and without any fuss. However, some people may find that they want more control over the individual sounds and parameters of the drum kit. MT Power Drumkit 2 doesn’t offer as much flexibility as some other sampled drum kits, so if you are looking for total control then this may not be the right plugin for you.

But overall, MT Power Drumkit 2 is an excellent free drum VST plugin that is definitely worth trying out.

Overview: MT Power Drumkit 2

Price Free
Compatibility macOS 10.5 or later, or Windows XP or later
Best for Lots of drum presets available, with little need to edit or tweak sounds

5. StudioLinked Drum Pro

StudioLinked Drum Pro is a free drum plugin for Windows and Mac that comes with 20 sampled drum kits. It has a simple MPC style interface, making it easy to use for any level of musician to tip tap away at creating some beats. Each kit comes with 12 uniqie sounds loaded across 12 pads. You also have mixing control across the bottom of the interface and sound envelope (ADSR) controls across the top. There’s even a reverb control so that you can add a touch of ambiance to your drum tracks.

Drum Pro is perfect for electronic and urban beats. It includes 9 vintage electronic drum machine sounds from the classic TR-808 and TR-909. If you are looking for a simple and easy-to-use drum plugin, and prefer an MPC style interface, StudioLinked Drum Pro is a great option.

Overview: StudioLinked Drum Pro

Price Free
Best for Simple and easy to use plugin, whilst still offering a good range of control and modulation

6. Synsonic Instruments BD-909 and BD-808

The Synsonic Instruments BD-909 and BD-808 free drum VST plugins focus on the bass drums of the original Roland rhythm composers, the TR-808 and TR-909. These plugins are made through a detailed analysis of the original hardware instruments’ bass drum circuits, pulling out every nuance, character trait, and modeled detail and emulating this within a software instrument. Each plugin has control over the tuning, accent, level, decay, and tone of their respective bass drums.

The BD-909 has additional features in the resolution of the tuning, length of decay, and MIDI implementation. The BD-808 offers similar controls to the original with the exception of decay time. Both drum VST plugins are excellent recreations of their hardware counterparts and will bring that classic Roland sound to your mixes.

What’s best about the Roland BD-909 and 808 are that they focus entirely on kick drum sounds, specialising in their own sound-niche and nailing the details. This is a great choice for you if you find all-in-one drum plugins a little characterless.

7. Rayzoon Jamstix 4 Free

Jamstix 4 is a free drum VST plugin that strives to create realistic drum performances. It does this by modeling the arms and playing style of human drummers, which gives it a more realistic feel. Jamstix comes with multilayered high-quality drum sounds and a ridiculous number of kits if you buy the full version. For the free version, there are 200 samples for arrangement in a decent number of ready-to-use kits. It comes with 8 drummer models and 21 style models that you can mix and match to form your perfect drummer.

There are a few cons to using Jamstix 4. First, the free version is limited in terms of samples and kit options. Second, it can be difficult to learn how to use properly. Third, some users have reported latency issues with Jamstix 4. 

Overall, Jamstix 4 is a powerful plugin that can produce realistic drum performances. The free version is limited in terms of features, but it is still worth checking out if you are interested in drums simulations.

Overview: Rayzoon Jamstix 4 Free

Price Free
Compatibility macOS 10.8.5 or later, or Windows 7 or later
Best for Lots of drum presets available, with little need to edit or tweak sounds

8. DUBturbo DrumTROOP

The DrumTROOP plugin is one of the more out-there looking VSTs on this list. Its MPC style interface is angled to give it some 3 dimensional depth, emulating the experience of using a hardware MPC instrument.

This free drum machine comes with 20 kits ready to play. It has 16 MPC pads, each with its own control for volume, panning, attack, and release. It also has pitch, glide and fine-tuning controls. It offers modulation controls and 16 audio outputs.

The plugin is available for download on the DubTurbo website. It is compatible with Windows and Mac computers.

The DrumTROOP plugin is a great choice for producers who want to create electronic music. It is a bit rough around the edges, but from my experience that is definitely not a bad thing! Too much cleanliness can sometimes reduce the character of your music.

9. EXD-80

The EXD-80 free drum machine VST plugin that uses audio synthesis techniques, rather than sampling techniques to produce drum sounds. This makes it highly configurable, since you can modulate the sounds without being restricted by the original sample sound. 

It comes with 8 modules (kick, snare, open hi-hats, closed hi-hats, and 5 percussion sounds) to help get you started. From there, you can shape the sounds using the plugin’s waveshaper, granulator and other sound envelope effects. 

is a great tool for producing your own unique drum and percussion sounds, with flexible parameters that allow you to customise the sounds to fit your style. Plus, it supports automation and MIDI control so you can easily integrate it into your music-making workflow. 

Some might find the lack of samples slightly tricky to work with, since you'll need to be comfortable with synthesising sounds from scratch. Overall, the EXD-80 is an excellent tool for creating synthetic drums and percussion in your music.

Overview: EXD-80

Price Free
Compatibility Windows XP or later. Not compatible with macOS.
Best for Synthesising your own drum sounds

10. T-Rex 606

The T-Rex 606 is one of the most simple and easy to usefree drum machine VST plugins out there. It recreates the sounds of the Roland TR-606 drum machine, featuring 7 samples, a master volume control and a reverb control. That’s it! Some may find this limited functionality useful if you’re just looking for a simple free drum plugin, but if you’re looking for more features and control, this is probably not the best VST for you to try out.

Overview: T. Rex 606

Price Free
Compatibility macOS X and Windows XP or later
Best for A super simple drum machine that’s easy to pick up and use

11. Sampleson Sub

The Sampleson Sub plugin is another virtual analogue drum machine that’s heavily inspired by the TR-808. It has a limited number of controls, but offers extra parameters for the kick and snare, as well as tuning for the toms and congas. Sonically, it does an excellent job of imitating the 808, although the hats are more reminiscent of the 606.

One of Sub's main features is its sub bass control, which can be used to enhance the low-end frequencies of kick, helping them really pack a punch in your mix. This lets you create long, bassy kicks that will help define hip-hop and techno productions. Overall, Sub is an excellent plugin that is worth downloading for its sub bass control alone.

Overview: Sampleson Sub

Price Free
Compatibility macOS Catalina or later, and Windows 7 or later
System requirements No library installation required. About 35MB installed.
Best for Adding sub bass kick drum sounds to your tracks

Final thoughts

There are many free drum VST plugins available on the internet. You’ll find plugins suited to a range of different production styles out there, with a variety mentioned in this list. Some offer a more natural acoustic drum sound, whereas some are better catered to electronic, hip hop and techno genres. If you're looking for a new plugin to try out, be sure to check out some of the ones listed in this article.

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