The 24 Best Drum Samples

The 24 Best Drum Samples

As a music producer or sound engineer, having different kinds of drum samples is essential. There are several credible sources where you can download drum samples. Drum samples are as crucial to a song as the heart to the body. They are what fuel a song.

If you create a song that has the right rhythm and harmony, but the drums are not mixing well with the rest of the song, it would just be like having a car without an engine.

With fewer options, it can be challenging to create the perfect sound, especially if you are working on multiple tracks. Your R&B library might have some incredible sound, but the electronic library lacks the right drums, kits or percussions.

Having a wide variety of drum samples at your disposal is extremely important, and downloading drum kits is one of the best ways to accomplish this. Being able to assign different drum samples to your midi controller or drum rack and create a beat that mixes with the melody is a crucial part of producing music.

I've written a complete guide to midi keyboards and the troubles I faced when I first bought a midi keyboard.

If you are a music producer or a sound engineer looking for the best drum samples, this guide shares a list of the best free and paid samples that you can easily find on the internet. Check them out and make sure to download sound kits that fit your style.

The Monster Loopmasters Drum Bundle ($23.63)

Loopmasters is one of the most credible brands in the world of music. Recently, the company released its own Acoustic Drums Bundle, which is a sample package comprising more than 1800 topnotch free acoustic drum sounds created by some of the most successful acts in the music world.

This drum sample bundle is perfect to assign to a midi controller. If you haven't already, midi controllers with drum pads can really help you improve your music production. After getting a midi controller with a drum pad I was able to be more creative and didn't have to deal with the technical side of the computer software.

Acoustic Drum Bundle comes with more than 800MB of professionally played drum samples for music production. It also features hundreds of snares, kicks, crashes, rims, rides, toms, congas, and hats. Besides, there are sampler patches that let you play immediately. The drum samples are ideal for producers who look for authenticity while making music and want their songs to sound live.

The drum bundle comprises puncture Kit Beats Cycling, Acoustic Drum Workshop, KJ Sawka’s Live Drum and Bass Drums, Jungle Drummer’s Live Urban Drums, Jazz Sessions, and Jazz Drums Vol 1 from Mark Fletcher. In addition, you can purchase the cheapest version of Loopmasters Acoustic Drum Bundle.

The Electronic Drum Bundle (Free)

The Electronic Drum Bundle features more than 3400 drum hits at more than 50 percent of the average price. The bundle features eleven top best drum packs including RV collections and Loopmasters.

Additionally, the bundle has more than 1GB of the best drum samples for music creation. There are killer snares, kicks, cymbals, toms, claps, tambourines, congas, and cowbells: all these delivered in 24 bit. The sound plugins come in handy for electronic producers who want to add some classic feel into their sound, to make their music stand out.

Some notable sounds include the synth explorer-TR505, vintage beat machines, designer Linn drums main room claps and snares, Thomas Penton main room kicks dance claps snares & sax, designer D&B and dubstep snares, tech drums, and cymbals.

Live Drum and Bass Drums - K J Sawka (Free)

We all know what happens when Kevin Sawka gets his hands on the drums. He even plays Breakbeats, Drum n’ Bass, and Jungle using only extended samples, and no loops. The live drum and bass drums by KJ Sawka let you experience his essence in your recordings.

The collection features a myriad of live and bass drum samples using recording technique and customized kits, played by a professional. Furthermore, the package gives you flexibility when recording songs.

Acoustic Drum Workshop ($23.63)

Matt Butlin, a session drummer, has gathered a massive collection of drums for music creation. The package contains more than 500 One Shot sounds that describe his collection: with 30 different snares, 30 tom samples, ten different cymbal, and live and processed kicks from which you can choose.

There are more than 200 snare samples, each with its timbre, tones, and dynamics. Snares include brads, maple, jungle snares, and acrylic. There is also a stone version with a different velocity. Cymbals include hats, China, crashes, rolls, bells, and splashes. There are both processed and live kicks with multiple live variations, and several outboard fattening techniques.

Puncture Kit - Beats Cycling (Free)

The puncture kit is a fully functioning package with dynamics and frequencies of modern electronic music.  The puncture kit involves a set of electronic sounds that travel from jazz, funk, hip-hop, jungle, breakbeat, and dubstep.

Jazz Drums Vol1 by Mark Fletcher ($52.58)

The Jazz Drum Vol 1 was designed and developed by Mark Fletcher. Fletcher is a renowned drummer who has played with many megastars including Hugh Hopper and Elton Dean. His style is quite aggressive with some touch of dance, groove, and swing.

Jazz Sessions ($105.23)

Jazz sessions is an exciting sample collection that comes with all the vibe of a great jazz sound and adds soul, swing, and solid jazz in your records. The package features a massive library of samples played by professional and recorded with accuracy.

This is the perfect tool for jazz-inspired producers, whether you want to create broken beats, nu-jazz, traditional jazz or want to fuse your sound with pure jazz feel- this package will give you what you need. Get an incredible package of exceptional jazz samples from some of the best players of our time, recorded with high accuracy.

Jungle Drummer ($46)

The Jungle Drummer is a special live sound expert with more than a decade of experience, playing with major acts in hip-hop, turntablism, electronica, as well as drum and bass. Jungle Drummer, also known as Chris Polglase has worked with biggest live acts including Killa-Kella, Rodney P, Elektricity DJ Fu, Breakbeat Pioneers, Techno Hero, Coldcut the Scratch Perverts and many more.

Having worked with many DJs, Chris Polglase created a live projected incorporating different genres and styles. When you download Jungle Drummer, you will get six links to the zip files of all the packs. Note you cannot change the format of the zip, so check the specs well before you download the product.

The package also offers limited discounted bundles for paid versions. If you do not book the bundle early enough, you cannot reclaim them once they are gone.

Analogue Drum’s Big Mono (Free)

If you are looking for a perfect drum kit at absolutely no cost, consider the Big Mono by Analogue Drums. The Big Mono features numerous samples that sound incredible. The only disadvantage is that the samples have too much room for reverb,

However, if you do not mind some reverb, you will surely enjoy the fatso kick. The free kit is one of the best choices around. Furthermore, Big Mono supports Kontakt and Battery as well as SFZ format mappings created by Peter L Jones. However, the drum kit works for only 15 minutes on the free version of Kontakt Player

DrumMic’a (Free)

An exceptional collection of acoustic drum samples compatible with the Kontakt player and native instruments contact. The drum kit package contains 4GB worth of data, which extend to more than 9GB when extracted. There are more than 13000 samples to choose from and about 25 velocity layers per articulation. It is perhaps the best free acoustic drum sample pack on the market.

AVL Drum Kits (Free)

The AVL pack comes in two free acoustic drum kits: hydrogen and SFZ formats. The drum kit is compact and does not require a large memory to provide five velocity layers per piece.  Moreover, it comes at no cost.

The G&S Custom Drum Kit (Free)

The G&S Custom Drum Kit is one of the best acoustic drum samples out there. The mappings sound natural and sit very well in the mix. The original download link is unavailable, but you can still access the kit at Autodafe.

Alive Underground Drums ($38.08)

The Alive Underground Drums comes with over 2500 samples, with five incredible snares, all in 44.1 kHz 24-bit stereo. However, the drum kit requires Kontakt 4.2.3 version and above.

1965 Ludwig Super Classic - Plutonic Lab  (10 AUD - 7 USD)

Link no longer works - try searching the name on google

The vintage Ludwig drum set has some excellent samples. The set uses customized Kontakt scripts and works only on the demo mode of Kontakt Player.

Brush Kit - Soniccouture (Free with purchase)

The Brush Kit by Soniccouture features some incredible articulations.  It is compatible with Battery, Reason, and Kontakt. You must register for an account to download the drum sample pack. The sign-up process is entirely free.

Tchakpoum (Free with Reaper)

Tchakpoum offers the free drum kit for Kontakt 4, Battery 3, Shortcircuit, Drummagog, and Groove Agent. The acoustic drum kit also has some decent sounds that you may find useful when making beats.

Salamander Drum Kit

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The Salamander acoustic drum kit is available in SFZ format.  It does not come with any equalizer or compression but sounds that are ready to be mixed or played. The kit is rather large, thus before you download it, ensure you have sufficient RAM to support big sample collections.

Free Jazz Funk Drum (Free)

This acoustic sample is different from the ones discussed above in the sense that it comes from a special jazz/funk kit. The sounds were made with special attention to expressive playing. So, get your kits on and create groovy tracks.

Link no longer works - try searching the name on google

The 1313 is a popular blog that offers responses to different costly sounds. Other than that, the website features many other interesting packages such as the -piece pearl master custom drum kit, which is available for download in SFZ format.

Basement Drums (Free)

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If you are looking for a package with dirty sound, consider the basement drums. The company behind the amazing sounds is Sounds outside the Lines. The acoustic drum kit comes in EXS24 format, which is designed for producers who use Logic Pro.  The kit sounds incredible and has natural sounds that were recorded with a pair of Shure SM57 microphones. It is an excellent choice for indie and rock genres.

Free EXS24 Drum Kit and Samples- Sam Greene 

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An excellent drum kit sampled with care, the free EXS24 package is necessary to have.  The kit was released under a Common Creative license.  In addition, there is an additional lo-fi drum kit, which you can download alongside the EXS24 pack.

Dry Studio Kit SL Sample Set- Smart Loops ($29)

The Dry studio Kit SL Samples was made during the same studio sessions as the Dry Studio Kit. It is a relatively small package-with about 3MB of samples. While the samples do not have much to offer, you can use them when you need to add some extra sound into your mix. Nevertheless, to get the freebie samples, you must subscribe to the Smart Loops mailing list.

60s Rogers Pop Kit- Drumdrops (Free)

The 60s Rogers Pop Kit is one of the best free acoustic drum kits available on the market.  The kit is 100% functional. Drumdrops made some great sounding in this free version.  To get the drum kit, visit Drumdrops website, register for a new account and the drum kit will automatically be added to your account for download.

Ruffrider and Easyrider - Michael Kingston (Free)

The Easyrider and Ruffrider are two resourceful packs. While Easyrider sounds more natural and less edgy, the Ruffrider sample is a raw sounding kit. However, both samples are incredible.  They are ideal for creating custom breaks. The drum kits are available for download in various formats including SFZ.

Putting It All Together

When it comes to using acoustic drum samples, the benefits of using commercial programs such as BFD2, Addictive Drums or Ezdrummer are obvious.  However, not everyone can afford such software because of hefty price tags.

While they come in many formats, they have numerous formats although they are costly.  However, you could always purchase cheaper software such as Premier Outfits, or even download free versions such as the ones discussed above.  However, many other free acoustic drum kits are available on the internet. The package you choose depends on your musical style.

Should I use drum samples? Different drum samples can really improve your music production. Testing out different samples when producing your music is a great way to improve your music quality. Playing around with the release and attack time and playing around with the EQ can also really help.

How can I make my drum samples stand out in the mix? There are two ways you can do this. You can try laying your drums with other samples so it's a collection of drums at once, and you can also increase the EQ frequencies to make them stand out in the mix and add compression to help level out the sounds.

About the Author

Portrait of Stephen Miles. The man author behind
Stephen Miles

Stephen fell in love with music production as a young adult and has since been producing and experimenting with sound production. Over the last several years, he has created a music studio where he produces and mixes music with Logic Pro and Ableton.