We're currently living in the age of digital audio. Drum Tools is an incredibly powerful tool that is essential to any music producer.

But there are so many different Drum Tools plugins in the music production landscape, so we decided to create the ultimate list of the top Drum Tools plugins today that will help you find the perfect fit.


MDrumReplacer

Drum Tools by MeldaProduction



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Description


Not every hit is perfect, not every drum take is flawless, nor every drum sounds nice. But with MDrumReplacer no drum recording is gone for good. No matter if had bad mics positions or you just hate the entire drumset. MDrumReplacer fixes all that in a second. And still, your recordings will sound incredibly live.

Intelligent Drum-Hit Detection 

MDrumEnhancer‘s powerful drum-hit detector works with maximum precision. With just a little help from you, it finds the hits you wish to replace in both single instrument recordings and sometimes even mixed drum sessions.  

Advanced Analysis Technology

MDrumReplacer is equipped with advanced learning feature which thoroughly examines your audio material to identify the most prominent frequencies and sets the resonators accordingly. Listen feature then lets you audition just the filtered signal so that you can adjust the filters easily to set them as precisely as possible.

Replace Completely or Blend

You may replace the drum hits completely or just blend the original with the sample to get extra creative effects. How about enhancing your kick with a bit of an electronic flavour, for example?

Fix the Performance

MDrumReplacer basically includes the whole MDrumLeveler plugin. Therefore you may successfully use MDrumReplacer not just for replacing „bad hits“ but also to iron the drummer‘s performance. Just let the detector find an event and compute its correct level. The processor applies the requested gain to the event. Your drummer will seem to have a firm hand and solid performance. 

Simple Operation

In most cases, you will simply run the detector and choose a sound you want the unwanted hits to be replaced with. Your cheap snare or kick can be replaced with high-end drum within a second. 

Keep it Live

MDrumReplacer uses the mighty MDrummer's sound engine, that means synthesized drums as well as top-quality drum multi-samples which respect the original drummer‘s performance and feel. The performance remains human, not robotic. Although some imperfections can be fixed with built-in drum leveller. 

Tons of Samples 

MDrumReplacer can use the huge MDrummer multi-sample libraries (including Drum Empire 2020) to select a replacement that fits your track the best. At this moment, you may choose from 80 gigabytes of samples. And the editing possibilities are endless. You can finally find the perfect sound!




Features

  • Automatic Gain Compensation (AGC)

  • Most plugins change loudness of the output audio, which makes browsing presets inconvenient, not mentioning randomization. MDrumReplacer includes automatic gain compensation, which quickly adapts to current settings and ensures the output sounds as loud as the input. This even protects you from thinking that something sounds better in cases it is just louder.
  • Safety Limiter

  • Some plugins can intensely increase gain when exposed to specific audio materials. MDrumReplacer provides a safety brick-wall limiter, which ensures the output stays below 0dB and prevents your equipment and your ears from potential danger automatically.
  • Extremely fast, optimized for newest AVX2 and AVX512 capable processors

  • Computers are now extremely fast, but the algorithms are more complex and projects bigger, so you still need to use the processing power with care. MDrumReplacer uses the fastest algorithms, takes advantage of the newest processor capabilities, lets your GPU handle the graphics, and shares the resources with other MeldaProduction plugins. The plugin is among the fastest on the market, yet it provides the best possible audio quality.
  • Compare multiple settings

  • A/B comparison is a widely used method to objectively hear the changes you are making to your audio and help you to make better decisions, non destructively.

  • A to H Switching: Melda has taken this to the next level. Have up to 8 instances of the plugin, copy/paste the A to H slots and freely switch between them.
  • A to D Morphing: You can also morph between the first 4 slots with an X-Y pad. Not sure which preset to choose? You could load 4 and find the perfect blend of all of them. Not sure if A or B sounds better? You might prefer an interpolated state somewhere between the two.
  • Advanced GUI

  • User interfaces need to be fast, simple to use and be easy on the eye. Everyone's needs can be different, so flexibility is important. Melda solves this with the most advanced GUI engine on the market.

  • Stylable: From vintage hardware to super futuristic. You can choose the colours and style of the GUI, making these plugins personal to you.
  • Resizable: All Melda plugins are freely resizable. Many also feature pop-up windows. So no matter how many screens you have or what size they are, you will be able to arrange your plugins to keep a focus on what is important.
  • GPU Accelerated: All the elements in the GUI are accelerated by your GPU. This makes the graphics lightning-fast and frees up extra power for your CPU to focus on the audio.
  • Stunning Quality: Melda plugins support HDPI and Retina displays, so you will experience beautiful crisp resolutions. With adjustable frames per second up to 100, you will not miss a thing in these detailed analyzers.
  • MIDI controllers with MIDI learn

  • MDrumReplacer contains a powerful MIDI processor, which listen to MIDI controllers and MIDI keyboard and control any parameters realtime.
  • MDrumReplacer provides 4 fully-featured modulators which can control any set of parameters including other modulators. Each modulator works as an LFO, level follower, midi/audio triggered ADSR enveloper, randomizer or pitch detector, or even a combination and can listen to the plugin's side-chain.
  • You can make the sound move in time, be less static and more interesting. You can make various parameters depend on the input (or the sidechain) level or even listen to the input pitch.
  • Multi-parameters

  • MDrumReplacer lets you control multiple parameters using a single so-called multiparameter. This may not only come handy for automation for example, but the multi-parameters are very smart units and you can use them to smartly morph between banks of settings for example. All in the name of creativity!
  • Global preset management and online preset exchange

  • MDrumReplacer presets are carefully stored in a system database and you can quickly access them from any project in any host. The plugin can automatically share your presets and download presets of other users from Melda's servers. Melda are building a community and you can be a part of it!
  • Unique visualisation engine with classic meters and time graphs

  • Your ears should always be the main tool, but they are not the only way to judge your audio. Visual aids can be incredibly useful for a variety of reasons. Melda's comprehensive metering system is extremely flexible and delivers you accurate information when you need it. From classic meters to time-based graphs, you will see important visual feedback including; Input, Output, Stereo width, Loudness, Waveforms, Bands, Gain reduction and Sidechain, and some plugin dependent meters.
  • 64-bit processing and an unlimited sampling rate

  • MDrumReplacer provides the maximum audio quality you can get. It uses 64-bit audio processing and can handle any sampling rate. It does not make much sense to go over 192kHz, but if you think it is a good idea, the plugin can do that.
  • No Dongle / Internet Access Required for Activation

  • How many times did you forget your USB dongle? Melda are an honest company and expect the same from their customers. Their software uses licence files to activate your software. And the licences are to-person, so you can use it on all your computers as long as you are the user.
  • Supports VST, VST3, AU and AAX interfaces on Windows (both 32-bit and 64-bit) & Mac (64-bit only)

  • MDrumReplacer supports all major hosts on both platforms. Check system requirements for information about compatibility and installation.
  • Free-for-life updates

  • When you buy the software you are entitled to free updates, forever. No more money wasted on major updates like it is with other companies. And Melda update their software a lot!

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Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


Windows

  • Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 10 (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • VST / VST3 / AAX compatible host (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Intel/AMD processor with SSE2 support

Always use 32-bit plugins in 32-bit hosts, or 64-bit plugins in 64-bit hosts!
 
64-bit plugins can't work in 32-bit hosts even if the operating system is 64-bit. Do NOT use 32-bit plugins in 64-bit hosts. They would have to be bridged and can become slow and unstable.
 
Mac OS X

  • Mac OS X 10.9 and newer (64-bit only)
  • VST / VST3 / AU / AAX compatible host (64-bit only)
  • Intel/AMD processor with SSE2 support or Apple Silicon processor

Note: Please check your product PDF documentation for more information and installation instructions.

OS Compatibility



Knocktonal

Drum Tools by DJ Swivel



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Description


Shape your drums with notes, not hertz, the way it’s supposed to be done.

Knocktonal is a note-based resonance enhancer, allowing users to boost (or cut) resonances as well as their corresponding harmonic overtones. Simply put, Knocktonal allows you to tune your drums without the need for destructive re-pitching of samples.

Equipped with both Resonance and Subtractive EQ’s, Knocktonal offers complete control over your root notes as well harmonic overtones with up to 30 bands of resonance. It can be used both statically, or dynamically with separate MIDI input channels for both your additive and subtractive EQ’s.

Knocktonal also has a built-in limiter so you can push your signal as loud as you want for a smooth clean sound.

Whether you want to turn your kicks into punchy 808’s, create percussive lead instruments, or simply glue your drums to the key of the song, Knocktonal offers surgical precision over the sound of your drums in the most musical way possible.




Features

  • Note-based resonance shaping
  • Control root notes and harmonic overtones
  • Up to 30 bands of resonance
  • MIDI input for both EQ’s
  • Built-in limiter
  • Resizable User Interface

Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


  • Mac OS X 10.11 or later, Windows 7 or later
  • An internet connection is required at the time of activation
  • 64-bit only formats

Plugin Formats

  • AAX
  • AU
  • VST3

Supported Hosts

  • Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton, Cubase, FL Studio, Reaper, Studio One, Nuendo

Note

  • Each purchase of a DJ Swivel plugin includes 2 personal licenses, allowing users to install the plugin on 2 different machines. DJ Swivel plugins also include unlimited deactivations, allowing you to transfer the plugin to a new machine if desired.

OS Compatibility



Addictive Trigger

Drum Tools by XLN Audio



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Description


The World’s first Intelligent Drum Replacer

When creating Addictive Trigger, we developed smart new technologies (Audio Fingerprint™ and SuperStart™) to make drum replacement easy and painless. Then, we combined these new technologies with some of the best sounds and features from Addictive Drums 2. The result is a fast, accurate and fun way to raise your live-recorded drums to a whole new level.

  • Audio Fingerprint drum hit detection
  • SuperStart auto-adjustment of settings
  • Outstanding drum sounds included
  • A complete solution

Accurate and Intelligent

During the research phase of Addictive Trigger, users around the world reported that accurate hit detection is absolutely critical when using drum replacement plugins. Unfortunately, existing triggering technologies tend to have shortcomings that require lots of manual tweaking and correction. We endeavor to make products that are better than what is currently available, and we ended up creating an entirely new method for drum hit detection called Audio Fingerprint. Our new system uses FFT analysis to accurately identify drum sounds even if there is a lot of mic bleed or background noise in the source material. It’s fast, it’s accurate, and we think it’ll change the way you work with live-recorded drums.

What is Audio Fingerprint?

Typical drum replacement tools rely on rudimentary filtering and transient detection, resulting in many false triggers and missed hits. Audio Fingerprint solves this problem by using a novel FFT-based matching system. It is so accurate, it usually has no trouble detecting lightly played ghost notes from background noise while simultaneously rejecting mic bleed and other unwanted sounds.

In addition to detecting low level ghost notes with great accuracy, our Audio Fingerprint system can also differentiate between different stroke types that are played at similar velocities (for example, sidestick and open snare hits). This lets Addictive Trigger play back the correct articulations of samples, even if the incoming source material has different kinds of drum hits with similar peak levels.

SuperStart, SuperFast

Super Smart Automatic Hit Detection

Once you have inserted Addictive Trigger on an audio track, simply click SuperStart and begin playback in your host software. Addictive Trigger listens to your track for several seconds, analyzes the incoming hits and automatically sets a number of different parameters based on the source material. In most cases, this is all you need to do in order to have accurate hit detection happening on your track.

World-Class Sounds Right Out of the Box

In addition to the intelligent detection and workflow features, Addictive Trigger ships with tons of fantastic and easily-tweakable presets that are tailored specifically for drum replacement. Selected from the award winning Addictive Drums library, these sounds are recorded at world-class, impossible-to-book studios like Fairfax Recording (formerly known as Sound City) and United Recording (formerly Ocean Way) and utilize some of the finest gear and most experienced ears in the business. Even if you already have nice drums and a great studio, we think you’ll still find a lot of inspiration and benefit from having these world-class sounds at your fingertips.

A Complete Solution

Addictive Trigger works all on its own and does not require any additional software to provide world-class results. Just fire up the plugin and you're ready to go. Accurate detection and outstanding sounds are included in the box.

Already an AD2 User?

If you own our flagship Addictive Drums 2 software, you’re in luck! You can use all of your favorite presets and ADpak expansion sounds immediately in Addictive Trigger without any need to convert presets or change any settings.

Plays Nice with Other Drum Software

Addictive Trigger supports most popular 3rd party drum instruments as well. You can easily drag-and-drop properly formatted MIDI data out of Addictive Trigger to your favorite instrument and begin working right away.



Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


Mac

  • macOS 10.9 or later (M1 Native & macOS 12 Monterey supported) (64-bit only)
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • Internet connection (during installation only)

Formats:

  • VST, AU, AAX (64-bit only)
  • Standalone Application (64-bit only)

Windows

  • Windows 7, 8, 10 (64-bit only)
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • Internet connection (during installation only)

Formats:

  • VST, AAX (64-bit only)
  • Standalone Application (64-bit only)

Hosts:

This product should run on any host supporting 64-bit VST, AU, or AAX plugins. XLN Audio actively tests on the host applications listed below:

  • Ableton Live 9 or later
  • Apple Logic Pro 9 & 10
  • Avid Pro Tools 11 or later (Pro Tools First is not supported)
  • Cakewalk by Bandlab
  • Propellerhead Reason 10.3 or later
  • Reaper 4 & 5
  • Steinberg Cubase 8 or later

Please Note: This software is 64-bit only and will not function on 32-bit systems.

OS Compatibility



UNMIX::DRUMS

Drum Tools by Zynaptiq



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Description


Boost Or Attenuate Drums In Mixed Music

UNMIX::DRUMS is the world’s first audio plugin that allows attenuating or boosting drums in mixed music, in real-time. Using advanced source signal separation (a.k.a. de-mixing, unmixing, sound extraction, sound isolation) technology under the hood, UNMIX::DRUMS provides frequency dependent drum level control that ranges from up to +18dB of boost to virtually complete removal* – while always sounding great. Whether used on a full mix or on a drum bus, UNMIX::DRUMS can be used to shape and enhance the impact of your drums in a unique new way. Sporting an intuitive multi-level GUI, frequency dependent control of key parameters, a sample accurate sub-bass (re)synthesizer, our high-precision analyzer display, M/S operation and an output limiter, UNMIX::DRUMS opens up exciting new options for mastering, music production, sample-based music creation, mash-up artists, remixers and DJs.

* Actually achievable amounts depend on input signal specifics.

Key Features:

  • Source Separation-Based Control of Drum Level in Mixed Music.
  • SMOOTH and PUNCHY Boost Modes.
  • Sample-Accurate Sub-Bass (Re)Synthesizer.
  • Frequency Dependent Control of Key Parameters.
  • Intuitive 3-way GUI Design.

Turn It Up (or Down)

UNMIX::DRUMS is your after-the-fact fader for the drums. It takes a mixed music input and allows you to change the level of the drums relative to everything else, in real-time. Attenuate the drums to "headphone bleed" levels, or make them sit squarely in your face – the choice is yours. Adjust DRUM LEVEL and THRESHOLD, done.

Impact Shaping

UNMIX::DRUMS doesn't only work with mixed music – you can slap it onto a drum buss, too. Adjusting DRUM LEVEL frequency dependently - using our slick breakpoint editor in the CURVES view - lets you shape the impact and punch of your drums like never before. Without touching a compressor or transient processor, and even if they're inside a full mix. We call this impact equalization. As drum punch connoisseurs, we're proud to say: It's simply awesome.

Smooth Punch, Punchy Smoothness

Speaking of punch: UNMIX::DRUMS offers two boost modes, SMOOTH and PUNCHY. The SMOOTH mode was designed with a dry, organic sound in mind, for natural sounding medium boost situations, as well as pre-processing for drum extraction applications. PUNCHY produces a very snappy, tight sound that can really make the drums jump at you. Both modes allow boosting the drum reverb, too, SMOOTH focusing on early reflections and PUNCHY on long reverb tails. 

Off The Richter Scale

UNMIX::DRUMS features the world's first and only sample accurate sub-bass (re)synthesizer. Adding punchy and clean low frequency energy to your music or drums has never been easier. Simply raise the BASS SYNTH slider to taste – no level instabilities, false triggers or phase cancellation included. Whether subtly extending the frequency range on a jazz master or creating earth shattering club beats of woofer destruction, the onboard BASS SYNTH delivers – with minimal effort.

Workflow Monster

UNMIX::DRUMS features an intuitive 3-way Graphical User Interface design. Rather than cluttering up your workspace, this layout ensures you see only the parameters you need to see – when and if you need them. With its level compensation feature, M/S processing, a hard-knee limiter, "kill-switch" style drum level macro buttons, and a plethora of carefully hand-crafted factory presets, UNMIX:DRUMS delivers stunning results, easily and in an instant.



Video


Rating


Value For Money

Sound Quality

General Ease of Use

Number of Presets


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PC:

  • Windows 7 or newer
  • CPU with at least 2 Cores; Intel CPU recommended, i7 or better recommended.
  • Steinberg VST 2.4, VST 3 or Avid RTAS/AAX compatible Host software
  • For AAX Native 32-bit, the minimum required Pro Tools version is 10.3.6
  • iLok.com account for machine- or iLok 2 based activation (of full as well as demo versions) DOES NOT REQUIRE ILOK KEY
  • Internet Connection for Software Activation (though not necessarily on the computer used for audio)

MAC:  

  • Apple Mac computer
  • OSX 10.8.x or newer
  • Intel CPU with at least 2 Cores; i7 or better recommended.
  • Apple AU (AudioUnits), Steinberg VST 2.4, VST 3 or Avid RTAS/AAX compatible Host software
  • For AAX Native 32-bit, the minimum required Pro Tools version is 10.3.6
  • iLok.com account for machine- or iLok 2 based activation (of full as well as demo versions) DOES NOT REQUIRE ILOK KEY
  • Internet Connection for Software Activation (though not necessarily on the computer used for audio)

Formats:

UNMIX::DRUMS is available for a variety of formats.

Mac OS X:

  • Apple AudioUnits (32/64bit)
  • Avid RTAS
  • Avid AAX Native including AudioSuite (32/64bit)
  • Steinberg VST 2.4 (32/64bit)

Windows:

  • Avid RTAS
  • Avid AAX Native including AudioSuite (32/64bit)
  • Steinberg VST 2.4 (32/64bit)
  • Zynaptiq UNMIX DRUMS Plug-In Screenshot

Copy Protection

MORPH uses the latest PACE copy protection, which allows you to place your activation on your machine or on an iLok 2* (not included). You will need a free iLok.com account to use our software, including the demos – but you do not necessarily need the iLok 2 dongle, if your machine has internet access. All required software is installed along with our plugins, but we generally recommend downloading the latest versions directly from iLok.com.

Please note: The older, first generation (blue) iLok is not supported!

OS Compatibility