Best drums for linux

Hi there!

I have been using Ardou for about 3 or 4 years. I have recorded a few songs and I have some experiencie. I have some practice in mastering and mixing learning in a autodidact way.

The question is that my drums not sound very real… At the beginning I used the hydrogen software, and in my last compositions I used drumgizmo plugins to use the drums.

There are a better (and realistic way) to use drums in ardour (in linux) that this two softwares? Must I buy drumkits for it (where?) The drumklits are fantastic and the problem is that I does not mix it in a correct way?

Ideas? Best regards :slight_smile:

The most autentic drum sound I ever experienced is DG and tchackpoum kit. I do all midi on 1 DG track , then every sound is routed to their respected audiobus where I use a little compression and eq. I cant tell that it is a real drums or not.

I have to say that I record the drums, not painting. maby thats the issue ?

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I painted all the drums on my last album using DrumGizmo with the CroecelKit. The key is you want to make sure the velocities aren’t all at 64 - give it some variety and it’ll sound more human. The humanization knobs within DG help a bit, but I think it’s best to also play with the velocities of individual notes.

The other keys I found:

  • Find your kick drum mic for whatever kit you choose and give it some compression + saturation. Saturation will both decrease the actual volume and increase the perceived volume - just don’t saturate it enough to kill the transients.
  • Give the snare a similar treatment
  • Within the plugin, play with the bleed slider on the bottom to find the right spot for your mix.
  • On the full DG bus, use compression + saturation (more subtle) + reverb. Reverb and bleed are kind of similar - the bleed adds bleed between mics, which can thicken the sound and make it sound more realistic, while reverb adds to the size of that room.

Hope that helps!

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Thanks for the answers!

I will use your advice in my next recordings.

Velocity treatment is key, I recommend this plugin:

It doesn’t have native Linux version, but you could make it work through wine. I’ve used it on Ardour for Windows, then exported the audio tracks and mixed them in Linux, a little bit of a hassle but the sound liveliness I feel with it makes it worth it. This plugin has just one kit sound, but the power is the arrangement variety you get, then you can apply any other samples you want to that arrangement, even drumgizmo, AVL drumkits or hydrogen ones.



Don’t really care about selling my own Kool-Aid here but the AVL-Drumkits haven’t been mentioned and bias aside I think they also are capable of very good results, here is an example programmed in Hydrogen and mixed down in Ardour:

Of course sounds are very important but understanding how a drummer actually plays and spending some time with the velocities for each Kit piece can yield tremendous results even with simple single-layer Drum Samplers…


I’ve edited my message to include a mention to AVL which definitively is useful, anyway I insist in the advantage of powerdrumkits being the arranger, precisely for the velocity tweaking that is being spared thanks to a nicely thought set of grooves and breaks that you can later put any sound on to your taste.
I dream of it being available natively for Linux, the project itself seems abandoned for a couple of years, couldn’t Ardour representatives make some kind of talk with them to maybe take that plugin under the Ardour wing? it would be a blast to have that kind of tool integrated in the main program. @x42?

I am a drummer, I did not find any good drums to do my demos, I think that drumgizmo is the closest (since you can separate the tracks well for each sound).
I tried with my electronic drums to record midi and then play it with the same module (and record audio feedback), since it is difficult for the dynamics to be well reflected in the plugins.

Today I am learning to record my acoustic drums.

I’m also using the AVL drumkits Black Pearl and Red Zeppelin, 5 velocity layers, separare outputs for most instruments, so kick and snare can be processed separately. Good enough for me.

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Back when I was doing Rock/Funk home-recording, we used a hybrid approach. I recorded a Snare and Hihat live, and the rest was MIDI.

I never managed to mic a Kick properly, nor play it with nuances. Samples for the rest of the kit blended in nicely, without anyone being any wiser. Later I got a ride cymbal as well, but it’s really Snare and HiHat where most expressiveness is that cannot easily be re-created with samples.

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In general we try to avoid to have dedicated plugins except for the “bread and butter” (EQ, comp, reverb) ones that zamaudio contributed, curated and maintains. Mainly because the release cycle of those plugins are also tied to Ardour releases.

Besides, we have enough on or plate already, and doing plugin-development and DSP is rather different task compare to writing a DAW (which is why I enjoy doing it on occasion).

Then again it looks like powerdumkit still works (even though it requires a bridge).
Have you contacted the author and asked them to publish the source-code under a free/libre license? I could imagine that falktx will jump at it and have a DPF version in no time.

That I have not, but I have asked them for the native linux version and have received no response. But will try your suggestion ; )

Just checked that the project is not as dead as I assumed, it had an update on July:


Hey, I have been using the Addictive Drums 2 VSTi (by XLNAudio) for years. I use yabridge to expose it as a linux plugin to ardour. Works great. And the drum lines you can program are amazing. Granted, it’s not free software nor it is a native plugin. But if you really care about your drum tracks and can’t afford recording a real drummer, AD2 (at least for me) covers all my needs.

I have contacted several months ago with the powerdrumkit2 developer, He said he was thinking of doing a native version, but it never came out (for now). The kit sound is good. Maybe if several propose the same, we can convince him


I’ve just talked to him via email and yes the project is alive and the Linux version is being considered for a future release. We just need to be patient : )


For those using DG, I created two very high quality kits (one more pop-rock and the other more jazzy) but they’re very large (8Gb and 12Gb) and I don’t kniw hiw/where to host them.
Documentation for the jazzy kit is not ready yet but I don’t most nd sharing them if you have a way to receive such files.
I was discussing hosting them on the dg website but I think the lead dev is very busy atm.


Eamonn, I am happy to host them. You can email me at fusterclucker at or find me hanging out on Unfa’s discord

We ( can provide a mirror at – but I cannot provide a login for you to directly upload there. So I need URL to pull from.

Thanks Fusterclucker and Robin, I’ll get in touch to upload them then :slight_smile:

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