Creating Sample Drum Tracks

How do you guys create Midi-Based Drum Tracks? Do you use Soundfonts? Or any lv2 plugins that trigger Samples? I am currently evaluating my options on getting comfortable with a workflow. And so far I haven’t found anything that comes close to Abletons Drum Rack. Are there any options out there that do a similar thing?

Now that Ardour 7 has brought us the joy of really being able to create MIDI Tracks, I would like to stay as much as possible in the DAW. So for me switching over to something like Hydrogen feels pretty clunky.

Anyway… I am interested to hear peoples insights!

Renoise Redux is multi-platform multi-channel vst plugin, which can do sampling, sample editing, layering, amp/filter/pitch envs, etc…

i occasionally use addictive drums for piano practice

Most of the time I use the AVL drumkits.
It comes in 4 flavours now:
AVL Drumkits new Blonde Bop Kits Released!

Occasionally I’m also using DrumGizmo

You can also use the sampler from the LSP plugins
It is said to be able to read drum kits from the Hydrogen drum machine, though I have not tried.

My goal is to have at least the major groups (kick, snare, cymbals, hh) on separate outputs for post processing (compressor, EQ, ambience)

For drums, I mainly use TAL Sampler (TAL Software) and Atlas 2 (

Beyond that, TAL Drum (TAL Software), Sitala (Sitala - Free Drum Sampler Plugin) and Speedrum (Apisonic Labs) come to mind.

Thank you everyone for the great suggestions. I will check them out. Didn’t know the LSP sample could import hydrogen kits.

Currently I find a lot of the open source options lack the intuitivity found in commercial products and I am even tempted to write my own plugin.

My main goals would be:

  • easy mapping of midi notes to sample(-groups)
  • easy layering of samples
  • slicing
  • sample library organisation (tag based maybe)
  • basic sample editing (delay, length, tail)

But I will research a bit more what is out there and see if I can mash together a few components to do what I imagine a sampler should do.

renoise redux can do all of that, except tags part :slight_smile:

Renoise is amazing and Renoise Redux is equally amazing, however using many samples in one instance (eg. multisampled acoustic drums) causes Ardour’s GUI to hang for 30 seconds or so every couple of minutes.

Something to do with undo states or something.

that’s true. for creating realistic drums i’d avoid redux… but again, i do not make multi-sampled multi-velocity stuff, i mostly edit 3-4 elements layered with 2-3 instances, which works like a charm

I’ll state that when I read the OP, I thought he/she was asking more about the MIDI and “tracking” part… putting down the notes (more a MIDI workflow) vs the above responses which seem all “drum sound”-related.

I personally don’t know a great MIDI workflow for drums. For my stuff, I want it to sound natural. I’ve had such a hard time with it that I bought some electronic drums to do the basic tracking, and then clean it up.

Plugins like Beat Scholar are one example of a great MIDI work flow for drums. However, Beat Scholar (and also the amazing Percussion Factory) are neither libre nor gratis, and BS in particular requires very current OpenGL support (thanks, JUCE!)


Hi. If you go with DrumGizmo, then you probably should check out the following videos from past Sonoj conferences, where a DrumGizmo developer talks a bit into how to create drumkits:


And if you want to see how you can use DrumGizmo, you can watch this Making a drum part with DrumGizmo in Ardour (unfa live 2021-06-06) - YouTube ( Making a drum part with DrumGizmo in Ardour (unfa live 2021-06-06))

Hi. I myself have used AVL kits for simpler results in the past. They are pretty nice sounding kits and easy to use. Nowaday I’m with DrumGizmo. I haven’t seen another drum virtual instrument that realistic in the open software enviroment. This is the most similiar to a real drum kit recording that you can achieve in Linux. Give it a try

For real-sounding drums, I’ve been most happy with Virtuosity Drums, loaded into sfizz. Room mics, overheads, decent snare and hi-hat (the key to a good feel, IMO).