What program or plug in Do you suggest for virtual drums in ardour?

Hi I try to find a way to create drum tracks with ardour from midi. I looked Hydrogen but I dont want to move to a other program to do it. What options do I have?

I’d either use AVL drumkits (https://x42-plugins.com/x42/x42-avldrums) or DrumGizmo (https://drumgizmo.org/wiki/doku.php).

AVL drumkits is easier to use, and has a great integration into Ardour while DG has higher quality samples, more drumkits, humanization, and comes closer to mixing a real drumkit. So your tradeoff is more or less convenience vs quality – but with that I don’t want to say that one or the other is inconvenient or has bad quality.

There are also other options, but those are more sampler-like.

(disclaimer: I’m one of the DrumGizmo devs)


@joynstar remember that drum kits are basically samples, so there are many options, even for GNU/Linux if you can find a SoundFont, SFZ, or even raw sample library, or possibly even make your own samples:

  • Linux sampler (Kontakt style sampler, but with generic interface, scriptable)
  • Carla (with built in Linux sampler)
  • Sound Font players (a-fluidsynth etc)
  • Cabbage (csound based instrument- make your own samplers - synth, effects, with some built in drum kits)
  • HISE (amazing sample based instrument/effect creator- save instruments as VST- with Kontakt style scripting)

Currently the easiest road would be DrumGizmo, SFZ, SF, AVL. However there are professional grade sample engines on Linux, (such as Linux sampler, and HISE) which is important to know, as it will give room to grow in future.


Just to clarify a big difference with the AVL Drumkits LV2 and DrumGizmo is the ability to fan out to multiple Audio tracks within Ardour, SFZ and LinuxSampler (within Carla) either don’t do this or don’t do it very easily with regard to drums specifically.

Here is a tutorial on AVL, a similar workflow can be achieved with DrumGizmo: https://youtu.be/iUSdXmlu8UQ

If you don’t care about multiple Audio outputs and want to do drumkits on a stereo track in Ardour then there are other decent sample options:


I forgot about that powerful feature! Really great. IIRC HISE can also be used to make an instrument do this. (Obviously not a ready made instrument) but for the adventurous it’s quite exciting.

You can use the drumkv1 plugin for example for each instrument (e.g. kick, snare hihat) and put these into midi buses. Then you create a midi track and send you midi to all of the three busses.
In the drumkv1 plugin you set e.g. the kick to C0, the snare to D#0 and HiHat to note D0.

Now you can control the three samplers via one single midi track. The advantage of this is, that you have full control over each instrument, i.e. you can add reverb to the snare, automize the hihat, and so on …

Here’s a screen shot how it will look like: http://i.imgur.com/nfWnfXl.png



That does a lot to extend the capabilities of drumkV1 but it’s important to note that both drumkv1 and fabla both only allow single layers of samples so every programmed MIDI hit is playing the same sample at different velocities and volumes. Sample sets that are multisampled play a completely different sample at different velocities, how much this matters very much depends on the style and genre of music of course, but it is a limitation.

@GMaq: Sure, but I don’t care too much about realistic drum sounds :smiley:

Check out Sitala: https://decomposer.de/sitala.html

I don’t think it’s been mentioned on the forums here yet. Wonderful little drum sampler plugin that feels a bit like Live’s Drum Rack instrument.


sorry for bumping, but many thanks for pointing me to the lsp plugins! great! and very useful samplers for drums in electronic music! thumbs up!

If you don’t want multi-channel to mix like a real drum set, but prefer already mixed/panned stereo drums, you can also use https://smmdrums.wordpress.com/ which are available in SFZ format (and it is easy to convert that to any format you want).


For anyone interested in realistic drums, there are these SFZ mappings of some of Analogue Drums’ nice drum kits:


I’ve tried the Big Mono mapping, and it works fine in Sforzando under Wine.

I think this lsp multisampler demo deserves to be posted here:

Ive just installed Sitala. Currently im working on Ableton as I do since I started producing, but Ardour always atracted me…so thanks for recommending Sitala, it makes me feel like Im in Ableton. Greetings from Argentina.