Drum samples are an important part of any music producer’s toolkit. They can provide a great foundation for a track, and can be used to add an extra layer of rhythm and texture. In particular, if you’re looking to create hip-hop or electronic music, having high-quality drum samples can make a big difference to your music.
There are plenty of great websites offering professional-level drum samples, making the process for music producers much easier. Here are 10 of the best drum sample libraries with high-quality sounds for you to elevate your mixes to a professional level.
The Best Drum Sample Libraries (2023) – At a Glance
1. Real Drum Samples (Free/Paid)
Real Drum Samples offers great-quality drum samples which are used by producers for some very famous names in the music business. The library features high-quality samples, which is why it is recommended by authoritative names in the industry.
One of the most ear-pleasing sample packs is The Line Of Legends Bundle, which comes with a ton of great snares, hi-hats, kicks, claps, finger snaps, cymbals, toms, and more. It offers hundreds of high quality drum sounds. They’re well produced, compressed for maximum punch, and nicely categorised so it should fit into your workflow very nicely.
Jay Fisher over at Real Drum Samples is offering a 20% discount for any premium pack to our readers. Make sure to use the coupon code “MUSICIANWAVE20” to avail of the discount!
One of the most popular cloud-based sample libraries is Loopcloud, which offers users millions of samples of different instruments. The app also features many plugins for different DAWs, and all the samples are 100% royalty-free.
In order to get the samples, plug-ins, and functions in the library, there are 3 options available: Artist, Studio, and Professional plan. All the plans offer different levels of features for different prices. With these plans, you get some free samples each month, cloud storage, points to purchase different samples, and some other extra features. After your subscription, you can use your points to purchase any sample.
With every plan, you get the Plug-in Suite which allows you to use the loop editor to work on the samples. With the plug-in, you can easily customize, edit, reverse, cut, slice, and make any kind of customization before using the samples in your DAW.
3. Addictive Drums 2 By XLN Audio
Famous for its great dynamic drum realism, Addictive Drums 2 By XLN Audio is considered one of the best software drum production studios. Unlike most drum libraries, Addictive Drums 2 offers great dynamism with silent hits, drags, and rolls, which elevate the realism of the drum sounds.
The studio allows the users to emulate many different drum playing styles with different feels, thanks to the advanced dynamics. Ghost notes, for example, sound very realistic, which often sound weak when other drum sample libraries are used.
You can purchase all the drum samples in the library or just buy the ones you need. There are quite a few options, and most of them sound great. However, this is a high-end drum sample library that comes with high prices.
There are metal, rock, heavy rock, classic rock, soul and R&B, jazz, breaks & beats, percussion, and pop samples collections which all feature 2 drum kits and 2 MIDI beats.
4. Splice Sounds
Splice is probably the most famous name in the world of samples. The cloud-based app can easily be downloaded and integrated into any DAW for an easy and fast workflow. This way, Splice allows for very convenient use and high versatility with its huge library of drum samples, drum loops, and other instruments.
The biggest advantage of the Splice Sounds app is the ease of use, along with the premium-quality range of samples created and used by famous names in the production world. So, both the quality and quantity of the samples in Splice are quite amazing.
Another unique aspect of Splice is the payment method. Instead of the pay-per-sample-or-pack method, Splice uses a subscription method. With a monthly fee, you get to access most of the samples on the website, saving you the trouble of purchasing a whole package just to try one sample.
In short, Splice is a top-quality name in the sample library world and is recommended for musicians who do not want to take risks of going with lesser famous names.
5. Racks Stevenson Sample Library
Created in 2020, Racks Stevenson Sample Library offers great flexibility with its big library to producers. Rather than short melody loops and drum breaks, the website features longer grooves that can be modified as the user likes. The user gets so much versatility to tweak, loop, and customize the drums.
The website is considered “the new standard of sampling” as it introduces multi-layer sampling with multiple mix options. This way, the users get more control over their sound, thanks to the multi-layer sample feature. They get stems for all the raw mic recordings to create a mix of their own.
While there are different packs on the website, you can purchase the High Standard Drum Bundle, which covers most of the samples on the website. It features over 230 files of drum patterns, more than 700 raw session recordings, full live recordings, and one-shots.
The samples come in handy for any genre, and the sound quality is highly impressive, as well as the flexibility you get with the innovative approach of multi-layer sampling.
6. GetGood Drums
If you are looking for some drum samples for your rock demos and albums, GetGood Drums may be the right choice. Created by the members of the band Periphery, GetGood Drums is a great drum sample library with 9 snares, 6 kick drums, 14 toms choices, and 2 sets of cymbals.
While the library can be used for any genre, the samples are more suited for rock and metal. However, the drums are processed minimally to give the users more control over the sound.
The pack works with Kontakt Player (the Free Kontakt Player software is enough for this). Additionally, there are some plug-ins, groove packs, and a kemper pack on the website waiting to be purchased, along with the drum packs.
You can get the 14-day trial to explore the offering of GetGood Drums and decide if it’s right for you.
7. That Sound
That Sound is a drum sample library source suitable for indie and pop music. The boutique audio company offers great sample packs for modern genres with unique characteristics that you can use to create unique pieces. The website has hundreds of different samples along with free drum sample packs.
Some of the greatest packs in the library are Mammoth, Neon, Nir & Jeff, and Boots + Claps. The prices of the packs are slightly above average, but as these are unique samples, they are definitely worth it.
Plus, That Sound is a generous platform with a special loyalty program that gives discounts and simple promotions if you follow them on social media. On your birthday, on special days, or when you refer the website to a friend, you can expect to have special discounts on the website.
8. Toontrack Superior Drummer 3
If you are looking for more than just drum samples, Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 might be ideal. It is a plug-in for DAWs and has a huge library of 230 GB, including 7 drum kits, electronic samples, 25 acoustic snares, 16 acoustic kicks, different shells with 6” to 20” dimensions, and more.
The pro drum plug-in is successful in emulating both drum machine-type electronic sounds as well as acoustic drums. It is designed and sampled by the award-winner sound engineer George Massenburg and offers top-grade sound quality. The samples were created in Galaxy Studios in Belgium for precise details.
Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 also offers great support for electronic drums. It integrates very easily with the electronic drum software and makes everything easier, faster, and smoother.
Cymatics is a great website for producers, which offers amazing content for musicians, including samples of different musical instruments, plug-ins, and a blog. There are some free packs on the website, but most of the top-quality packs are paid and are high-end products.
There is a wide range of samples on the website, including drums from different genres and styles as well as various musical instruments. The sample library is quite rich, and each sample offers great sound quality. It’s no wonder that it’s associated with names like Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Drake.
You can download the free Mayhem, Infinite, Orchid, and Waves sample pack to explore the sound quality and style of Cymatics samples. You can listen to the short samples from each sample pack to decide which one is the best for you. After you decide, you can purchase the pack if it’s a paid one and download the samples to your computer.
10. Function Loops
Function Loops is a great platform for producers as it offers a vast high-quality sample library for each genre. The samples are mostly drum-focused and come in different packs and compilations. While there are some free samples to get familiar with the website, most of them are paid.
Function Loops offers a huge library where you find different drum samples categorized by genre. The quality, as well as the quantity level, is high on the website, offering many packages in different genres such as fusion, jazz, rock, indie, pop, dubstep, and more. Also, there are samples of different musical instruments and percussions on the website.
The unique aspect of the website is the custom vocals section. It provides custom-recorded vocals for your tracks which is great for many musicians. The prices are not the most budget-friendly in the market, but all the content on the website is 100% royalty-free for you to commercially use them.
Drum sample libraries make it easier for producers to create musical pieces as they like without the hassle of recording drums which is quite a long and hard process. With the advanced technology, the realism of the drum samples, beats, and grooves are impressively high, making the distinction almost impossible for most ears.
Depending on the style and genre of your liking, you can go for any of these drum sample libraries and check their offers. Most of them have free offerings for you to decide if the libraries have the right quality and style for your musical project.