Top Drum VST Plugins for Every Genre: A Comprehensive Review

By  //  August 16, 2023

In the music-making world, drum VST plugins are super important for producers and DJs, no matter the style. Making an EDM hit or a cool jazz tune?

The right drum plugin can boost your sound big time. Check out our review to see the best drum VSTs for every type of music. Let’s find that perfect beat for you!

Jazz Grooves to Metal Madness: VSTs for Diverse Genres

Drum VSTs are awesome, from chill jazz beats to hard-hitting metal drums. In the next few sections, we’ll go through all the different types of genres and recommend some VSTs that you should check out.

Expressive Drumming: VSTs that Capture Dynamic Playing

Looking for some of the best drum VST plugins to add some dynamics to your sound? They can make your tracks sound just like live drumming. Here are a couple we recommend. 

  • Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 – beautifully recorded samples of high-quality drums 
  • Abby Road Drummer Collection – drum sounds from across the decades recorded in the iconic London studios

From Lush Reverbs to Crisp Snares: VSTs with Versatile Soundscapes

Diving into the world of VSTs? It’s all about finding plugins with lots of versatility. Check out a few we like to use, to find the ones that give you a mix of great sounds.

  • Microtonic – an incredible drum synthesizer, that get’s close to replicating the classic Korg Drumlogue.
  • Kick – An amazing kick drum VST, giving you that important bottom end for every kind of genre. 

Drum VSTs for Film Scoring and Soundtracks: A Cinematic Experience

Making music for movies? You need the right drum plugin. It sets the mood for every scene, from calm to super intense. Here are a few we recommend 

  • Damage 2 – Incredible cinematic sounds recorded at the legendary Skywalker Studios
  • Symphony Essentials Percussion – 55 orchestral percussion instruments, recorded at Studio 22, Budapest

Hip-Hop and Rap Essentials: VSTs to Elevate Your Beats

Making awesome hip hop beats? You need the best tools. Here’s a couple we think you shold check out.

  • Beat Machine 2 – 30 years of drum sounds, all gearded towards hip hop
  • Akai Air – A drum synth from the makers of the classic MPC.

EDM Bangers: VST Plugins that Pack a Punch

Dropping an EDM track that gets the crowd hyped? Here’s our recommendations for EDM VSTs 

  • KICK 2 – Look no further than Sonic Academy’s KICK 2 – perfect for EDM
  • Xfer Serum – While it’s primarily a wavetable synthesizer, many producers use it for its capability to produce unique drum sounds, especially when it comes to bass-heavy genres of EDM.
  • Native Instruments Battery 4 – This is a drum sampler designed for modern beat production, offering a vast range of EDM-friendly sounds and powerful layering capabilities.

Jazz Up Your Tracks: Swing and Big Band Drum VSTs

Want some cool jazz feels in your music? Swing and big band drum VSTs are what you need. 

  • XLN Audio Addictive Drums 2 – With its “Jazz Brushes” and “Modern Jazz” kits, Addictive Drums 2 provides a variety of authentic-sounding jazz drum samples.
  • BFD3 by FXpansion – Known for its detailed and authentic drum samples, BFD3 offers a range of kits suitable for jazz

Rock and Alternative: VSTs with Aggressive Drums and Energy

For that rock or metal vibe, you need the top drum VST plugins. Here’s a couple of absolute crackers. 

  • Toontrack EZdrummer 2 – Specifically with its “Metal Machine” expansion pack, EZdrummer 2 offers hard-hitting drum sounds tailored for metal genres. 
  • Steven Slate Drums 5 (SSD5) – This drum software is known for its punchy, powerful kits, and the “Deluxe 2” library within SSD5 offers several kits that are tailor-made for rock productions.

Unconventional Percussion: Unique VSTs for Experimental Music

  • FXpansion Geist2: This is a beat production system that offers sample layering, innovative modulation systems, and an expansive effects section. 
  • Soniccouture The Beat Room: This instrument focuses on unconventional and avant-garde percussion sounds. 

Best Drum VST Plugins for Classical and Orchestral Arrangement.

Want your music to sound beautiful? Try classical drum plugins. We recommend you check some of these out as they can add some real Hollywood emotions to your tracks.

  • EastWest Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra (EWQLSO): Within this comprehensive orchestral library, there is a percussion section that contains a wide variety of classical percussion instruments. 
  • Vienna Symphonic Library (VSL) Percussion: VSL is known for its incredibly detailed and expressive orchestral samples, and their percussion library is no exception. 


There are many different types of top drum VST plugins available on the market, but you have to make sure to find the right one that suits your production style. We highly recommend checking out a number of free trial periods for different drum VST plugins, and let us know which one you think you might continue to use in your tracks. There is an awesome kick drum VST available that we would highly recommend. Drop your comments below, let us know what you think.