The Best Drum Samples (Reviewed)

Music production and sound engineering are two areas of the music industry that are constantly innovating and inventing new methods to make things easier. This can obviously have positive impacts on people’s work as they’ll be able to produce music more efficiently and at a considerably lower cost. These innovations are not high-end ‘industry exclusive’, they have been passed into the commercial market meaning that the average Joe can afford revolutionary software to compliment their music production.

Computers have changed the way we live forever; the music industry has embraced this, and a large quantity of new software applications or DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) are now released annually. These can be used for a variety of reasons as they’re educational, cost-effective, convenient and can take music that is produced to the next level.

Percussion instruments, and particularly drums, are responsible for making some of the most iconic and greatest songs in history. For example, John Bonham’s drum intro for Led Zeppelin’s ‘When the Levee Breaks’ is still widely regarded as one the best drum solos ever and is one of the British band’s most famous hits. Modern day musicians still consider the instrument a pivotal part of a band’s sound and thanks to technology; everyone can include drums into their work without having to hire a drummer.

Drum sample software is music that is recorded live then released as a software application. As mentioned previously, the advantages of using this software are great and enable people to have varied, authentic drum sounds in their work. With so many to choose from it can be confusing picking the right one for you so we have compiled a small list of some of the best drum samples worth looking at.  Keep in mind that this is only a small selection of what’s out there.  If you want more options, we recommend checking out these drum kits by

The Producer’s Choice – Night At The Drum Shop

Night At The Drum Shop is an extensive library of diverse, innovative and unique drum samples. Created for producers who want their product to stand out, NATDS provide 347 unique sounds that were professionally mixed and perfected including 67 snares, 60 hats & cymbals, 60 loops, 56 kicks, 35 hats & cymbal loops, 31 percs & hits, 21 808’s and 17 SFX. If you can’t find the sound you want here, it probably doesn’t exist. The range of beats you can produce with this sample pack is inspiring. It’s 3 drum kits in 1 split up into three distinctive flavors; future drums, live drums and warped drums!

The drum samples included in this sample pack are so diverse that they can be incorporated in most genres effortlessly; R&B, pop, rap, hip-hop, etc. NATDS is available for people who work with different formats also; Kontakt 5 and WAV 24-bit formats are included making it more accessible for people with their tastes. You get all you could ever need from a DAW and will never have to buy another to use it for your tunes.

Julez Jadon, one of the designers of the product says, “Going through these ssamples will remind you of how you felt when you first fell in love with making music.” Judging from everything that’s included, we couldn’t argue with that. At a cost of $47, NATDS is worth looking into.

Modern Samples – Trap Drums HQ

Trap Drums HQ is another drum sample pack worth looking at. However, these samples are mainly targeted at people working within the trap and hip-hop genre. Featuring 314 sounds including 25 808 Bass samples, 24 808s tuned, 21 claps, 24 crashes, 18 FX, 28 hats, 19 hits, 34 kicks, 22 open hats, 25 rides, 15 risers, 33 snares, seven tambourines and 19 toms; all made from analog drum machines. Each sound is 100% royalty-free and can be used as you wish.

It’s obvious that a lot of love has gone into developing these drum samples; over 1600 samples were recorded with a little over 300 selected. Trap Drums HQ also offer unique sounding FX, tempo synced risers and hand-tuned 808’s. Reputable industry professionals including Grammy Award-winning producer and mix engineer Gary Noble also uses these samples, so it’s worthy of being used for high-level productions.

Overall, with a price tag of $37, the Trap Drums HQ drum sampler is good value for money and if your work predominantly within the hip-hop/trap genre it may be perfect for you.


Woodshed Audio – Essentials Pop

At $30, this application of drum samples is the cheapest, and rightfully so. It has far fewer sounds available to use within the tunes you create. However, ESSENTIAL: POP does have a lot going for it. As you would guess by the title, it is manufactured with a sole genre in mind. It was created and mixed by Jonathan Roye who has tailored the core ingredients of this DAW to engineer top quality pop tunes. Most of the samples are ready-to-go to drop into your timeline to minimize your mixing time while maintaining a high standard of sound production. It includes 210 of the basic one-shot sounds such as hats, shakers, claps and it also includes 60 ‘top-end’loops, etc.

Again, the sounds you use are royalty-free, so you’re free to use everything without restrictions. After you purchase the product the films are delivered in 44.1 x 24 wav files/Apple Loops.

Overall, ESSENTIAL: POP provides a good product for its purpose. It does what it says on the tin. If you’re not the most experienced with mixing and creating your sound the 60 loops included will probably make this DAW a suitable product for you…if you’re into pop.

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