As producers, having tons of different samples at our disposal aids in our music creation. We can never have too many sample packs, right?
Downloading free drum kits is a great way to expand your collection without pulling out your wallet.
The biggest issue, however, is finding kits that are both free and high-quality. Fear not, as today I have curated a giant list of free drum kits you can use in your productions today.
Why read my list when there are others? I’ve always found it difficult reading lists that don’t categorize the types of kits.
I’ve done my best to separate the free drum kits in a way that will be useful and helpful to producers.
Free Acoustic Drum Kits
To start, I’ll begin with free acoustic kits. Out of all the packs on the list, these are going to be the most authentic and realistic sounding.
The list begins with one of my favorite free drum kits. MT Power DrumKit 2 from Manda Audio is easily the best free sample library you can find on the internet.
The drum kit is pre-processed, meaning they are mix-ready. You don’t need to waste time using EQ and compression to get great-sounding drums right after installation.
For electronic drum set owners, the MT Power Drumkit 2 is perfect for using samples instead of your included module’s sounds.
Included as well is are grooves, composed of thousands of different rhythms (MIDI packs) to fit any genre. The patterns sound surprisingly great, despite this library being completely free.
MT Power DrumKit 2 is available for both Mac and PC.
If you enjoy the plugin, consider donating to Manda Audio via PayPal on the website’s right sidebar.
Chokehold.net hosts a free drum kit called Sean Pandy Drums. The library is a VST drum rompler with a kick, snare, four toms, and a Sub Blower gives your mixes extra punch.
Each drum contains six velocity layers and up to ten round-robin samples, eliminating the possibility of drums sounding unrealistic.
Sean Pandy is a metal producer that posted some drum samples online many years. According to Chokehold, the samples are completely free to use.
Frustrated with no way to use the plugins easily with Kontakt or Drumagog, they went ahead and created a free plugin utilizing the samples.
For those of you looking for a retro sound, look no further. Drum Drops has an awesome-sounding 60s Rogers kit for you to use.
Despite the button on the website saying ‘Buy this Kit,’ it’s 100% free when you add it to your cart.
The kit used is a Power Tone from the late 60s, consisting of a 22″ kick, 13″ rack tom, and 16″ floor tom. The tuning on the kit is moderately high, which was common during that period.
Big Mono from Analogue Drums definitely feels more organic and natural when compared to other free drum kits available.
The kit used is a vintage Lugwig with a Rogers Dynasonic snare. Formats included for download are Kontakt, Battery, and WAV. The file size is relatively small, coming in at just 213.8 MB unzipped.
Listen to some of the samples below:
Another free kit option is from Band Shed. AVL Drumkits actually includes two kits: Red Zeppelin and Black Pearl.
Both libraries have five velocity layers per drum with a tiny memory footprint. They’re ideal for producers who use lots of plugins and older computers.
These two kits aren’t necessarily my favorites on the list, but they do possess unique characteristics and are worthy of a mention.
AVL Drumkits are free to download and utilize the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license, so you’ll need to credit them when used in production.
The G&S drum kit includes kicks, snares, rims, hats, cymbals, and toms, as you’d expect. Each slot has separate level, pan, and tune controls for editing.
This library does require the full version of Kontakt, as the free Kontakt Player will time-out after fifteen minutes.
Please respect the licensing requirements with the download and consider donating to the author if you like the pack.
Again, it’s not my favorite-sounding library, but it is definitely worth mentioning since it is free.
For fans of grunge and stadium rock, here are two free kits for you. Ruffrider and Easyrider from Michael Kingston are two new options for any producers needing rougher-sounding samples.
The recording conditions for both the kits were less than ideal, but the raw nature of the samples may be desired on productions that need to be less pristine.
Supported formats for the free library include EXS24 mkII, Halion 2, Kontakt, Soundfont 2, DR-008, and WAV.
Real Drums Vol. 1 is an incredible free drum library that works great with electronic music. The kit is acoustic but definitely lends itself to the EDM world.
Take a listen below:
To download this pack, you may need to know a bit of German (or use your browser’s translate function).
DrumMic’a from Sennheiser is a tremendous free drum kit containing 13,000 individual samples with 25 velocity layers per articulation. How were they able to make this free?
The kit must be a part of their marketing efforts to show off Sennheiser’s microphones. I love this kit; I think it’s fantastic sounding, especially since it’s completely free.
Supported formats are VST, AU, AAX, RTAS, ASIO, Core Audio, and WASAPI.
Here is a great sounding acoustic kit in the SFZ format. For those unfamiliar, SFZ is a sample player known as Sforzando.
There’s no compression or EQ included, so you’ll need to process the kit yourself. The samples are rather large, so be sure to free up some space on your hard drive and allocate enough RAM while producing.
Upon hitting play on the preview button, I was blown away by the quality of the samples from Orange Tree. The Jazz Funk free drum kit sounds incredible.
As their website states correctly, there is a lack of high-quality jazz and funk drum samples on the internet. This project was their attempt at rectifying the issue.
The free kit is available in Kontakt and SFZ format, but WAV files are also included in the download.
Not exactly one library, Drum Samples Meta is actually a forum thread that links out to several different free drum samples.
The most notable free collections are the metal samples from Andy Sneap.
Unfortunately, the forum thread is rather old, so some links may be dead. You may have to search hard to find some of them.
Here’s a free collection of acoustic libraries made for DrumGizmo, an open-source, multichannel, cross-platform drum plugin.
The CrocellKit, in particular, sounds fantastic. Danish metal band Crocell recorded their 2018 album Relics and decided to take samples of the kit before finishing recording.
Take a listen below:
Free Producer Drum Kits
Next up, I have producer kits for you. Producer kits are utilized more often in pop and hip hop music.
The 100K Sample Pack is loaded with over 1.2 GB of samples, loops, preset, project files, and more. There’s a LOT of free hip hop samples here.
The free drum kits are labeled as follows:
- WRLD: Hip Hop Sample Pack
- OLD TOWN: Hip Hop Sample Pack
- 808 MOB: Hip Hop Sample pack
- LOFI: Toolkit
- 9GOD: Hip Hop Sample Pack
- POSTY: Hip Hop Sample Pack
- MOTHERSHIP: Dubstep Sample Pack
- EMPIRE: Hip Hop Sample Pack
- ASTRO: Hip Hop Sample Pack
- HUMBLE: Hip Hop Sample Pack
- SANCTUARY: House Sample Pack
- UZI: Hip Hop Sample Pack
- FREEBIES: Drum Samples & Loops
There’s a lot here. Take your time, and don’t get overwhelmed.
This kit is somewhat of a mix between acoustic and electronic samples. I can hear this free library working great in a hip hop setting.
Take a listen below:
I will add more in due time. Have you used any free drum kits before? What are some of your favorites? Please let me know in the comments down below, and I will be sure to add them to the list! Thanks for reading.