Drum Replacement Plugins

There are a number of options out there to get your drum replacement work to work well. The names may change from time to time, but these are some great software choices. We encourage you to check them out (and, in the freeware cases, try them out!).

Trigger – Slate Trigger is a drum‑replacement plug‑in that can output MIDI for triggering external sample players or allow you to use your own samples from within Trigger’s player. Highly accurate triggering, it is a fast and easy solution for replacing exisiting drum sounds or blending in samples for enhancement. Visit Slate’s website for current pricing.

Drumagog – Still one of the biggest names in drum replacement tools, with a repuation that is well-deserved. If Drumagog can’t solve your drum replacement needs, very little else will either. In terms of quality, features, and ease of use, Drumagog is still the drum sample tool to beat. While not free (prices range from $199 to $379), this is a program you will find yourself using constantly. Worth every penny if you record drums often.

Massey DRT DRT2 can enhance or replace poorly recorded drum tracks with third-part samples like Drum Werks. You can trun a good drum sound into a great sound that sits better in your mix with the right combination of drum samples. According to their website, “DRT v2 ‘Works like a charm,’ it is ‘very accurate,’ and ‘very easy to set and tweak.’

TL Labs TL Drum Rehab [ProTools] – According to the product specs, “TL Drum Rehab™ offers a comprehensive set of tools to enhance or replace original drum recordings precisely, automatically, and in real time.

Free Alternatives

If you are on a tight budget, you are still in luck. Many free alternatives exist that will do drum replacing admirably.

apTrigga [VST/AU for Windows/Mac] – According to their website, “apTrigger features: Audio plugin for Mac OS X (VST/AU) and Windows (VST); Triggers mono & stereo samples by analyzing audio signals;ZERO samples trigger latency.

Like the other software listed here, it replaces recorded drums with samples but is capable of many other drum sample related processes as well.

KTDrumTrigger [VST for Windows/Mac] – According to their website, “KTDrumTrigger is a VST plugin with custom editor that triggers MIDI notes based on the sound level of the incoming audio stream in different frequency bands. It allows you to ‘detect’ occurrences of percussive sounds in an audio stream and send out a MIDI event whenever that happens.”

Peak Freak [VST for Windows] – According to their website, “PeakFreak is a plugin that converts audio input that falls into a certain frequency and amplitude range into midi notes of a certain length. This can for example be useful if you want to trigger the bass drum from your sound expander via MIDI automatically by the bass drum from an audio track.

Replacer [VST for Windows] – According to their website, “Replacer is a VST plug-in designed to replace drum and percussive sounds with other samples. Basically, it is comprised of a band-pass filter which selects the relevant frequency of the sound required to be replaced, and then the peak amplitudes at this frequency then trigger chosen sample/s. The samples can be 16 or 24-bit wav files recorded at any sample rate.”

More to come as products are developed and emerge…