Top 7 Drum Libraries For KONTAKT 2022 (And 4 Freebies)

Top 7 Drum Libraries For KONTAKT (With 4 Freebies) | Integraudio.com

I’ve enlisted and reviewed the top 7 drum libraries you can find for NI Kontakt in 2022.

Drums are essential to any modern production. Whether in a particular beat or a full-length movie, percussion is responsible for setting the rhythm of your project. If you need some and can’t record them,  then it’s good to count on some good-quality pre-recorded samples

Native Instrument’s Kontakt is a well-known software, and the large variety of instruments available out there prove it. Today, let’s look at some drum libraries made for the program that can help you achieve excellent sound quality in your productions and take your music to the next level – and 4 of these are free!

Top 7 Drum Libraries For NI Kontakt 2022

1. Native Instruments Abbey Road Drummer Collection

More Info & Price 

Few studios inspire such quality with their name as Abbey Road does, and this collection proves that with a handful selection of drum samples and percussive grooves.

Six iconic eras of music are present in this collection. From vintage swings to modern rolls, you’ve got it all covered here. With a modest price tag compared to what you get, this compendium of drum eras is the ultimate sample paradise for acoustic drums.

The “vintage drummer” set consists of drum kits from the 1930s and 1940s, full of swing and class; the “50s drummer” brings the flavor of early rock and roll, rhythm and blues and jazz tunes; the “60s drummer” is a very authentic vintage sound, thanks to all the mics, drum kits and mixing setups from the era used on the samples.

In the “70s drummer” set, you have the famous Tequila Sunrise Ludwig Vistalite at your disposal, sounding better than ever; the “80s drummer” brings the glam of this decade with that characteristic reverb used, ranging from new wave to insane metal sounds; finally, the “modern drummer” brings the best of the best, recorded and delivered by the best professionals and showcasing the premium sound of the most fantastic kits available.

 

Key Features:

  • Best Value
    You’re getting six eras of drumming styles, with all the equipment relatable to each particular period. It pretty much covers up any familiar genre or style in both modern and more vintage-style productions.
  • Abbey Road Certified
    The name of this studio implies quality, be it in music,  artists, or production. You’ve got all that covered already, but it’s good to remind you that you’re not only getting the drum kits available at the legendary studio – all the microphones, reverb units, room size, etc., are present.
  • Samples and MIDI Patterns
    With over 100 GB of samples, you’re getting an enormous range of sound right at your DAW. If you want to, you can use the Groove Libraries to inspire you, with MIDI patterns ready for drag and drop at your project session.

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt Player or Kontakt 6.2.2+, which works on Windows 7/macOS 10.13 or higher, with Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 2 GB RAM64-bit. Kontakt comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher is also required.

Summary:

A legendary studio plus outstanding professionals and equipment can’t usually go wrong, and so are these samples. This collection is more than a bunch of audio files condensed: it’s a summary of the history of modern music. The range of different kits is more than enough to be helpful to most producers out there, mainly when it’s recorded uniquely by the best professionals available

Related Reading:

11 Best Percussion & Drum VST Plugins In 2022 (And FREE Plugins)

2. 40’s Very Own Drums

More Info & Price

40’s Very Own Drums is a virtual drum machine with hard-hitting Hip-Hop drum sounds. 

It has fifteen different kits with sixteen one-shots, MIDI drag and drops, and many MACRO effects. It’s one of the best drum Kontakt libraries with five windows: Main, Kit, FX, Pattern, and Macros, that offer complete control over your sound and edits. It has 200+ sounds organized in nine preset categories

Key Features:

  • Tune Quantization
    There’s a tune quantization switch in the library that, when turned on, keeps the tuning knob in semitones, represented by the step icon. When turned off, the same knob lets you adjust the tuning in cents and is represented by a straight line.
  • Kit Editor
    The plugin has a virtual drum kit that consists of sixteen pads and one-shots, a dedicated sampler, and an insert fx. You can browse through different sounds in the sampler and edit their pitch, volume, pan, velocity curve, and ADSR. You can also add an HPF and an LPF, along with effects like saturation, compressor, etc. The pads are color-coded by the drum sound you select on them.
  • Pattern Editor
    Each kit has sixteen pre-designed grooves you can edit in the pattern editor. In addition, the pattern editor allows you to edit the speed, latch, retrigger, quantize, and playback display. It also shows to which note each pattern is assigned.
  • FX Editor
    The FX editor allows you to add and edit effects and assign them to different pads. You can add effects like compressor, saturation, limiter, tape saturation, lo-fi, and more. In addition, it has different windows for insert effects, global effects, and send effects

Compatibility:

The plugin is compatible with the free Kontakt plugin and has a small hard disk space requirement of 52 MB. 

Summary:

The instrument has a comprehensive set of controls. It also has an extensive MACROs editor that allows you to assign and rearrange MACRO effects in any order you want. As a result, the sounds are of great quality, combined with the immense controls and editing options for patterns and sounds, making it one of the best Kontakt drum libraries.

3. Have Audio Omnidrums

More Info & Price

A new way to play the drums has arrived with Omnidrums. Produced with unfathomable attention to detail, it grants full command over the mix and puts a professional recording studio in the palm of your hand.

To ensure the most authentic and cutting-edge drumming experience possible, it incorporates drum techniques that have never been sampled before and provides a wide range of color options for each component.

Using the in-built arpeggiator or mixing all of the patterns and loops we recorded for you, adjusting the tempo, reversing, adding effects, and a superb analog-processed destructive distortion, you can construct new and surprise grooves. They implemented a user mapping mechanism for making custom drum kits and patches for the last touch.

Key Features:

  • Package
    With several bass drums, snares, toms, and cymbals, this patch functions similarly to a massive drum set. If you like to daydream about playing a massive instrument with countless moving parts, tunings, effects, and more, you are free to do so. Imagine a drum set with ten separate kick drums or twenty individual cymbals.
  • Original Mix
    When you first access the library, the original mix option will be selected automatically. For composers and producers working under time constraints, they present this factory-made, ready-to-use mix. There’s no need to fiddle with the 12-channel strips mixer if that’s not your thing.
    You may expect excellent outcomes and immediate enjoyment with the Original Mix. If, on the other hand, you want to work with sounds more openly and flexibly, you should make your mixes.
  • Loops
    Even though Omnidrums wasn’t designed to be a “drum loops library,” it nonetheless came with ten extra patches loaded with percussion loops and patterns. Since brush sounds are so often overlooked in sample libraries despite being among the most challenging to “fake,” they spent a lot of time recording them.
    As a result, they captured a wide variety of brush patterns to provide you with a wealth of options for crafting effective comping, grooves, and textures. Brushes, in particular, are of great interest for audio and visual post-production.
  • Arpeggiator
    Let’s pretend you can make incredible grooves, loops, and even drum solos with Omnidrums by treating it like a harmonic instrument and using the arpeggiator. Use one-shot samples if you want realistic drumming effects; try out lengthier sounds and textures if you want wacky, unexpected effects or want to delve deeper into sound creation.
    You can customize the number of steps and their height/velocity by clicking and dragging the mouse on the screen. Make use of a wider palette of colors by adjusting the octave range to incorporate mapped sounds of varying pitch. Adjust the arpeggio’s number of steps and how it divides time. Try out music with irregular meter, subdivision, form, and octave range.

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt 5.7 or higher (NOT the free Kontakt Player). Kontakt 5.7 is available for Windows 7 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.10 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

It’s a comprehensive collection includes 12 velocity layers and 8 round robins. Because of its many articulations and 12 mixing channels, it is an excellent instrument for sound design utility. Perhaps they will add more loops of varying types in the future, but for the time being, Omnidrums is still a very complicated plugin.

4. Native Instruments Butch Vig Drums 

More Info & Price

A part of Native Instruments’ Play Series, this library features a selection of heavy drum sounds created by Butch Vig himself.

Famous for producing classic albums such as Nirvana’s “Nevermind” and Green Day’s “21st Century Breakdown”, Butch Vig is well-known for his approach to modern drum sounds. With that in mind, Native Instruments teamed with him to bring this exciting new Kontakt library as a testament to his legacy.

This library comes with heavily-processed sounds, all recorded at United Recording’s Studio A, in Hollywood, and was post-edited by Butch with the assistance of both analog and digital preamps, compressors, and more at his home studio “GrungeIsDead.” Most sounds started as traditional acoustic drums, but after the “Vig process,” they have become another hard-hitting sound entirely.

The main interface features 16 pads assigned to each piece of the kit (S for Snare, K for Kick, etc.). At the bottom, you have parameters for six FXs, tune, and level.  You also have 16 beats created by Vig, which can be easily dragged and dropped at your DAW. Combining these options with the multitude of controls, you can set particular sounds for the already heavy drums, such as de-tuning or filtering.

Key Features:

  • Kits
    There are 21 kits available, each of them with 16 one-shots and the possibility to edit the velocity curve, high and low-pass filtering, and send effects, just to name a few.  The post-recording processing done by Butch brings lots of weight and dynamics to each piece of the kit with the help of distortion and saturation units.
  • Beats
    Butch has created 16 beats that can be accessed via the patterns page and easily included on your project. Tracks separate them – fills, choruses, verses, etc. – and vary from kit to kit. You simply have to drag and drop the MIDI files, but it doesn’t end there: just as with the kits, you can edit the speed, quantizing and re-pitching, for instance, and make each groove your own.
  • Kontakt Play Series
    This library is a part of the Play Series, in which Native Instruments brings some collections in an easy-to-use package. All the instruments behave friendly yet maintain a particular sound character that brings personality and superb quality to each sound collection.
  • Macro Effects
    It’s incredible how Butch Vig tweaked these sounds to his signature style, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go even further. The macro effect controls available (filter, punch, grunge, flair, reverb, delay, tune, and level) cover up to 24 parameters and can be assigned at the effects page, all to your taste.
BUTCH VIG DRUMS Playthrough | Native Instruments

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt Player or Kontakt 6.2.2+, which works on Windows 7/macOS 10.13 or higher, with Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 2 GB RAM64-bit. Kontakt comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher is also required.

Summary:

It’s cool to have a library such as Butch Vig Drums, simply because it was created and shaped with the skills of a proficient legendary producer. The hard sound present on this package brings a clear perspective to how dynamics and saturation can get a new life to drum tracks while at the same time allowing the user to tweak it to their need.

5. Heavyocity Damage 2

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After a decade since its first edition, Heavyocity Media brings the updated version for the acclaimed Damage library, recorded at the Skywalker Sound Studios.

Heavyocity ensured that a variety of percussive instruments would be here, so you can count on a typical snare sound, for instance. Alongside the three engines available, you can also shape each of these sounds into something unique to your production.

One of the special features in the earlier version was the SFX elements, dubbed as “Damaged,” and it’s here again. Sound designers will love the transitions and drum strokes just as before. You could edit them too, but it’s nice that the team decided to include their takes on this.

Heavyocity Damage 2 Review - Top 7 Drum Libraries For NI Kontakt (And 4 Best Free Libraries) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  •  Samples
    From bass drums to snare ensembles, alongside taiko drums and unique percussive kits. They even recorded a rolling dumpster at the studio’s scoring stage! There are 41,395 samples included, which means most percussive instruments will be available.
  • Ensemble Designer
    This browsing mode lets you load sound sources in octave banks and individual sounds, while altering the microphone position (Close, Room, Hall, LFE, and Analog CRUSH settings) and even creating a 3D positioning for each instrument, like in an actual stage. Your sound will get much more realistic and organic this way.
  • Drum Kits
    You can create your kit designs with 16-voice slots, each capable of loading different sound sources and individual FX chains to them (compression, reverb, saturation, and many more). It’s constructive if you want to save that perfect combination of instruments.
  • Loops
    Damage 2 includes many loops ready to be included in your project and get your creative juices flowing. Straight or triplet, there are more than 850 of these, with the advantage to add FX or modulation to them via a Unique Send FX layer.
  • Damaged Elements
    The hybrid-percussive effects, such as transitions, impacts, and visceral drum effects, can be used equally on a trailer for your movie or an elaborated audio track. They were created by Heavyocity in the same way as in the previous version, with the SFX designer’s needs in mind.
Damage 2 - Preset Playthrough | Heavyocity

First Look: Damage 2 by Heavyocity

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt Player or Kontakt 6.2.2+, which works on Windows 7/macOS 10.13 or higher, with Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 2 GB RAM64-bit. Kontakt comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher is also required.

Summary:

There are many drum libraries out there, but few of them get it as good as Damage 2 does when it comes to sound quality, cinematic sounds, and unique options to customize it. If you’re an SFX designer or just need some tremendous cinematic sounds for your productions, this is the perfect library for you. 

Related Reading:

20 Best Kontakt Libraries For All Categories 2022 (Synths, Drums, Vocals)

6. Native Instruments DrumLab 

More Info & Price 

If you’re looking for good-quality acoustic samples and some options on electronic sounds simultaneously, this might be a good option for you.

With the ability to create thousands of drum combinations to better fit your needs, Native Instruments Drum Lab is branded as a “first-of-its-kind instrument,” bringing the expressiveness of both drumming worlds into one single library.

Derico Watson is the drummer responsible for playing on all the acoustic samples, executing 38 individual perfect-tuned drums. Grammy-winning producer Kenny Barto was trusted to make each sample sound the best possible, with both vintage and modern gear and three different recording rooms at his disposal.

And, of course, you have all the drum machine sounds loved by producers and SFX designers right there, alongside the samples.

The interface allows for an intuitive and fast workflow, having all the drum selection options and controls available right at the main screen. You can set three modes of drum compression right with convolution reverb, so it’s easy to manipulate the sounds with very few adjustments.

Key Features:

  • Elements Combination
    An advanced layering technique allows the drums to have maximum punch and weight in a mix. The 80 electronic layers of drum machines are edited to have the phases aligned, faded, and pitched accordingly to the acoustic instruments.
  • Bionic Grooves
    Over 900 drum patterns are here to showcase a wide range of genres and styles. A visual groove display is shown so you can see precisely where the drums hit lines up, while the number of loops can be used to create fills, hit variations, and much more right at the sequencer screen.
  • Easy-to-use Interface
    The main screen is one of the most simple-looking on this list. You can edit the mic positioning, overall FXs and select whatever drum pieces you’d like with extreme easiness to help you concentrate solely on creating the best patterns and phrases.
Native Instruments DrumLab Review & Tutorial

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt Player or Kontakt 6.2.2+, which works on Windows 7/macOS 10.13 or higher, with Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 2 GB RAM64-bit. Kontakt comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher is also required.

Summary:

With the best parts of both worlds, DrumLab gets it right by mixing great-sounding acoustic samples with the most iconic electronic drum sounds ever. The variety is immense, and you won’t have any trouble finding them with this particular good-looking interface.

The customization options are good enough for your beat-productions, but it comes in handy to have it all together on the same screen.

Related Reading:

Top 12 Plugins For Hip-Hop 2022 (+ Best Kontakt Libraries)

7. In Session Audio Drumatic Creator

More Info & Price 

Drumatic Creator is a sample library designed to bring drum ensembles in a new and flexible way without limiting your creativity.

Unlike most drum libraries out there, Drumatic focuses on bringing the experience of creating, controlling, and generating ensembles of your own, with a selection of 40 drums in total, from a single interface.

You have booms, slaps, rim, metallic hits, clicks, and much more ready for you to create polished drum tracks with much emotion attached to them.

Nashville-based In Session Audio created this library to bring the perfect dramatic percussion to your project. Each instrument has been sampled individually, and they’re combined using ISA’s custom-built Kontakt scripts.

The result is maximized user control over the sound of the ensemble.

You’re able to decide which pieces of the kit will be in the group, control the pitch and filter of each one of them, and much more. All of these settings can help shape the ensemble’s overall sound or just tweak any particular instrument you’d like, as easy as it gets.

In Session Audio Drumatic Creator Review - Top 7 Drum Libraries For NI Kontakt (And 4 Best Free Libraries) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Groups
    All the sets are condensed together by drum and percussion groups. Each group can consist of both instruments, loading up to nine of them. They have independent volume, pan, and pitch controls. You can control them with white and black keys, respectively, which can be assigned to trigger fast rolls or trills, for example.
  • Unity Control
    This control is unique simply because it introduces a delay at the triggering of each instrument within a group. It’s meant to replicate the effect of real musicians not hitting the drums in the exact moment, making it sound more natural. However, the delay is not random: you can set it up from 0ms to 40ms, assigned to each instrument concerning the next.
  • EQ Modules
    Users also have access to a 4-band EQ with two fully parametric mid bands, switching between bell and shelving curves. A high-pass and low-pass filter are also present. There’s a second form of EQ, in addition: branded EQ DNA, it’s a convolution EQ that uses impulses to match the EQ to that of the impulse (22 available!). There’s a reverb with similar functionality
Drumatic Creator - Kontakt Sample Library - Demo

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt Player or Kontakt 5.7.1+, which works on Windows 7/macOS 10.13 or higher, with Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 2 GB RAM64-bit. Kontakt comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher is also required.

Summary:

The main difference between Drumatic Creator and other drum libraries is the ease of creating and arranging different drum kits into one single interface. Although you can choose individual pieces to your taste, this library opts to give the user freedom to adjust everything as a group, so the overall sound will be as expressive as it gets for your cinematic production. 

The 3 Best Free Drum & Percussion Kontakt Libraries 2022

1. Wavesfactory Old Tape Drums

More Info & Download

Wavesfactory opted to record this legendary drum kit in the “grungiest” way possible, available for free and with some fantastic lo-fi elements alongside it.

It’s a very straight-forward library: a Ludwig Vistalite drumkit, recorded in mono with a cassette tape, ready to bring the best out of a lo-fi aesthetic.

The sample library features six velocity layers and 6 round robin per articulation, with the additional tape recorder noises (such as tape noise and button press sounds). If that’s not enough, the custom Kontakt interface allows you to alter the pitch and tone of the samples during playback, too.

Wavesfactory Old Tape Drums - 4 Best Free Drum Kontakt Libraries | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Custom Script
    A custom script allows you to control both volume and the overall color of the sound in a heartbeat. It helps you find the perfect sound beneath the dynamic layers of the cassette tape.
  • CPU Friendly
    Have a slower workstation? No problem. Inside the download package, you’ll find a Lite version of the library, perfect to not overload your machine while you work.
Old Tape Drums - Free Kontakt library

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt Player or Kontakt 6.2.2+, which works on Windows 7/macOS 10.13 or higher, with Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 2 GB RAM64-bit. Kontakt comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher is also required.

Summary:

It’s nice to have some good-quality lo-fi sounds for free, and this library is unique on its own because of the Ludwig drum kit. The overall aesthetics of the GUI makes it appealing for modern producers that want to add a layer of crisp sounds to their productions.

2. Panda Sound Restrains Kit

More Info & Download

Panda Sound offers you the drums that appear on Restrain’s record “Arson/Foreword” with this heavy-sounding library.

If you require some drum samples that can efficiently deal with metal songs, you’ve found it. It’s a very simple-looking interface that gives a fully-mixed drum kit for free.

Restrain’s record is the main inspiration behind this product, and the team hopes it will be enough for every metal-oriented production you must accomplish.

Panda Sound Restrains Kit - 4 Best Free Drum Kontakt Libraries | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Lots of Weight
    This kit is already panned to fit the drummer’s view of the kit and bring the best possible sound to a heavy-hitting and downtempo song.
  • Clean Interface
    Each piece is divided by channels, not too different from what most producers are already used to working with. You can pan, mute, and choose the pieces to your taste, as simple as it gets.
Free Metal Drumkit Library Panda Sound 'Restrains' Deathcore Demo

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt Player or Kontakt 5.4.3+, which works on Windows 7/macOS 10.13 or higher, with Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 2 GB RAM64-bit. Kontakt comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher is also required.

Summary:

This free library is excellent for metal-oriented productions if you require samples to bring the exact weight you need. It shouldn’t be too hard to find the amount of heaviness required for this particular genre.

3. Rast Sound LOW DRUMS

More Info & Download

Low Drums is a free drum library containing playable dynamic solo drum instruments and patterns.

Rast Sound has worked on this for almost a year, experimenting and studying the best possible sound combinations. This library contains hundreds of recorded and designed drum sounds ready to be used in virtually every modern genre

One of the most straightforward interfaces on this list, you get some controls to dial in the perfect sound: “attack” and “release,” for shaping the envelope; plus “saturate” and “reverb” controls, with a unique selection for the kind of space you want to use

Rast Sound LOW DRUMS - 4 Best Free Drum Kontakt Libraries | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Dynamic Layers
    You’ll find eight drum sounds ready-to-use, with four dynamic layers attached to each one of them.
  • Patterns
    This library comes with 14 patterns to further develop your creativity, ready to add low power to your production.
LOW DRUMS | FREE DRUM LIBRARY | KONTAKT & WAV

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt Player or Kontakt 5.5.1+ (will not work in the free Kontakt Player, but you can use the WAV files in your DAW nonetheless), which works on Windows 7/macOS 10.13 or higher, with Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 2 GB RAM64-bit

Kontakt comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher is also required.

Summary:

Without many secrets behind its interface, it’s as simple as you want, with straight-forward controls and good-quality samples that will get your low-end covered in any possible common situation.

4. Death Lab Studios Sensitone Snare

More Info & Download

A dedicated library to help you achieve the perfect snare sound.

Death Lab Studios recorded this Pearl Sensitone Black Snare 14″x6.5″ with five different microphones, and it’s up to you to tweak the tone you’re looking for.

Death Lab Studios Sensitone Snare - 4 Best Free Drum Kontakt Libraries | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Velocity Layers
    There are seven incremental velocity layers available, so you can get the best nuances out of the dynamic spectrum. The five randomized round-robin can help you arrange these configurations in a specific order, bringing more life to the playability.
  • Microphone Selection
    Feel free to mix up the five different microphones to your taste. You can control each via a dedicated fader in 4 specific positions.
Sensitone Snare Kontakt library by DLS Digital - video demonstration

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt Player or Kontakt 6.2.2+, which works on Windows 7/macOS 10.13 or higher, with Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 2 GB RAM64-bit. Kontakt comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher is also required.

Summary:

It’s the only snare-oriented library on this list, and sometimes it’s the most challenging piece to achieving the sound you desire. This set of samples is dedicated to achieve a good snare sound, simply by tweaking how much of each microphone you want.

Other Great Drum Kontakt Libraries 2022

1. Native Instruments Action Strikes 

More Info & Price 

A collection of high-energy cinematic percussions with an easy-to-use interface that promotes fluid workflow and dynamic versatility. 

Following the success of Action Strings, Native Instruments brings the drum-equivalent Action Strikes as an excellent resource for cinematic productions. With a hand-selected variety of ensembles, each one meticulously recorded, this library excels at bringing powerful hits that can replicate the strength of a live orchestra.

You can change rhythms easily with intuitive key switches by using your left hand to control the rhythm itself and your right hand to handle all the possible variations. From a light hit to a thundering roll, each can be adjusted by a turn on the mod wheel, so you get real-time control on every fill you may want to include.

It all comes down to the team who made this possible: Dynamedion, founded by Pierre Langer and Tilman Sillescu, is a well-established production team specialized in computer game sound designs (Crysis 2, KINECT Star Wars, Ryse: Son Of Rome, and much more) and movie trailers (The Last King Of Scotland, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, The Bourne Ultimatum), so their experience is well-translated on this ambitious library.

Key Features:

  • Ensembles
    With an array of 12 ensembles, carefully recorded to feature the accurate feel of a live orchestra, you can mix between the high, middle, or low sections and get over 1,700 sound combinations. From snares to bongos, windchimes to hi-hats, and aquaphones to bass drums, each one is recorded with particular attention to the details of dynamics.
  • Custom Orchestra
    You don’t have a generic loop library here. Instead, you get 105 rhythms that can be combined freely, with five variations per ensemble, 32 playable rhythms, and 12 playable sets of single hits.
  • Real-time Control
    You’ll see the palette of sounds build up instantly with all the above features selected. Although it may take its toll on CPU usage, you can rest assured that the power of a sound mass will be there – especially when it’s a full orchestra weighing on your production. You’ll have every modification available right away, without complicated settings or specific commands. 
Discover Action Strikes | Native Instruments

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt Player or Kontakt 6.2.2+, which works on Windows 7/macOS 10.13 or higher, with Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 2 GB RAM64-bit. Kontakt comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher is also required.

Summary:

The great thing about Action Strikes is the enormous variety of cinematic options you have available, without a single pre-made loop. It’s entirely up to you – and your CPU – to organize, blend and execute the rhythms and strokes of each instrument into one single sound spectrum, allied with a simple score-oriented interface and instant playability.

Related Reading:

Top 12 Orchestral VST Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 2022 (+ FREE Plugins)

2. Sample Logic Drum Fury 2 

More Info & Price 

The second installment of the Drum Fury library brings organic sounds and a plethora of worldwide percussive instruments with modern and inspiring design.

The previous version had opted to bring a massive selection of sounds. This time Sample Logic went for organic and electronic ones with a choice of unusual instruments. They applied fantastic sampling techniques with less-sampled percussive elements and synth drums

They recorded the contents at multiple locations to offer a variety of tones, ready to be manipulated to your needs in an interface very appealing and easy to use. The controls seem to be very straightforward concepts, such as the “energizer” and the “polisher” faders.

Utilizing the building blocks, you can stack multiple instruments at a time and shift them using the “octave displacement” feature. Adding reverb or delay to it may bring an excellent drone quality to your rhythm, and you can also shape the amplitude envelope with the ASDR controls.  

Sample Logic Drum Fury 2 - Top 7 Drum Libraries For NI Kontakt (And 4 Best Free Libraries) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Reverse Mode
    This mode lets you select a few or all samples and play them backward instantly. You can stack them to your taste, and the selected samples will play backward or forward. It’s a new feature from the previous version, allowing you to go for truly exquisite and unique sounds, which were not possible until now.
  • Hi-cut and Lo-cut Filters
    Other fabulous additions are the Hi and Lo-cut filters, which can be tweaked to easily blend the instruments. The LFO modulators are a great help if you have multiple dynamic layers on synth drums and percussive elements.
  • World Percussion Instruments
    The choice to add rare instruments from all over the world alongside more modern sounds makes this edition an evolution from its predecessor. Aside from creating tailored kits for your sound, these sampled percussions can also be tweaked.
  • Stretch Mode
    Another great tool is the new stretch mode. With 438 samples at your disposal, you can edit each one of them to span the entire range of the keyboard. Adding FXs such as delay and reverb may create striking elements and transitions for your production, with endless customization possibilities. 
DRUM FURY 2 - OVERVIEW

Compatibility:

This library requires the full paid version of Kontakt, version 5.8.1 or higher (will not work in the free Kontakt Player!), Mac OS X 10.11 or higher, i5, 4 GB RAM (6 GB recommended), 64-bit only, Windows 7 or higher, Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 4 GB RAM (6 GB recommended), 32/64-bit, 1.6 GB free disk space for sample content. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher is also required.

Summary:

A clear improvement since its first version, Drum Fury 2 excels in blending exquisite-sounding instruments with modern sound-shaping options, leading to very custom-sounding elements. If you’re an SFX designer looking for an alternative to standard libraries, the quality of controls and the easiness of the GUI are great arguments to give it a try.

Related Reading:

20 Best FREE Kontakt Libraries 2022 For Various Categories

3. Heavyocity Ethnic Drum Ensembles Collection 

More Info & Price 

Ensemble Drums is an instant dramatic percussion toolbox that provides various customization options for the right drum sound.

Master Sessions: Ethnic Drum Ensembles include around 365 tempo-synced loops and six multi-sampled drum ensembles. Every group features seven percussionists playing anything from seven to twelve different drums at once. The team at Heavyocity processed and mixed hundreds of loops to create banks that are both inspirational and immediately practical.

Key Features:

  • Kits
    There are daikos, congas, djembes, bodhrans, darbukas, cajons, and surdos spread across the six groups. These dynamic ensembles are available as menu presets and single kit configurations, giving you full creative freedom over your music. In addition, Heavyocity has modified and affected the kits even further, resulting in 27 new harsh presets.
  • Loops
    You can find over 375 time-synced phrases in Ethnic Drum Ensembles – Loops, which are neatly organized in menus and single-loop presets. One novel addition is separating the material into single-loop and triple-loop sections. Use Heavyocity’s “Loop Mutator” to rearrange and fine-tune the loops slice by slice. Adjusting the Trigger FX, master effects, filter modulation, and ADSR controls may get some revolutionary sound.
  • Effects
    Kit and Loop elements have three tiers of effects built-in global effects, Trigger-FX, and individual sound manipulation. Select one of four Master FX to apply globally to the preset. There are four settings per effect that you can adjust. For example, the distinctive “Punish” Knob combines saturation, distortion, and compression, allowing you to set the level of aggression.
    You can also use the “Twist” knob to change the tone’s contours. Modify the sound however you like with the 4-band Master EQ or individual channel/loop EQs. In Ethnic Drum Ensembles – Loops, you can adjust the Filter’s triggering using an ADSR envelope or an LFO to control the Filter’s modulation.

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt 5.7 or higher. Kontakt 5.7 is available for Windows 7 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.10 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

This is the place to be if you work in cinematic composition or sound design. The Ensemble Drums can provide you with a huge traditional sound in seconds. In addition, it offers a substantial quantity of information and is available at a price that is not prohibitive.

4. Prism Modern Pop Drums

More Info & Price 

AVA Music Group brings an excellent selection of modern pop drums to your DAW, focusing on quality over quantity.

This library features acoustic and electronic samples to help you get that modern pop sound. It deserves an honorable mention because of the fresh-looking interface and all the possible combinations you’ll find with FXs in each kit.

The drum kits are pre-mixed and ready to add reverb, EQ, and transient shaping to each piece. You’ll also find loops, sweeps, and hits available for use.

Prism Modern Pop Drums - Top 7 Drum Libraries For NI Kontakt (And 4 Best Free Libraries) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Intuitive Interface
    Each “section” of the drum kit is divided and well-described into ten different parts each. Also, you can find the controls related to each piece near them, so it’s much easier to control a specific volume or EQ setting.
  • Lots of Sound Possibilities
    Aside from the many individual sounds for each kit, you get 42 drum loops, 16 hi-hat loops, and 22 Foley sounds to help you out with any audiovisual productions that fit this aesthetic. 
PRISM | Modern Pop Drums - Kontakt Walkthrough

Compatibility:

The library is available for Kontakt Player or Kontakt 5.8+ (will not work in the free Kontakt Player!), which works on Windows 7/macOS 10.13 or higher, with Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 2 GB RAM64-bit. Kontakt comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats. Graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher is also required.

Summary:

A good option for a specific sound design, the Prism library has an excellent blend of sample options with precise controls for each kit section. The loops and Foley sounds are a perfect addition. 

Related Reading:

Top 10 R&B And Pop Music Plugins & KONTAKT Libraries 2022

Conclusion

Every good production deserves a nice-sounding drum part. It helps set the mood in a movie, the rhythm of a beat, and the arrangement quality in a song.

I’ve brought you many options, but keep in mind that some require the full version of Kontakt to run. Otherwise, they’ll just execute for 15 minutes on the free version.

Suppose you’re looking for the perfect set of drum samples to be in your arsenal. In this case, I’d recommend Native Instruments’ Abbey Road Drummer Collection, as it’s the most comprehensive library on this list and definitely will leave you prepared for most productions. Every musical genre from the last 70+ years is present in this library.

However, if you need potent samples to set the ambient for your film or video production, you can’t go wrong with Heavyocity’s Damage 2. It’s simple to use and more oriented to SFX designers who need to create the perfect tension or ambient description in a scene. The team responsible ensured the best recording methods possible on each audio file.

You’ll find particular libraries with different uses – but Wavesfactory’s Old Tape Drums might have the layer necessary. Not only to create lo-fi sounds but also to tighten an already existing clean acoustic drum recording.

The best option for both acoustic and electronic worlds is Native Instruments’ DrumLab because you’ll find both great-sounding acoustic samples and classic drum machine sounds in the same library. The simple design is a great appeal, making it easier to use than most items on this list. 

Now it’s up to you. I’ve presented great libraries with many options to tweak the perfect sound you aim for without being too complicated or too heavy to work on. We recommend, first of all, that you have it clear in your mind what kind of production needs to be worked on, so it will be much easier to find what product fits your needs. 

Good luck and see you next time!

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