8 Best Snare VST Plugins Available 2024 (Paid & Free)

8 Best Snare VST Plugins Available (Paid & Free) | integraudio.com

This article will discuss the best Snare Plugins and VSTs in 2024.

Snare is one of the most used elements in music production. Whether rock or hip-hop, EDM or Pop, no matter what genre you’re producing, you’d need the right Snare sample or sound to complement your song and production, as it is a fundamental part of the rhythm section, providing a strong backbeat that anchors the groove of the song. Finding the right samples can sometimes take hours and hours.

For example, a tight, punchy snare might be associated with pop music, while a deep, resonant snare could be characteristic of rock or metal. The snare drum’s timbre and tonal qualities contribute to the overall texture and color of the music.

A bright and snappy snare can add a layer of brightness to a mix, while a drier or more muted snare can create a different mood.

A unique or creatively processed snare sound can help a track stand out. Many producers and engineers experiment with different snare drum samples and processing to create a distinct sonic identity for their music.

In modern music production, snare sounds can be layered with other percussive elements or electronic samples to create complex and unique sounds that can’t be achieved with a single acoustic snare drum.

Considering all these sound design factors for snare, we have created a list of the best Snare drum plugins you can use in your songs and compositions. Let’s dive right into the list.

8 Best Snare Plugins Available 2024

1. 2getheraudio SN4RE Drum

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2getheraudio SN4RE Drum - 8 Best Snare VST Plugins Available (Paid & Free) | integraudio.com

The 2getheraudio SN4RE Drum is focused on achieving a good electronic snare drum sound.

It offers precision and versatility in snare drum creation, with various controls that make your snare brighter/darker, snappier/loser, ambient/dry, etc. It has various presets that give you a good starting point and effects ranging from distortion to reverb to filters that let you shape your sounds per your taste and preference.

Key Features:

  • Tone adjustment

Within the Character tab in the plugin, the SN4RE Drum plugin delivers sophisticated controls that grant you mastery over the nuanced tonal nuances of your snare drum sound.

The Sizzle, Snap, Box, and Weight parameters let you finely tune settings, and the sizzle can be intensified, the snap accentuated, the boxiness modified, and the weight adjusted, all converging to craft the very essence of the snare’s sonic identity.

  • Body tab

The Body tab of SN4RE Drum plugin encompasses controls like pitch, level, and transient to sculpt the snare impact. You can shape distinct characters’ brightness, resonance, and tonal balance. Refine sound with adjustable decay for drum shells and snare wires.

  • Dynamic

Smart Compressor offers controls for dynamic processing. For example, squash offers extreme compression, while Punch enhances attack and impact. The Drive feature, with Soft and Hard modes, adds character and intensity through subtle saturation or bold distortion.

  • Effects

The Effects section within the SN4RE Drum plugin introduces a realm of sonic possibilities. With Decimate, you can invoke a vintage, lo-fi ambiance by applying bit reduction. Bitcrush takes this further by reducing bit depth and sample rate, infusing the sound with a digital and gritty texture.

The Hipass feature incorporates a high-pass filter to surgically remove low frequencies, while Lopass employs a low-pass filter to create a warmer and softer snare tone by gently attenuating high frequencies. These tools offer diverse ways to shape the snare sound, expanding creative horizons.

  • Reverb

You can choose from different reverb types (booth, room, plate) to add spatial depth and ambiance to the snare sound. Adjust the reverb mix to control the balance between the dry snare sound and the added reverb effect.

Compatibility:

The 7DeadlySnares Snare Generator plugin is compatible with Windows 7 or later, requiring a 2GHz Pentium IV processor or equivalent and a host supporting 32-bit or 64-bit VST formats. For macOS, compatibility extends to macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later, Intel or Apple Silicon processors, and hosts supporting 64-bit VST or AudioUnit formats.

Summary:

The 2getheraudio SN4RE Drum is a virtual instrument designed for electronic music production, and it offers a range of controls, allowing you to tailor the snare’s brightness, snap, and ambiance. The plugin includes presets and effects like distortion, reverb, and filters, enhancing sound customization.

Notable features encompass precise tone shaping in the Character tab, impact refinement in the Body tab, dynamic control with the Smart Compressor, and transformative effects, including Decimate and Bitcrush.

2. 7DeadlySnares Snare Generator

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The 7DeadlySnares Snare Generator is a powerful VST plugin developed by BEATSURFING.

This plugin offers a unique approach to creating snare drum sounds with its 7 customizable audio engines, each inspired by one of the seven deadly sins. The customizable nature of the audio engines allows you to create a diverse range of snare sounds, offering extensive creative possibilities for music production.

The plugin features a variety of snare drum library options, realistic resonance, and detailed customization controls. It’s available for a free trial, allowing you to explore its capabilities before purchasing.

Key Features:

  • Pitch Manipulation

The plugin boasts a pitch manipulation system that encompasses various components, including the Pitch Tracking switch, Tune knob, Fine adjustment, and Tone knob. The pitch-tracking switch facilitates automatic pitch adjustments, aligning the snare’s pitch with your musical context.

The Tune knob is a global pitch control, allowing broad tonal changes. The Fine knob steps in for more detailed adjustments, setting the pitch right. Simultaneously, the Tone knob refines the harmonic content, shaping the snare’s overall character.

  • Randomize Dice

The Randomize feature offers dice-based experimentation for your snare creation process. With the Randomize Dice and Amount settings, you can introduce controlled randomness to your snare sounds. The dice selection determines which parameters will undergo randomization, while the Amount control governs the degree of variation applied.

  • Noise

7DeadlySnares Snare Generator’s Noise component plays a pivotal role in adding texture and complexity to your snare sounds. Two distinct Noise Types are available, each contributing a unique sonic character to the snare. The Seed parameter ensures repeatability in randomization while the Speed control manages the rate of the noise modulation.

  • Velocity sensitivity 

A critical aspect of expressive drum programming is velocity sensitivity. The 7DeadlySnares plugin addresses this with finesse, allowing you to sculpt your snare’s response to varying input velocities. This feature enables more dynamic expression, from gentle taps to powerful hits, adding depth and realism to the snare’s timbre within the context of the music.

  • Extensive Snare sculpting

Fine-tuning the nuances of your snare sounds is made effortless with the Length, Impact, Q, and Fire controls. The Length parameter governs the duration of the snare hit, from short and punchy to sustained and resonant. Impact shapes the initial transient, defining the snare’s attack characteristics.

The Q control sculpts the resonant peaks. Lastly, the Fire parameter injects a burst of energy, contributing to the snare’s presence and punchiness.

  • MACROS

Each of the seven customizable audio engines in the 7DeadlySnares plugin is equipped with four Macros, by which you can control multiple parameters. The Morph section further augments creativity by providing three altered versions of each engine navigated through a triangular pointer.

This morphing capability, combined with the four Macros, yields an expansive sound palette that spans a spectrum of emotional and textural possibilities.

  • Huge amount of presets

The plugin is designed to cater to various musical needs and genres. With plenty of well-designed presets, this plugin offers a treasure trove of sonic starting points. Covering a wide sonic scope, these presets are ready to be quickly tweaked and tuned to align seamlessly with your compositions

Compatibility:

The 7DeadlySnares Snare Generator plugin is compatible with Windows 7 or later, requiring a 2GHz Pentium IV processor or equivalent and a host supporting 32-bit or 64-bit VST formats. For macOS, compatibility extends to macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later, Intel or Apple Silicon processors, and hosts supporting 64-bit VST or AudioUnit formats.

Summary:

The 7DeadlySnares Snare Generator, a powerful VST plugin from BEATSURFING, offers a distinctive approach to snare sound creation with its 7 customizable audio engines. The engines enable diverse snare sounds, complementing extensive music production creativity.

The plugin includes pitch manipulation tools, randomization for controlled experimentation, noise types for added texture, and velocity sensitivity for expressive drum programming. Additionally, it provides precise snare sculpting controls (Length, Impact, Q, Fire), offers Macros, and comes with an array of presets.

3. Purafied Liquid Death Snare

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Purafied Liquid Death Snare - 8 Best Snare VST Plugins Available (Paid & Free) | integraudio.com

The Purafied Liquid Death Snare is a snare drum sampler designed in collaboration with SJC Drums.

It’s known for its aggressive tone and was created by Liquid Death in partnership with producer Sam Pura. The snare drum plugin includes more than 500 snare multi-samples. It’s available as a sample-based drum plugin for music production and audio editing purposes.

This plugin offers a distinctive sound for creating powerful and impactful drum tracks. It has been offered as a free download for a limited time.

Key Features:

  • Snare Tuning

The Snare Tuning feature within the Purafied Liquid Death Snare plugin allows you to seamlessly adjust the pitch of the snare, spanning from low to high frequencies, using an intuitive knob interface. Whether it’s a deep and resonant low end or a bright and crisp high end, you can tailor the drum’s tonal characteristics to suit the desired musical context.

  • Multiple mic controls

You get volume sliders for each of the following mic poistions: TOP, BTM, SHELL, DHS, U47, DHS, CLOSE, and FAR, along with Solo/Mute buttons and routing options to different mixer channels. You can even add effects and processing to them from the mixer channel(s).

  • MIDI-mapping for articulations

The Mapping feature provides a dynamic and flexible approach to triggering distinct snare articulations through MIDI input. This feature offers a range of mapping options, such as Rimshot, FLAM, and Multi Velocity triggers, which can be conveniently assigned to different MIDI notes.

  • Master controls

Master controls like the Polarity Flip switch provides phase manipulation options to ensure optimal compatibility and phase coherence within the mix. Next, the Master Out knob allows you to set the snares’ volume level relative to other instruments, facilitating proper balance.

Lastly, there’s the One Shot button is a creative addition that triggers the snare sound to play only when the MIDI note is initially triggered, akin to a one-shot sample.

Compatibility:

Liquid Death Snare is available in AU, VST, and VST 3 plugin formats, for Windows and Mac.

Summary:

The Purafied Liquid Death Snare plugin is a versatile drum sampler that offers a range of powerful features for crafting dynamic snare sounds. It boasts an intuitive Snare Tuning knob for adjusting pitch, allowing you to tailor the snare’s tone. In addition, its multiple mics let you set and adjust the snare tone as per your preference, resulting in a realistic and organic sound.

4. Addictive Drums 2

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

8 Best Snare VST Plugins Available 2024 (Paid & Free) - 2024 Update

Addictive Drums 2 is a versatile drum production studio that can be used as a standalone application or as a plugin within music production software.

It offers a wide range of kit pieces, including snare drums like the “Classic Chrome Snare” and the “Deep & Low Maple Snare.” The software allows you to create unique and otherworldly snares by combining and stacking kit pieces. Addictive Drums 2 boasts various features that elevate Snare production, making it a popular choice among producers.

Key Features:

  • Sound-Shaping Tools

This software provides an array of sound-shaping tools to sculpt your Snare sounds exactly as you envision. You have control over parameters such as pitch, EQ, compression, transient shaping, and more. This level of customization ensures that you can fit the Snare sounds perfectly into your mix, regardless of the genre or production style.

  • MIDI Mapping and Customization

Addictive Drums 2 offers comprehensive MIDI mapping and customization options. You can easily map the virtual drums to your MIDI controller or electronic drum kit, allowing for a natural and expressive drumming experience. Furthermore, you can create and save custom Snare sounds by mixing and matching different drum elements from the extensive library.

  • Realistic Performance and Expression

One of the standout features is the attention to detail when it comes to capturing the nuances of real drum performances. The software simulates the dynamics and articulations of a real drummer, allowing you to create authentic and expressive performances.

This is achieved through features like round-robin sample playback, multiple velocity layers, and different articulations for each drum component.

  • Groove and Beat Creation

Addictive Drums 2 includes a built-in Groove Library with a vast collection of MIDI drum patterns across various genres. You can quickly audition and apply these grooves to your projects, providing a foundation for your drum tracks.

Additionally, you can create your own beats using the integrated grid-based sequencer, which offers precise control over each drum hit’s placement and timing.

  • Mixer and Effects Processing

The software features a fully-featured mixer with individual channels for each drum element, including Snare, allowing you to apply effects, adjust levels, and pan sounds within the virtual drum kit. You get sliders and mute/solo buttons for Overheads, Bus, and Room mics as well.

Next, Addictive Drums 2 also offers a range of built-in effects called Send FX (FX 1 and 2), including reverbs, delays, distortions, and more, enabling you to shape the overall Snare sound without needing external plugins.

Compatibility:

Addictive Drums 2 by XLN Audio is compatible with various digital audio workstations (DAWs) that support 64-bit VST, AU, or AAX plugins.

Summary:

To further enhance your drum sound palette, Addictive Drums 2 supports add-on packs that include additional drum kits, presets, and MIDI grooves. Next, the Send FX, Bus, OH, and Room sliders help you add more realism and ambiance to your Snare. Hence, the plugin is great for organic and natural-sounding MIDI drums.

5. Toonrack Superior Drummer 3

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Toonrack Superior Drummer 3 - 8 Best Snare VST Plugins Available (Paid & Free) | integraudio.com

Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 is a professional virtual drum instrument software developed by Toontrack.

It is designed to provide realistic and high-quality drum sounds. Superior Drummer 3 (SD3) is the third iteration of the Superior Drummer series and comes with a wide range of features and improvements over its predecessors, with 230+ GB of drum samples, engineered by Grammy-winning George Massenburg.

SD3 comes with a massive library of drum samples covering a variety of drum kits, cymbals, and percussion instruments.

With seven drum kits, 25 acoustic snares, sixteen acoustic kicks, 350+ electronic drum machine sounds, including plenty of electronic snares, samples for sticks, rods, mallets, brushes, etc., and various sizes of Toms, the plugin has a huge library.

Key Features:

  • Mixer and Effects

The software includes a powerful mixer with a wide range of effects and processing options. That allows you to shape the sound of the Snare to fit your mix and musical style. You can utilize its 35 effects (bus, Route, saturate, mix, send, blend, etc.), including Tape, EQ, Echo, and other effects, and mix-ready presets for various genres and styles.

  • Drum MIDI Patterns

SD3 provides an extensive collection of MIDI drum patterns and grooves. These patterns cover various genres and styles, making it easier to create realistic and dynamic drum tracks.

The software also includes a basic MIDI sequencer that allows you to create and arrange drum tracks and Snare patterns directly within the software. Next, a feature called Tap2Find lets you search for the perfect MIDI groove by tapping a rhythm on your keyboard or MIDI controller.

  • Drum Kit Customization

You have the ability to customize drum kits by selecting different Snare, kick, hats, etc., changing tunings, adjusting microphone positions, and more. That level of customization helps in achieving the desired sound for your projects.

  • Tracker

One of the unique features of SD3 is the Tracker, which enables you to convert audio drum performances into MIDI data. This can be incredibly useful for replacing or augmenting Snare parts with MIDI data.

  • Sample Loading

You can also import your own Snare samples and integrate them into the SD3 environment, giving you even more control over your drum sounds.

  • Expansion Packs

Toontrack offers additional expansion packs for Superior Drummer 3, which can add more drum kits, sounds, and MIDI grooves to your library.

  • TUNING, ENVELOPE, and VELOCITY

You can make pitch adjustments and manipulate the Envelope, Velocity Curve, and Soft Hit features to finely adjust the comprehensive tonal qualities and the breadth of dynamic expression.

  • MACRO Adjustments

You also get Macro Controls in the plugin to simultaneously modify several parameters by utilizing the input and output configurations of a compressor on a room channel.

  • Engineered by George Massenburg

Over four decades, George Massenburg’s impact spans 400 records, including pivotal works for Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, and more. His achievements encompass four Grammys, global recognition, and pioneering studio designs.

He founded George Massenburg Labs in 1982, advancing audio technology, and holds multiple patents. He’s an esteemed educator, influencing McGill University, Berklee College, and more.

Compatibility:

For Windows, a 64-bit system running Windows 7 or newer is needed, with at least 4 GB RAM (8 GB or more recommended). macOS users should have version 10.10 or higher, an Intel or Apple silicon processor, and 4 GB RAM (8 GB or more recommended).

The host system should be 64-bit and support VST, AU, or AAX. Standalone usage is available. Lastly, you also need 320 MB of download space is necessary for installation.

Summary:

Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 is an advanced virtual drum instrument offering realistic Snares and other drums. Its versatile toolkit includes seven drum kits, 25 acoustic snares, 16 kicks, 350+ electronic drum machine sounds, and various percussion elements.

It has a powerful mixer with 35 effects, and mix-ready presets that cater to Snare shaping, and an extensive collection of MIDI drum patterns simplifies dynamic track creation. The Tracker function transforms audio drum performances into MIDI data.

Customization options for drum kits, sample importing, expansion packs, and innovative controls enhance creative possibilities. George Massenburg’s legacy and compatibility with modern systems complete this robust package.

6. vst4free Cherry Snare

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vst4free Cherry Snare - 8 Best Snare VST Plugins Available (Paid & Free) | integraudio.com

Cherry Snare, a meticulously sampled acoustic snare drum, showcases the artistry of Ebenor Percussion’s handcrafted cherry wood custom snare.

With warm tonality, a 14 x 7 inches dimension, 1/2 inch thickness, and a 45-degree chamfer, it boasts triple flange hoops adorned by a 2-ply coated drumhead. With sliders for different mic styles and positions, you can adjust the tone and ambiance of your snare and create realistic sounds. In addition, you get a tuning knob and punch, pan, and release knobs for each mic.

Key Features:

  • Multi-Mic Setup

Crafted with precision, it was captured using 5 microphones – 2 on top, 1 beneath, and a stereo pair for room ambiance. This offers a 4-channel mix for ultimate sound control.

  • Mic Variety

Condenser mics on top and bottom pass through a vintage tube preamp with NOS 12AX7 tubes, while room mics utilize top-tier soundcard transistor preamps.

  • Dynamic Sculpting

Individual channels sport a Punch knob for tailored sustain control, replicating compressor/expander behavior for precise transient shaping. Release and Pan controls are available on all 4 strips.

  • Velocity Dynamics

The master section includes a Velocity Dynamic knob, adapting amplitude range in sync with MIDI velocity, ensuring expressive realism.

Compatibility:

Cherry Snare is available in AU and VST plugin formats and is compatible with Mac and Windows.

Summary:

Cherry Snare artfully captures the essence of Ebenor Percussion’s cherry wood snare drum. Its 5-mic setup, customizable sustain via Punch knob, and dynamic manipulation options make it a standout. Top-notch preamps support this plugin and offer nuanced sound design while ensuring compatibility with multiple DAWs.

7. Chokehold Black Noh Snare

More Info & Download

Chokehold Black Noh Snare - 8 Best Snare VST Plugins Available (Paid & Free) | integraudio.com

The Black Noh Snare offers a distinct sonic profile for music creators seeking dynamic percussion sounds.

With a simple interface consisting of just two sliders, one switch, and three knobs, it’s very easy to set and use. Tonally, it has a particularly bright sound with shimmery high-end and little lower frequencies, making it suitable for genres like Pop, Funk, Punk, Metal, Reggae, Indie, etc.

Key Features:

  • Velocity Layer Depth and Dual Microphone Setup

With 9 velocity layers and 8 randomized samples per layer, this snare drum delivers a nuanced and natural response to playing dynamics. Recorded with precision, the snare features an SM57 mic on top and a Sennheiser 421 mic beneath, offering versatile sound capture.

  • Customized Controls

Independent adjustments for both microphones allow for tailored sound sculpting, offering unique possibilities for sound refinement. For example, its Silk parameter allows you to independently manipulate the initial snare attack for each microphone.

Rotate leftward to emphasize a sharper “click” in the attack, or turn right for a smoother and more “silky” tonal character.

  • Expressive Playing

Trigger rim-shots with velocities of 121 and above, ensuring expressive performances. The +punch module enhances the snare’s impact, adding weight to its bright tonality.

Compatibility:

Black Noh Snare is available in VST and AU plugin formats and works with almost every popular DAW on Windows and Mac OS, except Pro Tools.

Summary:

The Black Noh Snare, with its multi-layered and randomized samples, captures the essence of dynamic snare performance. Featuring dual microphones and tailored controls, it provides sound customization at a granular level.

8. Wavesfactory Snare Buzz 2

More Info & Download

Wavesfactory Snare Buzz 2 - 8 Best Snare VST Plugins Available (Paid & Free) | integraudio.com

Wavesfactory Snare Buzz 2 emulates the sympathetic resonance produced by the wires of a snare drum when another sound source is playing nearby.

It builds on the concept of the original SnareBuzz plugin, enhancing the realism of snare drum simulation. Whether your snare drum is crafted from wood, brass, plastic, or composite materials, SnareBuzz 2 bridges the gap by emulating the quintessential snare rattle.

This plugin vividly emulates the rattling wires that augment the tonal complexity of snare drums, rendering a wide array of sonic possibilities.

Key Features:

  • Enhanced Sound Realism

The plugin utilizes the psycho-acoustic potential of SnareBuzz 2 to infuse your tracks with unparalleled authenticity. Elevate your music’s richness by integrating the evocative resonance of snare wires when interacting with other elements in your mix.

  • Diverse Creative Options

SnareBuzz 2 acts as an invaluable tool in your production arsenal. Whether you’re augmenting a snare track recorded with a single microphone on the top head or seeking to emulate the effect of the bottom head, this free plugin offers you the means to achieve sonic excellence.

  • Customization controls

You can manipulate the tightness, mic distance, snare type, and even the room in which it’s sampled/recorded, just like in a studio. That enhances the realism and gives you control over the sonics and room of the snare.

Compatibility:

The plugin is available in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX formats for Windows and Mac platforms. SnareBuzz 2.0 is offered as a free download, allowing musicians, producers, and sound enthusiasts to incorporate authentic snare drum resonances into their audio production.

Summary:

Overall, the plugin utilizes analog modeling technology well and replicates the instruments’ working principles well. From the material of the snare to its tightness adjustments to different mic types and positions, the plugin lets you create the right snare for your genre and style.

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