Freeware 2017: The Top 6 Freeware Drum Machines

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Free beats with our round-up of six of the best freeware drum machines…

Freeware Drum Machines

Melda MDrummer Small – Virtual Drummer



Freeware Drums - Melda MDrummer

Melda Production has loads of freeware and MDrummer Small is, not surprisingly, a free version of the company’s MDrummer Large. Nevertheless, it’s quite a substantial product and download itself. It comes with 500MB of sounds and data, which includes 30+ drumsets, 400+ drumset components, 200+ samples, 50+ multisamples, 60+ rhythms, 200+ base-rhythms and 2,500+ loops.

There’s an onboard arranger/sequencer and effects, plus loads of hands-on controls for creating varied machine or human-like beats. It’s a pretty special plugin that we erroneously (sorry! – Ed) previously reported as PC only – in fact it’s been available for Mac for years. It’s one of our favourite freeware drum machines.

W: meldaproduction.com
Platform: PC & Mac

Monade Sounds Mini909 – TR-909 Emulator



Freeware Drum Machines - Monade Sounds Mini 909

We like this because it’s simple. Yes, like other plug-ins – particularly drum-based ones – it is trying to sell something else (in this case, the full Monade Sounds Pure909 which has 19 kits). However, Mini909 is easy to get and use and you do get a usable 909 kit, one of our (and many other people’s) favourite kits and the backbone to many a dance track.

The sounds are there and it certainly does its selling job well, as after listening, we were intrigued enough by the full version’s processed 909 kits, which only cost marginally more than a tenner to get. If you’re poor (or tight), this will fill a sizeable 909 gap on its own.

W: www.monadesounds.com/2016/06/pure909-plugin.html
Platform: Mac, PC

Vintage Drum Elements – Yamaha RX5 Emulator



Freeware Drum Machines - Vintage Drum Elements

You can download this in return for your email address (and a voluntary donation) and what you get is a drum-pad player loaded with RX5 kits plus instruments, including DX bass, ethnic and synth. Usefully, you get Standard, Vinyl, Sub and Tremolo effects to add which can really vary the sound.

As to the core sounds, we weren’t convinced that this was the classic drumkit we needed until the developers SampleScience reminded us that Cocteau Twins, Bomb The Bass, Masters At Work, OMD, Vangelis, Depeche Mode, and The Pet Shop Boys all made rather good use of it. So an absolute bargain, after all!

W: samplescience.ca/2015/08/vintage-drum-elements.html
Platform: Mac, PC

Beatskillz Beatfactory Drums – Drum-Synth Module



Freeware Drum Machines - Beatskillz

It’s fair to say that a lot of the free drum plug-ins here could well be player shells that you pay extra to get sound packs for. This one might well follow along those lines, but does come with 10 kits (808, Trap, 80s, Dubstep, Indian and Sample kits, among others) to start with.

Each pad can be edited and an envelope shape applied to the list: plus there’s a useful reverb effect. One of the big selling points of the plug-in – yes, we know you don’t actually buy it – is that it was recorded using an MPC through some pretty high-end outboard gear and the results do sound good:  one of the best freeware drum machines snappy and contemporary and ideal for a slew of polished genres, including hip-hop, trap and EDM.

W: beatskillz.com/drums
Platform: Mac, PC

Distocore Bazz Murda – Kick-Drum Synth



Freeware Drum Machines - Distocore

One that could have gone in the synth section, as the results are more than percussion! Kick synths are all the rage, not only in software (with lots of paid- for apps), but hardware, too, like Korg’s Volca Kick. Bazz Murda is a cut-down piece of kick-synth freeware, but there’s still a lot left in terms of control.

This is a full-featured synth dedicated to hard kicks for the harder side of dance, and it doesn’t disappoint. Those after something with less bite might be shocked at the attitude that this plug-in is capable of reaching – pop producers look away now, as this is strictly for dubstep, gabber, drum ’n’ bass. For kicks with added extras, and plenty of them.

W: distocore.net/bazz_murda.html
Platform: Mac, PC

Dopekitz Rupture – 16-Part Drum Machine



Dopekitz Rupture

Finally – something light on your processor and easy to use, a 16-part drum machine and sample player. DopeKitz’s Rupture comes with five kits – West Coast, Tribeca, Ever 1da, Crunk’d and Danger Drumz – so enough to get your teeth into. Yes, there are more expansion packs available for your money, but these will show off the flexibility of Rupture. With sliders, pads and Attack rotaries, there’s enough here to give your beats an edge.

You can create and mix kits, too, and pitch the whole lot up and down. One of the most useful freeware drum machines that is both simple and effective.

W: dopekitz.com/rupture-virtual-drum-machine.html
Platform: Mac, PC

Check out the latest collection of Freeware Synths here

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