Toontrack Drums Plugin Review

Here we review the Toontrack DAW software plugin for drums. We have reached the days where it is not necessary for many projects to hire a professional drummer with an expensive drum kit to make studio projects sound great. And the listener can rarely tell it’s electronic anymore!

Toontrack is a widely popular drum kit plugin for Pro Tools or other DAWs. Toontrack has put together many different sample libraries you can use in your recording, and packaged them in a way that makes it very easy to fill in your drum tracks with great sounding drums.

Here are the “goods” and the “bads” about Toontrack, and what you can expect to get if you purchase it.

The “Goods”

Simplicity is king, when it saves you HOURS in the recording process. Toontrack has made it very simple to audition the rhythms, sounds and fills within their plugin library and determine if one matches what you want for your project. If you find a match, it’s as simple as drag and drop to your drum track and voila! You have recoded drums.

The good news is that what just happened when you did that is you basically made a drum track with the best sounding drums on the market, played by some of the best drummers around. All for a couple hundred bucks total price. You would spend way more than that on 1 drum session with a decent drummer, assuming you already had all the mics and setup to record them yourself. Not to mention the hours of setup and recording to pull it off.

Toontrack drum sounds live up to the hype they advertise when it comes to pure sound of the kit. That’s because they were recorded at such high quality all around.

If you like to lay down the tracks or patterns yourself instead of utilizing MIDI patterns provided by someone else (maybe you just can’t find the right one), then you can utilize the Toontrack sounds with any MIDI trigger device you want. If you have an electronic kit, it’s likely that Toontrack sounds will sound better than the onboard sound that came with the kit.

If you don’t have a kit, maybe you just have a drum pad. That works too. You can still utilize their sound and put the pattern down yourself.

The “Bads”

The biggest drawback is the range of patterns that come with Toontrack. They are good, but many of them are similar, and you likely will have a pattern in your head that won’t have an exact match in their pre-recorded ones. Or you might find the “almost perfect” one, but it’s missing a second bass kick at the end of the pattern. Not to fear, you can have both worlds. Using a MIDI editor you can modify the pattern (or add to it) once you add it to your track.

The second is similar to the first, but it’s the “fills”. Again, not a huge variety, but the sound good.

So on your project, if you can find the perfect match (or close enough) to the pattern your looking for, great. If not, you may want to lay down your own pattern with your electronic kit or pad using Toontrack sounds, and do your own fills the same way.

Either way, you’ll be impressed with the quality of the drum sounds.

Here are some of the other features of Toontrack software drums:

  • Built-In Drum Mixer (including mixing in overhead mics)
  • Multiple Libraries (purchased separately) that cover all kinds of music tastes (country, rock, vintage, etc.)
  • Inexpensive Libraries ($79 or $39 frequently on sale [or on EBAY])
  • Very easy to use interface (drag and drop after auditioning all the pattern sounds)
  • Visual Drumkit (that you can play and see it like a real kit)
  • Multiple Drum Kits
  • Customize and Save as User Presets

Learn more about Toontrack at:

http://www.toontrack.com/index.asp?

And here is a quick tutorial sample of what it can do