Kick drums are one of the most important components in many productions. They’ve become an essential component of beat-driven genres like techno, hip-hop, and a slew of pop endeavors. Many listeners and audiophiles determine whether a music is good or awful based on how they hear the kick drum. A kick drum may not be punchy enough because it lacks “power,” or it may have more presence in the mix than is required, concealing other components and instruments, depending on the song.
Music producers nowadays have access to a vast library of sample libraries and thousands of kick drums to pick from for any project. You can find several genres of kick drums for use in your tracks by conducting a thorough search. However, when producers get more experience, they become more picky about their sound and begin seeking for aspects that can assist them adjust the kick drum to achieve a unique sound. Kick drum plugins offer a wide range of tools for customizing your kick drums, including synthesis modules, equalizers, compressors, amplifiers, distortions, and much more.
Now that we’ve established that kick drums are sensitive aspects in our entire mix and can have a significant impact on our project, let’s take a look at some of the best kick drum plugins available; let’s get started.
Plugin Boutique BigKick
How many hours have you spent sifting through samples in pursuit of the perfect kick? Or have you tried layering kick drums and still not gotten the desired result? Do you desire complete control over your kick’s low end and attack?
Plugin Boutique BigKick provide a track’s rhythm and groove. And the kick drum is the groove’s beating heart. You understand how crucial it is to get the kick drum just perfect in the mix. Big Kick was built with one goal in mind: to help you get the outcomes you’ve always wanted. BigKick removes the difficulty from kick drum design and makes it simple and pleasurable. Now is the time to download the demo and see how quickly you can achieve professional results.
BigKick is a synthesised Body layer for defining the sustain of your kick drum, and two Sample layers for the transient/attack stage, with a factory library of over 300 samples and the ability to import your own WAVs. It was developed by Credland Audio and released around the same time as Sonic Academy’s original Kick. The Sample layer has only Decay, Gain, and a High Pass filter for modifying; however, the Body layer has editing of amp and pitch envelopes, pitching of the drum to a discrete note or via MIDI input, and two character-defining modes: ‘Original’ and ‘Tough.’
While BigKick isn’t as comprehensive or versatile as the other instruments on this list, its simplified UI and functionality result in a speedier, more direct approach that many will like, and the end results sound excellent. This is the Best Kick Drum Plugin in 2023.
Vengeance Sound Metrum
A kick can transform your track into a really appealing melody, much like a first impression. However, creating the perfect kick takes a lot of talent, which is why Vengeance Sound put all of their knowledge into this small but mighty tool: the Metrum kick synthesiser. All of your needs are met when you have complete control over the top, middle, and bottom parts of a kick, including the final, ideal compression, and so much more. Kick it to the curb!
Vengeance Sound found huge success in the soundware game as one of the world’s leading producers of samples for dance music production long before they moved into plugin development – and their blockbuster bass drums played (and, indeed, still play) a major role in that, gracing countless hits over the years. Metrum is the oldest entry in our round-up, and it exemplifies the sound design approach that went into creating those pioneering kicks: combining a synthesised ‘body’ layer with up to three sampled ‘attack’ layers. The synth is straightforward, with a single sine wave oscillator, pitch and amp envelopes, and the kick-focused Punch and Spike controls; the sample playback engines, meanwhile, include pitch and amp ADSRs, as well as panning, filtering, and other features. Then there’s a modulation matrix for assigning envelopes, macros, and MIDI CCs to any and all parameters within the plugin, as well as six distortion, delay, reverb, and mid/side effects to which each layer is independently routed.
Metrum comes with 330 presets, so there’s no shortage of good sounds straight out of the box, but creating your own with the 1800 included samples and synthesis parameters is simple and enjoyable. For club-bound choons of all denominations, this is a huge source of hard-hitting kicks. This is the Best Kick Drum VST in 2023.
D16 Group PunchBOX
PunchBOX is a virtual instrument that lets you make professional kick drum sounds. It includes with a large, excellent preset and sound library built by industry-standard sound designers Sounds of Revolution and CFA-Sound to get you up and running quickly.
PunchBox combines the best of both worlds, combining expressive generated sounds with the depth and intricacy of genuine samples to create top-notch, previously unheard-of kick noises. Each sample is a one-of-a-kind work of art, created with professional experience utilizing top-of-the-line instruments and the best vintage studio analog gear. The kick sound synthesizers were taken to the next level and tailored to precisely meet the objective of PunchBox, deriving from D16’s highly regarded emulations of legendary Roland drum machines.
The Click and Tops engines handle the transient and high-frequency parts, respectively, while Tools adds noise and other auxiliary tones. Aside from that, the Kick module offers synthesised emulations of Roland’s TR-808, 909, and 606 bass drums (from D16’s Nepheton, Drumazon, and Nithonat instruments), a highly adjustable sine wave generator, and a fourth sample player. An effects rack with reorderable Distortion, Bitcrusher, Filter, Equalizer, and Limiter modules is also included.
PunchBox is built around four sound generators, each of which contributes to the final kick sound. Factory settings were designed to serve as a springboard for getting started in a distinctive, intuitive, and inspirational manner.
Sounds of Revolution and CFA-Sound developed a collection of 1100 samples and 800 presets that cover practically all modern electronic music subgenres. Maintaining a high-quality standard while keeping up with and trailblazing your own music production trends has never been easier. Browsing for that right sound is as smooth as a 60hz sine wave, thanks to the well-known D16 tagging system.
The PunchBOX development team was immediately driven to design an effect rack with unrivaled adaptability in order to meet the demanding expectations of producers when it came to elevating a kick sound to the next level. Changing the order of modules with a simple drag’n’drop? Wet/dry knobs and a Mixdown After option to choose from? Sends from any sound generator to any effect on their own? Create a drag-and-drop audio file from your final kick sound? Done.
XLN Audio Addictive Drums 2: Studio Collection
When it comes to drum libraries, Addictive Drums 2 is the gold standard. Most of the world’s top composers are likely to be familiar with the Addictive Drums collection. The libraries are available in a range of genres, such as rock, pop, indie, jazz, and electronic music. The good news is that you don’t need to be a drummer to use the sample libraries in Addictive Drums 2.
For fast inspiration, each library includes kit presets and pre-recorded tracks. You may start working right away! Addictive Drums 2 is incredibly user-friendly in getting desired outcomes, whether you need as much support as possible when writing drums or are a seasoned professional. Let’s get started. One of the standard kits in this collection was recorded at LA studio formerly known as Sound City with the renowned Fairfax kit.
They’ve included 130 presets in the package, both with clean, raw samples and processed, already-mixed plug-ins, which is a really good addition. You can filter the preset window to show only certain types of presets, and you can even save your own presets. The library has incorporated a handy tool called Sound Ideal to help users rapidly distinguish between presets that are clean and those that are excessively modified. A slider from Natural to Extreme is available.
Clean, unprocessed presets will be found at the Natural end of the scale, while heavily-processed, pre-produced presets will be found at the Extreme end. This combination addresses a common complaint about drum libraries: that they have too much reverb.
Rob Papen RAW-Kick
RAW-Kick was created in collaboration with DJ Free-K and DJ Promo. RAW-Kick is based on the iconic RAW synthesizer and contains useful features and a focus tailored to today’s demanding producers!
RAW-Kick features three independent layers for designing and building up your Kick drum sound, which is a popular way among producers. Instead of using three different products, you can now employ this strategy within one. Each layer has two settings to choose from. You can utilize a sample-based layer or a dedicated kick synthesizer model. The RAW amount, for example, is one of the new and distinctive elements of the ‘Kick Model’ kind. You may also regulate the harmonics, which can have a significant impact on the sound, especially when used in conjunction with the several distortion FX featured on board.
A multi-mode analogue modelled filter, two EQ sections, and several FX algorithms with various sorts of distortion and other top-quality FX must all be included in the ‘Sample’ type. RAW-Master Kick’s section includes an additional double EQ section as well as MONO/STEREO FX to make your kick tight in the bottom end and broad in the mid/high range of the spectrum. The Master area also allows you to manipulate all three levels at once, which might help you speed up your workflow and create the ultimate RAW-Kick!