When it comes to sequencing drum tracks, there are a whole load of different plugins available, for free or otherwise. The first one we’re going to look at is a little home-grown number called MyDrumSet from Norwegian site Blue Noise. It’s a .vst plugin made from recordings of the producer’s Ludwig kit, with separate mic outputs from each drum, as well as a couple of overheads. No strange or fantastic sounds here, but a solid basic drumkit that you can drop in to your tracks.

If you’re unwilling to get your wallet out but you’re looking for something a little less basic, there are loads and loads of other free plugins listed over at the AudioMastermind database. It might take a little sifting, but you’re not going to spend any money.

Working on something with a more live feel? Fully sequenced drums not giving you the juice you need, or just unhappy with the sound you’re able to record? You can replace the drum tracks you’ve got with sounds from this plugin – Drumagog which uses the existing drum hits as triggers for the sounds in it’s databank (which contains 4 gig worth of samples), retaining the rhythm and feel of anything you’ve recorded but replacing the sound.

Next up is the number 2 application on the market, Toontrack’s Superior Drummer – this is the second version of their DFH Superior software, and they’ve made significant improvements to the graphic user interface, and the detailed control you have over your mix. Sound-On-Sound has this to say about it:

It’s difficult not to be impressed by what SD 2.0 has to offer. Toontrack have managed to strike a sensible balance between very detailed control of your drum mix and an interface that is relatively easy to use. And as the samples themselves sound excellent, the only limits to your creativity are your programming ability and your host computer — unless you have a reasonably well-endowed one.

Unfortunately there’s not a demo version for you to try out, and this product does have a pretty hefty price tag on it unless you’re of a piratical bent, which we certainly can’t condone.

If you’re considering spending $400 on a new plugin synth then you should also take a look at FXpansion’s BFD2. This is the Ferrari of plugins, offering you a vast battery of sounds, principally recorded at Hampstead’s phenomenal looking AIR studios, it’s also got a load of dedicated EQ’s filters and other gubbins built in. It’s getting massively good reviews all over, and there are some sample tracks mixed using the plugin on their product listing page that demonstrate what it can do.