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David Moores

Percussion plug-in recommendations

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Hi there

I would appreciate your thoughts on percussion plug-ins. To include, for example, bongos, tambourine, wood-block, cow bell, wind chime, hand claps, cabasa. You get the idea!

Thank you!

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Not many peoples know that Dimension Pro has a  folder of very good percussions (no. 6).

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Posted (edited)

for Native Instruments Kontakt:

1  Native Instruments Cuba (very good sound, internal pattern sequencer, however not as many instruments as Toontrack has)
2. Samplephonics Afro-Latin Percussion (good overall sound, but single layer instruments only, therefore poor dynamics)
3. MAudio ProSession Producer Afro Cuban Percussion (quite old, but still a decent library)
4. Muletone Audio Travel Congas (congas only  - as the name says - but very nice)


for Toontrack EZ Drummer

1. Latin Cuban Percussion EZX2 (this one I do not own,  so you'll have to aks others or judge yourself from YT clips for example)
2. Latin Percussion EZX (Pros: versatile, wide range of instruments, included midi grooves, etc. Cons: somewhat muffled sound to my ears, especially in the mix, so it may require some tweaking.

Edited by MisterX

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I use DIm pro and TTS-1. I have a few bits I bought for Addictive drums. It's actually a hard one to solve as I have yet found one VST that does everything well. I gave up on looking for the perfect Tambourines and sampled my own and use Session Drummer to play it. 

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TTS-1 has tambourine, congas, shakers, cowbell, woodblocks and others. None of them are great, but they work fine if percussion isn't prominent in your mix.

I like to use subtle shakers and tambourine in most things, and one of the absolute quickest and easiest ways to throw those in is Skaka from Klevgrand. It doesn't have a lot of instruments (10, IIRC), but they sound good and the sequencer is very easy to use. At 50 bucks I don't know of anything cheaper other than free Kontakt libraries. I'm hoping the success of this recently-introduced product will inspire its creators to expand it by adding more instruments.

If I want something fancier, it'll usually be Shimmer Shake Strike from In Session Audio. Compared with Skaka, it's more expensive, requires Kontakt (compatible with the free version, though) and is more complicated to use. However, it has way more instruments  (67 with the expansion pack) and more mixing, fx and sequencing options. Sound quality is good enough to feature your percussion front and center.

If you already have a fancy drum sampler such as Addictive Drums, Jamstix, Superior Drummer, EZDrummer or BFD, all have percussion expansions available for them. But only if you already have one. I wouldn't go out and spend a lot for one of these just for percussion, although Jamstix is a good value and a lot of fun.

Now, if you want to expand your search to include epic movie-trailer style war drums and goofy novelty percussion, that's a whole 'nother list.

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in addition, i've also used the Cakewalk Session Drummer and a number of the drum programs come with a variety of percussion - some is in WAV, others FLAC, but overall decent enough where @bitflipper and @John Vere noted percussion isn't front and center. other times i use the AD 2 session percussion when something a bit more real is needed (although not a fan of the congas, so i'll either play those myself or record as a sample).

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Orchestral Tools has a free percussion library for the free Sine Player. Not sure how extensive it is but the sounds I've played have been pretty good

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