The Best Drum Replacement plugins

What is a drum replacer?

A drum replacer is a plugin that analyses the input signal and replaces each drum hit with a high-quality drum sample of the same kind.

This technique allows finding the perfect sound for drum tracks if the individual hits don’t glue well together or simply repairing badly recorded drums.

If drum replacement is too much, you can still evaluate the option of using it as a layering tool to complement the original what’s missing.

Most plugins are engineered to extract different drums from a single recording, which is great, but it’s highly recommended to use it on individual stems for optimal results.

Some see this kind of processing as cheating, while others just embrace it as a tool of modern mixing.

Free

These plug-ins are all available for free. However, this doesn’t make them not worthy of your attention.

KTDrum Trigger

The only free drum replacer online that runs on both Windows and Mac. Smartelectronix are developers already known for their s(M)exoscope.

The detection is based on three filters, the GUI can be scary at first, but if your DAW doesn’t feature any built-in “Audio to MIDI” option, this is a great place to start.

Mac Only
  • Logic Pro X
Windows Only
  • Beat Replacer by CGM Prods
  • BEAT to MIDI
  • Peak Freak
  • Synodeia2
  • replacer

Budget

These plug-ins are all for sale. We can say that they’re all worth more than what they cost. They aren’t as budget as other plugins list we’ve made, but they’re among the most affordable professional options available.

MDrumReplacer

MDrumEnhancer‘s powerful drum-hit detector works with maximum precision. MDrumReplacer is equipped with advanced learning feature which thoroughly examines your audio material to identify the most prominent frequencies and sets the resonators accordingly. 

MDrumReplacer basically includes the whole MDrumLeveler plugin. Therefore you may successfully use MDrumReplacer not just for replacing „bad hits“ but also to iron the drummer‘s performance. 

MDrumReplacer can use the huge MDrummer multi-sample libraries (including Drum Empire 2020) to select a replacement that fits your track the best. At this moment, you may choose from 80 gigabytes of samples.

Melda Production MDrumReplacer

SPL DrumXchanger

The DrumXchanger uses SPL’s renowned Transient Designer technology for its drum sound recognition, making it one of the easiest and most precise drum replacement tools on the market.

It works great at replacing both individual drum hits and merged drum kits.

SPL DrumXchanger

UVI Drum Replacer

Utilizing machine learning-based analysis with realtime separation, Drum Replacer will examine and intelligently parse an incoming audio signal into discrete components. Selected elements are then fed into a detection circuit to trigger up to 8 internally-hosted audio samples or virtual instruments simultaneously, sequentially, or randomly.

UVI Drum Replacer

Top Tier

These are the elite of the digital realm. They require some commitment to your wallet, but the number of features and the quality of performance they offer is among the very best you can find around nowadays. The sonic character is the main thing you should consider when pulling the trigger on the buy button.

All these tools will make your mix sound the way you want. They don’t have the magic of doing the job for you, but they will definitely help shape the tone in the best way possible.

XLN Audio Addictive Trigger

While being an all-round tool, it must be said that the greatest feature from this plugin is the Super Start detection mode, which kickstarts your process in a matter of seconds, while detecting main hits and ghost notes.
Last but not least, it’s capable of distinguishing different articulations of a same drum (like sidestick and open snare hits).

Get it at Plugin Boutique

XLN Audio Addictive Trigger

Steven Slate Trigger 2.0

The most notable thing about Trigger is the 8 channel mixer that allows to blend together multiple samples for a single drum hit, allowing sample layering within a unique interface instead of working across different instances.

Steven Slate Trigger 2.0

Superior Drummer 3

This plugin is a monster, with an immense sample library and a flexible mixer section. The GUI is great, like it’s a DAW itself, and the fact that it both detects MIDI from audio and plays drum samples out of MIDI makes it a complete tool.

Superior Drummer 3

Honorable Mentions

  • Massey DRT Drum Replacer
  • Drumagog

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