Nord Drum 2 / Machinedrum drum synth VST equivalent

I’m having a work trip soon and won’t be able to get with me any of the Elektrons so I decided to take the opportunity to dust off my Ableton Live copy and explore the wonderful world of computer drum synths… but until now I have not found anything too promising… yeah, I can get the results I want by working Operator sounds for instance, but I just wanted to test some VST which could resemble ND2 or Machinedrum (how I miss both of them) and provide me with some synthesis surprises, but the surprise has been this sonic territory is some sort of desert with little interesting proposals. in the software world… in fact the only passable one I found is Microtonic (I will pass the fact it’s fugly but sounds good). Is this really all there is? Am I missing something?

If you don’t need a sequencer drumatic by ephonic is pretty great. I think it’s pretty unknown, almost never hear it being taken about. Doesn’t get as wild as microtonic can, but it’s pretty damn flexible


Have you tried the stock Max for Live drum synths with Suite? I’ve been really enjoying the kick/bass drum instruments as well as the clap ones.

I love Microtonic, can’t find anything on the same level in software. People love Reaktor drums but I’m yet to click with the Reaktor workflow. Sugar Bytes Drum Computer is pretty great, though I’m not into the UI and I mainly use it to make samples. Waldorf Attack is one I want to try out. FXpansion Tremor looks great but never tried it. Ugo Ironhead looks fun but a bit mad in the UI.

There are loads of random drum synthesis VSTs out there and honestly the thing that gets me the most is how crowded the UIs can be. So much chaos on the screen. There has to be a way to represent all the complexity of a drum machine on a screen without offering all the knobs at once.

I want @Ess to make an FM drum synth VST, a virtual Digitone-style beast with the unique visual style. I’ve been enjoying using his Pop and Lux from his Kit pack to make kicks. Basically anything with a nice pitch sweep will make a juicy kick, but I’d love something from him to make percs. Could even be sold as separate modules for different parts of the kit. :smiley:

Oh also - the latest beta of Ableton Live 11 had AUV3 support, so many of those juicy iOS drum synths will work as plugins.


StiX by Xils - XILS-lab

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I’m going to throw down for Sugarbytes DrumComputer, too. I have it on my iPad, where I def. find the UI to be much better to navigate (mostly) than on a computer. While it’s not perfect, I find that it filled my MD gap after I sold it a few years ago.


I didn’t know that! I’ll look into it. No, I don’t need a sequencer, I would use it just as a sound module sequenced from Ableton.

This. I’m sorry, maybe I’m crazy but I can’t stand tools which so horrible UI/UX as most of these are… they all seem based on UX paradigms from 30 years ago, time to grow up please… but all these old school I-try-to-look-like-a-classic-drum-machine-oh-look-at-this-brushed-metal-panel ruins for me all the experience even if they sound great…

THIS. You read my mind, I think he would nail down my use case, based on all previous things he has touched.

In fact the other thing I will be purchasing for my trip with Ableton will be some of the fors instruments!

Ok! I will try it too, on first look I hate the UI but I will give it a chance as it seems deep enough to explore!

Interesting take on this, I’m a little disconnected from the music computer side of things but this is a good point. In the same way I almost forgot about the new drum synths on Live 11, they look like very basic additions but you never know how much you can twist a sound :smiley:

I think I will stop any purchase by now haha


I was going to mention attack, but held off because I guess the ui (which was a bit rough to start with) looks terrible on modern big screens. But, to give it the praise it deserves, Attack might not sound super modern, but it can get real nasty. Naaaaaaasty!


I’ll say this, if you have an iPad, maybe try it there first. I really hated it on the computer, but I find it to be more usable on a touch interface.

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The drum synths in Maschine are very good. It will run as a plugin in most DAWs too. I sequence them more with my OXI One than with the Maschine sequencer. You can probably grab a cheap Mk1 or Mk2 Maschine, just make sure the previous owner does a license transfer.

I’ll second the recommendation for Basimilus Iteritas and, also Collision in Ableton Live is excellent for physical Modelling sounds. It’s made by the same company that did the Intellijel Plonk if I’m remembering correctly. Actually if you really want to get nuts you could check out their modular virtual environment, Multiphonics CV-1. It’s got a resonator filter that you can excite with any number of oscillators, noise sources, resonant filters, etc. to make interesting percussion sounds.


+1 :partying_face:

I jus got back into ableton. got my eye on a few Fors instruments :eyes:


hey, maybe the Oberheim OB-E from Gforce Software is a great drumsynthesis Option, played in Drummode. there you have 8 Synthmodules you can play separately. sounds deep and analog, synthtweeking mojo :slight_smile:

greets Karl


Yeah they really did a great job with this one. Sounds amazing and the drum mode is really fun to mess with.

Drumspillage 2 is the best drum VST I’ve ever used by a long shot but it’s Mac only.


DS2 is fantastic. Sadly I went back to Windows a couple of years back and it’s the plugin I missed the most. Sadly it looks like the dev has abandoned it. I like MicroTonic (particularly for more percussive parts rather than drum hits) and Drumatic, but DS2 was in a league of its own IMO. If you’re a Mac user, give it a shot.

Think the dev actually recently announced an update for this fall to bring it native to apple silicon. Unsure if any other changes are planned though!

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get a nordMicromodular and never look back :wink:

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Huh, that’s interesting - I know 2.5 was announced as an upcoming thing years ago but never materialised, I just assumed they’d stopped development altogether.