EZdrummer from Toontrack is an underrated virtual instrument plugin for €119. It comes with one of the best drum sample libraries around and is VST, RTAS and AU compatibile. It’s really intuitive to use and comes with a whole range of preset ‘grooves’ to get you started really quickly.
You can use EZdrummer as you would any other virtual instrument, create a MIDI channel and load it as a plugin. You can then program in the MIDI data either manually or by recording it with a MIDI controller.
What really sets EZdrummer apart from most drum samplers, is that it comes with a decent selection of ‘grooves’ available from the main window. Open up the Grooves page and you can audition different drumming styles and pattern variations within those styles. Once you have found a pattern you like, you can simply drag and drop it straight to the MIDI track where ever you want it to play. This way you can build up a program a complete song very quickly and easily.
The plugin also gives you the option of “Humanizing” the drumming, to make the timing a little more flexible and much less obvious that it’s a drum machine. This is quite a common feature in most drum machines now, but it is really helpful.
EZdrummer is very easy to get to grips with, and the ‘grooves’ page is genius. The grooves are not so varied as to make it difficult to find what you are looking for, but they are wide enough to fit almost any song. If you write music, the grooves are a really great place to start, as they are actually interesting enough to provide inspiration.
If the default drum sounds are not to your taste, Toontracks sell plenty of different drum kit sounds to add to your sample library. These additions make EZdrummer much more versatile and an essential tool for songwriters (and anyone without a decent drummer!)