Best Orchestral Percussion VST Plugins & Sample Libraries

Hello Composers, Mike here! :smiley:

What are you favorite orchestral percussion VST plugins and sample libraries right now, and why? Do you use them in any specific way? Here are my favorites:

Damage by Heavyocity

  • It just works, and sounds amazing straight out of the box. But it is a processed cinematic and epic sound compared to natural orchestral percussion libraries. Even so, it still finds it way into most of my cinematic music compositions.

Action Strikes by Native Instruments

  • The main selling point of this library is the various rhythmic presets that you trigger with key switches. However I personally never use them. I simply use the big library of instruments included, and adds them on to their own tracks in my sequencer. I especially love that all instruments use the same keys for mapping, which makes it easy to remember when you record new parts.

Superior Drummer 3 with Orchestral Percussion SDX

  • Not only do you get every single common percussion instrument used in orchestral music. But you also get the amazing Superior Drummer 3 interface and workflow, with MIDI Grooves, mixer, effects, sound design tools etc. And it is recorded in a great hall with super low noise floor. Overall, a superb library for natural orchestral percussion sounds.

Taiko Creator by In Session Audio

  • The great part about this library is that you both get lots of preset banks of Taikos mapped across your keyboard, but also that you can create your own Taiko set. Customize the mappings, room tone, sound design, room tone etc. I mainly use these Taikos for the low-mid to mid parts, plus stick hits for the high range.

So let me hear your thoughts my fellow composers. What are you favorite orchestral percussion libraries and VST plugins right now, and why? =)

Mikael “Mike” Baggström
Founder of

I purchased a library from called Drums of the Deep. I never see this one on lists like this. Its an AMAZING library. They have a part one and two. Check it out! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hello Gerald! =)

  • Yes, I have part 1 actually. It does have a very nice boomy set of deep drums indeed. For some reason I forget to use it enough…perhaps because it is so little talked about?

I think they dont sit well in a mix out of the box. Definitely need some tweaking and a solid understanding of compression. I can pick out a Damage or Action Strikes Loop anywhere. Very nice libraries to get creative with.

Yes, so true. Damage is like my template epic percussion. It sits so well straight out of the box! :stuck_out_tongue:

But you can easily get lazy and just go with Damage every time…so that your percussion will sound pretty much the same in every track.

Hello composers! It’s Venn

My favourite Orchestral Percussion VST are two of the mentioned above - Damage and Action Strikes plus the following:

Hans Zimmer Percussion by Spitfire Audio

  • The sound is staggering. It’s a bit extraordinary as of timbral nuances and lacks some high metallic sounds, but skin tones and deep boom are so engulfing. The timpani are quite an amazing sampling art and the miking sets options make this library one of my top 5.

Elite Orchestral Percussion by Vir2 Instruments

  • It’s a bit dated library, but it covers all my needs outside the mentioned above sounds. A total bang for the buck. I mean the sound palette it adds is enormous.

Addictive Drums 2 by XLN Audio

  • Mostly used for other genres, I get really nice results while using individual kit pieces - snares, tom or percussions. I can’t live without it…


1 Like

Really like your suggestions… interesting how your looking at the libraries for what they can give you.

I think my first two would be exactly the same. Damage is very good for that epic sound and it gets you to where you need to be very quickly. These days it’s used as just one layer in that style though as the sounds are very noticeable due to the libraries age.

Action strikes is by far my favourite. I think this is because it’s just as big as damage but you have total control over the room sound. I usually have everything close mic’d And add a room verb so I can customise the room sound to exactly what I want… I used to use logics space designer (sometimes I still do) but I’ve moved onto using abbey roads chambers instead which really gives you the best room sound possible… along with amazing control and detail.

Thirdly I often use the giant (cinematic) patch. This sampled piano gives me so much extra and often I find myself bouncing these samples down to manipulate them further.

Recently been using heaviocities new cymbal pack which is awesome! Think it was free too (I’ll double check)

Lastly I use a home made patch in alchemy where I sampled myself hitting my ukulele with different mallets etc to get different timbres! This is being well used at the moment by myself and a few friends. It also includes manipulated sounds which create soft booms and crack sounds. If anyone uses alchemy and would like the patch I’ll send you it :slight_smile: I also made a regular sample of my ukulele and created a shorter harp like sound.

1 Like

I must really get HZ percussion, the depth of the sounds seems amazing, and I really like the range of percussion in there. And of course…sooo many mic options! :stuck_out_tongue:

Vir2 makes percussion? Didn’t know that.

Oh AD Drums 2 is superb! I actually use snares and cymbals from there sometimes even in my cinematic music, with some added reverb and EQing it works.

I want that Alchemy patch, thank you! :stuck_out_tongue:
I am just about to dive into deep learning mode of Alchemy myself, after being a complete Omnisphere addicts for 10 years lol.

Do you have a link to that Heavyocity Cymbal pack, is it a Kontakt library?

Yeah, here it is -

I’ll bounce the patch down and link it on here at some point.

The cymbal pack was from ghost hack… I got the wrong company but here’s the link for all who don’t have it.

1 Like

There is something big coming:

1 Like

drum roll playing in anticipation for drum rolls. This is meta! :wink:
Kidding aside, I am actually looking forward to this, even though I have many percussion libraries already.