How To

The Best Free Midi Drum Loops & A Guide To Using Them

Photograph of the blog post author, Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson

11.6.2020

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Are you asking yourself what MIDI drum loops are? Perhaps looking for free midi drum loops to get you started? Then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll also look at how to use MIDI drum loops, the pros and cons of using them and provide you with an easy download kit of some of the best free MIDI drum loops. Let’s get started with the basics:

What Is A MIDI Drum Loop?

Drumsticks on a snare drum

A MIDI Drum Loop is a MIDI file which allows you to change key or tempo without any loss in sound quality. Drum loops, as well as drum breaks, are important tools for music production and beat-making, as all musicians will require loops from time to time. As part of the creative process, many musicians use loop libraries, so we have put together a list of the best free midi drum loops available. More on that later!

MIDI drum kits and loops are a great alternative to physical drums, it enables ease in recording, especially when you need to mic up, as there is no reason for the rhythm section to come from acoustic drums in a home recording studio.

MIDI capability enables you to have lots of options to choose from with regards to different drum samples. Having the ability to edit your drum beats with a few clicks of your mouse is a great thing. Using MIDI Drum loops is also a great way to build up the foundations of a song very quickly. So, why not get a loop and start writing your bassline, melodies or topline over it, or even just jam until something falls into place?

Drum Loops Vs MIDI Drum Loops

man drumming recording for free MIDI drum loops

Trying to decide between traditional Drum Loops vs Midi Drum Loops? More traditional drum loops offer excellent quality recordings of real drummers. You use these just like a sample. This allows you to add realistic and professionally produced drum tracks to your project, giving it a more authentic, human feel.

If you’re looking for more versatility, however, you’re probably going to want to use MIDI drum loops. This is because using MIDI gives you the ability to easily tweak and customise to your heart’s content! You’re able to change drum kits with your virtual drums, alter velocity and slide notes from one drum to another for example.

Let’s weigh them up against each other:

 Drum LoopsMidi Drum Loops
Ability To Change Individual Drum LevelsHardEasy
The Sound Of The MixProficientAs good as your mixing ability
Moving Individual Drum HitsPossible, although not too easy and it may not sound authenticEasy 
Loops Available CommerciallyYes, easily available but often paid forYes, with many free options available
Creation Of Song-Length Drum TracksYou will need to work on this to create the track with audio editingUnless you’re using an auto-drummer program that creates full tracks, you will need to create the track yourself with audio editing
Ability To Change The Drum KitNoYes, very customisable
Virtual Instrument RequiredNoYes. Either use your DAW’s built-in kits or invest in high-end midi drums for a more authentic sound.
Adjustable TempoLoops can be time-stretched within a BPM rangeMIDI drum tracks are always automatically synced to your DAW’s tempo

At the end of the day, it’s a choice between having authentic, human-sounding drum tracks and having the ability to edit and customise your drum track (more easily) to suit whatever you need.

Different Types of Midi Drum Loops

drum kit birds eye view

You can get MIDI loops in a broad range of musical styles, from Rock to Latin and everything in-between. Luckily for you, we’ve found all of the best free MIDI drum loops and combined them in this pack! This pack of Free MIDI drum loops is organised into different categories:

16-Beat

Played in 16 notes, this loop keeps both the quarter note and 8th note counting, but adds 2 syllables in between.

Dance

Dance drum rolls and off-beat hi-hat patterns, playing usually around 120 bpm (beats per minute).

Ethnic

Fast jazzy breakbeat drum loops usually at 140BPM with a strong addition of West African drums and shakers.

Latin

For those musicians out there, those who are keen to dive into the world of Latin music, the term Clave, is a rhythmic pattern that relates to Latin drumming most beats are based around including Samba.

Rock

Swung or straight eighth-notes or intense tempos get a diverse collection of drum fills to bring energy and anticipation from one song section to the next. There’s no feel that’s not the right one when it comes to rock music.

Variety

Choose from a wide variety of rhythmic variations MIDI drum loops.

General Midi

General MIDI is a standardised specification for electronic musical instruments that respond to MIDI messages.

Drum kit in studio for drum loops

If you’re curious, here are just a few of the MIDI drum loops included in the pack:

  • African drumming
  • Funky Drumming
  • Latin Drumming
  • Modern Soul Drumming
  • Seven Eight Drumming
  • Swing Drumming
  • Big Prog Pack
  • Fill Pack
  • Offbeat Pack

MIDI drum loops included in the pack are fresh beats with a ton of variety, so you can get the sound you are looking for. Every one of them works with any MIDI-compatible software.

Download all of our free MIDI Drum Loops in 1 easy click here:

Using MIDI Drum Loops In Your DAW

Man using free MIDI drum loops in his DAW in music studio

Using your DAW, you can create amazing tracks in a fraction of the time with MIDI drum loops. It’s great for music producers just starting out because you can create something quite quickly and easily. That’s why having access to extensive loop libraries is extremely useful for music production. Then, as you gain more confidence and ideas, you can start experimenting and tweaking. 

Here are some quick steps to help get you set up:

  • Create a MIDI track within your DAW (set the instrument to be a basic drum kit for now)
  • You should be able to insert or drag and drop your drum loops in
  • Edit the track to be the length you want, insert fills, update the drum kit to get the sound you want and get creative!

If you are hoping to do a multitrack mix, it is easy to split a MIDI drum part into separate tracks for the kick, snare, overheads. With virtual drum software, you are able to produce drum parts from built-in libraries of grooves and fills, and you can drag the finished track right into your DAW. Creating a drum part this way is relatively quick and simple, and with a free MIDI drum loop, you are able to trial different sounds and effects to balance and change the sound in which you desire.

Just starting out in music production? Learn more about the best DAW software to use in our comprehensive guide on Digital Audio Workspaces!

Summary

MIDI Drum Loops are great if you’re looking to create the foundation of your song really quickly. They’re also great if you’re looking for a really specific sound or pattern because it’s easily customised and tweaked.

Just getting into music production and want to learn more? We have many more articles to help you along the way, all available on our blog. Also, find other producers to connect with and musicians to collaborate with in our global music industry community! Once you’re done and ready to get your music out there, we can help with that too by representing your music for TV, film, games and more. Want to hear the best part? You can try all of this and more for free for 14-days, no strings attached:



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