We all want the best free drum machine samples from the classics like the 808, but then we also want them sounding different to everyone else’s ! So I thought I’d share my favourite ones here, as there are a ton out there, but where possible with a focus on a different recording technique that makes them stand out.
See also: Studio Brootle 909 Sample Pack
Here’s a rundown of the best free drum machine samples:
- Boss DR660 kit from Legowelt
- The Goldbaby DMX606
- Roland R-8 from Boxed Ear
- The Goldbaby Tape606
- The Goldbaby Cassette808
- Krikor’s Ableton packs
- Machinedrum Samples from Inner Portal
- The Reverb.com ‘complete collection’
Full info on these follow….
Boss DR660 kit from Legowelt
You can get the BOSS DR660 kit from Legowelt’s sample page. The DR660 is a classic drum machine but often overlooked today – it was used on countless ghetto house tracks and you can hear it across the Dance Mania back catalogue. You could almost write a whole track on it with it’s bass samples (and that barking dog – you know the one!), it sounds great straight out the box, but especially overdriven into the mixer. Here the legend Danny Wolfers samples his own. Also check out the other samples on the page from his synths, it’s an excellent resource.
The Goldbaby 808 and 606 samples
Get the free Goldbaby samples here.
One of the best sample creation studios for percussion is Gold Baby. The New Zealand based studio is giving away some free samples too…
The ones I recommend the most are:
The Tape606 – the brilliant Roland acid house beat box run through tape for some really nice warm distortion.
The Cassette808 – Godlbaby’s 808 recorded to tape for tape driven 808s.
The Goldbaby DMX606– the 606 sampled into the Oberheim DMX. The DMX is a great Linn Drum-ish machine with digital samples. But it is also possible to load your own samples into it (via a long winded process tbh!). In this kit Goldbaby have burnt their own 606 samples onto the DMX’s EPROMS to make a downsampled and crunchy 606 kit. Sounds amazing, it is probably my favourite of all the packs here.
Free Roland R-8 pack
You can get Boxed Ear’s Roland R-8 here
The Roland R-8 is a legendary drum machine used by Aphex Twin and Autechre. And has been used on countless Warp Records releases including the early Sheffield bleep tracks. This is a great free kit.
Krikor’s Ableton packs
Get Krikor’s Ableton packs here
Krikor is a much respected Parisian producer who has releases on Ron Morelli’s highly coveted Long Island Electrical Systems.
There are a few Ableton packs in the article linked above (even if you don’t have Ableton you can mine the samples :). The main pack in the article is a LinnDrum based pack – however the samples are not recorded out of the LinnDrum directly. Krikor has a modified Casio RZ-1 drum machine that has custom samples loaded on to it’s Eproms. Which give the LinnDrum samples some crunch from the 8-bit sampling of the RZ1. This sounds immense to me!
Also the article links to his TR-808, TR-606 and DR-110 packs. Which all come with their own lo-fi effects racks that give his samples a speaker destroying rawness you would expect from a L.I.E.S. artist.
It is well worth getting all 4 of these Ableton packs if you use Live.
Machinedrum Samples (and files)
Inner Portal Machinedrum Samples
Autechre’s Elektron Monomachine and Machinedrum files are here.
The Elektron Machinedrum is a modern classic. Used on so many records. Inner Portal have recorded theirs and made it available for free.
Also worth sharing is Autechre’s, as it is amazing (although it is not technically a sample pack)… above is a link to Autechre’s 2008 tour back files for their Elektron Monomachine and Machinedrum. This a god-send to anyone who’s a fan of that era and that sound (which is pretty much everyone tbh!). While this is not strictly a sample pack it is a sysex dump for use with a Machinedrum – get one second hand off ebay and get involved!
Loads of classic drum machine samples
And last but not least there is a mega-resource for classic drum machine samples on Reverb here. A big collection of classic, dry drum machine samples, more than you could ever need!
Hope you found this useful 🙂 Please let us know any feedback or more samples that you recommend.
For more articles like this see: Best free VSTs for techno, and Free techno kick sample pack.
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