Introduction To MIDI Drum Loops And Drum Plugins

Introduction To MIDI Drum Loops And Drum Plugins

Ready to see and hear what they can do for your music?

If you create music using loops, you may know that drum loops can be fun, inspirational, and provide a solid foundation on which to build your music.

While audio drum loops are sufficient in some scenarios, we are often limited by what we can do with them. It becomes tricky if we wish to alter them, like changing the snare drum, changing the feel, or writing custom drum fills.


When paired together, midi drum loops and virtual drum plugins offer far more flexibility, as you can change almost all aspects of sound and performance.


A combination of MIDI drum loops and virtual drum plugins allows you to easily manipulate the groove and sound. You can move notes around, remove or add new ones, lower or increase their intensity or completely change their sound by loading a different drum plugin. You can quickly turn one instrument into another by dragging a note.

The best thing is that you can write your custom drum parts from scratch utilizing any sound available in your drum plugin.


MIDI drum loops are small computer files that contain musical performances, but no actual sound recordings. Instead, they comprise information on what notes are played, at what points in time, and how long they last, among many other details. A MIDI file can be as simple as a single note or contain an entire full-length drumset track with articulations and dynamics. 


A midi drum loop alone does not make a sound.

For a midi drum loop to produce sound, it needs to be routed to a sound-generating, virtual drumset. 


So, if a midi drum loop contains, for example, notes C1 and D1 and is passed through a virtual drumset, those notes will trigger the sounds of kick and snare drums. MIDI drum loop instructs the virtual drumset on what, when, and how to play it.


Virtual drumsets mainly produce sound by synthesizing from scratch or playing back previously recorded short drum samples. The first kind is considered a drum synth, while the latter are sampled drums.


Loaded inside your digital audio workstation like Cubase, Logic, or Reaper, a virtual drum set is considered a plugin. Some drum plugins incorporate midi loops as well.


Sampled drums are recordings of real acoustic drums played individually, with hits repeated at various dynamic levels and captured using multiple microphones. Those recordings are mixed, cut into single drum hits, and saved as separate audio files. When carefully re-assembled within a drum sampler, they play back as a complete drumset.

Now that you know what MIDI drum loops and drum plugins are, see and hear what they can do for your music by checking out our collections at the GoranGrooves Library.


We have growing collections of ultra-realistic, professional drum plugins and MIDI drum loops tailored to a wide range of music styles and situations. They are super-easy to use and sound great right out of the box.

Whatever your musical passion is, you will likely find tools to foster your inspiration and help make your music groovier.