D16 Drumazon, drum synth plugins

D16 Nithonat, Nepheton and Drumazon

€99 each

Nithonat, Nepheton and Drumazon emulate the Roland TR-606, TR-808 and TR-909 respectively. If you’re going to try to replicate the sound of three of the most well-loved drum machines in electronic music history, you’d better do a good job. Luckily, in this case, D16 has nailed it.

Like their TB-303 and SH-101 emulations, D16’s Roland-inspired drum plugins aren’t just your run-of-the-mill sample-based instruments. All three synthesise their sounds in real time, based on models of the original hardware.

The D16 instruments recreate the sound of the originals with incredible accuracy. (Don’t believe it by sound alone? Just compare D16’s measurements of the plugins against the real thing.) But they’re also more flexible than the originals; where, say, an unmodified TR-808 offers just one adjustable parameter for the kick drum (level), Nepheton offers four (level, tone, decay, sweep). Sets of parameters can also be stored as presets, allowing you to expand the plugins’ built-in sound palettes with your own custom combinations of sound settings.

The built-in sequencers follow the lead of their TR-x0x forebears, with a few tweaks to bring them up to date (that means, for example, that Nepheton and Nithonat both have ‘shuffle’ (swing) controls, even if the 808 and 606 didn’t).

If you’re looking for the closest software equivalents to Roland’s legendary rhythm boxes, D16’s software tributes are an absolute no-brainer.



22nd May, 2015


  • I think Drumatic 4 deserves to be on that list! http://www.drumatic.info/
    Maybe even Maschine’s drum modules could be on the list.

    Other than that, great list! I learned that Kickr was for windows now as well.

  • vive le Drumazone

  • vive le Drumazon !!!, mais pour faire le râleur, il y a juste une différence de tonalité, mais sinon c’est le top quand on rêve d’acquérir une 909.

  • I agree with Sleepydog, Drumatic 4 is an amazing drum synth, would have like to have seen it on here

  • Can’t believe Audiospillage and their whole line of drum synths didn’t get included, especially with so many redundant entries that did make it in. Have to give them a plug, but I’m just as happy keeping these all to myself…

  • Yeah not sure why Drumspillage 2 and Elecktroid, both by Audiospillage did not make this list

  • Waldorf Attack was a great unsing hero of Drum Machine VSTs imo.

  • It would make sense to put Spark on the list as well.

  • Another vote for Drum Spillage. I’ve demo’d just about all of these, and Drum Spillage is easily at the #1 spot for me. For both sound, and the ability to dial in sounds and timbres.

  • Bazzism by Intelligent Sounds & Music – It’s my go to for kickdrums and its priced right!

  • Yeah, not sure why we’ve got two kick drum plug-ins on this list?
    I second Attack – It’s an oldie, but a goodie, for sure!
    Tattoo is okay, but pretty limited sonically, especially when compared to the Audiospillage stuff, which for some reason didn’t make it on the list.
    One omission I’m pretty surprised about is LinPlug’s RMV, which I think is totally underrated. I use it all the time… And it was one of the first plug-ins to combine drum synthesis and sampling – way before Punch or even Maschine!
    Anyway, my 2 cents.

  • Spark?

  • Report
  • You need to add Drumspillage 2 to that list.


  • ahem…
    Sonic Academy KICK was Future Music Gear Of The Year #1 and its not even in your list?



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