Max for Live Drum Devices Roundup! Sufi Plug Ins Palmas, The Beatdown, Sample Layer, Instant Haus, and Drum Synths

Drums are a key ingredient of just about any track you make, regardless of  genre (except a capella, ambient, and other beat-less genres, of course!).  Here are five Max for Live devices to add some sparkle and groove to your beats.



Palmas by SUFI PLUG INS creates rich claps that would take you some time and layering to do yourself. This well-designed device, from DJ/producer, writer, and musician Jace Clayton, has only five parameters: number of hands, synchronization of the hands, pitch, stereo spread and velocity. Don’t let this simple-looking device fool you–you can create everything from Motown to trap claps with this free device.

The Beatdown

The Beatdown by Sonic Faction is a ten-kit, multi-sampled, analog-style Drum Rack with Macros and effect Racks for tweaking the sounds. It also comes with a custom step sequencer that makes it easy to program beats and tweak velocity, groove, and note length from the APC40, Launchpad, or Push. The Beatdown sells for $25.

Drum Synths

Drum Synths

Drum Synths, from the free Max for Live Essentials pack, is a collection of 13 synthesized drum and percussion instruments that are great sounding, but also versatile enough to make sound effects, leads, and even bass sounds. These drum synths can produce sounds similar to the Dave Smith Tempest. In addition to the basic controls for customizing the sound, each instrument also features an advanced panel with 16 parameters that can be modulated based on note velocity–this can add  a lot of character to the sounds. Use one of the presets, or start from scratch and program drums with a nice analog synth feel.

Sample Layer

Sample Layer by Tom Cosm is a free utility device that speeds up you drum production, making it easy to navigate through your Drum Rack samples to choose the right sound for each drum. You can select up to six samples to layer, or let Sample Layer choose them for you with it’s randomizer. Also, each of the six samples can be independently delayed and lengthened for a more natural feel. For more information on navigating large numbers of samples in a Drum Rack, watch The Last Drum Rack You’ll Ever Have to Make.

Instant Haus

Instant Haus by Alexkid is a free device that generates (you guessed it!) house beats. Instant Haus offers a lot of control with separate kick, snare, hi-hat, and percussion sections. Each section allows you to tweak the pattern, swing, velocity, and note.

While the loop is playing, your keyboard can be used to trigger different combinations of patterns and randomizations to keep the beat interesting. Though it was created for house music, I set a BPM of 92 and found a pattern that was nice for hip hop. Take a moment to check it out!

Dubspot blogger Josh Spoon is an Ableton Live veteran, blogger, drummer, music producer and live performer. Josh has a residency with the eclectic Los Angeles electronic music collective Space Circus,performing every first Wednesday of the month, and just released his first concept EP of grooving low-end originals entitled Man on Mars.

Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program

The flagship of our music training, with every Ableton Live course offered at the school. After completing this program, you will leave with a portfolio of original tracks, a remix entered in an active contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.

What’s Included:

  • Ableton Live Level 1: Beats, Sketches, and Ideas
  • Ableton Live Level 2: Analyze, Deconstruct, Recompose, and Assemble
  • Ableton Live Level 3: Synthesis and Original Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 4: Advanced Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Effect Processing
  • Ableton Live Level 6: Going Global with your Music

This program is about learning Ableton Live by going through the entire process of being an artist, by developing your own sound through a series of sketches and experimentation. You will also learn the ins and outs of this powerful software through a series of exercises designed to help you master the steps involved in producing your own music. After a level of getting familiar with the tools that Ableton has to offer, you will then develop your sonic ideas into full-length tracks. You will be exposed to a variety of approaches to arrangement and composition, storytelling techniques, ways of creating tension and drama in your music. At the end of the day, it is the sum total of your choices as an artist that define your sound, and levels 2 – 6 will give you the experience of actually completing tracks to add to your portfolio.

Start dates and information about payment plans can be found here.

Or if you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.