8 Awesome Plugins for Mixing Drums

8 Awesome Plugins for Mixing Drums

Ready to take your drum mixing to a professional level and go beyond using stock plugins? Regardless of your DAW of choice, check out the list below for some of Yurt Rock’s favorite drum mixing plugins. At the end of the post, we’ll also share a common signal chain using the various plugins for kick, snare, toms, overhead, master bus and stereo out channels. Whether you are mixing your own drum sessions or using Yurt Rock’s multitrack drums, you’ll have a great collection of plugins to incorporate into your drum mixes by the end of this article.

Chris Lord-Alge (Waves)

chris lord-alge plugin

The Chris Lord-Alge plugin is one we come back to time and time again. You can purchase the plugin for individual instruments such as drums, vocals, bass, guitar, and effect chains, but the Signature Series Bundle includes all plugins at a highly discounted price. Once you drop this plugin on your drum recordings, you are going to want it on other instruments too. That’s why we recommend going with the bundle.

The plugin provides a simple interface with Bass, Treble, Compression, Reverb and Gate processing for drums. The CL-A Drums plugin includes unique presets and settings for kick, snare, toms, overheads, room mics and cowbell, making it a great tool for mixing any drum sound. Two of our favorite presets we find ourselves coming back to include the Rock 1 bass drum and Beef overhead presets. It’s truly magical… take your raw drum recording and throw the Chris Lord-Alge on it and you’ll hear the value of this plugin instantly.

Plugin Highlights

  • Super user-friendly interface
  • The bundle includes 6 instrument settings (drums, vocals, bass, guitar, effects and unplugged)
  • Tons of built-in presets for every instrument providing a seamless mixing workflow
  • Includes EQ, Compression, Delay, Reverb, Gate, Distortion effects
  • Multiple settings for each effect

Scheps Omni Channel Strip

Schep Omni plugin

The Scheps Omni by Waves is the ultimate channel strip mixing plugin. Developed alongside grammy winning mixer, Andrew Schepp, this plugin combines the color of analog processing with the flexibility of the digital world. The plugin includes all of your channel strip mixing tools in one place including compression, EQ, pre, de-esser, gate and a bonus slot for you to import other Waves plugins into the channel strip. As you can probably tell, the interface is a bit more complex than the CL-A plugin mentioned previously. You can rely on the built-in presets like the Billy Bush Drum preset or take full control of the mix with the Scheps Omni interface and controls. We find ourselves starting with a preset and then tweaking the controls for our mix. 

Plugin Highlights

  • Designed by Andrew Schep (Jay Z, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers)
  • 6 processing modules (EQ, compression, gate, de-esser, pre, bonus slot)
  • Built-in presets by notorious artists and producers (Billy Bush, Tony Visconti & more)

Drum Shaper (XLN Audio)

drum shaper plugin

Drum Shaper by XLN Audio is another go-to for Yurt Rock’s drum mixing when we are looking for a simple, yet professional way to improve the attack and sustain of kick, snare and master bus channels. This plugin might be exactly what you need to give your drums that little extra boost of punch or fatness. Additionally, the plugin provides 3 settings for great natural sounding drums (classic, natural and smooth), plus a MOJO knob to help add tasteful color and flavor to the right frequencies in the mix.

Plugin Highlights

  • 3 modes to instantly enhance your mix (kick, snare and bus)
  • Simple interface, great for beginner and advanced mixers
  • Instantly improves the attack and sustain of drum mixes

Oxide Tape (Universal Audio)

oxide tape

Want to make your digital drum tracks warmer and sound like they were recorded to tape? Oxide Tape from UA uses magnetic tape emulation to make this a reality. It’s another plugin we use in almost every drum mix to add more clarity and warmth.  Whether applied to kick, snare or master bus tracks, this plugin is a must-have.

Plugin Highlights

  • Make your digital recordings sound like tape recordings
  • Add clarity, warmth and punch to drum mixes
  • Includes John Paterno presets

SSL G-Channel (Waves)

ssl g-channel plugin

SSL G-Channel from Waves emulates the Solid State Logic SL 4000 console’s processing. By pulling the same processing used in the SL 4000, this plugin excels at creating a pre-boost dip and pre-cut rise for fantastic frequency control. Built into the plugin is soft-knee compression, limiting, gate/expander, and auto makeup gain to ensure your levels remain consistent. An excellent choice for equalizing a snare drum and one we use often.

Plugin Highlights

  • Emulates the Solid State Logic SL 4000
  • Great for EQ and dynamic leveling
  • Great presets included such as Chris Lord-Alge

API 560 (Waves)

api 460 plugin

Let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with anything API. The API 560 is another great EQ plugin we use on snare mixes. This plugin is based on the 1967 API 560 10-Band equalizer and excels at signal enhancement and room tuning. At an affordable price, turn to the 560 for precise EQ as it widens lower levels and narrows higher frequencies. 

Plugin Highlights

  • Models vintage outboard gear
  • Precision EQ
  • Simple design and controls

API 2500 (Waves)

api 2500

Since we gave you a great API EQ, here’s a great API compressor. If you are looking to add a tool focused solely on compression, the API 2500 provides pristine accuracy in shaping the punch and tone of drum mixes. Its auto makeup gain allows you to adjust compression settings like threshold and ratio and still maintain consistent output levels. Have you ever increased a compressor’s threshold and caused clipping? Problem solved with this iconic compressor.

Plugin Highlights

  • Emulates vintage API compression hardware
  • Multiple filter, compression and release settings/modes
  • Auto makeup gain

Ozone 10

ozone 10

Ready to give a crack at mastering your own mixes? Let us introduce you to Izotope’s Ozone 10. This plugin is meant to be placed on your master stereo channel and provides the final seasoning to your mix. Ozone 10 accomplishes this through its mastering tools like: automatic clarity for creating a clear, natural mix; the impact module to enhance different frequencies across the mix; and the magnify soft clip for boosting loudness while still maintaining high quality audio. If you are a musician or producer looking to release your own recordings, give this plugin a serious look.

Plugin Highlights

  • Allows self-mastering
  • Built-in features for cleaning up your final mix

Signal Chain Configuration for Awesome Drum Mixes

As promised, here is a recommended signal chain you can use for mixing drums using the list of plugins above. 


  • Chris Lord-Alge
  • SSL G-Channel
  • API 560
  • Drum Shaper
  • Oxide Tape


  • Chris Lord-Alge
  • SSL G-Channel
  • API 560
  • Drum Shaper
  • Oxide tape


  • Chris Lord-Alge


  • Oxide Tape
  • EQ

Master Bus

  • API 2500
  • Drum Shaper
  • Reverb

Stereo Out

  • Ozone 10

Interested in checking out more plugins?

Yurt Rock has partnered with innovative companies like AYAIC, Sound Yeti & more. Check out Yurt Rock's collection of plugins.

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