“One of the easiest and classiest-sounding drum instruments in its price range”: Modalics MINDst Drums review

It might be a bit too purple, but behind its simple UI, MINDst Drums delivers all the mix-ready, real beats you could need…

  • $99
Modalics MINDst Drums
(Image: © Modalics)

MusicRadar Verdict

Never judge a drum sampler by its cover, MINDst Drums delivers authentic drum action for a decent outlay.

Pros

  • +

    Simple looking but hides power.

  • +

    Very authentic sound.

  • +

    Love the bleed and mic extras.

  • +

    Huge variety of sounds and grooves.

Cons

  • -

    Slightly faffy install.

  • -

    Effects setup took a little getting used to.

MusicRadar's got your back Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.

Modalics MINDst Drums: What is it?

At a Glance

OS: macOS 10.13 / Windows 10.
Specs: Intel Core i5 or equivalent AMD CPU, 8 GB RAM (16GB recommended). Apple ARM64 (M1, M2, etc..) on Apple Systems.
Supported Formats: Windows (64-bit only) - Standalone, VST, VST3, AAX. macOS (64-bit only) - Standalone, VST, VST3, AAX, AU.
Buy at Plugin Boutique

MINDst Drums is, on the face of it, another drum sample ROMpler that is attempting to bring real acoustic drumming to your computer-based compositions. It has a drum kit on the main page of its UI, you load sampled kit setups in, play different MIDI file grooves for each and can edit and mix each drum sound. There are effects per channel plus five master effects, so it already sounds pretty decent. 

For the outlay and maybe the feel of the UI, you’d understandably think that’s the end of the story. However, the clue is in the 50,000 samples that come with MINDst Drums’ harness ‘Smart playback algorithms’, the ability to adjust mic bleed levels and drum hit positions and more. In short, there’s more than meets the eye. A lot more…

Modalics MINDst Drums

(Image credit: Modalics)

Modalics MINDst Drums: Performance and verdict

The only slightly complicated aspect of MINDst Drums was installing it. You download the installer, load the plugin into your DAW, and drag in (or load) a license key. Then you have to download the content and tell the plugin where that is on your system. The plugin uses MLAC (Modalics Lossless Audio Codec) to ensure loading in samples is quick and seamless, something that is definitely apparent when using the plugin. 

Also consider...

Toontrack EZdrummer 3

(Image credit: Future)

Toontrack EZ Drummer 3
Enter the EZ Drummer world and you will get every beat catered for and a lot more. Ultimate drumming!

IK Multimedia MODO DRUM
A superb range of kits and loads of parameters to adjust in the minutest detail.

The main window shows the drum kit, and clicking on each part (module) of the kit opens up a different edit window to the left. Here you can make more obvious changes to the drum’s tuning and velocity envelope. But it starts to get more interesting with modules like the snare, ride and hi-hat, where you can alter other parameters. Mostly this takes the form of where and how the module is hit. In the snare’s case, you can choose three areas from the centre out, for example, and even the leading hand to hit them. And for the hi-hat, you can choose to play it with one or both hands. This means that on top of the usual velocity changes to trigger different layers of samples for realism, there’s a lot more to play with for added authenticity. 

Dive into the mixer page and you can choose to adjust levels, mute and solo for the six main components of the kit, or select an expanded view of 13 which has extra tom, cymbal and other kit elements. Each part of the kit has individual drive, compressor and EQ effects to adjust, plus two sends to studio and plate reverbs. There are also five master effects for the overall kit, which have the two reverbs plus drive, compressor and filter, which can really make a difference to your sonic attitude. You can move the sound way beyond the real, morphing the kit into more esoteric domains. 

As great as the effects are, it’s the extras in this mixer section that separate MINDst from many drum samplers. These include mic and bleed changes – which we cover to the right – a comprehensive set of MIDI mapping tools, and the ability to assign each part of the kit and even different mic setups to different channels in your DAW so you can use your own effects on each. Comprehensive this mix area most certainly is.

Modalics MINDst Drums

(Image credit: Modalics)

Modalics mix extras

There are many hidden and not so hidden extras with MINDst Drums. Two in the mix section are the ability to set drum microphone levels, and also set the bleed level. Clicking on each drum sound in the mixer opens up this more detailed window above the currently selected effect. Options can vary between adjusting levels of three toms that make up the overall tom sound, to setting different mic levels on certain parts of the drum kit. On the snare drum, for example, you get mics for snare top (x2), snare bottom and condenser. With the crash cymbal you get seven cymbal levels to adjust for the mix. 

Deeper still, you can also set bleed levels, as in how much you can hear of the rest of the kit when a sound is solo’d. On a simple level, this might be adjusting the snare so it is more evident when you solo the kick for more realism; a more complex example is adjusting every kit bleed level for the room sound. These are lovely extras that give MINDst Drums a pro sound.

MIND full

We’ve barely covered the MINDst Drums core sound, but when you consider all the extras we have discussed, its adaptability to many a diverse project is obvious. It is based around one massive kit and many variations in terms of mix setups. The MIDI Player provides hundreds of grooves, fills, flams, and the authenticity is ramped up with playback algorithms that, for example, change a hat sound depending on its duration, just for more layers of realism. 

Don’t go expecting much in the way of TR-XOX sounds and dance beats (although you could probably twist it to do so if you dug into those effects and it versatile mixer). We could probably have done with some skin options – we’re not sure the current UI projects the pro strengths of the instrument, but that might just be an [our!] age thing. Otherwise this is one of the easiest and classiest-sounding drum instruments in its price range.

MusicRadar verdict: Never judge a drum sampler by its cover, MINDst Drums delivers authentic drum action for a decent outlay.

Modalics MINDst Drums: Hands-on demos

Modalics

Audio Tech TV

Studio Life

eDrums and VSTs

Modalics MINDst Drums: Specifications

  • macOS 10.13 / Windows 10.
  • Intel Core i5 or equivalent AMD CPU, 8 GB RAM (16GB recommended). Apple ARM64 (M1, M2, etc..) on Apple Systems.
  • Supported Formats: Windows (64-bit only) - Standalone, VST, VST3, AAX. macOS (64-bit only) - Standalone, VST, VST3, AAX, AU.
  • CONTACT: Modalics
  • BUY FROM Plugin Boutique
Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.