Percussion Virtual Instruments

SCC Taiko Drums


While looking for some free Taiko drum samples for my students to use with Mixcraft, I stumbled upon the Free Taiko Drum Rack by Subaqueous. Unfortunately, none of my students use Ableton, so I decided to use the samples to create an SFZ instrument instead. I also added some samples I found on

This instrument is a complete overhaul of Subaqueous' original Live drum rack version. I have reprogrammed the drum sample mapping using better velocity splits, natural velocity-to-attenuation scaling, and round-robin to create an instrument that plays much more like the real thing.


Each drum is triggered by a pair of adjacent keys—always a white key and its black neighbor to the right (e.g. C and C# for taiko 1, D and D# for taiko 2, etc.). This allows for easy drum rolls by playing a trill on the pair of notes. Notes E and B are not used, due to their lack of a black key to the right.

This instrument provides the following drums (C4 = middle-C):

Taiko drums 1 and 2 use the most samples, and therefore sound the most natural. The round-robin programming means that consecutive keypresses at the same dynamic level will alternate between different samples, avoiding the "machine-gun effect" that happens when a single sample is rapidly repeated.

The duration you hold a key down affects how long the drum rings out. This prevents the sound from accumulating too much during drum rolls, but also reduces the reverb length on short notes. If you wish to have the samples play their full duration at all times, simply hold down the sustain pedal while playing.

For best results, please use Plogue sforzando to play this instrument. Compatibility with other SFZ-compatible samplers is not guaranteed.


Special thanks to Subaqueous for providing most of the samples used in this instrument. Please check out his website here.

NOTE: All downloads on this page are compressed RAR archives. If you need a way to extract RAR archives, I recommend 7-Zip.