Make your Beats Sizzle with DW Drum Enhancer

The folks at Audified recently teamed up with drum manufacturer, DW (Drum Workshop), to create a plugin suitable for drum processing. DW Drum Enhancer provides producers and musicians a way to make their beats truly stand out in a mix. This flexible plugin is designed to work with acoustic kits, but I made it sizzle with my electronic setup – both with live and drum machine beats.

DW Drum Enhancer Features

  • Includes Noise Gate, Compressor, Filter, and EQ
  • Flexible Tube-like Saturation for that “Push over the Cliff”
  • Intuitive and Simple Interface
  • Host of Presets created by Studio Engineers
  • Dial-in a Specific Drum Type or an Entire Kit
  • Sounds “Musical”
  • Available through Audified for $199

If you record live drums into a DAW, you need to check out DW Drum Enhancer. Even electronic musicians using electro 808 sounds or acoustic drum plugins benefit from Drum Enhancer’s processing horsepower. It just might be that missing piece in your mix.

An Easy Way to enhance your Drum Sound

With a user interface that’s simple and intuitive, DW Drum Enhancer makes dialing-in a drum sound an easy process. From left to right are sections for the noise gate, compressor, EQ, filter, and saturator. A rotary selector lets you choose an individual drum type or one of the “other” settings when effecting a full kit.


DW Drum Enhancer in action. Photo by author.

A small section on the lower right handles the loading and saving of presets. Knobs control the level I/O as well the individual effect parameters. There are also a variety of switches depending on the effect. Level meters round out Drum Enhancer’s user interface.

All told, since the DW Drummer user interface is clearly laid out, you won’t encounter many issues getting started with the plugin. Simply calibrate it – if necessary – and try out one of the presets on a full drum track or an isolated individual drum. Presets exist for all!

A Drum Effect plugin that’s Musical

I created a few different drum tracks using my TrapKAT to put DW Drum Enhancer through its paces. Addictive Drums 2 from XLN provided the sound. I generally submix my drum tracks either within the plugin or on my venerable Roland TD-8 module when in use. Therefore I used Drum Enhancer’s Bus drum type primarily, while also exploring the self-explanatory Overhead and Room drum types.

In short, the drum type selector simply serves to load “presets” tailored for a specific purpose. It also controls some aspects of each effect, unavailable to the user, like the time parameters of the noise gate and compressor, or the slope and Q parameters of the filter. Nonetheless, experimentation and rule-breaking are always warranted and sometimes rewarded.

The combination of compression and EQ was especially effective – pun intended. I kept the noise gate turned off; they always annoyed me when I did studio work on my acoustic kit back in the day. Naturally, I had fun with the saturator control, dialing in a suitable amount of edge to add to the Addictive Drums 2 preset. The “Brown” and “Vintage” settings were my favorites.

Plays Nicely with Electronic Drums

DW Drum Enhancer also works well with electronic drum sounds. I used it with my analog Arturia DrumBrute, as well as some other e-drum plugins in the library. Approach the drum type and parameter settings just like you would with an acoustic kit. As always, experimentation is the key.

Ultimately, if you regularly record drums – acoustic and even electronic – you need to explore DW Drum Enhancer. It provides a one-stop shop for those standard drum effects. It also adds some nice edge to drum plugins that sound overly dry. The plugin is available through Audified for $199 and take advantage of the free trial for performing your own due diligence.