Can You Use Addictive Drums With Audacity?

Updated March 23, 2017

XLN Audio's Addictive Drums software allows you to create drum tracks from its sample library using an intuitive graphical interface. Addictive Drums comes in Virtual Studio Technology (VST), Audio Unit (AU), and Real Time AudioSuite (RTAS) versions. Unfortunately, the open source audio editor Audacity does not support software instruments in any of these formats. You can, however, use an alternative drum plug-in with Audacity or run Addictive Drums in a host -- digital audio program -- that supports this software. You can also edit Addictive Drums tracks in Audacity.


Software instrument plug-ins like Addictive Drums require a MIDI input signal to generate sound. Audacity is designed more as an audio editor, which alters already recorded sound files, than as a digital audio workstation, which uses real-time processing to create sound. As of June 2011, no version of Audacity supports MIDI, meaning that VST, AU and RTAS instruments cannot run within the program.

Alternative Plug-Ins

Although Audacity doesn't support any of the plug-in formats that Addictive Drums uses, it can run plug-ins written in the Nyquist programming language. To emulate a drum machine plug-in in Audacity, download the Nyquist Risset Drums plug-in, then use it to generate drum sounds in Audacity. You can create a track using these drum sounds with the Nyquist Audio Selection Sequencer 2 plug-in.

Alternative Hosts

If you want to use Addictive Drums to create drum tracks, you'll need to run it in a host that supports VST, AU or RTAS plug-ins. XLN Audio recommends using the free VSTHost -- Virtual Studio Technology Host -- and SAVIHost -- Stand Alone VST Instrument Host -- programs in Windows or the free VSTLord host on a Mac. If you have a commercial digital audio workstation already installed, you can use it to run Addictive Drums. The VST version runs in Cubase, Sonar and Ableton Live, while the AU plug-in works in Logic, Garageband and Digital Performer. You can also run Addictive Drums in Pro Tools using the RTAS plug-in. Addictive Drums may function in other digital audio workstations; however, XLN Audio only offers support for the above-mentioned software.

Editing in Audacity

Although you cannot run Addictive Drums in Audacity, you can use Audacity to slice, chop and edit drum loops you create using Addictive Drums. Export the track from your digital audio workstation as a WAV file, then open it in Audacity. Use Audacity's "Split," "Cut" and "Paste" functions to rearrange the drum loop; you can also apply both Audacity's built-in audio effects and third-party effect plug-ins to the track. Export the altered drum track as a WAV file, then reopen it in your digital audio workstation.

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About the Author

Seamus Islwyn has been writing for radio, print and online publications since 2003, covering subjects from independent Canadian music to automobile smuggling in the Balkans. His work has appeared in the "Tirana Times" in Albania, and he also composes and produces electronic music. Islwyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from McGill University and a certificate in radio broadcasting from Humber College.