Hydrogen Drum Machine
Here’s a free open source drum machine. According to the hype, it offers “professional yet simple and intuitive pattern-based drum programming”.
Essentially, Hydrogen is a sample-based machine that’s capable of a lot. You can import/export drum kits (and download drum kits from the Hydrogen site) or assemble your own from your sample collection (a whopping 16 layers per instrument is available).
Hydrogen is a snap to get up and running on. Laying out a song in the Song Editor section takes only a moment and editing patterns is a breeze. There’s a whole bunch of functions which let you humanize your beats (which is a God send when you’re working with samples) and it’s easy to export everything to MIDI when you’re done.
It’s a winner.
PROS: One of the best (if not the best) freeware drum machine out there
CONS: When it comes to drums, not much compares to the paid-for varieties, but those are not cheap