Does anyone have any suggestions on the most realistic drum sounds that I can get from a virtual instrument plug-in for use with DAW recording software without spending an arm and a leg?
I'm thinking something where I can input midi and map to the drum sounds like a synth.
I have used a freeware drum machine called Hydrogen before. It has quite a few available sounds and a good editor for the patterns.
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I use Smart Loops http://www.smartloops.com/ and have been very happy with the results. They have some sample loops for free that you can try out.
I just purchased and have started using EZDrummer and I purchased the Nashville add-on. I am amazed at how simple it is to drag and drop and create the perfect drum line. These are super drum loops and the sound is so close to real that after a recording session with headphones I can't get the drum beat out on my head. LOl I use protools 9mp for my DAW. There are lots of YOUTUBE videos to help you learn. So there are lots of resources to get your hands on to help you along. Recommend ezdrummer.
I didn't mean to be inaccurate, but I wasn't trying to be precise.
I use Beatcraft by Acoustica - it's old and apparently not very well supported software. But the sample sets that came with it seem pretty good.