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Products by BFD Drums

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BFD PercussionBFD Kit
by BFD Drums
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Latest reviews of BFD Drums products

BFD Dark Mahogany

Reviewed By Mark Wilkins [all]
April 5th, 2024
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows

Anice expansion giving the BFD free player a few more options and grooves to play with. Sounds and feels great.

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Reviewed By hrih67 [all]
November 23rd, 2023
Version reviewed: 3.4.5 on Mac

I regret buying it - I've been disappointed by the sound and usability (and don't start me on the licensing stuff). I wish I'd saved my money and bought EZ Drummer 3 (which I will get now). It sounds old and needs a massive update to be in the same league as it's main competitors.

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Reviewed By Jgk [all]
May 9th, 2023
Version reviewed: 10.12.6 on Mac

I love the program, I run it on a Mac and it runs great, I'm looking forward to 4, there should be more goodies and I like goodies. I think with this program, if you like to tweak and play, it's great, if you want it to do everything for you, , well maybe that's part of any issues. I'm a button turner so I dig it. Great Sounds!!! Love the DW stuff.

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Reviewed By Mr Arkadin [all]
November 17th, 2022
Version reviewed: on Windows

A once mighty piece of software has been decimated by long periods of no development. Sadly the future does not look bright with the take-over by inMusic.

The new licence manager for BFD3, for example, introduced a 90-day subscription-style reauthorisation system. Even though you buy a perpetual licence you have to reauthorise BFD3 online every 90 days. This was introduced with no new terms of agreement and it was the users that spotted this change with no announcement from inMusic. I do not believe the website has ever been updated to reflect this new system.

Perhaps you're OK with reauthorising every 90 days. Except the software is so buggy it may not let you do this, or may do it at a seemingly random time period other than 90 days. You will not be able to use BFD3 at all if this happens.

I state this facts so that potential customers know exactly what they're getting into as inMusic surely won't tell you.

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Reviewed By Orphy [all]
June 15th, 2021
Version reviewed: 3.4 on Mac

I've used BFD for many years to get better sounds for my electronic drum setup. I mostly want the raw, unprocessed sounds as these make playing feel more realistic. Processed sounds are fun but can "muddy up" the feel of your playing quite a bit.

The transition to InMusicBrands has been a bit tough but I'm hoping that this will be resolved soon.

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Reviewed By Beardedone [all]
April 10th, 2006
Version reviewed: 1.5.39 on Windows

I have been a fan of FXpansion’s Dr008 drum sampler/synthesizer plug-in for years. Dr008 combined with Musiclab’s Drumtools: Slicy&Fillin-Drummer plugins made my initial forays into computer music making fun and productive. I then invested in BFD and my world of drum sounds expanded exponentially. BFD’s huge multilayer kits with microphone placement variations, bleed-through mixing and unprecedented hithat control allow production of drum tracks that I bet even Omar Hakim couldn’t distinguish as being sampled. BFD put me in drum heaven. The only thing I was missing was a brush kit of comparable quality to the deep, spacious kits supplied with BFD.
Along came BFD Jazz and Funk. Brush kits as well as mallet, stick, rod and hand struck Jazz kits. Recorded by John Emrich on Gretsch, Yamaha, Slingerland toms and kicks. The snares: let’s see : Ludwig Super Sensitive, Pearl Free-Floating, Greg McDonald 6x14 inch and an incredible sounding 60’s era Rogers Powertone snare. The latter alone is worth the price of admission. Kit pieces (except the kicks of course) are all available as brush and stick wth sekected rod, mallet and hand hits. I won’t go into the cymbals except to say – Thank you for filling every hihat and cymbal possibility I can think of! Installation was easy but be prepared to patient as there are five (5) DVDs to load. There is, thankfully, the option to install in three formats, 20, 48 or 128 velocity-dependent multilayers. This permits those of us with less than bleeding-edge machines to load kits playable at reasonable latencies. My main DAW PC has a dedicated hard drive for BFD that is rather tiny at 80 GB, so I opted for the intermediate multilayer kits. With the stock BFD plus 48 layer J&F compltet kits this drive is nearly maxed out at 75% though it plays smoothly at 3-6 ms through my RME Multiface II. One thing I should mention is that users can install selected kit pieces and can choose to deselect kit piece they may not use or do not have HD space to install. This came in handy on my laptop system drive (80 GB) where I only installed the brush kits. Even though it is a 5400 rpm Seagate drive with an 8MB buffer I can play BFD at less than 10 ms.

Bravo FXpansion!
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Reviewed By multree [all]
November 12th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows

Did you think that Battery or DR008 have been the answer to your question for a good drum sampler? Well guess what - you asked the wrong question! This VST/RTAS/AU/ReWire/DXi/Standalone instrument from fxpansion takes Steinberg’s concept of a virtual drummer (groove agent) to a professional level. The superb sounding 9 GB big, sample content was recorded by Steve Duda (engineer/producer for e.g. NIN & A Perfect Circle) and includes 7 drum kits (from DW, Ayotte, Lucite, Ludwig, Slingerland, Pearl & Leedy) and additional kit pieces (from e.g. Premier, Radio King, Porkpie, Tama, Noble/Cooley & even stuff from unknown manufacturers) with up to 46 velocity layers per hit. Every hit was recorded simultaneously through eleven high class microphones.

Now to have full access to this sample library fxpansion created BFD which is able to adjust the volume of direct-, overhead-, room- & pcm-mics separately. The first sample library to offer control over the room sound was Toontrack's 'Drum kit from hell' (with direct and room mics), but BFD goes way beyond that. You can even move the stereo ambient mics around and spread them. Furthermore you're able to adjust the balance between the snares' top or bottom mic, or the bass drums' inside and outside mic (only the DW bass drum has no second mic - but Steve promised to look into this and maybe add this if possible).

With BFD it's very easy to (re)compile new kits - you just need to click the button corresponding to the kit piece you want to change and choose from a variety of drums or cymbals. While it's not possible, and due to BFD's paradigm of multimiced drums senseless to load your own samples, fxpansion will release expansion packs for BFD in the near future. So, this way even kit pieces that are still missing, like drums played with brushes or mallets, or simply more drum kits to choose from will be available soon.

A feature unique to the BFD is the ability to change the velocity correspondence of each kit piece, so even if you simply create your rhythm tracks in your host's piano roll (midi editor) you can decide at which velocity 'the drum is hit' without changing the velocity of each drawn note. BFD is even smart enough to handle humanization in both timing and velocity, while a relaxed, French looking guy and some kind of robot dude will help you to achieve your aims.

When you're host supports multiple outs you can either use the BFD Stereo (Stereo Master output only), BFD Groups (four stereo outputs - Direct Master, Overhead, Room and PZM) or BFD All (mono out for every kit piece and stereo outs for Overhead, Room and PZM). The last one gives you the freedom to process every kit piece separately, which may become very handy during the mix.

Last but not least BFD offers you an integrated Drummer (the Groove Librarian) who's capable of almost every style you could imagine (again - even if you might find a groove the BFD is not [yet] capable of you can go to the fxpansion forum on www.kvr-vst.com and request it). You can either tell the drummer, by pressing the corresponding key on your midi keyboard, what to play or when; or simply set some guidelines (e.g. a break every fourth bar) and let BFD do the rest. You're of course still able to play it like any other drum sampler via midi notes.

Since BFD uses disk streaming technology you should have a fast computer with enough RAM and an even faster hard drive to benefit from all the features it has to offer. But still it's possible to tweak it that it runs on Laptops with slower hard drives, when using the 'RAM only' option. This way you'll only hear the first seconds of each hit (depending on how much RAM you're able to assign to BFD). I've tested BFD on a Dell Latitude with 1,6 GHz pentium m, 512MB of RAM and a 5.600rpm hard drive - and while composing I used the 'RAM only' function and whenever I was ready to render the track, I just clicked on the 'bounce' button and had a wonderful sounding drum track. Still I think that an option to listen to the Direct Out only, or to reduce the amount of velocity layers in order to lower the disk load while composing, would have been very cool.

All in all this is the best acoustic drum module I've seen. I'm blown away by the sound and the possibilities this monster has to offer. Sadly you can't test it, for its sample library is simply too big to make a downloadable demo possible. But if this got you interested you can go to www.fxpansion.com and download some of the audio demos and maybe take a look at the shockwave demonstration, or you can go to fxpansion's forum on www.kvr-vst.com in order to ask some users about their opinion or maybe listen to songs they've made using the BFD. I am a user and I am addicted. BFD ROCKS !!!
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Reviewed By derek [all]
October 25th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows

great plugin! it basically comes down to two things:

1. detailed sampling of drums. its not like BFD invented that, but the sampling is *really* detailed and makes the drum sounds come alive in a way i havent heard in a while.

2. the much more important point: it splits the samples into direct signal and crosstalk on the other microphones. i have done this myself with a few drumkits and it is *the* key to realistic drum sampling, but its such a lot of work, oh my...

...fxpansion has done all that work for us, and it shows. pressing the solo button on the basedrum channel and hearing the crosstalk from the other instruments is not only a cool jawdropper (in the traditional "look what this thing does" way) but helps the sound enourmously. being able to process only the overheads, or using an overcompressed basedrum mic as sole sound source for some fun lofi stuff, thats the way its gotta be.

so far so good. i dont know any other sampleset that does this, so that leaves BFD without any competition (asides from my own samplesets as competition for me personally ;-)

things i would like to see in the future:

1. random changing of samples. sample a full velocity hit on the snare drum 8 times and make them randomly chance. that makes it even more realistic and would be a very logical addition for the whole BFD concept

2. even though its hard on RAM: include the crosstalk on tom mics in future samplesets. let the user choose to load them or not load them. it might seem unimportant at first, but i.e. the low tom mic usually is one of the coolest SFX or pseudo-drumloop sources of them all :-)

3. make the bell samples of the ride cymbal accessible also via the keyboard (just put them on some other key) and not just switching. allthough maybe i just havent found that or my version is outdated.

4. some onboard effects, especially compression. it would be nice to have some good compression settings load as part of the instrument

5. on a somewhat similar note, it would be great if one had a way to rise the level of the "soft" samples with a knob somewhere in the UI. that may go against the ultra-relalism approach of BFD, but in todays ultra-stylized low-dynamic pop world it would be very helpful. right now i find myself mostly using the high velocity samples or adding another instance of BFD for the softer samples (thus killing my RAM of course ;-)

that may seem like a lot of complaints for an instrument i recommend, but thats only because its so inspiring and goes new ways. its the best plugin ive bought in a long time and outside of the KVR rating system i would give it a 10 out of 10, with my remarks being understood as BFD having the potential to go to eleven :-)

all in all, its the best in its category. its the only one in its category. the quality and detail of sampling are awesome, the UI is very clever (and beatiful! love the pictures in the panel to load drum sounds...not only eye candy but also useful to remember which drum was which).

a true masterpiece. i look forward for many more drum libraries. theres no such thing as a too big library of realistic real drum sounds.
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