BFD 2.3 : Review (FXPANSION)
As a producer, musician, and «in the box» audio engineer, one of the most common vst instruments I use are Drums. Nowadays, there are quite a few good options available out there, but some of them are on a different level. So, I will be looking at the pros and cons of BFD 2.0, which I’ve had my hands on for a while and have been using since the first edition (many years ago).
Fxpansion is one of the biggest companies in the audio/plugins industry and BFD is one of their finest products. It has a massive library of drum sounds that works to any daw through its own interface and has a really professional point of view on the way it approaches the interface and the way it treats the sound.
- It really is an authentic emulation of acoustic drums and it has ultra detailed sampling and amazing amount of velocity layers. This is a really dynamic vst instrument.
- The mic’s bleed is outstanding and provides you a really live and dynamic kit in your DAW.
- Room and ambience mics give you amazing space results.
- The integrated mixing environment is outstanding and gives you the full package in routing terms and in eq/compressing quality plugins; everything right inside your BFD 2.0 plugin. So you have the power to make a whole internal drum mix/sound and save the preset to use it at another time.
- The MIDI groove engine is fully usable with professional results.
- Massive drum library content (over 50 GB). You can make pretty much any sound you need; from slow to rock and from blues to pop.
- Humanization functions for creating realistic drum parts.
- Channel strip with four effects inserts and four sends for every mic channel, along with aux, sidechaining, submixing. Full internal mixing in your hands.
- Multichannel Audio Export in wav so that you can do whatever you need to do in any possible way, even by using your own plugins on each part of the drumkit.
- 180-page PDF manual, which pretty much explains EVERYTHING in detail.
- Some harsh sounding cymbals- though I am not sure if this should be noted as a con since in real life terms, this is the case with cymbals. You need to work a lot to constrain them. So, they might actually be necessary for some specific productions or producers.
- It gives you the option to do so much, that many users might find it all a little too much. Though this “problem” really goes away with the presets, so the only thing I would probably suggest is a more “preset ready” approach for the “beginners”.
- Cpu hungry (for old computers only) , but again Bfd 2 gives you the option to use memory, something very important. Also with 64bit support everything seems great now.
SUM IT UP GEORGE
All the cons are not really cons. They are specific things that could be easier or just a little different. So there are no real cons in this software. The version tested was the latest (2.3).
If I had to say something I would sum it up to the following:
“This is a dream for the producers-musicians who need a plugin to treat like a real drumkit and NEAR perfect for the beginners who are more co-dependent on the presets rather than fixing a drumkit sound from the ground”.
NOTE: There are many affordable expansion packs that you can use (cymbals, snares, kits…) if you want more sounds or you want to find for example a different cymbal flavour (less harsh). Also the expansions are more »engineered» to sound usable at once.
UPDATE: The 64bit version that they released works faster than ever and with no cpu stress at all.