FXpansion BFD3 Review

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by audiokid, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Love this software, its hard keeping it to myself. Enjoy this new review.
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    My cousin has been using it for about a year now. It sounds killer. It's also cool to have some utilitarian filers and stuff built in. It's amazing how good people get at programing. As soon as cymbals are completely convincing, its going to be sounding pretty natural, if that's the vibe your shooting for.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    My last experience with FXpansion was with the original BFD, back in the bad ol' 32 bit days. At the time, the sounds were decent - not bad, but not jaw-dropping, either. I liked the snares, hats and kicks, never really did like the cymbals or toms.
    I used to use it for just those things, and then overdub real cymbals and toms, which kinda defeated the whole purpose of a drum VSTi.

    I still have that version, but haven't used it in quite sometime.

    I do remember that the mixing GUI on it was mind-numbingly mathematical. It was like reading a scientific flow chart.

    I wonder what an upgrade would cost me... LOL

    "Which version do you have, Sir?
    "Version 0.0.01 "
    "Uhm...oookay... so then, Reagan was still president at the time?"
    "Nope... Nixon."


    I'm currently using Superior - I was given a VIP copy of 2.3.1 / 64 bit, which, again, I find to be "okay", but I'm not in love with it, and again, I find the cymbals to be the weak part.... very metallic sounding, some are even phasey, when using the OH channel on the built-in mixer.

  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I have version BFD3. I'm glad I watched this last night because I was missing at least half of what version3 offeres. Most of the time I just load BFD, choose the kit and use my DAW to program and control the sounds. After watching this, I plan to try it more independently, syncing it to the session as if it was a drum machine. I'll share how that goes.

    Interesting to hear your comments about the sounds and phase.
    I'm so opposite. I find the drums to be outstanding!!! The cymbals are incredible, I just love this library.

    When I replace drums with this, an entire mix comes to life. Its like opening up a door where a real band is playing. Blows me away every time. Amazing is all I can say.

    If I was ever to go into tracking drums, I would with full disclosure, trigger track and most definitely be replacing drums. I wouldn't show a sole how I get their drums to sound this bad ass but they would be aware I am replacing and all about the results..
    You do know who engineered , tracked and produced all those samples for BFD? They are some serious people that wouldn't be having phase issues in their work. These samples are world class, they get no better.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I was referring to Superior, Chris.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    Good to clarify then,
    Are both you guys referring to the cymbals on Superior Drummer to be swirly/ phase problematic then?
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I'm referring more to the triggering and response, being difficult to achieve a sense of 'touch' when it comes to cymbol work. I have no problems with the audio quality of with either of the programs.

    As far as replacement goes, I'm not shy at all with it. Since I've started using it I haven't looked back. Sometimes I blend, sometimes complete replacement, sometimes it's our own samples we've recorded, to just add consistency, but usually it's one of the many extremely well recorded samplesout there, I use drummagog cuz that's what's at thenstudios, but I think we recently got 'trigger'. Again not necessarily fidelity, as in shear audio quality. But it's usualy fidelty related to a lackluster performance, that the samples come in most effective to me.

    My cousins workflow changed when he went from BFd 2 to 3, we went from your typical just using it for its sounds, and working a lot more withing the program. It keeps track counts down, and it's just generally lighter on resources and more streamlined.

    The thing with samples I don't get is people have been using them in some form for a long time in records. It's like an issue all the sudden because anybody with a few hundred bucks can use the same stuff as the records. The mixes still don't sound the same as the big dogs, so I do t know what all the fuss is about. In general, unless your purposefully making a record that's not going to use them for some reason cool, but I havenet mixed much in the past few years that hasn't had samples in it, and my recordings have improved significantly because of it. I literally didn't know it was a technique until a few years ago.

    Lol I still have my alesis SR-16, that thing was fun!
    Chris likes this.
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    @kmetal @Chris

    I'm in no way against sample replacement. I use it all the time.... and that's me saying this as a drummer. I have absolutely no objection with using replacement samples, if they sound good and work well for the song.

    I just don't care much for the cymbals in Superior, I find them to sound kinda brittle - and not all of them suffer from that "phasey" thing that I mentioned, just a few do - but even those that aren't phasey still don't sound that good... to me, anyway.

    In regard to BFD; my experience is limited to the version when it originally came out, and I thought that the samples were "okay". Certainly "useable", but nothing that made my jaw drop. Snare and Kick were pretty decent - I didn't really care for the toms. I also found the GUI on that original version to be like reading a scientific graph. It was almost "DOS" in it's appearance. I'm sure they've come a long way - or at least I hope they have.
  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I think cymbals in general are not easy to do well, of of that is performance based, but even gone wise they seem fairly bright on a lot of recordings.

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