I received BFD from FXpansion last week and have now had a bit of time to play around. I have to say I am really impressed with it. Here’s a quick review:
Installation / Integration:
I had a couple of issues on installation – one with data paths and one with Cubase SX 2.01, but nothing major. Recent updates have fixed these. It works great as a VST plugin in SX 2.01.
It took me a while to get used to, mainly because there are so many options. I am impressed by how accessible all the features are. It’s not a massive interface (which I think is good) and I think the space has been used well. I really like the fact that there are 3 plugins to choose from, depending how you work. BFD Stereo mixes all buses to one stereo output pair, BFD Groups outputs each stereo microphone group as an independent stereo output, and BFD All for me is the ultimate in control and flexibility as each individual Kit-Piece has its own output.
This is the sound of real drums. The sound is awesome. There is a real difference in the sound at different velocities which adds to the ultra-realism. I really noticed the difference in quality between this and other sample libraries on the hi-hat, cymbals and toms. It is night and day. Not only that but you can blend room mics, overheads, and PZM mics to taste. You can get a tremendous range of sounds out of this and there is a good variety of interesting and different kits. Only the PZM mics have a tiny amount of compression so there is real flexibility and scope for making the samples your own.
This is the only area I’m slightly disappointed in, but then this is just my personal taste. There are a lot of grooves included, particularly more complicated funky grooves, but I would have preferred more simple backbeats. FXpansion are currently taking suggestions for grooves and new ones will be available as a free download which is cool.
This is easily one of the best instruments / sample libraries I have bought. A benchmark sound, great flexibility and great control.
Hamilton, very useful review. Thanks. How do you think these samples would work for a jazz trio type of sound (with sticks, not brushes)? I am a little concerned that these may be more rock oriented- lacking the jazz touch.
I was curious what kind of performance you are getting as well Hamilton. The manual does not seem shy about saying this puppy needs some horsepower. Do you notice any significant utilization compared to other plug-ins?