Fxpansion BFD2
Fxpansion BFD2

BFD2, Virtual Drum/Percussion from Fxpansion in the BFD series.

Audiofanzine FR 03/10/2009

Fxpansion BFD2 : Audiofanzine FR's user review


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(Originally written by Yvo2000/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
- Did you have any problems during installation?

No problems... But installing six DVDs does require some time. It's a pity that you have to decide the configuration in advance (light, medium or full). You have to choose one configuration and you can't change anymore after that.


- What's your computer? (motherboard/CPU/RAM/HDD/sound card..)

I installed BFD on two powerful computers, a desktop PC (Intel Quad Core @ 3.0 GHz with 4 GB RAM) and a notebook (MacBook Pro 2.5 GHz with 4 GB RAM).

- Does the software work correctly with your setup?

Considering the high price of the product, I find this software doesn't work well. On my computers, it's the most instable and inefficient software I own (I mainly use Reason 4.0, Logic Pro and many VST and AU instruments). UPDATE: The stability problems with my MacBook Pro are gone ever since the last update, but I didn't notice any improvement with my PC (BFD2 is not reliable at all under Windows XP, it only works when it wants to). PC reliability is really frustrating.

- How is the performance? (if measurable)

Many bugs that I don't understand, it takes too long to load, noise... It's an expensive product with a complicated configuration and a poor performance. I'm not used to sample players with large sound banks, it's actually the first one I own, and after three months of use I'm quite frustrated and disappointed... It makes me angry and drains my creativity. The troubleshooting at the manufacturer's website is not very useful. UPDATE: Even though everything works better with MacOS now the software still generates very unpleasant digital noise.

- What about the hardware+software configuration stability?

Stable with MacOS 10.5, unstable with Windows XP for unknown reasons!


- How long have you been using it?

UPDATE: Six months

- Which feature do you like the most / the least?

Main advantage: Amazing sound quality. If you like loud drums in a mix, it's the best tool I've ever tested. The sample bank, the numerous articulations and the endless mixing possibilities are everything you need to create your own distinctive sound for your productions. You'll obviously need some time to master it and get the best out of it but the results will be absolutely professional! Don't record your drummer friends in an average quality studio anymore it's a waste of time and money. Choose BFD2 and you'll get a great drummer recorded in an professional studio for a ridiculous price! (smile). It might sound radical but for me the end does justify the means. And BFD2 gives me better results than a real drummer in an average quality studio. And I save a lot of time! Real drummers will argue that you won't ever get the sensitivity of a good hi-hats or cymbal played by a real drummer and they are probably right, but that won't change my mind as a producer. If you program, edit and balance them correctly BFD2 drum parts sound very professional.

The quality of the integrated mixer's effect plug-ins is another advantage (it's a pity that you cannot use them as AU/VST plug-ins!): they sound really professional!

Another important asset is the internal sequencer, it's simply unbeatable! It provides everything you need to produce ultra authentic drums. I also like the groove and velocity humanization factors as well as the swing parameters. With these tools your beats sound incredibly authentic. Your musician friends will start wondering how the hell you could afford a studio session with such a great drummer (LOL)!

Cons: you need a lot of time to master this tool and be able to create your own sound. But once you've done that... you'll discover new possibilities! This ultra professional drums workstation is incredibly effective.

The biggest turnoff is the high CPU load. Without a state-of-the-art computer, a sound card and a Midi interface you won't be able to exploit its full capability... I have a very powerful PC but it doesn't like this software that much! With my Mac the program works almost perfectly... almost!

Did you try any other models before buying it?

I used drum machines (Roland R-5 and Akai MPC), then Reason and its additional Reason Drumkit pack and now BFD2 and EZdrummer with additional packs. I haven't tried Superior 2 yet. BFD2 is a professional production tool regarding pattern editing (humanize function, swing parameters, multiple articulations, etc.) and sound editing. I also use EZdrummer, which doesn't need as much computer resources and can easily fit in a mix. But BFD2 offers more possibilities and a better sound. I must say that in order to get a good sound out of BFD2 you need to have some experience.

- How would you rate its value for money?

Expensive considering the poor performance (I hate the awful digital clicks when pushed to the limits). UPDATE six months later: It works fine on my Mac ever since the last update, so I changed my mind about it and now I believe this software and its huge high-quality sample library are worth its price.

- Based on your experience, would you buy this product again?

I would buy it again with my eyes closed. Drums/bass rhythm parts are are my specialty so I'm thinking about upgrading my EZdrummer to Superior 2.

Overall mark after six months: 9/10 because I'm sure it's still possible to conceive a better tool.