Recording the sounds
BFD Expansion Packs & Convertors

BFD Lite

Product Status

General Info

Installing BFD

Performance Tips

Tricks n Tips

Reporting bugs and crashes

Host + Platform issues

BFD Lite

I have a support query about BFD Lite? [top]

Digidesign is providing BFD Lite technical support. Please visit

Note that BFD Lite is a legacy product and is no longer updated.

Product Status

Is BFD a current, supported product? [top]

BFD 1.x is now a legacy product. It has now been superceded by BFD2.

BFD may run on recent OS/sequencer version combinations, but it is not possible for us to test or develop BFD 1.x any longer, so please do so at your own risk. You may be able to find help from other users at the BFD forum.

General Info

What does BFD stand for?

Whatever you want it to :) - but it's certainly big and it's certainly drums.

Why no downloadable version? [top]

BFD has a large content library - 9Gb - and comes on a total of 2 DVDs. Clearly it is impractical for us to offer this as a download.

Do I have to install all the content? [top]

No, you can pick and choose the components you want, and remove any you don't find useful from your hard drive. You don't have to install all the kits, but they all have a character of their own so we recommend at least trying them all!

Can I program my own patterns and fills for use in BFD? [top]

Yes, absolutely :- BFD's midi player supports standard MIDI files, as exported by every sequencer known to man. You can build entire custom BFD style sets and fills in your sequencer - see the manual for more info.

Can I use my own samples in BFD? [top]

No. BFD's samples were recorded with a carefully set-up multi channel process, and it would not be possible to recreate the mic positioning with "standard" samples. BFD is NOT a "drum sampler", it's very much a sound library instrument.

How many different kits and kit pieces are there? [top]

There are 7 full kits and an assortment of spare kit pieces. In total, you have 9 kicks, 15 snares, 6 hihats, 7 sets of toms, and 15 cyms to choose from.

Are further expansion kits planned? [top]

Currently there are BFD XFL, BFD 8BK, BFD Deluxe, BFD Jazz & Funk, BFD percussion and further packs are in the works. Additionally, third parties such as Platinum Samples (Andy Johns Classic Drums, and a Joe Baressi pack is coming) are producing BFD packs, so you are buying into a vibrant product family.

Where can I get updated versions of BFD? [top]

  • Download the latest update from our website. To do this you need to create a user account and register your copy of BFD. Create a user account here:

    Once you have logged in using the form in the top right of the screen you will have the option to register your product and download the updates.

  • You will need to decompress the archives (.zip on Windows, stuffit on Mac) and then double-click the extracted contents in order to install the update.

I bought BFD on ebay, but the serial number doesn't seem to work... [top]

Many of the BFD's being sold on eBay are pirated copies; the serial numbers have been blacklisted by FXpansion, and will NOT allow you to get updates or receive technical support. If you are suspicious about a potential purchase, feel free to ask us for confirmation. Be ESPECIALLY suspicious of anything being sold without a manual, not shrink wrapped, or (obviously) on home burnt DVDs!

Is there any latency built into BFD? [top]

No. BFD has the first part of every sample loaded into RAM for immediate playback. Any latency is due to the size of the audio buffers used by your host application and sound card, and delays due to MIDI devices.

Do you allow license transfers? [top]

Yes, however:

  1. If you're the seller, you must contact us in advance of the sale. If you're the prospective second-hand buyer, you must check that the seller is cleared to sell. If in doubt, contact us.

  2. There is a flat $50 fee per product for a license transfer, which can be purchased from our online shop.

  3. Review copies, NFRs (Not For Resale copies, sometimes used for in-store demos), etc., cannot be transferred under any circumstances.

  4. We reserve the right to refuse a license transfer request.

Once a transfer is authorised and the fee has been paid, the new owner is entitled to exactly the same upgrade paths and technical support resources as if they had bought the product new.

Does BFD run at high sample rates? [top]

Well there are two answers for that question. Within a host application: YES - BFD will run at high sample rates! HOWEVER - the standalone version of BFD only runs at 44,1 kHz at the moment. Which isn't a problem for soundcards with an internal clocksource. BFD will just reset it to 44,1 kHz. But users running an external clock should make sure they've set it to 44,1 before using the standalone version of BFD.

Installing BFD

How do I check what version of BFD I am running? [top]

The best way to check what version of BFD you are running is to get the BFD editor window up on your screen, and click on the FXpansion logo located at the bottom of the "drum room window". This brings up the credits / about panel, and the version number is written at the top.

If you use the operating system's version display facilities, such as "Properties" in Windows and "Get Info" in MacOSX, then you may get an older version, depending on whether you are checking the BFD plugin itself, or one of its numerous supporting applications and adapters. The version numbers of the support applications and adapters are only changed when improvements or bug fixes are made to them. BFD Standalone is one such support application.

How can I find out what my BFD serial number is if I have misplaced my manual? [top]

Here's how you can rediscover your BFD serial number if you have previously installed and run BFD.

  • Mac OSX: run the Terminal app, and type at the prompt:
    defaults read com.fxpansion.bfd productKey

    The other place you can look is the preferences file itself:-
    Double click on it, and you will see all the BFD preferences in the OSX plist editor. Find the productKey.

  • Windows: use Regedit to find the registry setting "productKey" inside:

Note these methods will only work if you have previously run BFD on that machine, and for Mac OSX, with that user account.

If you have lost your registry (win) or applicaion defaults (mac) AND your manual, then we will still be able to help as long as you have previously registered BFD. New customers will be required to provide full proof of purchase.

How do I download the latest version of BFD? [top]

  • Download the latest update from our website. To do this you need to create a user account and register your copy of BFD. Create a user account here:

    Once you have logged in using the form in the top right of the screen you will have the option to register your product and download the updates.

  • You will need to decompress the archives (.zip on Windows, stuffit on Mac) and then double-click the extracted contents in order to install the update.

I am having trouble entering my serial (licence) number [top]

There is no difference between 'serial' and 'license'. The terminology is different, but the number is the same. It begins with FXBFD- followed by 5 groups of 5 characters, separated with hyphens. (i.e. in this format: FXBFD-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx).

Some people are having problems entering the number. In these cases, please follow these guidelines:

  • Firstly, ensure you have a recent version of BFD installed. Early 1.0.0.x versions of BFD are very fussy, we have made the process friendlier since.

  • Make sure you type the serial in upper case. Type it *exactly* as it is written, including all hyphens. Make sure you are correctly differentiating between similar-looking characters: for example, between 1 and I, 0 and O, K and X, 8 and B.

  • Try to press delete a few times before typing the serial into the entry field, in order to get rid of any possible lurking spaces in the field. (This shouldn't affect recent versions of BFD, but try it in case your license number box has unexpected invisible characters).

  • Press [ENTER] after you type the username and serial in the text fields, and before you click [OK].

  • Try using the standalone version to authorize BFD (once BFD is authorized for one version, it is authorized for all).

How can I install BFD manually? [top]

The installer in BFD for the data portion seems to have problems on some machines. This is not a huge problem as it is extremely easy to install it manually. Here's how to perform a manual installation:

  • Firstly, the current BFD version has changed from that supplied with the boxed version. The best thing to do is to download the latest update as described elsewhere in this FAQ, and install it. This installs the plugin files: i.e. the VST / AudioUnit / RTAS / DXi / ReWire components.

  • After this, you need to manually copy the contents of the BFD folders on the two DVDs to a single folder called BFD anywhere on any hard drive in your system.

    The easiest way to do it (especially on Mac) is to copy the BFD folder from DVD1 to your hard drive, then copy the contents of the BFD/Data and BFD/Kits/Factory from DVD2 to the corresponding folders in the BFD folder you copied from DVD1.

    When you run BFD for the first time, it will prompt you for the location of this folder. If you cannot see any kits to load, please go to the Options panel inside BFD and make sure that the Data Path location is correctly pointing at your hard drive's BFD folder.

If you are unsure of the data structure in your installation, just make sure that the contents of the BFD folder on your hard drive exactly matches that of the BFD folders on the two DVDs.

Here is a screenshot on MacOSX.

I've tried the manual installation method, but there are errors during copying some files. What should I do? [top]

Firstly, check that your DVD drive is functioning properly. Try to copy the files using another DVD drive.

If you have verified that the files cannot be copied, please contact us for obtaining replacement files.

In the meantime, you can begin to work with BFD (it will skip missing files meaning one less velocity layer for that Kit-Piece) while we send you the replacements by doing the following:

  • When the error message appears, note down the filename and the folder where it resides, so you can go to that folder and copy across the remaining files in that folder.

  • Continue copying the rest of the folders, and repeat these steps if it happens again.

We apologize sincerely for you having to do this but you'll only have to do it two or three times at the most, and it will get you up and running until you receive the replacements.

I'm having problems when installing an older version on top of a newer one, on MacOSX. [top]

Navigate to the Library/Receipts folder and delete any files with 'BFD' in the filename.

It may also be useful to repair permissions on your system drive.

Then, run the desired BFD installer.

The faders on BFD's interface are jumping all over the place by themselves! What should I do? [top]

BFD has a number of built-in controllers. BFD and later versions have a MIDI controller page within the Trigger Options panel for editing all assignments, we strongly recommend you to update if you don't have the latest BFD. By pressing the reset button, you can clear all mapped controllers.

When you have finished remapping MIDI continuous controllers to BFD parameters the way you want them, you can press the "save" button. You may like to enter the name "default" - the "default" MIDI CC to parameter mapping file is automatically searched for when BFD loads.

Performance Tips

What can I do to reduce the amount of memory used by BFD?

Even with disk streaming, BFD requires a large amount of memory to prebuffer all its samples to ensure low latency. 512MB is the bare minimum for running a standalone instance of BFD. When you start adding large, resource-hungry sequencers into the equation, your overall memory requirements increase.

If you have a shortage of RAM, there are a few things you can do in order to get better performance:

  • Unload unused hit types: Since version, there is much more control over unloading elements of kits. This is located in the Hit Options panel (formerly called the Trigger Keys panel). This allows you to unload any hit from any Kit-Piece from RAM. You can unload certain hits which you may not need, such as snare drags and flams, and half-open or shank hi-hats. This can reduce memory usage drastically. You can still unload whole Kit-Pieces via the Kit Overview Display.

  • Limit the velocity layers: Since version, BFD has provided the user control over the maximum velocity layers it will load for any hit in a kit piece. For example, some of the BFD snares have well over 40 hit layers in a number of hit styles. If you are content with 24 velocity layers, you may halve the amount of memory used by your snare.

  • Use 16-bit Mode: Since version, there is an option in BFD's Options panel called 16-bit Mode. This mode uses 16-bit audio instead of 24-bit, and effectively halves the RAM requirements for the drum sample data. The quality difference is very small, and so it is very useful for those users with smaller amounts of RAM. You can also use it as a preview mode during composition, and change back to 24-bit during the final mix if your sequencer is capable of offline mixdowns.

How can I reduce the amount of CPU BFD uses? [top]

Generally, the less data throughput, the less CPU BFD will use - so if you follow the memory reduction tips, you will find this reduces BFD's CPU load as well, as most of thw CPU load comes from operations related to the disk streaming, or from the operating system being forced to use virtual memory (which requires swapping slabs of RAM memory to disk).

  • Set ambient microphone Width to normal, and distance to 0 - these DSP operations take extra processing.
  • In the Options Panel, disable any graphics animations you can live without.

  • BFD's samples are 44.1kHz - if you can run your host at 44.1kHz as well, then no real time resampling is required. Like wise, detuning the kit pieces cans more CPU.

  • Close the editor window if you don't need it.

  • Make your host precessing buffers as big as your requirements can allow. If you don't need super-small latency because you are composing in a looping or offline manner, BFD will appreciate the extra time to process the hundreds of audio channels it is synthesizing.

  • (Mac) Make sure your hard drive with the BFD Data hasn't got File Journalling turned on.

How are multiple outputs from BFD handled in Logic Audio? [top]

When using Logic, the multiple outputs from BFD (like any other AudioUnit plugin) become available to special Audio objects called "Aux" channels. The primary stereo output of each plugin (Direct Stereo bus on BFD (Group Outputs) and Overhead bus on BFD (All Outputs)) appear at the original Audio Instrument channel used for BFD. If any of BFD's outputs have not been directed to an Aux channel, then they will also appear mixed into the original BFD Audio Instrument channel.

You need to create a new Audio object in the "Audio" page of the environment and change the Cha parameter for the object to "Aux 1". Repeat this procedure for the number of channels you'll need for BFD (and perhaps more for other instruments if you require it) - BFD (Group Outputs) needs 3 stereo Aux channels (the first output is played through the original Audio Instrument channel used for BFD), while BFD (All Outputs) requires 2 stereo and 10 mono. If you use BFD in multichannel mode a lot, it's a good idea to create these Aux channels in your Autoload.LSO so they're already available when you start a new project.

To direct one of BFD's multiple output channels to an Aux channel, click-hold on the input selector on the Aux channel (the 2nd selector above the fader) and select Instrument N (where N is the Audio Instrument channel containing BFD) -> Outputs 3-4, 5-6 etc. You will, of course, need to assign the Aux channel output to one of the Master channels, or a bus with an output to a Master channel, in order to hear these outputs.

Please note that Logic does not have automatic plugin delay compensation for Aux channels, so using any plugins which introduce a delay into the signal path, will lead to that channel being delayed.

How is BFD ReWire used with Digidesign Pro Tools? [top]

Run the BfdRewireApplet (located in your Applications folder on OSX, and in Programs/FXpansion/BFD in your Start menu on Windows).

Set the "Output setup" to "Group Outputs" (if you want 4 stereo buses, one each for Direct, Overhead, Room, and PZM) or "All Outputs" (for stereo Overhead, Room and PZM buses, plus individual direct outs for each drum mic). If you want to use "Stereo Output" then it's unnecessary to use ReWire mode, as RTAS provides the same functionality.

Make sure "Enable BFD ReWire device" is set to "On". Please disregard the "Alt. Panel Mode" option - this is no longer necessary.

  • When Using Pro Tools (TDM/HD systems)

Create an Audio track. If you create a stereo track, it will only be able to handle the stereo buses - Overhead, Room and PZM, as well as the Direct Stereo bus in BFD (Group Outputs). Mono tracks can only handle the mono direct outputs from BFD (All Outputs).

Repeat the process depending on whether you are using BFD (Group Outputs) or BFD (All Outputs) and how many channels you need to monitor.

You then need to insert the BFD (ReWire) RTAS plugin on each of the Audio tracks used to monitor the ReWire channels from BFD. Set the Output selector of each ReWire plugin to the desired channel.

Only stereo buses from BFD will be available to stereo Audio tracks, while only mono direct outputs from BFD will be available to mono Audio tracks.

NOTE: Currently, the channels are labelled 0-1, 2-3, 4-5 etc. from 0-16. They correspond to 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 etc. from 1-17 in the BFD channel layout (see the manual for the full listing). This numbering scheme may be corrected in a future update.

Run the "BFD Launch ReWire" application (also located in your Applications folder on OSX, and in Programs/FXpansion/BFD in the Start menu on Windows) in order to bring up BFD's interface. ReWire is a protocol which streams audio between two separate applications. The BFD Launch ReWire program is effectively a different application, and therefore needs to be manually launched. It follows that the BFD ReWire interface will not behave in the same way as your Pro Tools RTAS plugins.

You also need to create a MIDI track in Pro Tools in order to trigger BFD. Create a new MIDI track in Pro Tools and direct it to "BFD (Rewire) RW target - channel-1". You can now trigger BFD via MIDI using an external controller or just by programming it in the Pro Tools Edit window.

Note that you won't be able to record BFD's output directly on these Audio tracks which contain the ReWire plugin. You need to output the Audio tracks to Buses, then record the Buses into new Audio tracks.

  • When Using Pro Tools LE (MBox/Digi001/002 systems)

The procedure is the same as for Pro Tools TDM systems - with the difference that you can add the ReWire plugins on Aux as well as Audio tracks.

How is BFD ReWire used with MOTU Digital Performer 4? [top]

Run the BfdRewireApplet (located in your Applications folder).

Set the "Output setup" to "Group Outputs" (if you want 4 stereo buses, one each for Direct, Overhead, Room, and PZM) or "All Outputs" (for stereo Overhead, Room and PZM buses, plus individual direct outs for each drum mic). If you want to use "Stereo Output" then it's unnecessary to use ReWire mode, as AudioUnits within DP provide the same functionality.

Make sure "Enable BFD ReWire device" is set to "On". Please disregard the "Alt. Panel Mode" - this is no longer necessary.

Using BFD (All Outputs):
Launch DP, create a new project and create 14 Aux Tracks. You should configure 11 of these tracks to receive input from "New Mono Bundle/BFD (ReWire):BFDs #6 7" onwards: this sets up the mono direct outputs. For the stereo tracks, select "New Stereo Bundle/BFD (Rewire):BFDs #0 1-1 2", #2 3-3 4, and #4 5-5 6. This will set up the Overhead, Room and PZM stereo buses.

Using BFD (Group Outputs):
Launch DP, create a new project and create 4 Aux Tracks. Configure these Aux tracks to receive input from "New Stereo Bundle/BFD (Rewire):BFDs #0 1-1 2", #2 3-3 4, #4 5-5 6 and #6 7-7 8. These will correspond to Direct Stereo, Overhead, Room and PZM buses.

Run the "BFD Launch ReWire" application (also located in your Applications folder) in order to bring up BFD's interface. ReWire is a protocol which streams audio between two separate applications. The BFD Launch ReWire program is effectively a different application, and therefore needs to be manually launched. It follows that the BFD ReWire interface will not behave in the same way as your AudioUnit or MAS plugins.

You also need to create a MIDI track in Digital Performer in order to trigger BFD. Create a new MIDI track using Project/Add Track/MIDI Track and point the output to BFD (ReWire): BFD (ReWire)RW Bus-BFD (ReWire)RW target.

I have a pre-G5 Mac. Do you have any tips for optimizing OSX on my machine for use with BFD? [top]

  • Have a simple picture as the desktop background, or none at all (eats RAM).

  • Make sure Energy Saver is on maximum (turn furthest away from Automatic).

  • Turn off hard drive Hibernation

  • Turn off File Vault

  • Turn off Fast User Switching

  • Use the scale effect instead of Genie on the dock - it's less CPU-intensive

  • Remove ical if you dont need it as it runs as a background process

  • Turn off Automatic Updates for OSX and stuff like QuickTime. These all take CPU cycles.

  • Use Norton Speedisk. Macs are like all computers and need defragging for best disk performance.

  • Make sure you're not running any journalled disks..... Although journalling performance has gotten better it still slows things down in audio applications where lots of writes take place. In Panther, this is on by default, so you may need to do a reinstall and run Disk Utility to get rid of it.

  • Use something like Shadow Killer to turn of some of OSX's graphical prettyness. This all helps free those valuble CPU cycles.

  • Make sure you're running BFD off a 2nd Drive, not from the system disk, or a drive which is already streaming audio tracks or samples. Firewire is preferable to USB as it has its own controller, reducing the load on the CPU.

  • RAM is an important consideration, especially with applications like Protools. Whilst 1 gig is the minimum for best performance I would recommend at least 2 gig. ProTools is a hungry beast, as is BFD. The same could also be said for other complex sequencers like Logic, DP and Cubase SX.

  • Run BFD in stereo mode, at least while tracking, as it's lighter on CPU usage. You can always mix the drums later, perhaps using the freeze function (if your sequencer has one!) on other instruments, audio tracks with lots of FX etc. The same goes for ReWire mode... only use it if or when you have to.

  • If you're seeing overloads in BFD try turning on 16 bit mode and reducing the amount of velocity layers. This is all done from the Options panel. You can also turn off any hits you don't need, such as snare flams and drags, fully open hihats, bell hits for rides if you don't want them. Most kicks also have a normal and 'no snare' hit, either of which you may not require. Turning off hits saves memory!

  • Update your BFD to a newer version - we are constantly refining BFD for all platforms.

For Digidesign ProTools users:
  • Digidesign Mbox owners may have more trouble getting low latencies and consistant performance. We've experienced trouble with BFD and the Mbox on a 1.5 powerbook whereas using a Digi002 there were no problems at all. The limitations of USB, unfortunately, cause the problem here.

  • If you are having crackles and pops on ProTools please check the Digidesign site for a specific fix for this. This problem is made worse by increasing buffer sizes.

  • TDM owners - please realise that although you may have a big MIX farm or HD rig this wont mean amazing performance for plugins like BFD, which run entirely on your host machine's CPU, if you have a slow machine.

What do BFD's Engine Options in the Options Panel mean, and how do they affect performance? [top]

  • RAM cache buffer size: The number of sample frames at the beginning of every velocity layer's audio file held in memory to allow immediate, no-latency playback. A larger setting allows more time for the disk streaming engine to get its act together and start delivering the rest of the audio file to the synthesis engine, but requires more memory.

  • Disk streaming buffer size: The size, in sample frames, of a block of audio data being streamed from disk into memory. Generally disk drives like reading fewer large chunks than many smaller chunks, but larger disk reads still take more time, and thus may require the extra leeway provided by a larger RAM cache. Generally, 16384 or 32768 is fine.

  • Max cache buffers: The maximum number of disk streaming buffers cached in memory. If the same velocity layer is triggered repeatedly, it is possible to avoid reading from the disk by reusing the disk stream buffers with the same data. This parameter determines how much of your memory you want to set aside in the hope of acheiving such reuse. If you have even a moderate amount of dynamics, randomization or anti-machine gun mode enabled, you may find that not much reuse occurs at all, and could possibly reduce this parameter a little. You still need at least a cache buffer per voice!

  • Max voices: the maximum number of "hits" BFD will play simultaneously. This can be larger than you think. For exampl, if you repeatedly bang on a cymbal, to enhance naturalism, we auto-choke-fade previous hits slowly to preserve the excitation of the cymbal. 64 is fine, and voices don't take much memory.

  • Max layers: BFD has hit styles that have up to 46 velocity layers, and BFD XFL goes up into the 90's. To save memory, you can set the maximum level of detail you want in a kit piece, and BFD will only load that many velocity layers into memory.

  • Cache Memory: This is the total amount of memory being used for audio data in BFD. The figure is derived by taking the total number of velocity layers in all hit style in all kit pieces, multiplying this total by size of the RAM cache buffers, and then adding the total memory used in all the disk streaming buffers.

How do I use multiple outputs from RTAS with BFD beta10 or later and Pro Tools 6.7? [top]

Since version beta10, BFD supports multiple outputs from the RTAS plugin within Pro Tools 6.7. In order to use it, please do the following:

1) Insert the BFD all multi-output RTAS instrument into a stereo audio track. This will output the Overhead mics as its stereo pair. The first stereo pair of a multi-out RTAS instrument is the primary outut, which cannot be assigned to an aux output.

2) Now add 2 stereo Aux tracks. You can set the inputs to the BFD Room and BFD PZM stereo pairs.

3) Now add 11 mono Aux tracks. Set the inputs for these to be the mono microphones, from Kick In to Cymbal 3.

Is it a good idea to put BFD on its own partition on my audio drive? [top]

In general, no. If your harddrive is partitioned and you are streaming from both the BFD partition and your own tracks, this will lead to the hard drive read head jumping back and forth between the two partitions, which may reduce performance. Also, if you are streaming non-BFD audio from the same drive, this reduces the bandwidth available for BFD streaming.

On which hard drive should I install my BFD data? [top]

FXpansion recommends, in order of performance preference (first is best):

1) A dedicated SATA or IDE internal drive, 7200rpm or above
2) A dedicated external firewire drive (do NOT chain the firewire drive with a digi002 or other firewire audio interfaces!)
3) A dedicated external USB2.0 drive
4) An internal drive shared with the data from other heavy disk-accessing programs, eg the operating system (virtual memory swap files), or another disk streaming application such as your host sequencer (audio tracks) or Kontact etc etc.

Can BFD use more than 4GB of RAM? [top]

At the moment, BFD has only been compiled for 32 bit operating systems. This includes MacOSX.

Whilst your entire operating system may be able to utilize more than 4GB of RAM, each process is limited to 4GB of addressable memory. This means BFD must share the 4GB with your host sequencer and any other plugins you have loaded. In practice, BFD may not be able to use more than 3GB of memory for samples, as the remaining memory will be used to load supporting libraries, graphics, the host apllication's code and resources, and so on.

Users with Windows will find that User Application Memory is limited to 2GB, as windows reserves the upper 2GB for operating system use, unless you have the /3GB switch turned on in your windows boot options. Do this at your own risk!

How can I move my BFD Data to another drive? [top]

Simply move the "BFD" folder to the new location, then run BFD. BFD will pop up a folder browser asking for teh location of its data as the first thing it does. Point BFD at the new location of the "BFD" folder, and click OK.

Note that in the Options Panel, the BFD folder location is displayed and can be changed by clicking on the text box.

How should I configure my IDE drives for best BFD performance? [top]

If you have bought a second IDE disk drive to improve BFD's performance, there are a few things to bear in mind when connecting your IDE devices.

IDE cables can support two devices each; a MASTER and a SLAVE device. The two devices share the bandwidth available on that cable, meaning that if you have your system disk as the MASTER and your BFD disk as the SLAVE, you are actually going to get worse performance that just using a single disk! The SLAVE device also has a lower priority in getting access to the cable for communications with the rest of your system.

You probably have a DVD drive on a second IDE cable. We recommend making your system drive and your BFD drive the MASTER IDE device on separate cables, and making the DVD drive a SLAVE device off your system drive's IDE cable.

For example:
IDE cable 1 = system drive MASTER, dvd drive SLAVE
IDE cable 2 = BFD data drive MASTER

I have just installed BFD 1.5.1, and all the sounds are being cut short! [top]

BFD's from the DVD production run marked 1.5.1 have an error in their initialization of the "Max Cache Buffers" setting, found in the Options Panel. This setting can show 16, whilst actually being zero - having no cache buffers effectively disables teh disk streaming engine. Enter a larger Max Cache Buffers setting such as 64, and disk streaming will be reenabled, and you should hear BFD's sounds decay with their full natural length.

Tricks n Tips

How can I make a kit piece louder permanently?
What is a "Tweak" file, and how do I make one?

If you want to "tweak" up a kit piece, you can drop a "tweaks.txt" file in the root of the kit piece folder, next to the photo.tga and info.txt files. For an example: Ayotte/Snare1 has a tweaks.txt file with a +3dB gain:

# BFD Kit piece tweaks

Gain = +3 dB

Lines starting with '#' are comments. The gain you would like to permanently impose is expressed as +/- dB gain.

You can generate such tweaks using the BFD interface (after v1.5.0.26) as follows:

Let's say you have a kit piece loaded up, and you adjust the DIRECT MIC TRIM to where you would like it to be "permanently tweaked". Now ctrl-left-click on the mixer slot label, and you will be prompted to create a tweaks.txt for that kit piece using the direct mic trim gain. Next time you load the kit piece, this gain will be automagically applied to all the velocity layers, and you will have the full range of the direct mic still to play with.

Tell me more BFD secrets! [top]

CTRL-Right-Mouse-Click on a kit piece in the chooser panel, and you can edit the "info.txt" if you want to ammend the info text or add your own notes about a kick piece.

Alt-Right-Mouse-Drag from the chooser menu into a painting application to edit the photos.

How can I make my own swing templates? [top]

A guide to making your own swing templates may be found here: [How To Make A Swing Template]

Reporting bugs and crashes

How do I report a suspected bug or a crash? [top]

If for any reason you encounter a crash or any behaviour which you suspect is a symptom of a bug, please e-mail us with as much information as you can about the following:

  • What you were doing when the behaviour occurred.
  • The wording of any error messages which appeared, and any other information about the symptoms/behaviour you encountered.
  • Your system configuration, including platform, operating system version, the version number of BFD you were using, the host/sequencer you were using, and the hardware present in your computer.
  • Any other details which you may think are relevant.

It is also extremely useful to send any log files which were generated.
  • MacOSX generates crash logs for all applications involved - in other words, for the host/sequencer and for BFD. You can find these in (HOME)/Library/Logs/CrashReporter: look for [application name].crash.log (for example, BFD (CoreAudio).crash.log and Logic Pro.crash.log). It can also be useful to send in the BFDRuntime logs, which can be found in (HOME)/Library/Logs.

  • On Windows, you will find BFD Runtime logs in your VstPlugins folder (for the VST version only) and in Program Files/FXpansion/BFD, or whatever alternative location you specified instead of this path (for all other versions: i.e. standalone, RTAS, DXi, ReWire). Send the log after you've quit the BFD session - sometimes Windows won't write the log until the application has quit.

Providing us with as much information as possible about any crashes or suspected bugs will enable us to track down the cause of the problem more quickly.

Host + Platform issues

In the Cubase 5.0 VST32 mixer, the stereo outputs of BFD all seem to have been split - first into a single mono channel with the left overhead, then into mixed micropohone stereo buses with mismatched right / left pairs...? [top]

Cubase VST32 doesn't like plugins with odd numbers of outputs, such as BFD All, which has 17 output audio tracks - 3 stereo pairs, and 11 mono. It will create "unused" mono audio tracks to pad out the total of outputs to an even number. If you delete these "spare" audio tracks, Cubase can become confused and incorrectly map the BFD outputs.

When using BFD ALL, Groups or Ultra, I only hear the overhead mics. What happened to the other mics? [top]

Some host applications require you to connect BFD's extra audio outputs to audio tracks. For example, in Pro Tools, when you insert BFD into an instrument or an audio track, that track is only stereo, and only plays BFD's first two outputs - the overheads. You need to create Aux tracks that take their inputs from BFD's other output ports. Similar processes are required for other hosts as well, such as Tracktion, Sampltitude, and others.

Wiring up BFD All or BFD Ultra can be daunting at first: but FXpansion has created a set of BFD host projects to help you! Registered users can download the "Host Project Examples" from the registered BFD users area. Log into your FX website account, register BFD if you haven't already, and download this Add-On pack of examples.

Instructions can also be found in BFD's Supplemental Manual.

BFD is making bursts of White Noise on my Mac!! [top]

Please Note: This only applies to BFD previous to version 1.5.45 'J', which has a workaround. Update to to 1.5.45 at least first!

BFD users running Mac OS X should ensure that they have disabled all Energy Saver options in the System Preferences. If your Mac goes to Sleep, using either "Put my hard disks to sleep" or "Put my computer to sleep" options, the system file cache can become corrupt. This is a system cache, and is outside BFD's control - the problem survives clearing BFD's cache buffers or restarting the BFD disk streaming engine, removing and reinserting BFD, or rebooting your your host application. Only a full reboot of your Mac will clear the system file I/O cache fully. OS X 10.4.6 addressed some Energy Saver issues, but the white noise fault still appears at present.

Solution: Open System Preferences, go to the Energy Saver panel, and DISABLE (untick) "Put My Hard Disks To Sleep" and "Put My Computer To Sleep Whenever Possible".

Another factor is if you are using a self-installed internal SATA or IDE drive, check that the drive is Mac Compatible. Not all hard drives are, and can lead to random white noise bursts. BFD pushes your I/O sub system hard, and is "good" at finding incompatibilities.

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