BFD2 Specifications/Requirements

Information about the BFD2 release
  • BFD2 was available initially as a boxed product
  • A 20-bit download version was released later
  • It included approximately 55GB of audio data in total.
  • 10 full kits, extra snares, cymbals, and more

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BFD 2.x minimum system requirements

Required for boxed version up to v2.1.0.47:

  • Windows XP SP1 or higher, Vista 32, P4 or better CPU (Windows)
  • OSX 10.4, G5 or Intel CPU (Mac)
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 7200rpm hard drive with 60GB free space
  • DVD drive
  • Internet connection for product authorisation

Recommended for best results:

  • 2 GB of RAM or more
  • Fast, multi-core modern Intel or AMD CPU
  • Dedicated hard drive
  • VST, RTAS or AU compatible plugin host
  • Low latency audio interface

Required for v2.2, v2.3 and download version (64-bit compatible):

  • Windows 7 (Windows)
  • OSX 10.5.8 or later, Intel CPU (Mac)

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Product Status

Is BFD2 a current, supported product?

BFD2 is now a legacy product. It has now been superceded by BFD3.

BFD2 may run on recent OS/sequencer version combinations, but it is not possible for us to test or develop it any longer so please do so at your own risk.

Upgrade paths are available on request for BFD3 and BFD Eco - please contact us for details.

The information in this FAQ is provided for users wanting to utilise older systems with old operating systems and old versions of host/DAW applications.

You may be able to find additional help from other users at the BFD2 forum.

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General Information

What does BFD2 stand for?

Well it's Big, it's Drums and it's version 2! The rest is up to you :)

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Do I have to install all the content?

Boxed version with DVDs: It is possible to install individual DVDs, although DVD1 must be installed. Please be aware that many presets will not fully load if you do not install all the data.

Download version: The entire set of content must be installed.

After installation you can choose to delete individual kit pieces from your hard drive if you wish.

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Can I use my own samples in BFD2?

Yes! BFD2 introduces the ability to import your own sets of mono or stereo multi velocity samples and play them within BFD2.

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Are expansion packs available for BFD2?

Yes - there is a very diverse range of expansion packs available for BFD2.

A large range of boxed and download-only expansions are available from the FXpansion webshop.

Several third-party companies also produce expansion packs for BFD2.

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How many different kits and kit pieces are there?

There are over 90 kit pieces in BFD2 including 10 Full kits, 8 hihats, 23 cymbals, 16 snares and an extra kick!

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Is there any latency built into BFD2?

No. BFD2 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.

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Is there a printed manual supplied with BFD2?

No. BFD2's manual is around 180 A4 pages - such a staggeringly deep piece of software requires a very extensive manual to document its complex features. The thing is, from past experience we're not convinced that many users actually read paper manuals. We decided that a huge manual that collects dust on the shelf is simply a terrible waste of trees! Not to mention the fact that it would add heavily to the cost of BFD2 and to shipping costs due to the increased weight.

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Can I use BFD2 without a host?

Yes. BFD2's built-in audio export and advanced Groove engine features mean that you can construct drum parts/ arrangements and then simply export your work as audio files to import into whatever device/software you want.

If you have very advanced usage needs - for example, tempo or time-sig changes during a song, or multiple output of audio channels, you must use a host.

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Does BFD2 support languages other than English?

BFD2 works in multilanguage operating systems althoughy the text in BFD2's interface itself is not multi-language.

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Tell me about the presets supplied with BFD2.

BFD2 uses several different types of presets and other files. Version 2.0.0 ships with a variety of presets to get you up and running.

1. BFD2 Presets

These are snapshots of the entire state of BFD2 - so they include the kit, kit-piece tweaks, customized mixer setup, Groove page contents, MIDI keymap and automation map, as well as certain session-based preference settings. There are numerous BFD2 Presets supplied - simply load one and swap out the kit-pieces or Groove engine contents.

2. Kits

A combination of kit-pieces to form a 10/18/32 piece kit, and any kit-piece tweaks set up in the kit-piece inspector.

3. Kit-piece presets

These are presets of kit-piece tweaks made in the kit-piece inspector. They are useful for dialling up dry/damped/ambient settings, for example.

4. Mixer presets

Mixer presets are much more complex than in BFD 1.x - they include custom aux channels, output and send routings and FX setups.

5. Channel strip presets

You can save the settings of a channel strip in the mixer and recall it on others.

6. FX presets

All the built-in audio FX feature a preset system.

7. Palettes

Palettes contain the entire state of the Groove page - the Palette of loaded Grooves, humanization FX, editor settings and Drum Track contents (the arrangement track).

8. Grooves

Grooves are now proprietary files instead of MIDI files. This means that they can trigger articulations directly without relying on a certain MIDI keymap in order to make sense. You can still import and export MIDI files as Grooves very easily.

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What's the minimum requirement when it comes to screen resolution?

Your graphics card and monitor should be able to display a resolution of 1024 x 768 to take full advantage of BFD2's graphical user interface.

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How big is BFD2?

Approx 55GB full install size. Smaller installs of ~20GB and 35GB are available and the footprint can be customized further after installation.

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Does BFD2 run on G4 CPUs or MacOSX before 10.4.x?

BFD2 has never been supported on G4 processors or OSX versions prior to 10.4.x.

BFD2 versions up to and including are supported on G5 processors, and will operate on 10.4.x or later versions of OSX.

BFD2 versions from 2.2.x onwards (including the BFD2 download version) are supported on Mac Intel processors only, in 10.5.8 and later versions of OSX.

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Does BFD2 support 64-bit or other >4GB addressing schemes?

BFD2 versions 2.3.x and later are supplied in native 64-bit and 32-bit versions for Windows 7 and Mac OSX 10.5.8 or later.

All versions prior to 2.3.x are 32-bit only.

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Does BFD2 support / take advantage of multi core CPUs?

Yes - BFD2 complies fully with your DAW's multi-core CPU management.

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What plug-in formats will BFD2 work in?

VST 2.3 and 2.4, RTAS on PT7.0 and above, AU on OS X, and standalone (via CoreAudio, ASIO, WDM and MME).

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What OSes does BFD2 support?

BFD2 versions prior to 2.2.x are supported on:

  • Mac OS X 10.4.x and 10.5.x on Intel and G5 (not G4) CPUs (Mac)
  • Windows XP and Windows Vista on all modern Intel and AMD CPUs (Windows)

BFD2 versions from 2.2.x onwards (including the download version) are supported on:

  • Mac OSX 10.5.8 or later with Intel CPUs only (Mac)
  • Windows 7 32-bit/64-bit (Windows)

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Can I run BFD2 on a DAW with no Internet connection?

Yes, as long as you have access to a machine somewhere with Internet connectivity and a means of moving a small key file between the two machines (a USB memory key, CDRW, floppy disk or similar device would all do the job).

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What platforms does BFD2 NOT support?
  • BFD2 does NOT support the following plugin formats: ReWire, DXi, Pro Tools 5.x or 6.x.
  • BFD2 does NOT support the following CPUs: pre-SSE1 CPUs (Pentium II or old pre-XP Athlons), Pentium III-based CPUs inc. P3-based Celerons; PowerPC G3 and G4; non-AMD x86 clones such as Via, IDT, Cyrix, Geode.
  • BFD2 versions prior to 2.2.x do NOT support the following platforms: OSX 10.2.x "Jaguar", 10.3.x "Panther", Windows 95/98/98SE/ME, WinNT 4, Win 2000 (it may run on Win 2000, but we have not tested it and we do not support it!)

BFD2 versions 2.2.x and later (including the download version) are only supported on Windows 7 (Intel/AMD CPUs) / Mac OSX 10.5.8 or later (Intel CPUs only).

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Will BFD2 work with Cubase SE3 on my intel Mac? Why does BFD2 Standalone work, but BFD2 in Cubase SE3 refuses to authorize?

Cubase SE3 is not a Universal Binary - in other words, it is compiled only for Power PC CPUs: G4s ad G5s. On an intel Mac, Cubase SE3 runs in the "Rosetta" interpreter which makes Cubase think it is on a PPC Mac. BFD2's authorization file is linked to your machine configuration, which includes the processor type.

Unfortunately, this means you can either authorize BFD2 to work in your simulated PPC Cubase SE3 environment, or you can authorize to run on your real hardware, but not both. However, the major problem is that Rosetta is going to really slow BFD2 down - BFD2 has a lot of highly optimized code specifically for PPC or Intel chips, and what will be happening on your system is Rosetta will be simulating PPC instructions on an Intel chip, and ignoring all BFD2's speedy intel instructions that we laboured over. This simulation is many times slower than is desirable for an audio application! We judge that a dual core 2GHz macbook pro is equivalent to a 500MHz G4.

So that's the lay of the land. Your music studio's performance as a whole will greatly benefit from a DAW that runs on intel Macs natively, not just BFD2.

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Upgrading from BFD 1.x

Is BFD2 backward compatible with all BFD1 data and expansion packs?

Yes - however, it's not a "drop in replacement" - songs and projects saved with BFD1 will still load with BFD1.

BFD1.x and BFD2 can co-exist on the same system. BFD2 will not interfere with any existing BFD1.x-based projects, and you can continue to use BFD 1.x as normal.

BFD2 is compatible with all audio and grooves in BFD1.x and all BFD-compatible expansion packs. BFD1.x presets can be imported into BFD2.

There are some systems in BFD2 which don't match BFD1's exactly - for example, the new mixer and signal processing engine has many elements which have no counterpart in BFD1; BFD2's groove engine uses a single unified groove palette spanning the entire keyboard instread of 3 separate octave-bundles.

BFD2 data is not compatibile with BFD1. Some kitpieces may play in BFD1, but BFD2 uses Mid/Side encoding for the room microphones, and allows 3 snare direct microphones, both of which are not supported in BFD1.

Any expansion packs that you want to use with BFD2 must be authorized in the FXpansion License Manager, which is installed with BFD2 and controls authorization of all new FXpansion products and any expansion packs in BFD2.

Your expansion packs (and BFD 1.x, if you intend to use the original BFD library sounds) need to be registered in the same user account as your BFD2 license. If you have ended up with multiple accounts for different products, please contact our technical support department to resolve the situation.

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Does BFD2 come with BFD1 audio data?

No - only a brand new set of recordings that is exclusive to the BFD2 package. You will need BFD1's data installed and authorized in BFD2's License Manager to use the BFD1 sounds in BFD2.

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Does BFD2 come with BFD1 groove data?

Yes but it is reformatted for BFD2's new Groove engine and accompanied by 1000's of new grooves made for BFD2.

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How is the old audio data used by the new BFD2?

Aside from some slight differences in the mic'ing and articulations, they are treated to all intents and purposes identically to the new files. There is no need to have 2 copies of any of the WAV files on your drive - you can set up as many data paths in BFD2 as you like.

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Are there Stereo/Groups/All versions of BFD2?

No. BFD2 has flexible routing and modern DAWs, on the whole, can hide channels on demand and have good channel management generally so there is no longer any need. Effectively, BFD2 gives you the best of all the approaches in one plug-in.

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How does the new Groove engine in BFD2 improve upon the BFD 1.x Groove Librarian?

The Groove engine is completely rewritten in BFD2 - there are too many new Groove features to fully cover in this FAQ. Please read the manual for a full guide to the new Groove engine! Here's a brief summary:

Firstly, you can load up to 128 Grooves (including Fills), and devote an entire MIDI channel to the Groove engine in order to use all 128 (so that they do not clash with any MIDI keymappings to articulations).

Each Groove slot can have its own start and end behaviours set up. You can recreate classic drum machine fill behaviours or go way beyond into new territory for jamming auto-accompaniment.

Groove events are tied directly to articulations - they do not need MIDI keymappings in order to work.

You can audition Grooves before loading, in sync with the host if it is playing.

Realtime humanization is more comprehensive and easier to use. You can destructively 'print' humanization effects onto one or all Grooves.

BFD2's Groove Editor lets you edit Grooves with the same level of control as full sequencer MIDI editors.

You can record Groove events live via MIDI in real time.

BFD2 provides a single-track arrangement lane for Grooves, so you can create a full drum track entirely within BFD2.

You can export single Grooves, multiple Grooves or the drum track as MIDI or audio, with multiple channels if required. The export Groove features are great for making multichannel breakbeats quickly and efficiently. Since the export features are built into the software interface itself, you can use them when running BFD2 as a plugin or as a standalone application.

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I'm a Drumagog / BFD1.x user. Does BFD2 continue to support Drumagog functionality?

BFD2 can be hosted as a plugin within Drumagog 4 or later.

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Sounds, Kits and Content

Are there any brushes, mallets, hotrods etc. in the new BFD2?

No - however, BFD2 can be used with expansion packs that include brush articulations such as BFD Jazz & Funk or BFD Jazz Maple. Alternatively, your own samples can be imported.

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Are there more cymbal and percussion slots?

Yes. BFD2 allows you to load kits up to 32 pieces in size (compared to BFD1's 18). You can load anything in any slot. Note that each of the 32 pieces has multiple articulations, so this is equivalent to much more than 32 slots in a conventional drum sampler.

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What articulations does the BFD2 library have?

Here's a summary:

  • Cymbals: regular Hit, Bell and Edge where possible
  • Snares: regular Hit, Half-edge (off-centre hit half-way between the centre and edge), Sidestick, Rim, Drag
  • Hihats: Closed, 1/4-open, 1/2-open, 3/4-open, Open (for tip and shank), Pedal (foot-chick)
  • Toms: regular Hit
  • Kicks: regular Hit (snare present), No Snare (snare not present)

These are the articulations in the BFD2 sound library - articulations found in older libraries will still work, of course.

BFD2's new architecture allows support for any number of articulations, so future expansion packs can introduce even more new articulations per kit-piece.

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Are there enough slots to load mallet-hit kit pieces at the same time as stick-hit pieces for a full tom kit (e.g. 5 toms)?

Yes - as long as you have suitable mallet samples (for example, those in BFD Jazz & Funk, BFD Jazz Maple or your own samples).

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Is it possible to adjust the number of velocity layers on an individual per-kit-piece basis?

There is a global preference for the max velocity layers and also a detail setting per kit piece class (eg. for all kicks, or snares etc) allowing you to use half the maximum, a quarter of the maximum or a single-layer with automatic amplitude-scaling.

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How many data paths (sample data disk locations) does BFD2 allow?

Unlimited paths across multiple drives.

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Is there any overlap between the BFD2 data and previous data sets, in terms of the drums that have been recorded?

To some extent, yes. However, no two identical kits have been recorded, and in any case no two drums sound the same (because of heads, tuning, the room, the mics & technique, even ambient factors like climate). For instance, the Black Beauty snare and Ludwig VistaLite are nominally similar to examples in BFD1, XFL and Deluxe, but sound wildly different.

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Are there any promotional "demo" kit pieces included from other packs?

Yes - there are some bonus 8 Bit Kit and BFD Percussion kit-pieces with reduced velocity layers. These cover a few classic drum machine kicks and snares, and a few kit-oriented percussion sounds (cowbell, tambourine and some other 'bread and butter' sounds). See the Kit-Pieces tab of the BFD2 product page for a full listing of the kit-pieces provided with BFD2.

Please note that these bonus kit-pieces do not negate owning the expansion packs they're taken from - they comprise a very small and detail-reduced selection, allowing users without any expansion packs to experiment with the layering functions and percussion slots on multi-channel sounds, as opposed to mono/stereo imported samples.

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Effects and Mixing Engine

Can BFD2's effects be used outside BFD2?

No - this is not possible.

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Does BFD2 support hosting of VST or AU plugins for internal effects?

No - because we wanted to guarantee stability and cross-compatibility of mix presets, and because you already have a DAW for that. BFD2 has 8 stereo and 16 mono outputs so isolated channels can easily be processed by external plugins or outboard.

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Is there built in artificial reverb as well as the natural ambience channels?

Yes - BFD2 v2.1 and later versions feature the Overloud Breverb algorithms for high-quality built-in reverb. BFD2 also contains an intentionally artificial-sounding reverb effect called TinCanVerb. Alternatively, you can route drum channels to individual outputs for further processing in your DAW's mixer with any reverb effects you own.

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Can you put separate EQ and compression on each drum?

Yes, CPU permitting. Running our EQ and high quality DCAM circuit-modeled compressors on all 32 drums (~40 channels including buses and alternate mics) is going to take a hefty chunk of CPU.

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I see this "DCAM" logo on some of the effects. What's that all about?

DCAM is our proprietary analogue circuit modeling technology, and stands for "Discrete Component Analogue Modeling". DCAM enables us to build virtualized electronic circuits in code, the results of which are superbly authentic. You'll already have heard some of the filtering and distortion modelling if you've tried our synthesis instruments like DCAM Synth Squad and Tremor or effects such as Etch. The compressors in BFD2 are very realistic models of 2 of the most well-known studio compressors ever, and sound great even at extreme settings.

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I like to use group busses and side-chained effects in my mixes. Can I do that any of that in BFD2?

Yes. BFD2 features a modular mixer with flexible channel routing, assignable AUX sends/returns and side-chain busses. A selection of the bundled effects have a side-chain input (where it makes sense to have one).

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Can I have a full list of the built-in FX?
  • Gain
  • EQ (with DCAM-modelled filters)
  • Comp Chan (DCAM-modelled on a well-known limiting amplifier)
  • Comp Bus (DCAM-modelled on a well-known large format console compressor)
  • Delay (versatile stereo 2-tap delay line with a 'swing' control for a variety of delay feels)
  • Filter (simple high and low pass filters)
  • Flanger
  • Chorus
  • Filter Mod (versatile DCAM-modelled multi-mode filter with envelope follower and audio-rate modulation)
  • Drive (versatile DCAM-modelled drive unit with 4 distortion models)
  • Bitcrusher (digital distortion based on sample-rate and bit-depth reduction)
  • RingMod
  • FreqShift
  • TinCanVerb (artificial sounding trashy reverb unit)
  • Noise Gate
  • EnvShaper
  • Overloud Breverb Hall
  • Overloud Breverb Plate
  • Overloud Breverb Room
  • Overloud Breverb Inverse
  • PSP Vintage Warmer (using this effect introduces 64 samples of latency for each instance inserted on a channel)

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Import & Export, Inputs & Outputs

Does BFD2 support drag-n-drop of grooves to hosts as MIDI?


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Does the new Groove engine load existing midi drum file/performances into it?


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Can MIDI files be exported directly from BFD2?

Yes, via drag+drop direct to host, Finder, etc, or using the Save menu in the Groove page.

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Does BFD2 make it easier to export audio than BFD1?

Yes - multi track audio rendering & export is built-in and extremely easy to use. You can export Grooves as audio, and also set up BFD2 to export what it's playing in sync with a host that is sending it MIDI.

The export features allow you to 'record-arm' any channel on the BFD2 mixer - whether it is a direct mic channel, ambience channel or aux/master channel - so that the channel is exported as a discrete audio file. This means you can create multi-channel bounces very easily, which is something that not all hosts can do.

The audio export features are built into the BFD2 interface itself, so you can use them either when running BFD2 as a plugin in a host or as a standalone application.

If you are using BFD2's internal Groove engine, offline audio export can be used.

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Can end users import multi-velocity samples?

Yes - you can import multi-velocity mono or stereo samples in standard WAV format. Imported samples are used to create a kit-piece which can be loaded into a slot in the normal way. Imported kit-pieces can have only 1 articulation.

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Does the standalone support multiple outputs?

Yes, the standalone application supplied with v2.2.x or later supports multiple outputs.

Earlier versions do not feature a multi-output standalone application. However, you can use any lightweight plugin host to run the BFD2 plugin for multiple outputs.

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Electronic Drums Support

What E-Drum kits does BFD2 support?

BFD2 comes with factory mappings for the following:

  • Akai MPD24
  • Alesis DM5, DM5 Pro, Trigger IO, Control Pad / Performace Pad
  • Alternate Mode DrumKat and DK10
  • Clavia DDrum
  • M-Audio Trigger Finger
  • Korg PadKontrol
  • Roland TD-3/6/8/10/12/20
  • Yamaha DTXtreme.

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My E-Drum kit isn't on this list. Can I still use it?

Easy-to-use functionality is built in for customizing existing mappings and for setting up mappings for less common controllers like Zendrums, TrapKats, Mandala Drums, Hart, XDrum, Pintech, RET, Roland HD-1, HPDs and SPDs, Ion IED-1s etc., as well as customized or DIY controllers and modified versions of the factory supported controllers (e.g. TD brains with extra toms or cymbals from Roland or elsehwere).

BFD2 makes it easier to set up your e-drum kit, and you should be able to get a response comparable to your drum brain sounds, as long as you have a suitable low-latency system. The BFD2 manual contains more info about latency and electronic drums in general (see chapter 9).

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Does BFD2 support positional sensing?

Yes - BFD2 supports positional sensing using a MIDI CC.

Currently, positional sensing support is implemented for snares, to switch between the hit/half-edge articulations.

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Download version

Are there any differences between the BFD2 boxed version and the download version?

The data in the download version has been reduced to 20-bit audio, whereas the boxed version contains 24-bit audio.

The download version is only supported on Windows 7 and Mac OSX 10.5.8 or later, and is only compatible with Intel processors on Mac.

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How large is the download version?

The download size is approx 14GB - this is uncompressed during installation resulting in a maximum installed size of approx 52GB.

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Why has the data been reduced to 20-bit for the download version?

20-bit audio offers a dynamic range of around 120dB. This is greater than the dynamic range of most professional-grade preamps/A-D converters, so there is no perceptible loss of audio quality. Any noise introduced due to the bit-reduction process is well below the analogue noise floor inherent in the recordings, and leads to much smaller downloads.

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Licensing / Copy Protection

What kind of copy protection scheme is used?

This product features a challenge-response authorization system, with three installs on your own machines allowed simultaneously.

  • You do NOT need to have an internet connection on the computers on which it is installed.
  • You must, however, authorize the product before it can be used - there is no 'grace period' after installation.

We have tried very hard to make the authorization procedure as pain-free as possible. Please understand that it is necessary for safeguarding your investment in future development and user support.

Our products do not use iLok or any other unified protection scheme. We do not believe in such systems' security, and would rather not pass on their costs to our customers.

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Can I use it on both my laptop and main machine?

Yes - you can install on up to 3 machines as long as only 1 is running it at any one time. Site / volume licensing is also available (POA - please contact us for details).

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Do I need to re-authorize when installing the OS again or upgrading the OS/hardware?

A new major operating system version is enough of a change that the authorization system will require re-authing the product; point releases should be fine. Likewise, a significant hardware change will also require re-authorization. We will be monitoring the situation closely and adjusting the flexibility of the authorization system to get the best balance of copy protection and annoyance levels.

If reinstalling an existing OS without changing any hardware, you will be able to save the auth file and simply re-import it when authorizing the product again.

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Do you allow license transfers?

Yes, however:

  • 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.
  • There is a flat $50 fee per product for a license transfer, which can be purchased from our online shop.
  • Review copies, NFRs (Not For Resale copies, sometimes used for in-store demos), etc., cannot be transferred under any circumstances.
  • 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.

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