General Information

What is BFD Percussion?

BFD Percussion is an expansion pack for BFD3, BFD Eco and BFD2.

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Is BFD Percussion a download product or a boxed product?

The boxed version of BFD Percussion is now discontinued, although some copies may still be available via local retailers while stocks last.

BFD Percussion is now a downloadable product and there are currently no plans to reissue the boxed version. Please see below for more information about the downloadable version.

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What do I need in order to use BFD Percussion?
  • The download version of BFD Percussion requires a registered copy of BFD3, BFD Eco or BFD2 (versions 2.1 and later only) and a suitable system on which to run it.
  • The discontinued boxed version of BFD Percussion is compatible with BFD 1.5, BFD Eco and all versions of BFD2.

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Can I use the new downloadable version in BFD 1.x?

No - this expansion can only be used with BFD3, BFD Eco or BFD2 (versions 2.1 or later only). BFD 2.1 is a free update to all registered BFD2 users.

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Why does it have these requirements?

BFD3, BFD Eco and BFD2.1 (and later versions) are equipped to handle the data format and custom channel layout featured in this expansion; previous versions of BFD2 and BFD 1.x cannot.

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What kind of limitations exist when using this product with BFD Eco?

When using this expansion in BFD Eco, limitations apply in terms of the audio channels and articulations that are available (this is one of BFD Eco's limitations, as opposed to the fully-featured BFD3 or BFD2).

BFD Eco is a streamlined instrument based on the BFD2 engine.

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How large is the download version?

The download size is approximately 4GB. The size when installed is approx 27GB with a full-size install.

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Why do some kit-pieces appear in multiple versions?

Some kit-pieces that were originally classified as toms in the initial release of BFD Percussion have subsequently provided as snare versions in the newer download version - this is in order to allow more mic channels and articulations. These kit-pieces feature a '2.1' suffix, to indicate that they require BFD2 v2.1 or later.

Both the original and the updated versions are provided in the BFD Percussion download version, in order to retain compatibility across all existing projects.

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Do I really need 27 GB of diskspace to use BFD Percussion?

No - there is an install size choice during the installer in the boxed and download versions.

  • small (16 velocity layers)
  • medium (24 velocity layers)
  • large (up to 46 velocity layers)

The lower amount of velocity layers in Small and Medium installations result in less detail than a full installation, but require much less diskspace and less RAM when loaded.

The discontinued boxed version also features the ability to selectively install kit-pieces, and you can install only 1 of the 2 DVDs if you prefer.

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The BFD Percussion sounds are recorded in a new room. Will I be able to blend them properly with my other BFD drum sounds?

Absolutely. In conventional recording situations, the drum room is not often used as the recording space for the other instruments, especially if an expensive, specialised drum room has been used. Percussion sounds are more suited to smaller, more intimate rooms.

BFD Percussion simply sounds great and sits well in any musical context.

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Why do some of the kit-pieces have "Kick" and "Snare" in their names?

Certain instruments are presented as kicks and snares for several reasons. Firstly, they feature multiple direct microphones. Also, some kit-pieces were classified as snares because they required the extra articulations provided by snare slots for full expression.

In the case of instruments such as congas, 2 snare slots will be required for a set of two congas, if you need all the articulations available for both.

Bongo sets are classified as toms, and should be loaded into the tom 4, 5 and 6 slots if both of the two available articulations are required.

Most of the other instruments have two articulations and are classified as kicks, cymbals or percussion.

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What's the best way to use these sounds?

There are several ways in which BFD Percussion's kit-pieces can be used. Many of the kit-pieces feature 2 articulations so can simply be loaded into any percussion, tom or cymbal slot within your BFD software.

Certain kit-pieces such as congas, timbales and so on feature more than 2 articulations and are classified as snares. The way in which these are used depends on whether you're using BFD 1.5, BFD2, BFD3 or BFD Eco.

  • BFD 1.5
    Kit-pieces classified as snares or kicks must be loaded into snare or kick slots in order to be able to access all mic channels and all articulations. You can also use the 'Type' drop-down menu in any slot's kit-piece selector, although the number of articulations available can be reduced, depending on the destination slot.
  • BFD2
    Any kit-piece can be loaded into any slot using the 'Type' drop-down menu in any slot's kit-piece chooser. All mic channels become available in the mixer, although any excess articulations must be mapped to MIDI keys of your choice.
  • BFD Eco
    Kit-pieces classified as snares or kicks must be loaded into snare or kick slots. The 3 percussion slots allow you to load kit-pieces classified as toms, cymbals or percussion (use the 'Type' drop-down menu to specify).
  • BFD3
    Any of the kit-pieces (known as 'Drums' in BFD3) can be loaded into any drum slot. All mic channels become available in the mixer although any excess articulations must be mapped to MIDI keys of your choice.

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I can't hear the sounds in BFD!

There are no known manufacturing defects at this time.

It is not possible to simply drag-n-drop the audio data from the DVDs in the boxed version as with older boxed packs. BFD Percussion has "BFD compressed audio" (bfdca) files on the DVDs to reduce the size of the download and boxed DVD delivery. The installer MUST be used to decompress and install the sounds to the correct location.

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How were the kit-pieces recorded?

BFD Percussion was produced by John Emrich and the same team responsible for BFD Jazz & Funk Collection, at Omega Studios in Rockville, Maryland, USA. The session was recorded at Omega’s Studio B, the recording room measuring 27 ft. x 24 ft. with a 12 ft. ceiling. This room was chosen because the nature of the instruments demanded a smaller, more intimate setting. The sound characteristic of the room is very similar to that in Jazz & Funk Collection, so it’s perfect to use with it, although the instruments in BFD Percussion Collection sound great when mixed with any other BFD kits, or anything else for that matter!

The recording chain was set up for maximum detail, precision and transparency: the aim was to capture the diverse instruments as naturally and accurately as possible.

Digidesign HD 192 A/D converters were used for all the channels. Royer 122 ribbon mics were used almost exclusively for the direct mics, capturing the harmonic intricacies of these organic instruments without colouring the sound. No additional processing was applied, except for some very subtle compression on the Room and PZM channels. The channels were set up as follows:

  • Direct
    A Royer 122 was used for the direct signal. Instruments that are classified as kicks or snares also used either a second Royer 122, a Neumann U84, or a Neumann FET47. These mics were fed into a set of API preamps. There are no bleed channels, as only one instrument was recorded at a time.
  • Overhead
    Pair of Neumann KM184s through Focusrite ISA 115 mic preamps.
  • Room
    Pair of Neumann U89s, approx. 20 ft. from the kit, into Focusrite Red 1 preamps and an SSL FX G384 bus compressor (set to 4:1 ratio, 1ms attack, auto release).
  • PZM
    Pair of Crown PZM 30Ds, approx. 18 ft. from the kit, through Focusrite Red 1 preamps and a pair of linked Urei LA4 limiters (set to 4:1 ratio, 9:00 threshold, and 10:30 on the gain - there were no units on the front panels!).
  • A few final words from John:
    "When recording the plastic bucket, the last articulation recorded was the hit on the bottom of the bucket. It broke after two strikes. I then spent 20 minutes looking around the studio for another bucket. Keep in mind that it was two in the morning! I found another bucket outside that had been used for cement. I spent another 20 minutes chipping out the dried cement and began recording again. All of this to bring the sound of a plastic bucket to the world of BFD!
    "This is the first documented high definition recording of a kitchen sink, in all of its glory, and we used a Royer 122 to capture this momentous occasion. My wife, Leslie, was thrilled! She got a new sink."

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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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