The longer I have had BFD3 the more I appreciate it. It not only has the most realistic sounds but also gives me the interesting and fun experience of hand carving the sounds. It’s brilliant. I hope it stays alive for all of us. I’m hoping there is a strong team to continue it’s development with high standards.
I agree with all of that.
And I want to add: BFD3 is the only drum software that keeps surprising me. Sometimes in a bad way, sure, but most of the times in an exciting and inspirational way.
I thought I had BFD3 more or less mastered within a few months after I began working with it, but since that time not a month has gone by during which I didn’t discover new sounds, functions and ways of working with the software that just keep adding to my enjoyment.
Also pleasant: I’ve been providing some drums for a hobby project of a singer-songwriter friend of mine and despite me clearly and repeatedly saying that I did the parts with drum software, the engineer who oversees the project — we’re all in different locations and I’ve never met the guy — suggested the other day that I secretly recorded the drums with a real kit. Nice compliment for BFD3, I thought. And something that could never have happened had I used TT’s SD3.
(Musically, I mean. Technically, there is, as we all know, room for improvement.)
Obviously, it’s subjective. It all depends on the producer, their genre and what they require out of a drum vst. It’s unlikely that you’ll come across one that does everything you need, so there’s usually always a compromise. For us and BFD3, the compromise is the DRM. It is still pretty amazing that a decade old drum software is still in the conversation. So that tells us two things… the old BFD team got a lot of things right and the competition today is still trying to figure it out.
BFD is awesome. I’ve used many a crappy drum machine…and the Roland 760 samplers…painstakingly trying to get out of them what BFD does.
The Roland was easily the closest.
But still not even close to BFD
I have a good collection of sounds now.
BFD just lets me get on with the main task… writing the song and building the arrangements.
It’s really a great program. Love it.
I agree there is still huge room for improvement in BFD3, especially in the licensing department, unfortunately I doubt we will ever see it.
The new distributors of the software have done virtually nothing to develop it since acquiring it. How many new kits or significant improvements have there been in the last 3 years? Just minor bug fixes.
2 1/2 years since Mac Silicon release and still no native support in ProTools?
I added SD3 to my toolbox a couple of years ago, and am still asked (as I initially was with BFD3) whether the drummer was available for gigs.
Both systems require a good knowledge of the software, and improve with user experience, but BFD is not supported by its owners in the same way it is by its users.
If I’m going to invest valuable time in learning to use a piece of software, I would prefer that software to have a future!
I’ll bite and play devil’s advocate for a minute. The first year or so as inMusic acquired BFD3, most of their effort was put into the transition from FXpansion and sorting out the issues with the LM (that’s on them there, ngl). Then you have all the issues with trying to make BFD3 (10 years old software) compatible with Apple Silicon. We can sit back as a spectator and say, oh that shouldn’t be that hard, other companies have done it, but we really don’t know all the details of the challenges with that.
Yes, since 2020 and the acquisition, they have only released one BFD3 expansion, but Dark Farm is probably the best sounding expansion ever released under the BFD brand. I haven’t heard anything else out there with that kind of detail and quality. And really, it’s almost like 3 expansions because there are 3 distinct kits and a bunch of extra kit pieces. I would be more than satisfied if that was the only drum expansion I had in my toolbox.
Then you have their partnership with Alesis and working on BFD Player and the two expansions released for that. Ok, that might not mean anything for people only concerned with BFD3, but they are trying to build the BFD brand and attract new users for BFD3 & 4 by introducing a free drum sampler option, which may in time work with BFD3 expansions.
I mean it has been pretty quiet of late, I don’t know what they’re doing behind the scenes, but there is the simple fact that these guys probably have way less of a budget and team than Toontrack and SD3. That’s just the reality and something we have to accept if we want to use this product. Who knows, if BFD4 is a banger, that budget and team size could all change.
I agree with all of the above, and I bought, (and still have and use for legacy projects) BFD1, 2 & 3 and around 12 kit expansion packs, so I invested signifiantly in the early development of the software but……. when they fail to sort out an unstable licensing system that can take an hour out of a paying customer’s session time, and 2 1/2 years later still don’t release an update in a mainstream plugin format for one of the most popular DAWs? Instead they offer pared down versions of the software and a project with Alesis? Agreed they most certainly won’t have Toontrack’s budget to play with, but their allocation of the resources they do have tells me their market focus in not on professional users, and more on bedroom hobbyists. That’s fine, and why I moved on, but the original BFD3 release had the potential to be so much more! S
Yeah I still use all previous versions of BFD and love them all. BFDPlayer is great for using in a modern production, a free kit with 60-80 round robins per articulation is insane, so much better sounding than EZdrummer or anything near that range.
I am avoiding the inMusic BFD3 right now, though, as a few features just simply don’t work (loudness controls being the important one) and the LM makes it unreliable for professional work (and no VST3). But the old BFDs and the Player are enough to hold me over till whatever updates come out that fix those issues.
But yeah, simply put nothing out there sounds better (imo) than BFD3.
I think if you invested as much time in mastering Superior Drummer 3 as you have in BFD you’d never go back to BFD. The sounds are at least as good, available in 7.1 format if that’s required, and the search capabilities for finding a suitable MIDI file are in a whole different league. John Walden’s Sound on Sound review felt the same, and that was before the updates and additional kits arrived! S www.redtapemusic.net
I’ve used Superior/Toontrack just as heavily as I’ve used BFD since 1999 with original DFH. SD3 is amazing but I still prefer BFD.