Do you use grooves?

I replied to a question from @BFD_Drew about grooves (that I basically never use) and I wondered who actually use them

Do you use pre-made BFD3 grooves ?

  • Yes I use grooves
  • No I never (or rarely) use grooves

0 voters


I don’t use them for several reasons, I write my own music from start to finish and in the time it takes to browse endless midi grooves and loops that will ultimately have to be edited to fit, I might as well have written my own. I’m a decent drummer in my head at least. :wink:

That said I did write a track that was inspired by a loop that I then pulverised with effects until it’s own mother wouldn’t recognise.

It’s a long way from finished but the original groove was Blues_94 from The London Sessions.




@Steve63 I agree, that even if you don’t use grooves to write songs, they can be useful to get inspired and get a song going. Just pulling a few grooves up and improvising over them can be fun and productive.


This. Or load loads of them up and set BFD to randomly cycle thru them, with auto drum fills on too. Turn complexity options up, probability options down, or within BFD turn the simplify up.

If that is MIDI or audio linked and triggering anything else, it sounds quite close to real jamming :slight_smile: Record a few passes, or one long pass, and then edit the best bits together. Its quite a quick way to get a ‘random’ backing track together.


I do use grooves to get the basics of a song down. And then I often go over it bit by bit, and play overdubs, or just re-write the part entirely.

Then I give it to my drummer, and he ignores it and plays whatever he wants.



Yes sir. You just have to make sure not to start on a fill, or it won’t cycle back to beats.


I’m sure your drummer hates you for all your hard work. Hehe

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No. The drums are part of a whole thing organically, and my music only infrequently begins with a groove-type or backbeat drumming. I started on drums, back in the 80s I was the drummer in certain of my projects using a drum machine (which mystified people, seeing no drums but hearing it).

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I run out of notes for cymbals and frequently need to delete the grooves occupying the notes.

Hey man, I just messed with those Groove FX a bit. You’re right, that really does help to fine tune grooves. Just a little bit goes a long way. I’ve been programming in Pro Tools for so long I’m used to it and I find the BFD3 groove editor to be a little clunky and slows down my workflow. However, I think for my next project I’ll export my Pro Tools MIDI, import into BFD3 and then I can mess with those groove FX settings. As you were saying about my track I posted, things were a little too robotic and this might help a lot with getting my own programmed stuff to sound a little more realistic. Maybe a bit more work, but I think it might be worth it. Thanks for that idea.

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I use grooves a lot and use them as a starting point. The most interesting thing is when there are a lot of variations which help to add realism. I am always fiddling with snare velocities and timing. I like using fills as they are the most difficult thing to programme. Even so I spend time altering them as well. I find it much quicker than starting from scratch. I mean can you beat Steve Ferrone drumming for you?


I agree with what everyone is saying about grooves… but I never used them.

But maybe I should check it out. I would want to get the groove MIDI notes into Performer to edit further…I imagine there’s a way to do that.

Having said that…I just want to get to the song.
There will be drum parts just as there will be guitar parts. It’s really easy to blast in a bed track for drums. So it’s custom from the get go.

Someone mentioned fills…which I will play in basic transitions… all off a keyboard controller.
It’s just what I’ve always done since the early 90s.

With more complex and specific fills…I just slow down the BPM and leave the quantization off. The Q is normally off anyway and played to a click.

It’s Funny… sometimes for certain basic grooves…I will quantize it… but in Performer there’s good options for randomizing it.
It’s completely random per song why I would or don’t quantize some things.

And ever since getting BFD… with these better drum sounds (coming from Roland S760 sounds) …I found that even locking BFD sounds to the grid…they still breathe… and by the time you get bass and guitar on it… it loosens up further based on the feel of the guitar/bass. Of course you then push and pull the drums where it feels good.

BFD has been absolutely invaluable. I came from drums back in the day… that’s my thought process.

To have these sounds in these recorded spaces allows you to get on with a song with no apologies for drums or having to hide things in a mix because the source sound wasn’t great to begin with.

BFD totally rules :metal:

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My main issue with the BFD groove system and I’ve spoken to @BFD_Drew about this, is the ride cymbal hits on older BFD2 grooves not mapped correctly to newer kits. The BFD2 “bow” hit is mapped to “hit”, which in BFD3 kits will trigger the “edge” of the ride. This totally ruins the groove of the ride in most cases, as the groove is meant to hit the bow instead of the edge. You’d have to go in manually with each groove, move all the “hit” articulations to the “bow” and save each groove. Way too much of a PITA. They seriously need to address this issue for hopefully BFD3 at some point, if not then BFD4. There should be a painless way to substitute articulations for groove palettes, so you don’t have to manually edit every groove.

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So my take on it is this - most drummers when hitting the ride, will focus on the bow. Of course not exclusively.

But most drummers with crashes - and almost exclusively - will hit the edge of the crash with the shank of the stick.

When we designed BFD2, we only had the ‘hit’ articulation. We introduced edge and bow to the articulation system properly in BFD3, and I wanted it so that for crashes the ‘edge’ was the default, and for rides the ‘bow’ was the default.

There were quite a few rides and crashes across the BFD2-era expansion packs that were inconsistent with one another. So introducing these additional artics and mandating them as part of recordings, has started to standardize what we provide.

But yes, the grooves side of things needs tweaking. Absolutely.

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So if bow is the default for rides, then why does it substitute for edge when it sees a hit artic? Can’t the devs just program the groove editor, so that when it sees a missing hit artic, it defaults to bow?