How to convert bfdlac to wav>

I want to use my samples for a different platform that uses .wav files. Is there a Mac compatible conversion method?

What platform doesn’t recognise BFDLAC files?

Both Windows and Mac recognise .wav files as well as BFDLAC files


I want to be able to convert my BFD files to .wav format

That would be BFD.

BFDLAC is an unpublished, proprietary format. It’s not a generic audio compression algorothm, but one optimized for the special case with multichannel drums, where a huge percentage of the data is actually zeroes. AFAIK, the only software that knows how to convert to WAV is BFD itself.

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I think I get what he’s asking now, when @JimG says, “different platform” he means other drums player or sampler?

Since BFD3 is the only software currently able to read the BFDLAC format ((AFIK) ) then only BFD3 would be able to convert them back to .wav format.

I thought the BFDLAC tool used to be able to do that but looking at it again it doesn’t look like it can.

So it looks like the answer to your question @JimG is no, they can’t be converted to .wav files.


Thanks for the kind help! I use a Zendrum with a Stompblock and wanted to import my BFD samples into it.

For performance, your best bet is going to be an instance of BFD running on a dedicated computer, as a MIDI slave to the controller. There’s someone on the board here working on a Raspberry PI implementation, which you might be able to mount in a small, rugged box with an SSD. I have no clue how well that works. But if it works out, BFD would be an unbelievable performance engine.

I had a whole setup with acoustic drum triggers on mesh head drums and an Alesis control unit. It sort of functioned, but was never good. It’s been a while, though.

I’m guessing the main idea for a proprietary system, is to prevent easily copying and sharing the samples? Slate drums has it’s own lossless format too.

Main idea? I don’t know about that. SKoT published some academic papers on the subject. BFDLAC was available for licensing by ROLI. So, it’s not like they were trying to keep it a secret. It was a substantial improvement that required academic development, and they wanted to profit from it.

The storage savings are substantial just by the elimination of zero data. This also improves the engine by not burdening the CPU with rendering of zero data. Also, most drum information is in the transient and down close to the noise floor. There’s less information in the sound of a drum head. The algorithm is optimized to reflect that.

There are other optimizations, too. For instance, compression time needn’t be considered at all, compared to rendering time, which is critical for an engine. There are multiple compression algorithms within the CODEC. The most optimal is chosen for use within a sample.

Through a lot of the history of BFD (and drum software in general), there was often a good amount of tweakage necessary to get the engine to work on a particular CPU and storage combination. The number of engine parameters in the Preferences are evidence of that, even though it’s been unnecessary to touch them for years. I think drums in particular have performance requirements that suit a more nuanced approach than your generic sample library.

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On Mac it would be the easiest to use Autosampler (included in Logic and Mainstage).

I wasn’t necessarily referring to lossless encoders, but samplers using proprietary audio file formats, rather than say .wav files to make it harder to copy/steal/share, etc.

Well, I don’t know about motivations. I’d say there have been some good technical reasons for doing it this way. It’s not the same thing as encryption. I’m sure if someone were hell bent, they could figure it out.

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Our motivation for BFDLAC was to have more detailed libraries and get more bang for our gigabyte - something like Vintage Recording Techniques would require a dedicated hard-drive just for one pack if we didn’t have BFDLAC!


If you really need to get your samples out of BFD - check out Xtractpler (

It doesn’t convert the samples. It plays them all, routes the sound to a recorder and re-records them as .wav. You can set which midi notes it should play and which (and how many) velocities it should play and record for each note. It has a bunch of keymap templates so you may not need to manually set up the notes. It is a bit technical but works.

I’m not affiliated in any way with xtractpler, (If I was I would have chosen a different name for it!) but I have found it useful when I needed to pull proprietary sound formats from my VSTs and load them into my drum module.

I have managed to extract the files “payload/audio” into applications and it worked perfectly.Using the BFD installer it unpacks the BFDLAC files into “WAV’s” ive no w reconstructed the whole directory to work with slate.It was not easy as each sample “master01” is actually containing 7 channels. With a bit of research i learned why.

But to answer your question its easiest to use the installer to extract the files to waves,using those wavs however took me a bit of thinking,i had to install “homebrew” then install “sox” sox is basically a batch converting audio tool,so i converted the wavs from 7 channels to 2 channels using the correct panning,as they were multi miced samples.

I now run this pack in slate as it is way more up to date and can be now used anywhere,it took me all day to achieve but it works amazing.

If you need help with doing this ill do my best.

Slate only allows one-shot user samples, outside of it’s own libraries/expansions. How are you using multi-velocity layered samples with it?

Hi ! sorry i use slate trigger not SSD.SSD stuff has some sort or encryption on its library i may be able to work out a way but i doubt it would be ethical.

I could maybe post a video if its of any use ?

This reminds me of a feature I wanted to develop back in the FXpansion days. I had a joke name for it called “Drum teef” - basically it would resample any plugin you loaded and automatically make a BFD pack out of it. Kind of like the old dfh converter from back in the early 2000’s (way before my time! I was but a child!)

I always liked that idea, but couldn’t get much traction behind it!


You’ll be back. You’ll be back.

grumble grumble


I don’t think this is correct. BFDLAC is an audio file format of it’s own. It doesn’t contain a wav. It’s not compression of a wav. The installer doesn’t do anything to interpret files that are already in BFDLAC format. It just copies them into place.

I’d like to see exactly what process you filed, because I’m skeptical that it works the way you think it did. sox certainly does not support BFDLAC format.