Requesting mixing tips for non-recording scenarios

Hi All - new here.

I’m looking for mixing tips for playing live, or even just practicing with my e-kit. I have Dark Farm, Black Album, and Jazz Noir. It seems like the presets, and even the raw sample recording techniques are geared towards sitting in a recording mix.


You can use them in any scenario, if you don’t want pre processed sounds, disable or remove all the effects and start raw, then add your own and customise if needed.

There’s a tiny little power button icon in the mixer that turns the FX on/off. Turn that off.

Yeah, I’ve done that. I think maybe I just don’t like the recording techniques used on the raw samples. Everything sounds like it’s inside a giant cave to me. I feel bad saying that here, because it seems like I read nothing but high praise for the samples on this forum. I love love love love the toms that came with Black Album. Those alone have made me invest more money into BFD3, hoping I could have an end result that I like. But TBH, I have more fun playing in Addictive Drums 2. Everything but Toms that is. It’s like it’s the other way around for me there. I love everything in AD2, but am really unsatisfied with any of the tom samples there. Maybe my palate is still unrefined, having only been playing for a couple of years. I feel like I should like BFD3 sounds better, but I just don’t. AD2 sounds like the drum set is right in front of me. BFD3 sounds like I’m standing 20 feet away from it in a big cavern.

Yeah I’m aware. I’ve tried it. See my response to deangersmith

I suggest bringing up the spot mics first on the shells and get the balances right. I never have all my kick and snare mics at unity gain. whether you want to bring in the spot mics for the cymbals is up to you, I stopped using those and just use the hihat and ride directs. Next bring up the overheads so that the cymbals blend well with the kick when struck at the same time. Then bring your room mics up to where you’re getting some nice room sound, but it doesn’t wash out the direct mics. Then you can use the Amb master fader to adjust even further how much you want of the cymbals and room, compared to the shells.

You usually get a lot of specialty ambient mics with the expansions. It doesn’t mean you have to use them all and for something like a mono mic, you can just send the shells to it and turn off all the cymbals feeding into it. Sometimes, I still like to send the hihat and ride to the mono mic.

1 Like

Thanks. I’ll try it out. I appreciate it.

Turn down all of the room microphone channels - completely off. Leave just the main drum mics (direct mics is what we call them in BFD land) and keep the overheads.

With Dark Farm and Jazz Noir, you should end up with a fairly tight and “behind the drumkit” kind of sound.

Something I do when wanting a tight mix that still has some life is I’ll solo an ambient channel (OH/room etc) and play with the instrument balance in it (via ambient mic sends) till it sounds how I want, then when all the ambient mics are balanced to my taste I use the global ambient fader to blend that into my close mics.

Another trick I use is to route the ambient sends to their own auxes (kick OH going to AUX1 instead of OH, for example), so I can EQ just the kick overhead to remove boxiness without affecting the snare OH or cymbals, do it for all drums and route to a shells/drums OH aux that at that point doesn’t even need the close mics at all to sound punchy and finished, same with room and pzm mics and all that.

If you EQ the individual ambient sends of each mic to match the relative profile of the close mics you can blend it in almost 1:1 and it should still sound fairly close and punchy while just getting bigger and having more depth and sustain (but not that overbearing roomy 400-1khz pressure).

Being able to route ambience freely is insanely powerful.

Here are a few “Builder” Presets and Kits…for Black Album Drums and Dark Farm.
No Mics…No Bleeds…No FX…everything is zeroed out…about as Natural Sounding as you can get.
I did leave the Envelope on (Dark farm) so you can adjust Attack…Sustain for each Kit Piece…
Dial in your E-Kit to these (You never mentioned what Kit you have)…You can raise the gain in BFD3 (Upper Right) and as you add mics…bleed…the levels will increase.
It will help you become familiar with the mics etc per kit piece as you add them.
Since you have Dark Farm…I used the same Groove for all so you can compare.

BFD (585.4 KB)

Unzip…Copy/place the BFD3 Folder into Main BFD Drums Folder…
They will show under the Library Drop Down menu.
Rescan System Content

I forgot to include locations for those unfamiliar with the Default Locations
You copy the Folders or Contents individually to

Windows …C:\ProgramData>BFD Drums>BFD3>System>Kits.
Windows …C:\ProgramData>BFD Drums>BFD3>System>Presets.

macOS Library>Application Support>BFD Drums>BFD3>System>Kits
macOS Library>Application Support>BFD Drums>BFD3>System>Presets

Rescan System Content

@scoTTTimo This is a Dark Farm Copper preset I’ve been using, if you want to give it a try. No FX, just a dry kit with various tweaks and it’s not overkill with the ambience. It will give you an idea of what I was describing above. If you need to adjust any cymbal levels, just use the trim knob in the Tech panel for them. That will properly feed the send level going into all the ambient channels.

FB - Dark Farm - (85.8 KB)

Thanks, I’ll give those a shot.

Thanks, I’ll give it a shot. You probably saw though that I posted about trading dark farm for horsepower. I spent a loooong time today bouncing back and forth between listening to BFD3 presets in soundcloud vs AD2 presets in YT and on their website. The more I listened, the more I could hear the realism in the BFD drums. It didn’t necessarily make me like them better, just definitely appreciate the realism of the recordings. There’s a warmth to the AD2 sounds that just hits the spot for me somehow. However, I can definitely hear more processing to them. In the end, I think workhorse sounds closer to the things I like in AD2. I really want that expansion now. Wish it was on sale.

Tried it for Jazz Noir, Dark Farm, and Black Album. Didn’t like the end result for any of them. See what I just wrote to Fender Bender though. Really listening intently back and forth between BFD3 and AD2 for a good amount of time was an enlightening experience. You guys definitely capture the realism.

Oh yeah I’m using an Alesis DM10 module and cymbals, but the kick, snare and toms come from a 1st gen strike pro. My ride is an 18" lemon, and hi hats are the lemon 2-piece.

However, my edrumin10 just arrived in the mail, and I have a set of Hawk shells on the way from edrumcenter. Planning to use the Alesis cymbals, lemon ride, and hawk shells with the edrumin eventually.

Was just your original comment of them sounding like they’d been recorded in a cave - certainly not the case! Room mics often sound reverberated and “cave like” but the direct microphones are primarily dry.

In Addictive Drums 2, you’re probably hearing all sorts of processing in the presets themselves.

1 Like

Just following up here. BFD3 is definitely growing on me. I still prefer my kit in AD2, especially when using headphones. The weird thing is…well, maybe “weird” isn’t the right word…but when I listen through headphones and am just hearing drums, no music, pretty much everything in BFD3 just doesn’t do it for me. My kit in AD2 is so warm and nice. It hits a sweet spot for me. However, if I add music and play along, some how the BFD3 kits seem to sit in the mix better. This becomes especially true when I turn on my drum amp. Through the amp, playing along with other music (I use Moises to remove drums), that’s where BFD3 really starts to shine for me. I’m sure there’s reasons and terminology to describe what’s going on that an audio engineer would understand. I’m not that though. I don’t know how else to describe it.

AD2 and BFD3 are different instruments for different levels of production. You have a much higher ceiling for potential in BFD3 but it takes more work to get there, AD2 might be easier jump into right away, especially if it’s your kit and you’re used to it, but the more experience you get in something like BFD or Superior the more you’ll hear the shortcomings of AD2/EZD etc.

What you might be hearing is what happens when you have bigger/deeper/better room sounds, which BFD always excelled at, that tend to give a kit more presence and heft in a mix.

1 Like