The future of BFD license - a cautionary tale


I would like to direct the developers of BFD to this post at the forums of this obscure audio developer.

tl;dr: Steinberg announced a new license in November that would require an online check every 30 days. The forums pretty much caught fire and Steinberg said, we hear you, no check, it’s a perpetual license so it should be perpetual.

This is what we want from BFD, not be treated like criminals for actually buying the software.



I’ve actually dropped Cubase and crossgraded to Studio One 5 for this very reason, so this announcement comes too late. I feel users have to make a stance otherwise companies will just go ahead and do what is convenient for them.

If BFD Drums carry on along this route (and nothing so far has made me think otherwise) then I’ll be dropping them and probably going SD3.


Too late for that. Its in the dumpster here. This app is a complete cluster of a LM

Steinbug was moving to the same spot here as well until this change today

InMusic is the WORST thing to happen to BFD. I will NEVER buy ANY product under their name BTW, NONE


Hear! Here!

InMusic (the place where software goes to die) has a family simple calculation to make:

Will they lose more from alienated customers who’ll never spend another dime with them, or from piracy?

I’ve never pirated anything.

I’ve bought BFD3 and some expansions, but I never will again as long as this paranoid licensing nonsense is in place. I’m a casual user who digs the sounds, but who isn’t going to bother to go through the punitive time-waste required to use it. This nonsense is the straw on my camel’s back. Fix it or f*** it.

For the record, this license paranoia goes back to the FXpansion RTAS wrapper days for me. My computer died. I wanted to use the license from the dead machine on a new machine. Request denied. I shoulda known better.


To be honest, I don’t really care about the licensing schema as long as the software works. BSD does not work on my Mac mini M1. I’ve paid good money for the software but since neither FXpansion nor inMusic ever promised that they will update it to run on any Apple machine, the chances of being successful with a lawsuit are slim.

I would never buy anything from inMusic for the known reasons, but it was not my decision in this case.

I’ve settled my deadline. If BFD does not work on my computer until end of February 2022, I will delete it and never use it again.

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I have it working here on both intel and M1 machines.

I found you have to make enough noise ( to get their attention, for someone @ bfd to DM a functional Installer, labeled as “”.

Def not optimized for M1, but functional…

good luck,

Thanks for pointing this out and it is good that BFD is running for you. But I’m not ready to try pre-release versions of $ 300 software that has already been paid for. I want a serious product with an official installer. This is what I bought, plus two small extensions. A temporary installer from a friendly developer would probably bring BFD back to me (for a while?). He could have sent me one after I gave him the crashlogs he wanted. But maybe I am not important or not loud enough.

Half a year ago I had a similar case with other software that is still not officially running and I had to sell the instrument for which the software was made. I don’t put up with anything like that any more. Now it’s all about whether BFD has a future on my Mac or not.

Sorry for sounding rude, but I’m not iMusic’s playground.


Earlier in this sequence, I communicated to my two preferred outlets regarding the cluster that was occurring with this product, suggesting that they might not want to get stuck in the middle of this one. One did not respond. The other just gave me a “I’ll forward your info to our product engineers…” Since then, however, I see that neither of them have BFD available anymore.

Sometimes these sales of software products to ‘holder companies’ with (some of) the original develoeprs can work - look at the good work done by Bandlab on Cakewalk. InMusic tho, it sometimes feels that there is a just small pool of devs, possibly servicing alot of products, that only respond to issues - rather than an overall Product team, investing in the future of the product. I hope I’m wrong, I hope that BFD gets the investment it deserves.

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I don’t know about that. AIR Instruments has turned out quite a few instruments in the past few years. It’s true there isn’t much buzz about them, but Loom, for instance, is a prettty neat tool. Hybrid never really had any expansion packs before, and now there are several.

72 days ago I wrote: “I’ve settled my deadline. If BFD does not work on my computer until end of February 2022, I will delete it and never use it again.”

Well, the end of February is tomorrow and there is apparently no timeline for an update. BFD does still not run on my Mac mini M1. The developer wanted crashlogs, I sent them and got no reaction at all. BFD is deleted from my disk. Forever.


This Mac M1 question should be one for the FAQ. A little public update here n there for what stage of progress youre at, and how the wait might be, a bit of knowledge about where the progress is might stop losing customers who dont get a response, who fall thru the gaps, they can at least see that some communication is happening publicly.

Honestly, FAQ’s are on every other forum. Get a minion to put it together. Hire someone :slight_smile: Something! :slight_smile:

Every customer lost is at least a few other potential customers being told that BFD isnt worth the hassle.


Sorry that things didn’t work out for you. I think customers do have to take a stand. That said… I can’t think of any developer that delivers professional product, customer service, etc., on a consistent basis. Laissez-faire capitalism has decided there’s no “profit” in it. The computer industry and its fans ride the complacent culture they engineered via special pleading (“you don’t understand how complex software is”, and “software can’t be held to the same standards as [insert any other industry here]”).

It’s good to have a hard limit… and I wish I’d known where this all was going when I was 12 years old. All of my interests rely on computers and I hate them with a passion now. There are so many developer websites that I log into on a monthly basis to see if anything has been resolved. I frequently leave empty-handed.

That said… Credit where credit is due: BFD Drew got my BFD licensing sorted, and a beta version seemed to address one of the most time-wasting bugs that was driving me mad. inMusic doesn’t care, but Drew does. If you have not worked with Drew to try to resolve your issues with running BFD, and have refused to run a beta, then that’s your choice, but it also may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. ALL software is beta anymore. If a beta gets you running, that may be better than dropping the software you’ve already invested in.

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Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Not so sure about the caring!

Time and again, from reading this forum, person after person on here has gotten help with the current version of BFD from Drew. So, either he cares, or he’s really good at doing a job he doesn’t care about :wink:


It’s because of this licensing debacle with BFD that I’ve finally had enough and sprung for Superior Drummer 3. Yes it wasn’t cheap but the peace of mind of not having to worry if my drum s/w will come unlicensed/unauthorized in the middle of a session with the customer in the house right next to me was worth it.

This is what happened: customer and I listening on a track and he asked for a change in the drum sound. No worries I said and proceeded to open up BFD 3. That went ok and we tried some different sounds. Both he and I were getting a little ear tired and took a 10 minute break. Went and grabbed a cup of Earl Grey, came back in and went to pick a different drum (snare to be specific). BFD throws up an error message saying that it’s not authorized. Talk about embarassing. Re-authorized which meant putting my daw comp online which I don’t like to do if I can help it.

Anyway we finished the session and I apologized to the customer. Only the second time in the last 20 years I’ve had to do that. I don’t know what BFD Drew has against it but why doesn’t he just go iLok and de done with it? These days you don’t even need a physical iLok.


I’m fine with iLok if it means no more BS. I’ve been using an iLok hardware dongle since 2007 and never had any major issues. I’ve got Steven Slate drums on there and it works every time.


Interesting views dysamoria, You seem to have gone deep in the road and still some points there come as rather strange… Agree with the laissez-faire extremism of things around, together with the global thrust pushing tech, cities and what not? into novel territories. My take is that our wants more than our complacent conservatism has taken us to some of these states.

And your “hate them (computers) with passion now” most probably being more of a saying than an unexpected trap, because early on it was clear that angst projected against what PCs was putting in front of us, was more telling of ourselves than about those machined devices.
Which brings us to the main underlying point imo; we are Humans. Developers, engineers and designers are too, and so various expected and unexpected cycles and events are there in the timeline bound to happen.
Equally I do have folders of bookmarks, several frequently visited… after some time I do positively guess when they are prone for feature requests, bug squashing, out of the dev loop, and some.
One got married, had a baby. other opened another forum on another endeavor, etc and etc.

And companies do have business cycles too and I have already posted at GS and KVR a little about it, not much interest then, but here and there there are long term view posts like yours.
About BDF, I do trust and welcome inMusic take, in the midst of the investment fonds era, missions hold stronger with such middle sized conglomerates. And I do like the other companion firms and they are active in good ways mostly.
Thanking Drew! also

Whats the difference between a subscription style verification process and a subscription verification process? If you were a company considering going subscription mode, how would you lay the ground work for that? I would hazard a complete guess that this is where InMusic is going with most of its brands, if it hasnt already.

I really hope BFD are able to avoid removing the word ‘style’ from this process.

1:18 Info on BFD’s subscription-style verification process

This is actually a very good video for the correct process with installation Very clear and to the point. @BFD_Drew you should consider posting this as a sticky here on the forum. I think it would alleviate a lot of users’ initial install/authorizing problems.

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