Why does BFD3 seem unpopular, mostly for westerners?

BFD3 is perfectly stable for me, the only problem I’ve experienced was a DRM SNAFU, which has wasted a day or two for me here. Which admittedly is getting a reputation.

Not sure why size is mentioned. BFD3.app is 153kb.
I’m def into mixing my own drums, it’s crucial to me and I learned mixing drums in and owing to BFD.
So while some find it clunky or difficult I like it how it is because habit and muscle memory and wouldn’t like the changes others might. These are all personal subjective POV things, not facts.

“work heavily on the work flow and abilities like searching patterns and tempo”
You’ll need to form that into an actual feature request. I don’t know what that sentence asks for.

Dead on with this observation. To be clear, my mix reference is not exactly Aja, but there’s something really nice about well articulated drums with a bit of grit/dirt/etc in the mix. Had initially tried a “vintage console emulation” on all channels but all I got was ‘cloudy’, just sounded like random noise film. Tried various configurations of parallel processing and perhaps lightly grinding individual channel through different preamps but didn’t love what that was doing to the body of the drum sound. Still exploring a combination of preamp gain+THD into a tape plugin on the bus.

Had a couple of false starts with the UAD card which has me evaluating the bang-for-the-buck vs native alternatives. I seem to have missed the opportunity to upgrade to newer versions and to do so now would be considerable, even with sales. Investing again in their limited lifetime HW dongle apparently only comes with the same “legacy” versions of what I already paid for. Investing a comparable amount in CPU cores vs their HW should prove to be a better choice in the long run with the availability of suitable comparables.

That’s great to know that some people have a perfectly stable BFD3. Unfortunately that’s not the case for everyone, as you can see through the number of threads about this kind of issue (crash, migration, sound cutting…).

Addictive Drums 2 is 2 to 10 gigs, BFD3 is at least 55… The number speak for themselves ? Superior is, if I recall well, more than 200 gigs. If you library is just 153 kbs I want to know what compression algorythm you use ! :upside_down_face:

““a complete VSTi similar to AD and SD in the quality it delivers, BFD is really behind.”
is that a fact. So use those things if that’s how it is. It’s not stuff I recognize. :shrug:”"

Well, yes ? Toontrack is well known and used, it’s a fact, and the reason has been stated by fellows in this thread. At least ideas on why it is so used. And AD also… Google trends and other tools like this(semrush.com…) is pretty much used by professionals in order to measure an interest.

My initial question is genuine and understandstable. I have a real interest on comprehending the uses and motivation of engineers & musicians, and I care for BFD as I really like this software. I think it’s the same for you, but if you think this threat is a nonsense… Well… thank you for your participation :wink:

FromAutumn there are many decent points you make and I am sure the other programs you mention are are very good but:

1 Self interest powers my desire for a successful BFD4 as I have nearly all the Xpansions (over 600 gig)

2 I do not play metal so that rules out slate and I don’t care for the more heavily produced and smoother sound of Superior Drummer. I mix in the DAW and I want to keep in that way.

3 I know how to use BFD3 and I like what I know. It keeps things simple.

4 Contrary to other peoples experience after the initial migration issue 3.4 has proved to be very stable. The various xpansions have all been picked up and none of my projects have been interrupted. What’s not to like?

I realise that not everyone has had the same experience as me, however, I can’t help thinking that some clarity in the migration instructions was lacking, as well as some confusion in how the user applied these instructions, contributed to the the general dissatisfaction.


Search drums video on Youtube. BFD is really non existent. In particular, when you take some very high following reviewers, they don’t promote BFD. So people just follow these opinion leaders.

BFD need a good promotion on youtube and to be used by some important youtuber.

I personnaly hate them for various reasons, but for the in the metal, example fluffy and ola enlgund are the kind of people that could boost your audience…


Exactly this. Even the BFD Drums YouTube channel has zero content? I mean, I know FXpansion did a few tutorial vids, but the new crew should be re-doing tutorials, going over expansions and ways to mix kits, etc. I mean start banging out content.

Henning Pauly (EytschPi42 on YT) is a pretty well-known vlogger on YT and has notoriously used BFD over the years in his productions. He’s considered on of the best at programming MIDI drums and would be a great choice to partner with in some way to get the word out there.

There are infinite things they could be doing marketing-wise and as of right now, they’re not doing much. You get in what you put out.

Start working with online resellers and put some random expansion packs on sale every month or so (separate from the bigger sales), to try and reel some new users in.


Yes, BFD needs more online presence.
XLN audio seems as dead as BFD (0 promotion from them - except some tutorials published a few months ago) but people still use it and promote it through (mostly) covers thanks to the accessibility of addictive drums. We can also find people sharing presets here and there. Price + plug & play + great design is encouraging.
BFD3 has its own great assets like the many possibilities it allows. Unfortunately, beside people demonstrating libraries, there is next to nothing. But I’m sure the BFD team is aware of all of that, and I wonder how they will act for BFD4.

I use BFD in everything I do (well, a few things on my channel arent BFD), so I’m planning on making videos for my YT channel using a lot of BFD synced up with drum machines and the rest of my external gear. This is why I’m pursuing my Tiny BFD project with a Raspberry Pi. I want a Tiny BFD to use on the move, or to just slot in with other tiny kit I have. To be able to make a video with just BFD and one other item would be great, without a ‘PC’ or a big screen being used until mastering.

I cant see my little channel helping much, but its what I’ll be doing eventually :slight_smile:

Shameless self promotion, this is all BFD3 -


My two cents: it’s market profile. It’s been years since BFD3 came out and by all indications, FXpansion didn’t really seem to care about it…so why should we? (Long before it was bought out). I also didn’t initially buy it because of the GUI change. So without company enthusiasm, it just sort of sat in the background, decomposing as a brand and drum vst option. (Just my perspective).

In the meantime, other drum vst makers have at least kept a regular cycle of development to indicate that there is some upward movement. Nobody wants to bet on the sleeping horse.

I think that’s why it may have floundered here in North America. However, when I listen to the drum samples themselves, they are top notch. So, it’s a problem of good product/bad cheerleading.

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Because, in my opinion, there is not better sounding and fully featured drum vst out there

I don’t get that, BFD are on version 3 as is Superior Drummer. Addictive Drums is still on version 2.

Yes, both were released after BFD3 and it’s true that SD3 took a big step in the direction of BFD3 but didn’t draw level in my opinion. I’d still give BFD Eco the edge over AD2

The BFD team have openly said they felt Roli was bad for BFD development and had they been able to stay a part of fxpansion or merged with a company that really wanted to push the curve then we may well be complaining about how buggy BFD4 is by now.

Were they ever really that popular in the US? I don’t think they got close to Superior drummer or even EZdrummer in terms of sales. I spent years arguing the cause for BFD2 and 3 on the cakewalk forum and some people eventually got it but many were resolutely toontrack followers.



I think what @rolandk is saying still kinda has merit tho. BFD being around for 20 years and up to version 3, SD and AD havent been around any where near as long (did they really both come out after BFD3?, wow), and have way less (initially) confusing interfaces and more of a market push, and BFD did seem to just stall in terms of support, and expansion packs too. I think a regular release of expansion packs has helped the competition stay more well known and used, too. Fresh expansions means more regular fresh reviews and eyes on the main product. The alternative definitely seem to be more popular on the Reaper forum and the consensus seems to be (rightly or wrongly, in my experience so far with BFD, very much wrongly) that inmusic are box shifters (whatever that means in this case) and ‘where software goes to die’. This definitely doesnt seem to be the case from what we’ve seen on here. Despite the migration problems, development is clearly ongoing and squashing issues regularly.

Personally, its BFD all the way for me, the realism doesnt seem to have any competition at all, but I guess those of us wanting that realism or that can hear the difference are in the minority.

Is AD the light version of SD? I never got my head round them as I didnt need to :slight_smile: But from what I saw in passing, its still being supported whereas BFD Eco seemed to just be left to die on a beach from sunstroke somewhere :slight_smile:

And like you say, people can be die hard followers, especially once theyve bought into the product line. Humans seem to glom on to a product, product line, or manufacturer and then stick with it, so trying to change minds becomes a steep hill to climb.

I can definitely see all this changing now BFD seems to be very active again.

i would love to see BFD3 on par with Superior Drummer 3. i bought into BFD3 because of the sound… to me it sounds better than the lot out there but imo it is and always has been kinda clunky to work with. i sure hope that changes in the near future with inMusic at the helm. they DO have the money to invest in improvements… that is… if they WANT to invest in it. fingers crossed lol


The first Drum vsti that I owned was LM-4 (Steinberg), so I’ve had a chance to watch the development of a few drum samplers from those earlier days (post LinnDrum/Yamaha drum machine era).

I think BFD was at least somewhat popular in US before there were other options, simply because there were so few competitors. But when FXpansion was kinda letting things slide and others started coming onboard with new samplers (riding the coattails of the originals, obviously) I think people went with what was new and seemed to side with the product that had the most enthusiasm from its developers - and buyers.

I’m looking forward to what’s coming up with BFD+ and as long as I can get BFD3 to keep working, I’ll be happy for now.


Now, BFD3 has a plenty of expansions. Maybe a bit less than AD2 but XLN didn’t put anything new for a while now, and are still the common way to go.

I think what lacks to BFD is that there is not producers talking, no “making of”, anything that brings hype. It’s a bit dull, there is not sparks.

Steven Slate, Perfect Drums, Drumforge are also not really mentionned anywhere, beside Steven being almost an (old) industry standard (for rock/metal), so BFD is not the only one left aside. But it’s the only one that even being top notch and offering variety, is ignored.

Right now I’m having a discussion with one of my band, I’m trying to convince them to let me use BFD instead of GGDrums for our next record. GGDrums is excellent but they are being seduced by the already produced sound that it can offer and the reputation it has, unlike BFD.


I hope you win that convincing game :slight_smile:

BFD’s realism cannot be beat, and the options for producing drums like it would be done in the studio is beyond compare.

But I guess we already know that :slight_smile:


Steinberg’s Groove Agent was one I toyed with too, version 1 or 2 I think, was quite a while ago now. And then I guess Kontakt has a lot of kits.

More options than ever, but I do think BFD can really come out ahead with that realism and depth thing. If it can get an interface that is simple at first glance and then full of all the really extensive options upon further looking, I think that would likely attract a lot of new people. Atm there is a bit more of a ‘looks complex and deep’ thing right from first glance, which is great but I would imagine is also very daunting to newcomers.

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I actually found - for me - bfd very easy to pick up.

I like - and use - GA4 and the Kontakt Abbey Road stuff, though I find them more tricky to use than BFD.

But - put simply - BFD are more realistic followed with a close Superior 3.

But at the end of the day it’s down to personal preference.



Haha… my first drum vsti was also LM-4! You know for the time, it was actually quite good. Pretty realistic samples. Back then I spent $400 for Cubase, my first real DAW. I was using it with a purple G3 iMac, with no audio interface and just a small mixer going in and out of the analog jacks in the iMac. I had no idea what I was doing back then.

When I moved on to another Mac running OS X, I never upgraded my Cubase and eventually got into the whole Pro Tools ecosystem. Whilst I’ve gotten used to Pro Tools, I kinda wish I stayed with Cubase. A lot of time is wasted jumping around different DAW’s. I definitely miss Cubase’s drum editor.


It’s amazing how things have progressed since those old days. I remember buying an Apple “dual audio” machine @533 Hz X 2. (OS 9) Cost a fortune and was still so inadequate for software based recording (whereas pro tools systems had their HD card stuff, so it didn’t matter too much what machine you had back then).

I used Cubase in 1993 in my studio. I think I’m old enough to be carbon-dated by now. :smiley:


Around 2005 is when I got a MDD Dual 1.25 G4, but I was just running Pro Tools Natively with an LE system eventually. My sessions weren’t crazy demanding though and I was able to get my sketches down and run BFD 1/2 no problem. That was my first “Pro” Mac computer and it was a beast. I cried when I took it out of the box. Hehe.