I’m back with the second drum sample plugin from Fxpansion, The BFD ECO review.
FXpansion has been one of the industry’s foremost independent music software developers since 1999. Headquartered in London, with a worldwide team of creative engineers and passionate musicians, the company has established a growing range of plug-ins and applications which consistently win press awards and inspire a large and devoted user base.
FXpansion’s mission is to push the boundaries of audio software. Its products introduce fresh ideas and new musical possibilities while providing intuitive, usable interfaces for creative people to harness technology for artistic expression.
Brief history: Founded in 1999, FXpansion’s first products included plugin format conversion utilities and DR-008, a powerful drum synthesis/sampling instrument years ahead of its 2001 release date. In 2003 it released BFD, a revolutionary acoustic drum sample instrument which brought studio-grade multi-channel drum mixing within the reach of everyday musicians & composers. GURU was the company’s next major release in 2005, a sampling drum machine and loop slicer with a fast and creative work-flow that spawned a slew of imitators.
BFD2, released in 2007, and its ever-increasing library of compatible expansion packs built on an already wildly successful platform, making it the most flexible and feature-packed software drum solution on the market. 2009 saw the release of FXpansion’s first full-scale synthesis product, DCAM: Synth Squad. In development for 6 years, its included instruments typify the ethos of the company: forward-thinking technology, cutting-edge sound quality and new sonic possibilities, alongside innovative user interface ideas to make sound design easier and more intuitive.
About BFD ECO
BFD Eco is a streamlined, fun and affordable software instrument for acoustic drums, based on the award-winning BFD2 engine. Supplied with a selection of the best BFD2 sounds, it can also be expanded with the wide range of FXpansion and 3rd-party add-ons.
BFD Eco’s versatile mixing and EQ/FX section allows sculpting of the kit and the lush ambience for any musical situation, with a multitude of genre-based presets to get you started. Meanwhile, the integrated Groove player delivers diverse, ready-made drum patterns full of flavour and realism.
Featuring an interface perfectly balanced between ease of use and flexibility, BFD Eco is provided as a standalone application and as a plugin for conveniently injecting realistic and powerful drums directly into your projects.
- Highlights of BFD ECO
- 5 kicks, 6 snares, 12 toms and 3 hihats
- 11 cymbals and selection of percussion
- 15 built-in effects including EQ, filtering, dynamics, drive, reverb and more
- Groove section with over 1500 patterns, by Groove Monkee, and advanced humanization
- Customizable keymaps and electronic drum support
- Built-in Stereo audio export
- Over 40 great-sounding presets
- Full plugin integration for your digital audio workstation
- Compatible with FXpansion and 3rd-party expansion libraries
- Upgrade path to BFD2
BFD ECO was downloaded from the Fxpasion page, and was divided in 2 installers.
Installer 1 contains the Application and the plugin files. installer 2 contains the samples.
The first thing i notice is the size of BFD ECO, the 2 files together has a weight of 818MB.
Installation is quick and when you install the sound files you can set them to be installed where ever you want.
A neat feature with BFD ECO is that it comes just like the big brother BFD2 as both plugin and standalone.
activation is a breeze and starting up the standalone is done in a matter of seconds.
The GUI is a optamized version of BFD2, and this is mainly due to the lesser options given by BFD eco.
But all in all the main differences betwene BFD2 and BFD ECO is not to big its just different , and BFD ECO is easy to adapt to if you’ve been into any of the most common drum plugins.
The main window (Kit page)
As you can se, BFD ECO does not look allot like BFD2, but the clean main window does not mean less control.
I am actually impressed with the GUI of BFD ECO, and there is allot of nice features even though it has less controls in the main page the added static mixer is a great feature, this would not work in BFD2 due to the extension and functionality of the mixer page.
On the top left you se the buttons for the three pages in BFD ECO.
The Kit page, The Channel page and the Groves page.
There is also two small buttons for some additional Program engine options and a support button.
On the right hand side you have three preset windows.
The top one is for complete preset, the bottom left is for kit presets and the right is for mixer presets,
Fxpansion continues to give allot of preset options and this is a very nice feature.
In the middle you see a big drum kit, and as in most drum samplers this has a main purpose to pre listen to the drum kit and pieces to hear what they sound like.
Below the drum kit you find the mixer, where you can easily control the volume, pan, and activate fx1 and fx2.
It is nice to have the Mixer like this, you always have it close at hand.
On the lowest section of BFD ECO you find controls for bleed, tune, dynamics,
Human velocity and V2A (amp controls) for the specific drum piece. midi assignments, system usage a transporter section and tempo/Timing elements.
The Channel page is where additional Tweaking take place, you might have thought that BFD ECO would have had less control? well to be honest so did i.
But when you click around in the Channel page you realise it is all there in one way or the other.
This makes BFD ECO even of its size very easy to tweak for your own sound.
BFD ECO gives static EQ plugin for all busses and channels. and you can ad additional 2 FX per channel.
You also have on OH, one room two AUX and a master channel.
The Grove page is probably the thing i did not like in BFD ECO, I’m sad to se that Fxpansion
decided to make it more or less a player with some small options.
The reason i feel like i do about the Grove section is that the Grove Section in BFD2 is the best there is around,
and it would have been great to se it in BFD ECO as well.
A nice thing though is the ability to export a complete groove sequences to an audio file directly from BFD ECO.
As usual here is a small sound demo –> Click
++++Great starter plugin
+++++ The price, (Its at the moment sold for only 29$)
++ the size.
+ the sound
— the groove section
BFD ECO gave me a mixed feeling.
The idea and sounds good at the size BFD ECO comes in.
If Fxpansion had given each kit piece and the room / OH a little bit more samples the sound would not feel so static as it does when you do more speedy beats.
But at this size and price I’m very happy with what BFD ECO does and sounds.
So who is BFD ECO for?
Well BFD ECO does its job very well and with the current price i recommend everybody to get it.
For 29$ it is well worth it and it does give some more sounds to your collection.
And if you have two computers (stationary and laptop), then this is great for your laptop.
For songwriters on the road,or a band who just need a quick recording done its a great little toy.
But don’t expect the high end sound you will get in BFD2.
Thank you Fxpansion for giving me the chance to review BFD ECO.
And to all my readers.
Hope to se you back soon.