BFD Heavy – Expansion
I’m back with yet another Fxpansion drum review.
This time I’m going for a Mini review with their Expansion BFD HEAVY.
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.
FXpansion is proud to present BFD Heavy, a BFD2 and BFD Eco expansion pack containing a pair of immaculately recorded Yamaha birch drumkits, supplied with a set of presets perfect for heavy rock, metal and other styles that require powerful, weighty drums.
The Recording Custom is the kit that signalled Yamaha’s arrival as one of the dominant forces in the world of drumming. This all-time classic birch kit comprises 2 powerful kicks, played with felt and wood beaters, alongside 4 toms featuring superb attack and sustain, and played with sticks. The Birch Custom Absolute, meanwhile, is the culmination of Yamaha’s 25 years of experience in crafting birch shells. Offering a great alternative to maple, birch shells feature excellent mid and low end, with a sharp and vibrant attack. The 5 toms are played with sticks and mallets, while the kick is provided in wood and felt beater versions.
A bonus ‘lite’ Yamaha Jimmy Chamberlin signature snare is provided to complement the kits. This steel-shell snare is provided in 4 versions played with sticks and mallets, with the snare strainer on and off. Full-detail versions of this snare are available in the Yamaha Signature Snares vol.2 expansion pack.
BFD Heavy’s expressive articulations include rim shots and rim clicks on the Birch Custom Absolute toms, while the bonus snare kit-pieces feature half-edge samples for expressive programming and electronic drums positional sensing support. The recording sessions took place at Omega Studios in Maryland, USA, using premium mics and preamps by Neumann, ATI, Neve, API and Violet, amongst others. Recording conditions were identical to those for other Yamaha-based downloadable expansions and the BFD Jazz & Funk, Percussion, B.O.M.B. and JEX libraries. BFD Heavy is also designed to sound great with BFD2’s built-in sounds as well as with BFD-compatible libraries recorded in other locations.
This download-only BFD v2.1 expansion pack includes the following kit-pieces:
Recording Custom 10″x10″ Power Tom
Recording Custom 10″x12″ Power Tom
Recording Custom 16″x16″ Floor Tom
Recording Custom 16″x18″ Floor Tom
Recording Custom 18″x22″ Kick Drum
Recording Custom 18″x24″ Kick Drum
Toms played with sticks, kicks played with felt and wood beaters.
Featuring Remo heads (Toms – Clear Pinstripe / Kick – Powerstroke 3)
Birch Custom Absolute 8″x8″ Tom
Birch Custom Absolute 9″x10″ Tom
Birch Custom Absolute 10″x12″ Tom
Birch Custom Absolute 14″x14″ Floor Tom
Birch Custom Absolute 16″x16″ Floor Tom
Birch Custom Absolute 18″x22″ Kick Drum
Toms played with sticks and mallets, kick played with felt and wood beaters.
Featuring Remo heads (Toms – Coated Ambassador / Kick – Renaissance Powerstroke 3)
Bonus snare in 4 versions:
Jimmy Chamberlin signature steel 5.5″x14″ Snare (Sticks, Strainer on)
Jimmy Chamberlin signature steel 5.5″x14″ Snare (Sticks, Strainer off)
Jimmy Chamberlin signature steel 5.5″x14″ Snare (Mallets, Strainer on)
Jimmy Chamberlin signature steel 5.5″x14″ Snare (Mallets, Strainer off)
Equipment used for the recordings
Kick In – Shure Beta 52 / API 3124 preamp
Kick Out – Neumann FET 47 / API 3124 preamp
Kick Resonant – Yamaha Sub Kick / Neve VR console channel preamp
Snare Top – Shure Beta 57A / API 3124 preamp
Snare Bottom – EV N/D457 / API 3124 preamp
Snare Side – Violet Design Flamingo Jr. / ATI 8MX2 preamp
Toms – Violet Design Globe / ATI 8MX2 preamp
Overhead – Matched pairs of Nuemann KM184s or Violet Design Black Knight mics / ATI 8MX2 preamps
Room – Violet Design Globe with protoype omni capsules / Focusrite Red preamps
Amb3 – Nevaton MC404 stereo mic placed in the center of the room / Metric Halo ULN2 preamps
As usual Fxpansion has a nice page to listen to the kit pieces —-> KLICK
Impression and conclusion
Before i go i need to say that writing a big review on a expansion is hard this is why i made a mini review.
Making an expansion is probably a hard task?
It has to be new, it has to have a target group of users and not just be extra drums that you feel have kind of the same sound as the default drums did.
Toontrack has been very good at making this reality, i know that The metal foundry felt like a complete new drum sampler.
So how did Fxpansion do with BFD Heavy?
I have to say that Fxpansion did not let me down at all.
BFD Heavy stands out allot from the default kits in BFD2, There is a bit of bite in BFD HEAVY.
A specially the kicks and toms stands out from the default library, The kick drums do not sound as round as the default kicks do and you can much easier achieve a modern new metal click sounding kick or a fat rock bite kick.
The toms i fell in love with, now i can achieve that more close to Toto sound i like.
I will not go for Pros and cons with an expansion if its not tied to the default set like with Superior drummer 2.
Its either you like or you don’t,
my impression of BFD Heavy is that Fxpansion gave us rock / metal people a nice ad to BFD2.
One thing to ad is that the issues i had with not all toms mapped in the default library keymaps was sorted with BFD Heavy, some of the presets uses all tom slots and that is an extra bonus point.
So if you have BFD2 and you are in to rock, blues or metal.
I would recommend that you grab the BFD Heavy expansion.
I give BFD Heavy 4/5 since i feel that one of these kits should have been in the
default library to give the users a bit more choice.
Thanks for reading and i hope to se you back soon
I also want to Thank Fxpansion for hooking me up with BFD Heavy