Old 02-15-2007, 05:42 PM   #1
charles.monteiro
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Default BFD and other VSTi drumkits

Hi. I'm leaning towards using Reaper in my workflow due to its support for VSTi which unfortunately the otherwise great Adobe Audition does not support. Anyhow, I would appreciate feedback on what folks here use as far as virtual drum kits. Since I'm leaning towards BFD, it would be great to get feedback from anybody that has used in conjuction with Reaper.

The idea is to be record the BFD outputs into Reaper and then generate wav files for the BFD output tracks for the purpose of later loading into AA.

Also, BFD uses certain VST 2.x functionality I recall something about a midi output support ??? and a drag/drop export import support. Perhaps knowledgeable BFD/Reaper users know what this about and if Reaper supports it.

Any advise whatsoever on virtual drum kits such as BFD,Stylus RMX, Groove Agent is greatly appreciated.

thanks in advance,
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:58 PM   #2
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If I can ask a related question, with multi-output drums (I'm using EZ Drummer) , how can I convert them to audio tracks once setup...is render as stems the only option, or can you apply fx or something?

Thanks
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:37 PM   #3
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I know that with a proper BFD setup BFD actually shows up a multiple instruments that can be assigned to specific tracks in your audio/sequencing software, then there another FX can be added to the FX chain and one can subsequently do a master.

So now let me ask a question. Why did you choose to go with EZ Drummer?

thanks
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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as a long time owner of BFD, i can say BFD has the most variety and most flexible library of sounds..

as far as using it as a multi output vsti, its pretty easy and again, very flexible.

you have up to 34 outputs, and you can route any of its mics or pieces to whatever output you wish, you can make them as seperate tracks in reaper.

right now, reaper doesnt have a quick "render to stems" function, but it does have it in the render menu item command

http://www.cockos.com/wiki/index.php...enu_Bar#Render

and you can render stems from here, and then put it in AA. If you want you can render each track with the pieces you want to seperate solo'ed, or you can render all the tracks seperatly from multiple outs.

there is alot of flexibility in REAPER, too; and can only be more to come.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:58 PM   #5
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I tried BFD in the past and had a bit of trouble with it, can't remember all the probs but once I tried EZ drummer I was sold. Real easy to get a groove going and the DFH tones sound great. Plus I record real drums for my stuff so it's just for sketching ideas really. BFD seems to work for a few people in Reaper so I don't think it's a problem here.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:59 PM   #6
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I'm new to Reaper and drum VSTi's but I just ordered Addictive Drums from xlnaudio.com. I've been using their demo in Reaper and it works great. I know people here have been using EZDrummer with success but didn't like the fact that they don't offer a demo version. But thats just me. Addictive Drums has multi-outputs, FX built-in and the samples sound great to me. You may want to check them out as another alternative. I never tried BFD so I can't comment on that.

Hope this helps.

If all works out I will be joining the Reaper Family very soon.

-Kurt
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevosss View Post
I tried BFD in the past and had a bit of trouble with it, can't remember all the probs but once I tried EZ drummer I was sold. Real easy to get a groove going and the DFH tones sound great. Plus I record real drums for my stuff so it's just for sketching ideas really. BFD seems to work for a few people in Reaper so I don't think it's a problem here.
EZ drummer is definetly as it says, easier
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:48 PM   #8
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I have been for the past hour doing more research on what drum kit to get, its not an easy decision. EZ Drummer Superior seems quite complete with functionality , tons of loops, and the add-on for the latin percussion pack is a mere approx $90.00 , the cost of the add-on for BFD is quite close to the cost of BFD. However, I will pay top prize if I'm getting the best , I just can't tell if that is the case right now.

BTW, the toontrack site seems to be down

The top contenders all will have pretty good samples and generating separate outs per drum part can be done which is needed for a good final mix. So I guess that the clincher will be what drumkit allows one to construct a drum part the easiest. Also I guess I'm also assuming that they all allow you to load external midi files. My type of music entails cuncurrently running a drum kit as well as percussion parts so that would be necessary.

Oh and yes I'm actually trying to get away with not using a real drummer , they really drive production costs way up i.e. lots of studio time, translating the requirements for the tune etc, I need a VST drumkit product that gets me there.

thanks
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:57 PM   #9
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BFD also comes with thousands of loops, but the difference is, BFD has no processed samples. It leaves it up to you to process it how you like. EZ drummer may provide a faster sound, but Since they are already processed, theres not as much as you can do afterwards, and the price is to be considered as well.

In other words, BFD is closer to using real multitracked drums that you recorded with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment.
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:57 PM   #10
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Dont forget to have a look at Jamstix too

Cheers
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Brian Merrill View Post
BFD also comes with thousands of loops, but the difference is, BFD has no processed samples. It leaves it up to you to process it how you like. EZ drummer may provide a faster sound, but Since they are already processed, theres not as much as you can do afterwards, and the price is to be considered as well.

In other words, BFD is closer to using real multitracked drums that you recorded with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment.
This is true with EZ Drummer, it's pretty much a compressed finished tone, which sounds damn good actually, though not raw and tweakable. The Toontrack flagship is DFH Superior which is infinitely tweakable, you can also mix bleed which is pretty unique to them, it seems to be the choice of drummers with electronic drums and the sounds are pretty awesome. You need a LOT of RAM to get the most out of this program though, hence why I use EZ Drummer, it's fast and sounds sick.

They're all good programs, it really depends on your needs and your processing power. Do a google for e-drum forums to get the skinny on this.
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Old 02-15-2007, 10:18 PM   #12
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just so you know, BFD also loads kits nearly immediately.

less than 2 seconds -- it loads a few layers first to get the main sound and then it loads the rest in the background as you preview.
you can also preview as you select pieces, something you cant do in DKFHS not sure about EZD --

if i were you i would make a toss up between EZD and BFD, dont even consider DKFHS, it is not a very good piece of programming imo, i have it as well for the sounds, i used to like them in BFD, but i got rid of them after a while.

i would say jamstix is definetly a great tool to use to feed midi to BFD or EZD.

remember the level of detail you are going to get from EZD is also much less than that of BFD (some kit pieces for the expansions have 256 layers!!! thats twice as much as midi can handle, so they are building new round robin type support for each layer, and there are amazing customization options for performance. My BFD runs great in a large reaper project, running kits at full quality with reduced layers on realtime but full on export.

and the customer service is amazing, check out the forum at www.fxpansion.com

skot,angus, and paul come only second to justin and christophe in my book. They are extremely responsive and updates come out often (although not as often as reaper).

but with BFD prepared to do a bit more work for production.

however, the original sound is great too, here is an example of a scratch idea of mine...

i just threw some beats in and crappy guitar and vocals, absolutely nothing done to the BFD kit.

done in reaper:

october2.mp3


PS BFD can also mix all the bleed channels together as well now
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Old 02-15-2007, 10:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Brian Merrill View Post
just so you know, BFD also loads kits nearly immediately.

less than 2 seconds -- it loads a few layers first to get the main sound and then it loads the rest in the background as you preview.
you can also preview as you select pieces, something you cant do in DKFHS not sure about EZD --

PS BFD can also mix all the bleed channels together as well now
Very interesting Jas, I might have to give BFD another try after hearing that. I personally wouldn't attempt DFHS unless I was using V-drums and had a dedicated computer..heard too many stories about guys waiting for it to load into RAM and taking forever. Btw EZ takes at least a couple of minutes on mine to load into RAM.

Can you audition loops and then drag them onto the midi track in BFD?
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Very interesting Jas, I might have to give BFD another try after hearing that. I personally wouldn't attempt DFHS unless I was using V-drums and had a dedicated computer..heard too many stories about guys waiting for it to load into RAM and taking forever. Btw EZ takes at least a couple of minutes on mine to load into RAM.

Can you audition loops and then drag them onto the midi track in BFD?
yeah, for sure.

Im not knocking EZD by any means though -- I see it as a viable solution for those that dont want to dig too deep into certain aspects of mixing/producing -- sometimes i wish i had a magic button to make everything sounda certain way -- but that is where BFD2 comes in -- scheduled soon, its going to have high quality plugins contained within (turned on optionally) with UA or SSL type sounds in them and some nice mixer/fx presets from ppl such as andy johns wrapped into the program.
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:33 AM   #15
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yeah, for sure.

Im not knocking EZD by any means though -- I see it as a viable solution for those that dont want to dig too deep into certain aspects of mixing/producing -- sometimes i wish i had a magic button to make everything sounda certain way -- but that is where BFD2 comes in -- scheduled soon, its going to have high quality plugins contained within (turned on optionally) with UA or SSL type sounds in them and some nice mixer/fx presets from ppl such as andy johns wrapped into the program.
Nice! I found these links if anyone's interested:

http://www.vdrums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29556

http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.asp?m=482025&mpage=1&key=

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Old 02-16-2007, 01:25 AM   #16
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Hey Jason, would you be able to post a BFD multitrack track template for Reaper if you have one saved? It would really save some time setting it up, after your posts I think it's probably worth trying in Reaper. Cheers if you can, thanks.
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Old 02-16-2007, 02:24 AM   #17
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sure, ill see what i can do tomorrow (today)
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Brian Merrill View Post
just so you know, BFD also
but with BFD prepared to do a bit more work for production.

however, the original sound is great too, here is an example of a scratch idea of mine...

i just threw some beats in and crappy guitar and vocals, absolutely nothing done to the BFD kit.

done in reaper:

october2.mp3


PS BFD can also mix all the bleed channels together as well now
for unprocessed drum sounds they sound great
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:02 AM   #19
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completely unprocessed

that sound has nothing to do with me, its the way BFD sounds normally, and there even with the factory kits that you get with BFD sound great!!!!

and there is an upgrade deal for BFD2 for all BFD 1 customers.
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:32 AM   #20
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okay, still don't know what to do , I'll check out the virtual drum specific forums, I do want full control of the mix and if DFHS does not cut it, it seems BFD is the ticket, btw, I noticed that Groove Agent has not come up in this thread which I guess I find surprising, so its not a contender?

The one thing about BFD is that since I need percussions I will have to go for the percussion xpansion package which has an additional hefty price tag.

Good to know that there are folks here that use BFD pretty heavily with Reaper which I'm basically quite sure I will buy at the end of the eval period.
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:48 AM   #21
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GrooveAgent is just Casiochord drums on roids. Not worth it IMO.
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:57 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles.monteiro View Post

The one thing about BFD is that since I need percussions I will have to go for the percussion xpansion package which has an additional hefty price tag.
you are right about the expansions, they are a decent price, but worth it from what i hear, imo.
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:51 PM   #23
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here are the most extensive routing schemes of BFD you will find (using the 17 output version, not the 34 -- i havent dared to use that one yet). There are two master tracks, a master midi and master audio track. Of course you could route what ever you want to those tracks and get the same result. then there are two main submixes of the audio track:

wet mix

which is composed of 3 subtracks, the overheads, the room mics, and the pzm mics.

then you have the dry mix

which has a kick all track

which is comprised of kick in track
and kick out track

then a snare all track

which has snare top and snare bottom

then a hihat track

then a toms all track

which parents over the 3 toms as individual tracs

then you have a cumbals track

which parents over the 3 cymbal tracks individually

.....

so, ill make a smaller one next


but this one is the hardest to make so i made it first...

available as a track template or a project template.
I couldnt attach a project file so here it is:

reaper and BFD
Attached Files
File Type: rtracktemplate BFD massive template.RTrackTemplate (24.0 KB, 437 views)
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Old 02-16-2007, 06:04 PM   #24
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Wow, that's one big f**k off template! Thank you Jason
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:37 PM   #25
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heres the compact version, if you dont need seperate processing of certain channels:
Attached Files
File Type: rtracktemplate smaller BFD template.RTrackTemplate (21.4 KB, 408 views)
File Type: zip Smaller BFD project.zip (3.5 KB, 357 views)
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:53 PM   #26
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hi again, I guess due diligence would mean to ask what you all think of Spectrasonic's Stylus RMX and how it stacks up to BFD and BFD2 for that matter.

Once again thanks
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:58 PM   #27
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stylus is more processed and is basically sliced loops, a really great thing, but very different than BFD.

perhaps malcom could explain
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Old 02-19-2007, 12:45 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Brian Merrill View Post
stylus is more processed and is basically sliced loops, a really great thing, but very different than BFD.

perhaps malcom could explain
Ah well, I love Stylus RMX, but mainly as a tool for drum loops, not a drum-kit replacement.

I haven't used BFD, but from all reports it's very good. I actually use Reason Drum Kits 2.0 when I want a straight drum kit.

Cheers,

Malcolm.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:43 AM   #29
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Quote:
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GrooveAgent is just Casiochord drums on roids. Not worth it IMO.
Well GA 1 is my goto for a quick workable rhythm. The sample set sound more muffled than BFD, but GA has the slickest interface going, for mindlessly changing the texture of the drums.

Yesterday I couldn't get it to run in Reaper no matter what I did, it wouldn't tempo sync, play-other than buzz, and the measure count in GA went to the thousands in a bar or 2.
Today I can get it to work, as long as I get the transport to run by looping an area. In other apps the transport doesnot need to be engaged to Run GA.

My big question, would some give me a link on how to assign VSTi outputs to multiple tracks. I am finding some stuff in reaper that appear non-intuitive, but have only spent a couple hours with it over the last few months. Version 1.805 installed.

thank you
Don
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:14 AM   #30
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I've been using EZ Drummer for a few weeks now, I just got the DFH expansion kit for it. I am a happy camper. there are occasions in my writing where I need a different snare or kick sound, so all I do is put drumagog on that particular channel and voila, new drum..

the only thing I would like to see from EZD is the ability to mix and match drums and cymbals from the different kits, but hopefully that will come someday....

cheers
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:32 AM   #31
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I found the EZDrummer setup thread and made it thru with GA. Good thing you can save templates.

I found that the midi track containing the VSTi has to have 1 event, or be armed for recording for GA to work as expected.
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:03 PM   #32
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the only thing I would like to see from EZD is the ability to mix and match drums and cymbals from the different kits, but hopefully that will come someday....

cheers
geoff

this is a huge disadvantage to me...
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:15 PM   #33
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Quote:
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I found that the midi track containing the VSTi has to have 1 event, or be armed for recording for GA to work as expected.
You might be able to avoid this by turning on the "Always run track FX" option under Options > Preferences > Audio.

Cheers,

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Old 02-19-2007, 01:17 PM   #34
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You might be able to avoid this by turning on the "Always run track FX" option under Options > Preferences > Audio.


I wonder if this would work per track?
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:18 PM   #35
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Thank malcom. that works. As rough as that was to set up, it might be good to have somewhere to ftp track templates for multi-out VSTi.

The next thing I worked thru is that Soloing 1 track in a folder doesn't automaticly send it thru the folder track, and Soloing a Folder track and a track does not limit the output.

IOW, I haven't found an easy way to solo a single track in a folder.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:32 PM   #36
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Quote:
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Thank malcom. that works. As rough as that was to set up, it might be good to have somewhere to ftp track templates for multi-out VSTi.

The next thing I worked thru is that Soloing 1 track in a folder doesn't automaticly send it thru the folder track, and Soloing a Folder track and a track does not limit the output.

IOW, I haven't found an easy way to solo a single track in a folder.
alt-click solo?
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:38 PM   #37
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This can also be set as the default in the preferences/audio 'Solos default to in place solo'

Cheers
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:14 PM   #38
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Default Groove Agent ONETemplate

The attached template will load a folder called GA Folder
the GA MIDI contain the VSTi and is ready to record midi out.
the 4 outputs are summed to the GA folder output.

I am not sure if this is were a template should be posted, or if another person with GA1 could load it without a problem, but I thought it might be useful for someone that hasn't figured out the routing needed for a multi-out vsti
Attached Files
File Type: rtracktemplate GA1.RTrackTemplate (3.0 KB, 215 views)
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Old 02-24-2007, 04:01 PM   #39
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here's an even better version, using less outputs and BFD's routing matrix.

the file "5bus" is the routing matrix config for BFD, you dont need it if you are using the track template, but in case you want to make your own template, you can at least use the routing settings i made

It uses BFDUltra.dll and routes the kick completely to BUS1, Snare to BUS 2, Toms to Bus 3, Hihats have their own channel, The OH, Room, and PZM get sent to the OH channel, and the cymbals get sent to the room channel.

it sounds complicated but it works great.

I only mapped the first page of kit pieces, you can follow my example and do the rest if you wish



Attached Files
File Type: rtracktemplate Better Sized BFD template.RTrackTemplate (20.2 KB, 327 views)
File Type: zip 5bus.zip (231 Bytes, 290 views)
File Type: zip test smaller BFD RPP.zip (3.5 KB, 272 views)
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Last edited by Jason Brian Merrill; 02-24-2007 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:41 PM   #40
Slaptop
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Home, Washington, USA
Posts: 47
Default New guy with a question or 2

Howdy, in reading your posts I got to wondering what is BFD? I'm brand new to all of this, only got Reaper a few weeks ago and have barely scratched the surface, finally learned how to record a track or two but that's all so far, so be gentle in your words as it's all still like a foreign language to me.
I ran across, and just downloaded, a program today called Hydrogen, it's a drum machine, took me a few minutes to make sounds then it started to get clear how; seems simple and complicated at the same time. Does anyone here know anything about it, have any recommendations or comments on it? I looked but couldn't seem to find a user group/forum relating to it.
At this point I don't know if it would be easier/faster to learn all this programming stuff or just learn to play the set of drums sitting in the corner and dust off the old reel to reels : )
I am wide open to suggestions and any help on anything/everything since I am now at square 2.5 in Reaper.
One last question, I found the Reaper keyboard but I can only use it with the mouse, how do I get it to accept input from the computers keyboard?
Thanks for your time and patience with my curiosities.
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