FXpansion BFD Jazz & Funk review

  • £129

Time to buy a bigger hard drive as FXpansion roll out another 110 gigabytes of lovingly recorded drums for their BFD drum system

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Our Verdict

VERDICT Two more steps forward for BFD, which is fast becoming an industry standard. Deluxe is good, but buy Jazz & Funk first.

For

  • Good range of beautifully recorded sounds. Incredible performance flexibility and expression. Jazz & Funk’s various hit types work well.

Against

  • 55GB each! Deep drum programming know-how a must.
Buying options

You certainly can’t accuse FXpansion of slacking when it comes to providing ongoing support for BFD. The XFL and 8 Bit Kit expansion packs took their flagship plug-in to new heights in terms of flexibility, boosting its library with a raft of genuinely useful and sonically diverse new sounds.

Now we have the third and fourth add-ons – both Jazz & Funk and Deluxe boast a whopping 55GB each of additional tubs and metalwork, though the Reduced Detail option means that each can be ‘summarised’ in a mere 25GB.

Installation of both packages is straightforward, their authorisation involving nothing more than the entry of a serial number. With each one comprising five DVDs, however, getting all the samples copied over is by no means a quick process, though the fact that BFD 1.5 supports two data paths means that expansions can be installed on a different drive and don’t have to go in your existing BFD folder.

Delicate

The number of velocity layers in play is impressive, with up to 90 for each snare, 40-60 for each tom, and 25-40 for the cymbals and hi-hats. The hats are presented in quarter- and three-quarter-open versions as well as the open and half-open configurations of the original BFD. As well as the regular stick versions, many of the kit pieces also come in mallet, rod, hand, cross-stick and brush iterations, with long and short brush sweeps for the snares (hard to play via an electronic kit, but wonderfully expressive when carefully programmed).

Deluxe is a more ‘conventional’ soundbank, recorded by the legendary Steve Albini (among others) at his own Electrical Audio studios in Chicago. The kits here include a 70s Ludwig Vistalite, a DW, a Sonor Designer, a Yamaha Pro Tour, a double-kick-equipped Gretsch and a Backyard Drums prototype. The majority of the cymbals are from Zildjian, though there are Sabians, Paistes and Wuhans here and there.

Tech Specs

DescriptionBFD Jazz & Funk Collection is centred around three kits - a Slingerland, a Yamaha and a 6-tom Gretsch.
GenresBlues Country Funk Hip-hop Jazz Pop RnB Rock Soul
Year2006