Free BFD Player plugin promises to give everyone access to high-quality drum sounds and grooves

We’re long enough in the music technology tooth to remember when multisampled drum kit plugins such as BFD cost an arm and a leg, so we find it slightly amazing to be telling you that you can now have a version of the software for nothing. How times change.

Derived from the full version of BFD 3, this includes a 5.2GB of drum kits that were recorded in a professional setting. There are 340 MIDI grooves, too, all ready to be dragged into your DAW’s timeline. These are categorised by the likes of genre, tempo and leading hand, which should make finding the beats you’re looking for that little bit easier.

There’s also a built-in mixer - while beginners can simply load up one of the kit-specific presets, those who want more control over their sound can adjust it in a variety of ways. Various routing options, meanwhile, enable you to process your sounds with your existing plugins.

BFD Player can be downloaded for free and used without restriction, but if you want more kits, grooves and mix setups, you can get them via purchasing the dedicated expansion packs. Two of these - London 70s and Dark Mahogany - are already available, priced at $30/£30 each, and more are on the way.

BFD was originally developed by FXpansion, and the first version was released way back in 2003. The software was acquired by ROLI in 2016, and then sold to InMusic - its current owner - in 2020.

You can download BFD Player now. It runs on PC and Mac, both standalone and as a VST/AU/AAX plugin. 

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects… image
Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine