General Information

What is BFD London Sessions?

BFD London Sessions is an expansion pack for FXpansion's BFD3 and BFD Eco. It features the original BFD2 factory library recorded at London's AIR Studios.

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What do I need in order to use this product?

BFD London Sessions requires a registered copy of BFD3 or BFD Eco.

For BFD Eco users, BFD London Sessions expands the built-in library (selected from the BFD2 library) to the full BFD2 library. As such, BFD London Sessions is available to BFD Eco owners at a 50% discount.

It features the same content as the BFD2 factory library so it is unsuitable to use within BFD2.

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How many kits and kit-pieces are included?

BFD London Sessions contains over 80 kit pieces including 10 Full kits, 8 hihats, 23 cymbals and 16 snares! Some highlights:

  • Ludwig 'Spiral' Vistalite that was once owned and played by the late John Bonham.
  • Ringo Starr's Black Oyster Ludwig kit that was used on a number of classic albums.
  • DW Collector's Series
  • Gretsch Round-badge
  • Tamburo Opera
  • FX house kit: 70s Rogers XP-8 with Bosphorus hihat and Brady jarrah wood snare
  • Plus kits from Pork Pie, Orange County, Pearl and Fibes

Snares were carefully tuned to range from deep and loose to tight and ringy with lots of overtones. Drum heads were chosen in order to complement each individual instrument while various types of damping were used when appropriate.

The vintage kits in particular have loose hardware and other supposed flaws - these have all been retained as they add to the character and realism of these instruments.

The resulting library offers a very wide and varied selection of sounds, great for all kinds of music.

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What articulations are included?
  • Kicks: snare, no snare
  • Snares: hit, half-edge (half-way between the centre and edge), sidestick, rim, drag
  • Toms: hit
  • Hihats: closed, 1/4-open, 1/2-open, 3/4-open, open (for tip and shank), pedal (foot-chick)
  • Cymbals: normal hit, bell and edge where possible

Please note that some kit-pieces do not contain all articulations.

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Are Grooves included?

No - BFD London Sessions contains sounds only.

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How big is the download?

2 sets of downloads are available:

BFD3 version: This is approx. 21GB (split into 6x files of 3.6GB each) and can be installed as BFDLAC (compressed format used in BFD3, 27GB) or uncompressed WAV (for use in BFD3, BFD Eco or BFD2, 49GB).

BFD Eco version: This is approx. 13GB (split into 4x files of 3.2GB each) and differs in the following ways:

  • kit-pieces already in the BFD Eco library are removed so that there are no duplicates
  • reduced to 24 velocity layers

Please note that only the BFD Eco version contains kit presets for BFD Eco - these kit presets also reference some BFD Eco factory kit-pieces.

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What kind of limitations exist when using this product with BFD Eco?

When using this expansion in BFD Eco, limitations apply in terms of the audio channels and articulations that are available (this is one of BFD Eco's limitations, as opposed to the fully-featured BFD3 or BFD2).

BFD Eco is a streamlined instrument based on the BFD2 engine.

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Who recorded BFD London Sessions?
  • Engineering and editing: Gareth Green
  • Assistant engineering: Kevin Hay
  • Drumming: Emre Ramazanoglu, Darrin Mooney

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Could you tell me some details about the recording sessions?

BFD London Sessions was recorded in studio 1 at AIR Studios at Lyndhurst Hall, Hampstead, London.

AIR was started in 1969 by George Martin, famous for his work with The Beatles. It moved to its present location at Lyndhurst Hall, a stunning grade II listed converted church in Hampstead, in 1991. It offers one of the best live rooms in the UK.

Studio 1's recording room could be described as medium to large sized. It consists mainly of wooden surfaces with excellent dispersion characteristics and a fast-decaying 'explosive' reverb quality. The size of the room offers a lot of options when recording, with very different reverb characteristics depending on the position and height of ambience microphones.

This room was portioned into a slightly smaller space more appropriate for drum recording, without losing its lush reverberant sound.

The mixing console in the studio 1 control room is a rather special custom Neve featuring 'AIR Montserrat' mic preamps. It was designed in 1989 by Rupert Neve with consultation from George Martin, and is a classic fully-discrete Neve design offering a bandwidth of 100 kHz.

All sounds were recorded through the Neve's preamps into Pro Tools, via Prism ADA-8 XR converters, at 24-bit resolution with a sample rate of 44.1 kHz. No EQ, compression or other processing was used on any channels.

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What mics were used?
  • Kick In: AKG D112 on the beater side or ElectroVoice RE20 inside the kick
  • Kick Out: Neumann FET 47 or CAD VX2
  • Snare Top1: Shure SM57
  • Snare Top2: Neumann KM84
  • Snare Bottom: Neumann KM84
  • Hihats: Neumann KM84
  • Toms: Sennheiser MD421 on top skin only
  • Cymbals: Neumann KM84
  • Overheads: Coles 4038 or Manley Gold reference

Both sets were arranged as stereo spaced pairs, with the Coles in a Blumlein array as they have a 'figure-of-8' response.

  • Room: AKG C12 pair in M/S configuration placed approx. 8 ft. in front of the kit, aligned just above the kick drum.

The use of the M/S configuration in this close room set is intended to facilitate a good true mono room sound, something which is heard in many classic drum sounds. It also has the benefit of being useful for widening the stereo image. The mixing engine in BFD3 and BFD Eco handles the M/S decoding in real-time at the voice level to take advantage of this type of recording.

  • Room2 (not available in BFD Eco): Sony C800 stereo pair placed diagonally 23 ft away from the kit and very high up in the room – around 20-25 ft.

Compared to the close Room, this far room set has a more obvious room 'slap-back' reverb effect. Because of the height of placement, it captures the size of the room well. It has a brighter, more dense sound.

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Do you allow license transfers?

Yes, however:

  • If you're the seller, you must contact us in advance of the sale. If you're the prospective second-hand buyer, you must check that the seller is cleared to sell. If in doubt, contact us.
  • There is a flat $50 fee per product for a license transfer, which can be purchased from our online shop.
  • Review copies, NFRs (Not For Resale copies, sometimes used for in-store demos), etc., cannot be transferred under any circumstances.
  • We reserve the right to refuse a license transfer request.

Once a transfer is authorised and the fee has been paid, the new owner is entitled to exactly the same upgrade paths and technical support resources as if they had bought the product new.

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