Fxpansion BFD 2 has become one of my favorite Pro Tools plug-ins. I was blown away by the drum kit sounds that ship with BFD2. Now I’ve begun picking up the Expansion Packs for it. Today, I’m going to tell you about the B.O.M.B. – Big Orchestral and Marching Band Expansion Pack.
What is BFD2?
For those who might not be familiar with BFD 2 – a quick explanation: BFD is an acoustic drum production environment that works as an RTAS plug-in within Pro Tools. BFD 2 is easily one of the most powerful and flexible drum production tools ever to hit the market. You can read a more detailed explanation of how BFD2 works, here.
What are BFD 2 Kit Pieces?
In order to fully appreciate the details of B.O.M.B., let me first explain what I mean when I say “kit piece”.
In BFD2 a kit “piece” is a collection of samples of a particular drum or percussion instrument being played with various articulations (ie: direct hit, rim shot, sidestick of a snare), at various velocities and with various mallets: for example – sticks, brushes, and hotrods for snare, or felt beater and plastic beater for kicks drum.
When you load a kit piece into BFD2, you’re actually loading samples of each articulation, at each velocity, recorded with multiple microphones in direct, room, overhead, M/S or ambient configurations.
For example, the 694MB Yamaha 10″x14″ High Tension Marching Snare kit piece included in B.O.M.B. is made up of the following:
- Drag: 55 Samples
- Flam: 45 Samples
- Hit: 77 Samples
- Rim: 59 Samples
- Side Stick: 35 Samples
Listen to this snare drum. The performances you’re hearing are also included in B.O.M.B. as MIDI files.
That’s the High Tension snare with snares on. Another 659MB kit piece is included for the exact same drum with snares off.
B.O.M.B.: Big Orchestral Marching Band
The B.O.M.B Expansion pack is 38GB of new kit pieces for BFD2. As you’d guess from the name, the emphasis here is on Orchestral percussion (chimes, snares, timpanis, bass drums, cymbals) and Marching drums (snare, bass drums, toms, cymbals).
In my opinion, B.O.M.B. is a refreshing break away from the overwhelming number of electronic or pop and rock drum libraries out there. If you’re like me and you’re always looking for new, creative ways to add some depth and interest into your music B.O.M.B. is a no-brainer.
Listen to a demo of B.O..M.B.
The B.O.M.B package
The B.O.M.B expansion pack consists of two DVDs and a booklet inside a nicely designed digipack. There is a serial number in the package as B.O.M.B. needs to be registered and authorized before you can use it.
The Kit Pieces
There are 96 new kit pieces in the 38GB of the B.O.M.B. expansion pack. Here’s some pics of a few of them.
Listen to the Musser Concert Chime kit pieces. I loaded three of them – C, E, A and played each at two velocities.
How the Sounds Were Recorded
BFD B.O.M.B was produced, recorded and edited by John Emrich at Omega Studios, Rockville, Maryland. As well as being an experienced studio engineer, John is also a retired (after 20 years) Chief Musician from the US Navy Band, Washington, DC. Seems like the perfect guy to put together BFD Big Orchestral Marching Band.
Microphones and signal paths
Focusrite Red preamps were used for all direct channels.
Shure Beta 52, Neumann FET47
Neumann KM184 B (top and bottom)
Quad toms, hand cymbals, suspended cymbals and FX
Neumann KM 184 B
Crown PZM30GPG (2) into Neve console preamps
Royer 122s in a Blumlein pair, into Vintech Dual 72 preamps
Neumann U89 (omni) (2) into Focusrite Red preamps, then into SSL bus compressor
Alternate Room (PZM/Amb3)
Neumann KM83i (2) recorded with a Jecklin disc into Neve console preamps
B.O.M.B. provides sounds that I wouldn’t necessarily have sought out if it weren’t for this expansion pack being available. But now that I’m using them, they’re inspiring all kinds of new ideas and helping me expand my sonic palette by making it easy for me to add some less common, yet beautifully captured marching drum and concert percussion instruments into the mix.
- Expansion pack for BFD1.5 & BFD2 with 38GB of new sounds
- Set of four timpani covering 1.5 octaves, each pitch recorded with felt and wood mallets
- Full set of orchestral chimes covering 1.5 octaves
- 4 tonal bass drums with multiple beaters
- Concert bass drums including a 40″ played with three different beaters
- Marching quad toms played with sticks, mallets, and hotrods
- 7 marching and orchestral snares played with sticks, brushes, mallets, and hotrods
- Groove suite featuring drum-corps and marching performances, hip-hop street beats and more