BFD, Digidesign Strike, or some other Pro Tools MIDI drum solution?
December 6, 2007 11:43 AM   Subscribe

Pro Tools drums: BFD, Digidesign Strike, or something else?

I've been using BFD Lite, which came bundled with the MBox 2. I think it is fantastic, but I find myself wishing I had the full version with all the kits and functionality.

But Digidesign has a competitor to BFD, called Strike, which I have seen reviews of but have not used. And from what I have read, it looks like Strike might have some functionality that BFD can't match. But does Strike sound as good? Is it as usable?

When constructing drum tracks, I have, so far, used the following approaches, in addition to actually playing real drums:

1) Old-school drum machine programming before the days of Pro Tools. These days are over, but I am very adept at drum machine programming;

2) Constructing a beat by copying and pasting recorded drum sounds and files into separate audio tracks in Pro Tools. This is great for certain kinds of beats, but not so much if I want it to sound more real, particularly for stuff that's supposed to rock;

3) Midi drums, either programmed or played via USB keyboard controller. I have used BFD Lite, the sounds in Xpand! and whatever my buddy with a Logic system has.

#3 is the one that I'm wondering about BFD, Strike, or something else for. I like being able to play the beat out in real time on the keyboard, which I am quite good at. I would also like to be able to take a preset beat loop and edit where in the loop the various hits are. I have no use for drum loops in BFD or something like that if I cannot edit the loops themselves in MIDI form or some other form. I would like to be able to apply the humanization features, swing, and that sort of thing both to edited loops and to MIDI drum tracks that I create from scratch.

Has anyone here used BFD and Strike and anything else good? Can you make a specific recommendation as to which one, or neither, or a different one that I don't know of, would meet my needs?

While it will often be used in conjunction with other drum loops, percussion samples, and sounds on other tracks, I would like it to sound as good as possible on its own, as I do both the demos for my band on my system, with me playing all instruments, and also produce and record my own music of several styles for other projects and commercial use.


Oh, and in case it makes a difference, I'm running Pro Tools LE 3.[something] through an MBox 2 on an Intel-powered Mac Mini with 2GB of ram.
posted by The World Famous to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
On the sounding good front, I've heard a lot of good things about the samples in Drumkit from Hell. It comes available as an AU or VST plug-in, so you can control it from a MIDI track, which of course you can edit any way you want.

The last time I put together a song, I used NSKit, which is cheaper and still has a free version. There's not as many samples in it, but what it does have sounds right. I was mapping the samples to MIDI with sfz, but it looks like you can use Kontakt 2 with it now.

Aw, man. Looks like sfz has been bought by Cakewalk and is no longer free. Man, it's been a while for me, I guess.
posted by ignignokt at 1:46 PM on December 6, 2007

If you haven't already, you might want to ask over at the DUC.
posted by chillmost at 3:46 PM on December 6, 2007

Just a follow-up:

BFD just came out with BFD2, and that's what I'll be getting. I held off when I found out the new version was coming out.

posted by The World Famous at 11:33 AM on December 20, 2007

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