Today we're going to be talking about setting up your Alesis Drum Kit to play with BFD3 so that you can open up BFD3 and start rocking out by default. Since 2003, BFD has been the virtual drum software of choice for producers, mix engineers, songwriters, and electronic drummers around the world and continues to mesh well with Alesis Kits for a powerful experience.
To start, you're going to need an up-to-date copy of BFD3 that has been migrated over to the current BFDDrums system. If you haven't done that/if you are using the old FXpansion version, please see BFD's guide here. Once you have everything installed, we're going to want to hook up our Alesis drum kit to send midi messages directly to the computer. For more information on this, please see our Alesis article here. Please see using your USB Port.
Once you've completed this and have everything installed, let's open up BFD3 your preferred way(either standalone or as a plugin in your DAW) to continue.
Setting a preset default
Next, we're going to want to get BFD mapped to the inputs from the drum module. You'll want to open up a blank project and start with an empty project. From here, we're going to want to go to File>Load Key Map. You'll immediately see a big list of different drum kits. Go ahead and pick yours or the closest equivalent; for example, the Command X kit is going to use the mapping for the Command Kit. Double-click on it to select it.
From there, we're going to want to select a kit that we can default to whenever a project opens. This doesn't have to be the only kit that you use, but it should be a kit that's sort of your go-to kit when you just want to play. On your left-hand column click your Kits section and then double-click the kit that you want to play. From here head back up to File and click the very first option, Save Preset.
After saving your preset, you're going to want to go one over from File to Tools, and this time select Show Preferences. This will open up to the Data tab on the left-hand column, where you are going to want to go down into the Startup area about 5 from the top. Click on the Don't Load Anything drop-down and scroll until we reach the preset that we created. Close the window afterward.
From now on, whenever BFD3 opens a new project, it will default to the kit and the mapping you have selected. Feel free to change your kit from here- the project will save whatever kit you change over to within the project without changing the preset for new projects, and in all instances, the mapping will be set to your module so that you can play regardless of whether you're starting a new project or loading an old one from the point of this setup.
About BFD Player
Our newest Surge and Command X Special Edition kits are now available and will include BFD Player, a plugin and standalone software instrument that delivers top-notch drum sounds with a simple-to-use interface. With it, you'll be able to connect your drum kit to a PC or Mac via USB and unlock an expanding library of add-on premium drum kits that are great for practice or recording into your favorite DAW.
As of this writing, BFD Player is not yet available; it is expected to launch in early 2023. For further updates, please refer to BFD Player's official page. Once available, the software will be found in your Alesis account after registering your product.
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