For my acoustic drum VSTi needs, I have been a long term use of BFD (version 1.5), but my relationship with BFD has been love / hate.
The sounds are good but usability and reliabiltiy have sometimes been an issue for me.
I decided I wanted a 'simpler' solution. Not a comprimise on sound quality, but something that gave me top notch drum sound quality, 1000's of MIDI patterns, with fills, etc, and something easy to use; I don't need to mess with the drum mic set-up, etc, etc, I just wanted high quality patterns, with variations and fills, that I can drag and drop into a track in Reaper. I wanted to set up a drum track, with variations and fills in, like, 5 minutes!
Initially, I looked at DrumCore, as I got the free version from Computer Music magazine. DrumCore definately gives that easy 'usability' with a good, open browser and drag and drop. The performance of the playing is also top notch. But I was far from impressed with the sound quality of the recording of the drums. Perhaps DrumCore opted for a more 'dry sound' but to my ears, the drum parts sounded a little lifeless, flat and quite boxy.
The following month, CM magazine this time gave away EZ Drummer Lite, a heavily cut down version of EZ Drummer, which is usually bundled with some DAWs.
What a difference! Ridiculously easy and nice to use, a lovely GUI, fantastically arranged and performed parts, and absolutely top notch sound quality. The sounds are 'ready to use' in your track and by that I mean that they sound processed. Not over-processed, just processed; so if you add further processing, they will soon over-cook. The mixer section allows you to adjust bleed levels and mix your sound as you please. You can reduce that 'processed' sound and get a much drier sound. I personally like something in between.
The sounds are BIG; would they prove too big in my tracks, stealing all the thunder ? The answer is no, they just sound convincing and superb.
It was a wise decision of Toontrack to give EZ Drummer Lite away in the CM mag, because in my case at least, after using the lite version, I immediately wanted more, and ordered the upgrade to the full version, later the same day!
On that note; if you are thinking of buying EZ Drummer, the full price is £99. But if you buy this month's CM Magazine to get the free copy of EX Drummer Lite, you get entitlement to buy the upgrade version of EZ Drummer, which Time+Space are selling for £58. (Total cost £63 instead of £99!).
100% "BFD uninstalled and happy with my new high quality, low maintenance drummer"
What it says on the tin...