For you who did not know it the annual TOONTRACK metal month is upon us..
Now the EZdrummer expansion or EZX we are looking at today is not a METAL EZX but hey
Toontrack Music was originally started as a production company for composing game and movie soundtracks. In 1999 producers Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah and Mattias Eklund of Toontrack Music decided to design a sample library for their own use.
They called Tomas Haake drummer of Heavy Metal band Meshuggah to record the drum samples. The library was called Drumkit From Hell.
Toontrack really made a revolution back then and what they did With the original DFH changed the way drum samples sounded forever.
INDIE FOLK EZX
The Indie Folk EZX was recorded at the Avast! Recording Co. in Seattle, home to bands such as Fleet Foxes, The Shins and Band Of Horses. It comes with three complete vintage kits: a 1960s Gretsch Round Badge sampled with both sticks and mallets, a Ludwig from the 1950s as well as a Slingerland Rolling Bomber kit dating back to the 1940s. Also included are two tambourines, a hi-hat mounted tambourine jingle, an extra kick and snare as well as a 28″ floor tom. Source
The INDIE FOLK EZX comes with 3 complete KIT´s, here follows the product specifications.
KIT 1 – 1961 Gretsch Round Badge
Kick: 14 x 22″. Head: Powerstroke 3, Ambassador Bass
Snare: 5 x 14″. Head: Vintage A Coated, Ambassador Clear
Racktom: 9 x 12″. Head: Ambassador Coated, Ambassador Clear
Floortom: 16 x 16″. Head: Ambassador Coated, Ambassador Clear
Recorded with both sticks and mallets
KIT 2 – 1940s Slingerland Rolling Bomber with calfskin heads
Kick: 14 x 28″
Snare: 6.5 x 14″
Rack: 9 x 13″
Floor: 12 x 14″
KIT 3 – 1950s Ludwig
Kick: 14 x 20″. Head: Powerstroke 3 Bass, Aquarian
Snare: 5.5 x 14″. Head: Coated Ambassador, Ambassador snare
Racktom: 9 x 13″. Head: Coated Ambassador x 2
Floortom: 16 x 16″. Head: Coated Ambassador x 2
1960s Zildjian A 19″
Zildjian K Constantinople 18″ (sticks and mallets)
1960s Zildjian A 16″
1960s Zildjian A 14″ (sticks and mallets)
1960s Zildjian A 22″
Zildjian K Light 24″ (sticks and mallets)
Zildjian New Beat 15″ with mounted tambourine jingle
Zildjian K Light 16″ (sticks and mallets)
Kick: 22″ Gretsch Round Badge 1958 without front head. Head: Coated Powerstroke 3
Snare: 7 x 14″ Slingerland Artist. Head: Coated Powerstroke 3, Evans 300 Hazy
Tom: Ludwig 28″ Floor Tom. Head: Ludwig original
Tambourine KS Source
The GUI of EZdrummer is nothing new, we get a classic white KIT placed in a cool old rehersal studio Toontrack always find a image to fit the sound!!
The Indie folk EZX comes in two different configurations, a full MIC setup ( See images above) and a 4 MIC setup (Images below).
Working with INDIE FOLK EZX
The KIT´s in The INDIE FOLK EZX keeps the EZ Drummer legacy and a loaded KIT only uses roughly 250MB ram and the CPU meter in PreSonus Studio One only shows a 02% usage that’s just insane when hearing the results of EZdrummer.
The sound of the INDIE FOLK EZX is spot on, it has a classic roundness with a warm roomy feeling that makes this EZX not only suitable for Indie rock but classic rock and ballads as well.
Routing each Channel to its own output is Just a click away and here is something I LOVE with EZdrummer! Depending on the amount of channels EZdrummer will tell the DAW how many outputs is available so you don’t have 30 outputs but only 5 is actually used by EZdrummer, thisa small built in flexibility / Organizer that just makes things EZ.
Here is a small tune I put together in PreSonus Studio one and then rendered with each of the included Gretsch, Slingerland and Ludwig KIT´s.
I enjoy trying out new Expansion for EZdrummer as I know I am in for a treat, For some reason I never stop being amazed by how realistic and full the sound is at so low resources.
The whole idea with EZdrummer is that is should be EZ and the tweaking we can do is Volume and panning in the built in mixer and in addition to that we can tell EZ Drummer wither we want the snare bottom MIC to allow bleed from other drums and if we want the Overhead MIC´S on or off… and THAT’S it..
TOONTRACK has once again delivered a great expansion for the impressive EZ Drummer and if you are in to rock / Indie rock… there is no doubt you will love having the INDIE FOLK EZX arround.
I would like to thank Toontrack for letting me do this review!
And to my readers…. THANK YOU!!!!
I’m back again, and this time we are going to look at the new Adpack for the XLN Audio Addictive drums that goes by the name Black Velvet ADpak.
Before we start, I would like to thank XLN Audio for letting me do this review.
The Black Velvet ADpak is the sound you always wished you could afford! A modern classic dressed in black captured with a large, epic sound. Created with the grunge/post-grunge era in mind, with roots in alternative rock transcending to an expensive arena rock-band sound, this takes you on a journey from Seattle to LA. This ADpak is made with the highest demands on everything throughout the whole recording chain, capturing the unmistakable raw attitude in a luxurious package.
Its time for something i like allot, A Drum sound/expansion review!
Steven Slate Drums 4 aka SSD4 is a flexible drum instrument plugin with excellent sound, fast workflow and easy to use GUI. Today we will have a look at the new Chris Lord Alge expansion for Steven Slate drums 4, This expansion is also available for Trigger.
Steven Slate know that to come with something new to the Recording world is tough, And when he wanted to make an Expansion for SSD4 and Trigger it had to be exceptional.
To manage this he brought along a man who know and understand every detail drum recording, and can set that exceptional drum sound, MR Chris Lord Alge!
In the Spring of 2012, Chris Lord Alge revisited his recording engineer roots and recorded multiple world class drumkits at OCEAN studios in Burbank. He then mixed all the drums in his classic style in his LA mixroom using the same processing chains that you’ve heard on all of his records. He even printed a sample layer of his famous SONY reverb unit on the kicks and snares. The result is some of the fattest, punchiest, most mix ready virtual drums in the industry! And now you can use these classic Chris Lord Alge drums in Steven Slate Drums 4 Virtual Drum instrument and Steven Slate TRIGGER Drum Replacer/Enchancer. Source
12 Drumkit Presets (SSD4)
Kick Drums: 22” and 24”
Toms: 10”, 12”, 14”, 16”, and 18”
Ludwig Black Beauty
Ludwig Chrome Plated Steel
Pearl Reference Maple
Pearl Reference Brass
Pearl Steel Sensitone
Tama Bell Brass
A closer lookHere is the CLA Rock 01 loaded up in SSD4 kit view, as a VSTI in PreSonus Studio One PRO v2.
The Chris Lord Alge expansion comes with 13 ready to use presets, But when we start digging deeper we find that there is more to this expansion that allows for great tweaking options and a huge variety of sound.
Here is the CLA Rock 09 loaded up in SSD4 Cell view, as a VSTI in PreSonus Studio One PRO v2.
When we go into the Instrument section of SSD4 we find that the kicks comes with additional features, HB=Hard Beater, SB=Soft Beater, wS= With Snare and OT = Over the Top. OT (Over the Top) have a crushed ambient sound (especially on the Overheads), this is meant to be used as blends for more more excitement and low end punch.
Taking a look at the Snares section we find that there is a nice variety of Snares in the Chris Lord Alge expansion I know people have been asking for “The Dong”, One of the snares that I like to have in nearly any setup is the Dry Pearl as it only has a slight OH bleed so I can use it to get more od that nice snap to the Snare sound.
As we head into the SSD4 mixer we find Close mice channels for Kick in / Out and Sub, Snare Top, TopB (second mic taped to 1st ), Snare Bottom, Toms, and Hi-Hat. These are followed by a FX, OH, RoomA , RoomB and and Mono Channel. I love the Room A/B feature as it allows me to tweak specific room sound for specific drums this is simply said even more flexibility.
Working with the Chris Lord Alge expansion
The Chris Lord Alge expansion follows the original SSD4 standard and I just love how fast I can load a kit, change some instruments to my liking and adjust the bleed levels.
Then I decide to either keep all channels on one buss / channel in my DAW or set multi out option for further tweaks, Adjust some EQ and one of my favorites is to use the FabFilter
Pro-C a great compressor that is great for anything such as parallel compression.
I can not mention this enough but the room A and B feature is nearly addictive, I can alter sound in so many ways and I can get the room spread for a perfect mix.
And Remember all SSD4 instruments including the Chris Lord Alge expansion responds well to additional Tweaking for even more personalization.
Here follows a video of some of the Kits and MIDI grooves included in the Chris Lord Alge expansion. In the end of the video is a tweaked kit where i also tweaked the drum sound with additional effects.
In these modern times with a lot of great sounding Drum plugins on the market it is hard to create something new, but If you read my SSD4 Platinum review you will know that i highly recommend it as its very fresh, flexible, easy to use and just sounds AMAZING!
When I got the Chris Lord Alge expansion and loaded it in SSD4 I was shocked over the detail and extremely nice punch it had, how many options I got with just a small twist of a bleed knob or adjustment of a channel level. The more I messed around with the expansion the more I found how exceptional it is, the special tweaked individual kicks and snares adds that extra feel to the sound, Using the DRY variations allows for some very interesting personal tweaks and the RoomA and RoomB channels opens up a huge variety of options.
Since SSD4 has a fast and easy workflow, and it allows you to easily combine the SSD4 instruments with the Chris Lord Alge expansion you will be able to quickly get YOUR sound! In the end it is how you combine and tweak the sound that gives the personal touch, and the options are nearly limitless!!
So If you want one of the best sounding expansions available on the market today, And you own either Trigger or Steven Slate Drums 4 then the Chris Lord Alge expansion is a must have! If you don’t have Steven Slate drums 4 I recommend you to get it… it is that good!
The price for the Chris Lord Alge expansion is at the moment set to $199, A good price for what you get.
If I miss something it would be a optional tweaked version of the Toms , a easy way to get a 5 Tom setup and maybe one or two presets that use 5 Toms and Double kick for the metal maniacs.
The Chris Lord Alge Expansion is just amazing, Good job everyone involved in Steven Slate drums 4 and the Chris Lord Alge Expansion.
I want to thank Steven slate drums for letting me do this review, And to my readers…
Hope everything is great!
I am back with a new review and its time for the Toontrack Mastering EZmix Pack for EZmix.
Do you feel that you sometimes had that tool that could lift you MIX, Let us say that you are on the road and need to get your latest song ready and don’t have the time to tweak things to perfection, or maybe you’re a Songwriter that just want your demos to sound professional.
I would like to thank Toontrack for letting me do this review.
Here is Toontracks introduction to the Mastering EZmix pack.
Mastering is an art in itself as well as the final and crucial step in making great mixes sound even better. That’s why we wanted one of the best in the business at the helm when designing the presets for this pack. Meet Mats "Limpan" Lindfors, senior engineer at Cutting Room, the leading mastering studio in Scandinavia. "I tried to make this pack cover as much ground as possible", he says. "I wanted everyone to find great mastering settings no matter what kind of music they are working on".
The Mastering EZmix pack comes with a wide variety of signal chains for the most common mastering needs and music genres. Whether you are working on a loud metal song, a mellow jazz tune or a big house anthem, this pack has one-click settings to take your mix from great to fantastic in no time.
Give your final mixes that extra little bit of detail and attention. Start mastering – it’s EZ!
Mastering is the final audio processing step before a song is ready for distribution. All tracks you hear on the radio or on albums are mastered. In simple terms, mastering means you take your final mix and add various amounts of EQ, compression and limiter to make it sound as great as possible whether you play it on a car stereo, a hi-fi system or a compact mono radio.
What is EZmix 2?
EZmix 2 is a preset based multi-effect mixing tool that lets you assign pro-designed audio processing signal chains to any audio source. Be it guitar, bass, vocals or drums – with EZmix 2 you’ll make great sounding mixes in no time!
What you get
The Toontrack Mastering EZmix pack comes loaded with 50 different mastering presets, this will cover every music category on the market and will most likely have the last little tweak you need.
So how does it sound?
When I first heard of the Mastering EZmix pack I was a bit skeptic even though I knew how good EZmix 2 sounded and how EZ it was to use. The idea of a EZ to use Mastering tool did however sound like a dream come true, so I was very interested in how it would sound.
I have had the Mastering EZmix pack installed for a while now and I have to say this is one amazing tool, I can now lift my mixes in a couple of seconds and the result is just amazing.
Where I normaly just have a limiter on the Master channel I now only have EZmix 2 with one of the great presets in the Mastering EZmix pack.
if there is something that comes out to strong I just adjust one or both of the knobs or change preset.. THAT is how EZ it is!!
I try to do a video as often as I can when doing my reviews, and this time the song is 90 % Toontrack products used inside Cubase 6.5, Drums is Toontrack Superior Drummer 2 with the Music City USA SDX, Piano is EZkeys but for the bass Toontrack has not come out with a BASS instrument so I used Halion 4.
From the first time I heard a Toontrack product I have been impressed with what they do, they always deliver hi quality products but don’t rip your wallet apart with high prices.
Toontrack is once again spot on with the Mastering EZmix pack, EZmix 2 is a great tool to start with but the Mastering EZmix pack is just FANTASTIC!!!
Never again will my mixes feel dry and boring, Now you can get the professional sound on your songs that you always wished for.
If you already own EZmix 2 then what are you waiting for, if you don’t.. GET IT!!
The EZmix 2 + Mastering EZmix pack is a KILLER combo, and the price to get the Mastering EZmix pack is ONLY € 35,00 that is just a silly low price for what you get.
- Easy to use
- Great sounding
- Huge amount of presets
- The Price
“Toontrack is once again spot on with the Mastering EZmix pack, EZmix 2 is a great tool to start with but the Mastering EZmix pack is just FANTASTIC!!!”
I would once again like to thank Toontrack for letting me do this review!
And to my readers….
I’m truly sorry that I am not posting as much as some would wish at the moment.
The new apartment is getting more and more to the state it should be and I have a ton of reviews coming your way as soon as possible.
Today we are going to have a look at Another SDX from Toontrack, The Custom & Vintage.
Before I go on I would like to Thank Toontrack for letting me do this review.
The Custom and Vintage SDX is an expansion pack for the award winning Toontrack Music drumsampler Superior Drummer 2.0. It features extensive stick and brush recordings of a unique collection of drums and cymbals.
The SDX gives everyone from top producers down, access to the cream of custom and vintage drums, built by craftsmen from the 1920s right up to the exceptional instrument makers of today, like Johnny Craviotto.
Most of these highly prized instruments (like a 1920s Ludwig Black Beauty, or Craviotto Timeless Timber) can only be found in the collections of top studio drummers or hired from rental facilities in the major music centres of the world
Recorded at 2Khz studio in London using an EMI TG Desk used for many legendary recordings of the early seventies including The Beatles Abbey Road and Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon. It is considered one of the best sounding desks ever made.
The Custom and Vintage SDX was played by Chris Whitten. The drummer on classic hits like What I Am by Edie Brickelland The New Bohemians and The Whole Of The Moon by The Waterboys.
Whitten was hailed as a world class drummer playing on Paul McCartneys Flowers In The Dirt album and subsequent record breaking World tour, and Dire Straits 18 month On Every Street tour. Chris has also recorded with such varied artists as Johnny Cash, Julian Cope, World Party and The Pretenders.
The Custom and Vintage SDX was produced by Peter Henderson who started his career at Air Studios where he trained and worked with Beatles recording engineer Geoff Emerick (Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road etc). as well as with the legendary George Martin.
Henderson produced Supertramp´s 20 million selling Breakfast In America, for which he won a Grammy. He has also worked with Paul McCartney, Rush, Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck, Tina Turner and Ringo Starr. Source
What you get
The Custom & Vintage SDX delivers 6 Kicks, 20 Snares, 7 Hats, 20 Toms, 11 Rides, 18 cymbals and 1 Count in Sticks sound. The complete Kits in this SDX are Noble & Cooley Star Series, Camco Oaklawn, Slingerland Studio King, Ludwig Keystone Drum Set and Gretsch Round Badge Drum Set. The complete installation of the Custom & Vintage will take roughly 12GB Space on your hard drive, but the installer can also slim the package down if you don’t need all the tools included.
Now Toontrack always ads a set of MIDI files and so you also get a nice set of MIDI files that fits the Custom & Vintage concept to use for your music.
For a more info on whats included go to https://www.toontrack.com/products.asp?item=56.
Working with Custom and Vintage
The GUI in Superior Drummer 2 is no news and there is no difference when loading the Custom & Vintage SDX. The mix layout of Custom and vintage has direct mic channels, Overhead, Ambience , Mono room and Comp room. The Kick has both in and Out channels and the Snare comes with Top and Bottom channels.
When it comes to Working with Custom & Vintage It follows the Superior drummer 2 legacy delivering a huge variety of alternative hits and velocity layers giving the user complete control of the drums without any machinegun effects.
And as with all Superior Drummer library’s there is a huge headroom for additional tweaking.
So how does it sound?
The Custom & Vintage SDX delivers what its supposed to, that classic rock sound we all know from artists like Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Paul McCartney, Rush and Frank Zappa.
This SDX rely is state of the art for anyone looking for a classic drum sound.
To show you how the Custom & Vintage sounds I have created a little sample video showing you each of the five Kits loaded with no Effects. I also include a lite tweaked Sample that I made to show you how it sounds with some tweaking.
I am impressed, The custom & Vintage is a great expansion for Superior Drummer 2, it has that classic feeling to it that just makes me smile. The Custom & Vintage is a SDX I can recommend with all my heart as it does not only sound awesome, it comes loaded with different kit pieces so you have a huge variety to work with and to top things of…… 4 TOMS!!
If you are looking for a rely sweet expansion to your Superior drummer 2 library, and you are not into hardcore metal I truly recommend you to check the Custom & Vintage SDX out.
- Great classic sound
- Huge variety of kit pieces
- 4 Toms!!!
“Custom & Vintage is a SDX I can recommend with all my heart as it does not only sound awesome, it comes loaded with different kit pieces so you have a huge variety to work with and to top things of…… 4 TOMS!!”
Thank you for reading and I hope to se you back soon as there is more reviews to come.