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Review: Toontrack The Blues EZX

Toontrack The Blues EZX

Toontrack’s latest expansion for EZdrummer and Superior Drummer 2.0 is The Blues EZX, a sound library featuring two drum kits and MIDI grooves played by seasoned drummer Hans Lindbäck.

The Blues EZX comes with two complete kits; A 1970s Gretsch And A Calfskinned Swedish Levin set from the 1940s.

On top of that, it features contemporary Paiste and Sabian crashes, vintage Zildjan A and K series cymbals as well as extras such as a suitcase and a set of calfskinned tambourines. All instruments were handpicked and in many cases road-worn by the sampling drummer himself, a blues musician with more than half a decade worth of experience behind the kit playing the blues.

The Gretsch kit includes a nice versatile 14×20″ kick drum, a deep, fat sounding 5½x14″ Slingerland Radio King snare, and 8×12″ and 14×14″ toms. An alternative preset is available for the Gretsch kit, swapping the kick and snare with a suitcase and a 30′s 6½x14″ Premier Brass snare.

The Levin drum kit includes a deep 14×28″ kick, a 60′s Premier Wood 5½x14″ rich sounding snare, and high and low tuned 9×12″ toms. These drums all have calf skinned heads.

One hihat is included in all kits, a 14″ Zildjian New Beat/Rock Beat combo, another choice for versatility. The cymbals include vintage 60′s Zildjian A and K series rides (19″ & 20″) and crashes (10″, 12″ & 18″), as well as a 16″ Paiste crash and 16″ and 18″ Sabian hand hammered crash cymbals.

Finally, two additional Grover Tambourines round off the setup.

The Blues EZX comes with a library of MIDI grooves, 13 songs in total in shuffle, swing, straight and 12/8 categories. Song include a number of grooves with closed hihats, open hihats, cymbals, breaks, fills, intros and endings. The library spans a large variety of tempos, from 80 to 198 bpm.

Check the video below for a quick impression of the sounds and grooves.


Toontrack’s Blues EZX for EZdrummer and Superior Drummer 2.0.

So what do I think?

Product: Toontrack The Blues EZX
Format: EZdrummer / Superior Drummer 2.0
Price: 69 EUR / $89 USD
Like: Spot on drum sounds and grooves, versatile kits
Don’t like: –
Verdict: 9/10

The Blues EZX drums and cymbals have been sampled with a good variety of articulations and the included kit pieces offer sounds for a range of styles, from jazz to blues to pop/rock. Hans Lindbäck provides a great set of songs with plenty of variations, interesting fills and breaks, and most important, an authentic blues vibe.

Having played guitar in a blues band for a number of years, I really enjoyed The Blues EZX. It feels very natural and I would have loved to have the sounds of these drum kits in our band back then. While to me, blues is all about playing together, this sound library is great for rehearsing, working out ideas, or doing studio work where you would normally get a session drummer.

In short, the Blues EZX is a solid, high quality set of drum kits and grooves that are great for blues music and beyond.

More information: Toontrack / Time+Space

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Toontrack updates Beatstation to v1.0.3 (incl. 64-bit Mac support)

Toontrack Beatstation

Toontrack has updated its Beatstation virtual instrument to version 1.0.3.

This update is recommended for all users but particularly for those running the latest operating systems released by Microsoft and Apple.

At its core, Beatstation marks the next step in Toontracks evolution of creating virtual instruments that are both simple and effective to use but also very powerful sound design & music production tools.

Changes in Beatstation v1.0.3

  • New Features:
    • 64-bit hosts support on Mac.
    • Support for EZX/SDX preset instruments as specified by the library configuration files.
    • A new Toggle Metronome option has been added to the Settings menu (standalone).
  • Fixed in version 1.0.3:
    • The crash on Japanese systems in Sonar should no longer occur.
    • A bug in the sample recorder causing crashes on Mac has been fixed.
    • A number of memory leaks have been fixed.
    • Fix for drag and drop to the plug-in in Pro Tools 10.0 or higher on Mac.
    • MIDI and REX grooves start from the beginning when not syncing to the host timeline and are played for the first time.
    • You now always get the same MIDI loop when dragging as the one that is played – no new random flam.
    • The default layout has been changed to 6×4 in the full version (as in the demo).
    • The instruments in the Sounds tab are now alphabetically sorted (except Bass and Lead, which are always at the top).
    • Clicking below or above the scroll handle should no longer shift the contents of the browser more than a page at a time.
    • Key 120 on the lead pad, a key with no function, is now hidden.
    • The mouse wheel now works on a secondary screen to the left of the primary screen (Windows).
    • Horizontal mouse wheel scroll support on Windows – shift+vertical wheel can also be used.
    • The standalone window position is now properly saved even if the window is minimized on Windows.
    • The standalone host now constrains the window position to the current screen size at startup.
    • The ‘Set Plug-In Path’ menu entry can now be found in the Settings menu in standalone mode.
  • Content update:
    • The default instrument has been improved for MIDI playback of our various drum MIDI.
    • Misc non operational changes (pad labels, etc.).

Beatstation for Windows and Mac is available to purchase for $129 USD / 89 EUR.

More information: Toontrack / Beatstation

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Toontrack launch up to 50% off Winter promos

Time+Space has announced that throughout December, Toontrack are offering multiple discounts across their range of drum software including 40% off Superior Drummer, 30% off EZdrummer and 50% off the crossgrade from EZdrummer to Superior and 50% off SDX Expansion packs.

Toontrack up to 50% off at Time+Space

Toontrack’s multi-award winning Superior Drummer virtual drum package is the industry standard used by a wide variety of leading producers all over the world. Its innovative set of features make it an essential tool for anybody wanting to create the most realistic drum performances possible using a computer.

Also available for Superior Drummer are six SDX Expansion packs which add additional kits to the Superior library giving more options and possibilities when using the software.

If you’re new to virtual drums, EZdrummer is a great choice – simple, affordable and compact, this plugin will give you excellent results in just a few clicks.

Maybe you’ve already got EZdrummer? Why not take advantage of these deals and crossgrade to Superior Drummer for even more control over your drumtracks? And if you own any EZX expansion packs – no worries, these will work with Superior too!

Toontrack Winter promos

  • 40% off Toontrack Superior Drummer 2.2.
  • 50% off the Toontrack Superior Drummer Crossgrade from EZdrummer.
  • 30% off EZdrummer.
  • 50% off SDX expansion packs for Superior Drummer including Custom & Vintage SDX, Lost New York Studios SDX, Music City SDX, Metal Foundry SDX, Roots – Brushes, Rods and Mallets SDX, Roots – Sticks SDX (offer excludes The Roots SDX Bundle).

More information: Toontrack at Time+Space

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Toontrack releases Koloss and Joey Sturgis S2.0 Producer Presets packs & Metalheads MIDI

Toontrack has announced the release of two new presets packs for Superior Drummer 2.0, and Metalheads MIDI, collection of MIDI files from the Metalheads EZX.

At Toontrack, November always means Metal Month. It’s the annual celebration of metal music and a month filled to the brim with new sounds, new tools, new grooves, competitions and fun! Check out the site and join the party!

Toontrack Metal Month

New Metal Month releases

  • S2.0 PRESETS – KOLOSS — This preset for Superior Drummer was modeled after the drum sound on Meshuggah’s “Koloss” album and features samples from the actual recording session. Engineered by the man behind the “Koloss” album mix, Daniel Bergstrand!
  • S2.0 PRESETS – JOEY STURGIS — Having worked with numerous rising stars such as The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria and Emmure, Joey Sturgis has become the go-to guy for the perfect modern metal mix! Here he shows you how he tweaks Superior Drummer!
  • METALHEADS MIDI — Now up for grabs: the MIDI from the Metalheads EZX! Twelve classic Meshuggah songs, captured flawlessly via MIDI by Tomas Haake himself, organized both as full songs as well as song parts so you can customize, dissect and use his drumming brilliance to create your own grand metal compositions!

The S2.0 Presets packs are available to purchase for 12 EUR / $15 USD each, the Metalheads MIDI is 25 EUR / $29 USD.

More information: Toontrack / Metal Month 2012

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Toontrack Rock Solid MIDI released

Toontrack Rock Solid MIDI

Toontrack has released Rock Solid MIDI, a collection of drum MIDIs by Ryan Vikedal.

This MIDI pack comes from the Rock Solid EZX and features former Nickelback drummer Ryan Vikedal. With an emphasis on mid tempo and heavy material, this pack is the perfect match for any modern rock or metal song.

Focussing on what really matters in the end, the groove, this pack delivers exactly what it sets out to – rock solid drums. Find the foundation to your next heavy rock song right here – this pack has the verses, choruses, bridges and fills to take your material to the next level.

The MIDI pack is available to purchase for 25 EUR / $29 USD.

More information: Toontrack / Rock Solid MIDI

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Toontrack launches Rock Solid EZX

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Toontrack Rock Solid EZX

Toontrack has announced the release of Rock Solid EZX, a collection of modern drums perfectly suited for anything from classic rock to modern metal.

It was recorded at the renowned Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, Canada by one of the most prolific engineers of the last two decades, Randy Staub.

Randy has worked with A-list clients back to back for the past plus 20 years, mixed groundbreaking works like Metallica’s “Black Album”, Mötley Crüe’s “Dr Feelgood” and honed the sound for artists like Nickelback, Bon Jovi and Alice in Chains. Randy is beyond just an award-winning mix engineer, he’s helped define the sound of a generation.

Toontrack Rock Solid EZX

With its three complete kits, the extra snares, bass drums and its large collection of cymbals, it’s painfully obvious how the Rock Solid EZX is every bit as leveled, in your face and bold as its title sets it out to be. When you hear the almost unreal sonic qualities in this recording, you will know why there’s no understatement in saying that these drums add a new dimension to the word heavy. Now, let there be rock.

Rock Solid EZX features

  • Three complete kits, a large collection of cymbals, extra snares & kicks.
  • Recorded at the Warehouse Studio, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • Engineered by Randy Staub (Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Nickelback).
  • Sampled by Ryan Vikedal (ex-Nickelback).
  • Included MIDI library.

The Rock Solid EZX is available to purchase for 69 EUR / $89 USD.

More information: Toontrack / Rock Solid EZX

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Time+Space intros Toontrack Metal Month EZX Bundle + EZmix Bundles

Time+Space has announced the release of three exclusive bundles, kicking off Toontrack’s Metal Month 2012.

Toontrack Metal Month Bunldes at Time+Space

Toontrack Metal Month is back and it promises to be bigger, bolder and more powerful than ever before!

This annual event, now in its third year, celebrates the only musical art form to successfully combine technical proficiency, mythology, angst, lightning bolts, screaming, power, and leather spiked belts!

Rock and Metal musicians who own Toontrack’s industry standard EZdrummer, Superior Drummer 2.2 or EZMix 2 software tools are in for a treat as Toontrack are set to unleash no less than 7 amazing metal production tools this November.

As part of the celebrations Toontrack have put together some exclusive bundles that offer fantastic value for money and there will be more bundles announced over the next few weeks as the new titles become available.

So, don your leather spiked belt, get that beard growing and make sure you’ve got a neck brace to hand – it’s going to be a head banging monster month of metal!

Metal Month 2012 Bundles

  • Metal Month EZX Bundle: Metalheads, Metal Machine and DFH EZX. £78.95 GBP.
  • EZmix 2 and Preset Packs Bundle: EZmix 2 + 6 preset packs. £159 GBP.
  • EZmix 2 Presets Bundle: 6 EZmix preset packs. £94.95 GBP.

These bundles are available through November 2012.

More information: Time+Space

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Toontrack releases Session Drums MIDI

Toontrack Session Drums MIDI

Toontrack has announced the release of Session Drums MIDI, a collection of MIDI drum parts by Peter Tisell.

This pack is perfect for the songwriter looking for a wide variety of basic drums for a broad spectrum of playing styles. It covers anything from mellow ballads to funky midtempo swing and straight uptempo rock, all categorized in different songs and full 4-8 bar song part blocks.

It was played by one of our favorite session drummers and longtime Toontrack collaborator Peter Tisell (formerly Fredlander). Peter, who’s known from the Monster MIDI Pack series, the Songwriters Drumpack 2, The Classic EZX as well as The Metal Foundry SDX, has an amazing sense of variation and feel.

Every great song needs a solid foundation – it all starts with the drums!

Session Drums MIDI features

  • More than 500 individually played files.
  • Categorized in different songs.
  • Full intro / verse / pre-chorus / chorus / bridge / fill sections in each song.
  • Ballad / Midtempo / Uptempo / Shuffle.
  • Swing and/or straight feel in 4/4 and 6/8.
  • Works with EZdrummer®, Superior Drummer® 2.0 (optimized for 1 kick, 1 snare, 2 toms, 1 floor-tom, 2 crash cymbals, 1 ride cymbal).

The MIDI pack is available to purchase for 25 EUR / $29 USD.

More information: Toontrack / Session Drums MIDI

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