Toontrack EZX Traditional Country Review

A classic acoustic kit that works for country, folk and acoustic music is a tricky ask. Matthew Mann dons a stetson for this EZX collection… Details Price £43.95 Distributor Time+Space Contact via website Web www.timespace.com System Requirements EZdrummer 2.1 or Superior Drummer 2.4.2 Anyone who has ever programmed drums knows that it can kill the […]

A classic acoustic kit that works for country, folk and acoustic music is a tricky ask. Matthew Mann dons a stetson for this EZX collection…

Details
Price £43.95
Distributor Time+Space
Contact via website
Web www.timespace.com
System Requirements EZdrummer 2.1 or Superior Drummer 2.4.2

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Anyone who has ever programmed drums knows that it can kill the creative buzz sitting there for hours moving notes here and there, and making them sound real is challenging, unless you’re a drummer.

Then along comes a company like Toontrack and the game changes. Its EZdrummer drum software made it easy to not only get a great drum sound, but also had lots of MIDI grooves that were easy to combine for a great performance.

Additionally, EZX expansion packs added more grooves and more diverse drum kits for use in different styles of song; they cover metal to electronic to blues and everything in between.

With country music still alive and well, and other music styles such as modern pop-folk right in the middle of current music culture, Toontrack has come up with an EZX pack that would cater specifically to those sounds.

Tradition of Excellence
Traditional Country EZX adds three new kits. Two of the kits were sampled with sticks (Rogers, Ludwig) and the third was sampled with sticks and brushes (Apollo); and all three were recorded at Nahsville’s first-ever recording studio, Quonset Hut, where Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel and others recorded classic tracks.

Each kit is very unique-sounding. The team recorded them with the intent of replicating a late-1950s session – including using some of the mics and recording gear that might have been used at the time.

The 1962 Rogers kit sounds open and warm; its kick is big and round and has weight, without being overbearing; the snare has a nice tone with just enough ring to let you know it’s there, and the toms are excellent, too.

The Ludwig kit has drums originally intended for marching bands (kick and snare). They were pieced together with a kit floor tom. The resulting kit is beautiful sounding, with a slightly brighter, punchier sound.

Finally, the Apollo MIJ kit brings a very tight, very dry-sounding kit that really cuts through a mix. In fact, this kit worked pretty well in a pop track I was playing around with. The track ended up being fairly dense, but the kit sat very well with minimum effort. Toontrack also saw fit to sample this same kit with brushes, so there’s some variety there.

10 presets provide great starting points and even more variety. There are also a few percussion elements, including tambourines, handclaps, shakers, finger snaps, maracas and, of course… cowbell. They even included three extra snares and an extra kick to enable you to pick and choose.

Get Into The Groove
Finally, the expansion comes with a few grooves that really make these kits shine and show off their potential. The grooves are also great when used with EZdrummer 2’s Song Creator.

They speed up workflow and allow for quick creation of whole songs with Intros, Verses, Choruses and Fills. Of course, you can use all the original grooves included with EZdrummer 2 and come up with some excellent-sounding tracks, too.

I didn’t find any way to change the effects that come with each kit. You can modify what’s there, but there’s no replacing them with something else as far as I could tell. You can, however, just route each drum on a separate output to your DAW and process them there.

There’s no mistaking the vibe that drips from this expansion pack. The tones that producer Glenn Rosenstein, engineer Jeff Balding, and drummer Rikk Currence were able to draw and capture from these kits in this studio are beautiful. I’m not a country guy, per se, but I’ve had tons of acoustic/folk song ideas just in the short time that I’ve had this expansion. It’s a great piece of work.

Key Features
● Two kits sampled with sticks (Rogers, Ludwig)
● One kit sampled with sticks and brushes (Apollo)
● Three extra snare drums
● Includes a selection of drum MIDI grooves
● Engineered to replicate a vintage session at Nashville’s Quonset Hut