We’ve seen quite a few EZdrummer expansions in our time, from powerful metal and upfront pop to delicate jazz and vintage funk drums. Yet despite having nearly all corners of the drum market covered, Toontrack has found another niche to explore with its latest Indie Folk EZX, inspired by artists such as Fleet Foxes, The Shins and Band of Horses.
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As you’d expect, you’ll need a full version of EZdrummer or Superior Drummer to load the library, which actually comes as two separate expansions – one with a standard multi-mic mix, one with a classic 4-mic mix. Drum-wise you have three complete kits including a tight 1960s Gretsch Round Badge, a huge-sounding 1940s Slingerland Rolling Bomber, and a 1950s Ludwig with a punchy 20-inch kick drum. There’s also a range of Zildjian cymbals and hats, an extra kick and snare, plus some tambourine pieces.
To add extra variety to the sound, the Gretsch kit was also recorded with both sticks and mallets, giving you a softer-sounding option. Recorded at the Avast! Recording Co in Seattle, the sound is incredibly large and organic, with huge dynamic range that helps you feel the weight of the hits as if you’re standing in front of the kit. If you want tight and clean you’ll want to look elsewhere, as these kits are packed with character – even more so in the 4-mic version, which is great for getting an intimate, lo-fi sound.
Comparatively, the multi-mic version has a wider sound stage, with more detail and presence in each instrument piece. Our favourite, though, is the 4-mic version of the 1940s Slingerland, as the 28-inch kick drum in particular sounds absolutely massive. There’s a small number of mixer presets to help you shape the sound, but you’re better off simply experimenting until you find something that fits your track. You’ll also find a decent collection of MIDI grooves played by Stephen Belens, which range from solid and rocky rhythms to slightly more skittish, swung and 3/4 patterns.
Just when we thought we’d heard it all from the EZX range, Toontrack has come up trumps again with this unique and distinct-sounding expansion. Although it’s quite a specific range of sounds, Indie Folk is one of the most interesting-sounding EZX packs we’ve heard for some time.
A vibrant and organic collection of kits that sounds huge and is jam-packed with character.