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#1337689 - 10/22/14 11:48 AM EZ Keys
graemest Offline
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Registered: 12/19/12
Posts: 806
After EZ Drummer 2 I thought I'd give EZ Keys a try. Same price, about $170 bucks, download.

If you aren't the best keys player, this is the bomb.

How do the keys sound? I started off with the Grand Piano version. There are electrics, uprights and a mellotron sold separately, about 80 bucks each. MIDI packs with additional MIDI tracks are available in a variety of genres.

The basic thing comes with a variety of grand piano sounds, including a distorted amped type of sound that's very useable. The straight piano sounds are very good. They have a non-existent noise floor, so you can mix them how you like and get them to sparkle in a mix. Sampled well, good sustain. Inbuilt FX that you can tweak, sound good.

I use it in standalone mode, and import it to the VS. You can also use it in a host programme of course.

You make up n arrangement from the suggestions from the browser; intros, verses, bridges, choruses etc. You drag them into the arrangement block below, like EZ Drummer. Unlike EZ Drummer 2, it doesn't make an entire song for you, you must arrange your own. No trouble to drag the supplied variations and try them in an arrangement, but the EZ Drummer option to create a whole song quickly isn't there.

Each verse, chorus etc can be manipulated to bring up a Circle of 5ths box where you can change the key, octave, invert, randomise, add variations such as 6th, 7ths, sus, 9ths or whatever; quite comprehensive. The available fills and trills are quite comprehensive, and the additional MIDI packs of the various genres give you even more. The MIDI packs set you back 30-odd bucks. Quite impressive. Unless I haven't found it yet, there appears to be no avenue to turn a straight chord into an arpeggio; must chase that up with Toontrack, as their support service is very good - they follow up enquiries quickly, and can actually string a sentence together (a rarity these days, you usually get template responses that don't answer what you are actually asking mostly these days).

You can export the song into the VS as a WAV file as always.

If you synch up the tempos with an arrangement from EZ Drummer, happy days; keys done! You computer recording guys could do a lot more with it in your host programme, but I just want to use the EZ Keys and Drummer straight into the 2480 on separate tracks of imported WAV files.

It is as 'Easy' as EZ Drummer 2. It sounds good, and it's reasonably priced. Another winner, at least for me, from Toontrack. BTW, I have no affiliation with them, no barrow to push, this is a genuine review from someone who was cynical that it would be as 'easy' as they said it was to operate. And it is.

Hope that may help someone, and regards to all, Graeme

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#1338673 - 10/26/14 08:58 AM Re: EZ Keys [Re: graemest]
graemest Offline
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Registered: 12/19/12
Posts: 806
Hi all. Just an update. Got the mellowtron addition. Toontracks calls it 'Mellotoon'.

Brilliant. Great sounds, highly tweakable FX. All the usual mellotron sounds; flutes, choirs, violins etc etc. Delightfully quirky pads and other sounds too.

You just pick between the libraries you have bought.

regards to all, Graeme

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#1395044 - 06/10/15 12:52 AM Re: EZ Keys [Re: graemest]
Spikerama Offline
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Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 4358
Loc: Oklahoma
Thanks, Graemest for your review.
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#1485666 - 08/07/16 03:18 AM Re: EZ Keys [Re: graemest]
graemest Offline
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Registered: 12/19/12
Posts: 806
Hi. For those interested, I have bought the $30 add-on MIDI packs of all the genres; blues, ballad, country etc etc. You download them off Toontracks website. You can get them cheaper if you do a search of FleaBay, rather than buying them off Toontrack direct. This isn't a problem, as Toontrack of course support anything bought from any source as there are authorisation codes involved.

For the outlay am very pleased with the array of piano arrangements, fills, outros in each genre. Quality stuff. Worth a try if you are so inclined.

Hope that may be of interest, cheers, Graeme

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#1486839 - 08/12/16 09:29 PM Re: EZ Keys [Re: graemest]
Spikerama Offline
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Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 4358
Loc: Oklahoma
I bought it and really like it.

If I had someone come to my studio and put down piano tracks and the end result was exactly the same as EZKeys gave me, I would pay the person and ask to use them again.
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#1489535 - 08/28/16 01:07 PM Re: EZ Keys [Re: Spikerama]
graemest Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 12/19/12
Posts: 806
Try the Mellotoon add-on; it's very quirky, very 60's, and the pads and others that come with it are very useable in any genre/mix.

cheers, Graeme

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#1489754 - 08/29/16 09:28 PM Re: EZ Keys [Re: graemest]
Spikerama Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 4358
Loc: Oklahoma
 Originally Posted By: graemest
Try the Mellotoon add-on; it's very quirky, very 60's, and the pads and others that come with it are very useable in any genre/mix.

cheers, Graeme


Thanks for the tip. I actually need that add-on because I bought the keys and strings add-on thinking it had the built-in string sounds when actually you need the Mellotoon add-on.

I'm making-do with the strings by running midi out to my xpand!2 plug-in and that works pretty good.
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