There’s a hunger at the moment for sounds or combinations of sounds that haven’t been heard before, that aren’t obvious. Both for electronic music and scoring, something that sounds a bit off the beaten track tends to be popular. This new expansion pack for Toontrack’s EZDrummer or Superior Drummer, meticulously sampled and constructed by Richard Veenstra, aims to do just that.
To The Edge
Weighing in at just over 1.6GB, it’s made up of over 370 individual sound sources comprising 57 kicks, 49 snares and a range of tims, rims, cymbals and even some melodic instruments in the “chromatic” section. As with all these expansion packs it comes with a bunch of MIDI loops tailored to suit the kits, and any loop can be assigned to play back any kit. EZDrummer’s song track means you can create sequences from blocks of patterns easily.
Select a kit from the menu and you’re away. Moving into the Drums section you’ll see a cool array of virtual pads, each of which can be triggered with the mouse or via MIDI. Clicking on any of the arrows opens up a sound selector window for that pad, where you can reassign a new sound to it as well as changing its volume and pitch, so it’s straightforward to customise every aspect of a kit to your liking. Each preset contains three kicks and snares with their own pads, so you can have three different kick and snare sounds per pattern without having to use multiple instances of the instrument.
Mix It Up
Acoustic and electronic elements are mixed together, so a kit might contain a sub kick and electronic snare, but also real tambourine and shaker sounds. A wide range of crunchy and synthesised toms, snares and cymbals can be found as well as some excellent spacey FX sounds, stabs, rises and the aforementioned melodic samples, making this more than just a drum set. There are even foley sounds included too - the website contains an interview with the sound designer complete with pictures of him recording ambient sound - and this brings yet another element to the instrument. There’s also detail on the lengthy processing that went on in order to achieve some of the textures found in the collection.
Stylistically the preset MIDI parts and the kits lean a little more towards the darker and more industrial side of electronic music, though they are easily repurposed by playing your own MIDI and by tweaking and swapping out kit elements to make your own. So it’s not hard to use them for, say, a pop track. The mixer is where you submix your kit and use the effects to add some space and grit, and there are options to export songs as MIDI or WAV files. If you’re running it inside a DAW of course, that’s all handled internally.
Electronic Edge is a great sounding and unique collection that mixes different types of samples to provide truly useful and flexible kits. Helped by EZDrummer’s friendly design that lets you quickly customise kits, it’s an excellent way to bring cutting-edge beats to all kinds of musical productions.
Price: 75 Eur
Pros: Unique sound set. Very well produced. Highly flexible customisation of kits. MIDI loops are a good starting point. Use for all kinds of electronic music.
Cons: None, really.