Thursday, July 11, 2013

ToonTrack EZkeys Essential Pianos Review – The Song Writer’s Piano Friends

I was more than a little ‘jazzed’ when I first heard that Sampling giants, ToonTrack, were adding pianos/keyboards to their industry-leading product line-up. I had already been a more-than-satisfied ToonTrack customer for a couple of years. I rely on various “EZdrummer” modules as my drum sample/construction software of choice. As soon as I’d heard the early release news about the original, ground-breaking “EZkeys Grand” Piano sample library/sequencer, I anticipated that song writers and home producers would be elated with the news. I don’t mean to come across as pretentious, but my assumption was absolutely correct.

The initial release of “EZkeys Grand” created no small ripple in the sampling pool. Not only did “EZkeys Grand” hold up extremely well against its large, multi-gig competitors sound-wise, but it gave something to non-keyboardists that no other competing piano sample library could – built-in midi phrases and song construction tools. ToonTrack serves up first-rate piano sounds, assorted musical styles, transposition, drag n’ drop song construction and an attractive, photo-realistic GUI. The EZkeys line-up will empower novice song-writers and non-keyboardists with professional-grade piano compositional parts, while providing professionals a means of creatively fast-tracking song ideas; quickly and easily.

This review will be an exhaustive inspection of the cross-platform “EZkeys Essential Pianos” collection. This wonderful suite of pianos is comprised of: EZkeys Grand, an impeccably sampled Steinway “Model D”; EZkeys Classic Keyboards, a totally vibe’n set of Wurlitzer “A200” and Rhodes “Mark I” electric pianos; and EZkeys Upright, a harmonically-pleasant, old-time, upright piano. Any one of these packages retails for €139/$179 by itself, with any additional EZkeys library available for only €69/$89. As a bundle, the EZkeys Essential Pianos suite rings in at €249/$325. Just for grins n’ giggles we’ll also get introduced to a truckload of EZkeys midi libraries in the styles of: R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Country, Blues, and Pop.


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SPL DeEsser Review – DeEssser SsuperSstar

Arghhh! The blessed vocal track is just about perfect. The tracking went well, the latest take is free of “pitchiness”, mic placement and EQ are bang on. You apply tasty compression by dialling up your favourite ’76 and 2A just right. That sweet vocal EQ couldn’t be better.

Then your ears are no longer being romanced – they’re raped by one of the recording vocalist’s most lethal foes – sibilance.

. Nasty, in-your-face, brash, piercing SSSsibilance. You try the well regarded VST’s from yesteryear, you try EQing, you try a couple of current payware DeEssing offerings, but then the vocal ‘air’ is lost and the vocal track is very ‘flat’. . . . and at last, you find yourself carefully editing by hand in Wavelab, Sound Forge or Acoustica Premium.

It isn't any fun – editing out plosives and/or sibilance “by hand”. It’s time consuming and can result in audible editing clicks when the resultant editing is processed within your DAW. Sibilance has been the bane of many an engineer’s existence. Actually, nasty, piercing SSSs just plain suck!

Wouldn't it be just wonderful if there were a way to easily remedy sibilance with just one or two knobs, and keep the quality of a vocal track intact?

Guess what!? There is . . .

The $199 SPL DeEsser Collection plug-in can be properly reviewed with one, simple word. “Amazing.” If I were to end this review right now, without typing another letter on the page, the review could be considered complete. This set of powerful, specialized plug-ins is nothing short of amazing. Nevertheless, it’s no fun to be a professional writer and not actually . . . write. *Smile. Stay with me, I promise, I won’t keep you long, but I really am very excited to share my experience and findings about the SPL DeEssers Collection with you. *Quick Note: Until July 15th, 2013, this plug-in is on sale for only $149.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Email Subscriptions Now Offered. Coupon Codes, Giveaways, and "Hot Off The Press" Notifications

Yes, that's right. Reviewer's Revival is now one year old and I have some great news to share with you.

Not only are a lot of the RR readers liking the web site and the reviews, but some of the devs are showing a lot of appreciation to RR readers. Every once in a while, Reviewer's Revival will be offering EXCLUSIVE Coupon Codes, Giveaways, and of course personal notifications when new articles are published. I've been hearing from some of the readers, and they are totally down with this cool, new idea. And yes, EXCLUSIVE means that these will be Giveaways and Coupons that are exclusive to Reviewer's Revival subscribers - these will not be "public" offers.

Sign up today and stay in the loop. No SPAM! NO trading or selling email lists. NO JUNK! Only notifications of the latest REVIEWS, and exclusive COUPON-CODES and occasional Giveaways. If you're interested, pop over to Reviewer's Revival and subscribe on the "Reviewer's Blog" page.

Just wanted to let ya'll know . . .

Thanks & God Bless,
Bro. Charles


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