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MIDI

MIDI

MIDI

MONTH

MONTH

MONTH

MARCH IS MIDI MONTH.

This March, we dedicate the entire month to the four letters and the tiny dots that play a fundamental role in making music: MIDI.

DEAL! 20% OFF.

Enjoy 20% off drum and EZkeys MIDI packs – all through March.

*Find full terms, conditions and duration for this promotion at the bottom of this page.

HOT OFF THE PRESS.

Three reasons to use Toontrack drum MIDI

Our very own Rikk Currence gives you three reasons why your songs will thank you for using Toontrack drum MIDI.

HOW TO GETA GROOVE GOING.

Mike shows you how easy it is to get a groove going in Superior Drummer 3.

ASH SOAN.

DRUMMER SPOTLIGHT.

Meet one of UK’s premier session drummers – and the creative mind behind the recent UK Pop Grooves MIDI release.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

FIVE QUICK QUESTIONS
TO ASH SOAN.

– UK Pop Grooves drummer

What did you try to cover in this collection of grooves?
I get asked to play grooves that sometimes come from a similar place and that all seem very useful to songwriters, so I tried to deliver some of those grooves to the collection.

As a session drummer, you’re used to playing drums in the context of a song in the studio. For this project, you had to dream up ideas and variations on the go. What was the thought process like and how did you go about recording?
I based it on what I’m asked to do. Very often similar patterns and vibes come up, so I tried to think of useful songs to cover.

You have performed on countless songs and records over the years. If you were to give a few key tips to drummers – or music creators writing drums to their songs – what would they be?
Yes, simplicity is very important. The vocal is King (or Queen), and you must serve it always. Also, to play supportively and add things that are only for a musical reason. Finally, make sure your sound works with the vocal as well as the timbre of the overall song.

When playing drums on major tracks for the likes of Adele, Robbie Williams or James Morrison, how does it work – is there a lot of creative freedom in the studio or is there generally blueprint for the groove that you are asked to stick to?
Sometimes the groove is written, so I need to be able to replicate the sound and feel. Other times it can be a rough idea and the producer and/or artist want me to come up with something. These are my favorite sessions – being able to add my ideas to a song is a lot of fun. Sometimes your input can change the whole direction of a song and that is cool too.

“…being able to add my ideas to a song is a lot of fun.”

What do you hope the end user takes away from this collection of drum grooves and fills?
I hope they are useful feels and grooves for producers and writers to get creative with, and I hope some good songs will come for people as a result.

JOHAN WÅLLBERG.

PIANO PLAYER SPOTLIGHT.

Meet Johan Wållberg, the man behind the UK Pop EZkeys MIDI pack and the latest in line of our EZkeys MIDI collaborators.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

MEET JOHAN WÅLLBERG.

– The piano player behind the
UK Pop EZkeys MIDI pack.

When and how did you discover your passion for music?
Ever since childhood, music has always been a big part of my life. The radio was always on and we had a piano and an old nylon string guitar at my house which I just started playing around with from an early age.

How come you ended up playing the keyboard/piano?
Playing piano was what came the most natural to me and what I fell in love with the most at the beginning. Being a solo artist was never my goal, but accompanying a singer or playing in a band and being creative together is what drives me. Today I find myself playing guitar, bass or drums just as often, but always together with other people and always trying to complement my band mates or the singer I’m with.

“Ever since childhood, music has always been a big part of my life.”

Growing up, the available tools for recording and songwriting were very different compared to now. These days, one can produce professional records right from the bedroom. How important do you think the technical evolution has been to overall musicianship, creativity, learning and songwriting?
Whether it comes to learning an instrument, recording an album or creating music, I think the tools that are now available are of great value. Nowadays you don’t have to have a big budget, book studio time or purchase all the expensive hardware you needed in the past to be creative and record music.

I think this has allowed more people to discover the joy of making music, and at the end of the day I do welcome the technical advancements we’ve seen in the last decade or two.

What do you hope end users will take away from this collection?
First and foremost I hope they can feel inspired. Just as I love being a piece in a bigger musical puzzle, I hope these grooves and melodies can complement the music and songs they maybe already have started writing but need that little extra something, or inspire to create new songs based on the MIDI in this pack.

This is your first EZkeys MIDI pack. What was the experience like? Explain a little about your through process going in.
To get in the vibe and to map out the direction, I started with a big playlist of music that we wanted to use as general inspiration. Then I wanted to cater to different needs and make some of the variations more packed with melodies and chords to fit more piano-based songs as well as make some less busy variations to fill that space next to a guitar or other instruments without taking over.

What was some of the inspiration behind this collection?
Oh, just to name a few that I associate with modern pop from Great Britain I’d say Adele, Coldplay,  Amy Winehouse and Ed Sheeran.

What’s your own connection to pop from Great Britain?
Beside the more modern ones I mentioned above, I also have to mention some of the ”older” bands that always have followed me around. Playing large stages, small stages, pubs, restaurants or bars for more than half my life you can not escape the Beatles, Oasis or the Rolling Stones (if you include rock as well). These are bands that will always have a spot on the setlist.

Name five favorite songs of any genre or era where the piano is the undisputed star.
I listed six songs below and whether or not the piano is the undisputed star in these songs may be up for discussion as it battles against world-class vocalists and other instruments that make these songs what they are. But they are songs I really like where the piano is an essential part of the overall sound and feel of the song.

“Ordinary People” by John Legend
“Tiny Dancer” by Elton John
“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder
“A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton
“You’re The Inspiration” by Chicago
“Love Song” by Sara Bareilles

“MIDI that speaks to an organic and authentic musical production experience is hard to come by. The Toontrack MIDI packs are full of real-world, usable content that you can tell was made by musicians for musicians.”

MONTY POWELL, SONGWRITER/PRODUCER

(Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts)

WANT THE BEST DEAL?

MAKE YOUR OWN BUNDLE.

Pick six drum MIDI titles of your choice and save big. Get more, pay less!

BUNDLE UP

Pick six individual titles of your choice and make your own custom EZkeys MIDI bundle.

BUNDLE UP

WORKING WITH MIDI IN EZDRUMMER 2 AND SUPERIOR DRUMMER 3.

The Superior Drummer 3 Grooves tab.
“Talk to your drummer” in Superior Drummer 3.
The Superior Drummer 3 Grid Editor.
The Superior Drummer 3 Song Creator.
Creating custom kits.
Create a custom kick pattern.
Edit Play Style in EZdrummer 2.
Making a beat with the Dream Pop EZX.

WORKING WITH MIDI IN EZKEYS.

Add piano to your guitar track.
Change playing style.
Use Browser MIDI.
Creating a hip-hop beat.

“As my keyboard skills are limited, being able to use these MIDI packs to get professional and emotional performances that I can tailor and shape to my productions is invaluable.”

MARK WILLOTT

EMMY AWARD-WINNING COMPOSER

MEET MARTIN HALL.

– THE MAN BEHIND SEVERAL EZKEYS TITLES.

When and how did you discover your passion for music?
– Pretty early… Perhaps when I started to hammer the upright piano we had at home at the age five or six. That’s some kind of passion I guess! :). I think a turning point, passion-wise, was when I started playing different stuff than the classical piano that my mom wanted me to play. When I started playing in bands and such, 14-15 years old there about.

How come you ended up playing the keyboard?
– I had a piano at home, growing up. Mom taught me at first.

You have recorded several titles of MIDI for EZkeys by now. Explain a little about the process of recording one of these packs.
– I usually start by listening a lot to a playlist of songs. Get a feel of the genre. A vibe. Then usually a couple of ideas tend to emerge quite early. I switch a lot from the different songs/sessions I’m working on in the beginning. Like, if I’m recording a Stevie Wonder-kind-of-thing variation number 3, and suddenly feel like I have the Ray Charles take on this, I instantly open a new session and record the new idea. I find it easier and more fun to work this way – to never stop the creative process. To go with it. Instead of the well-I-really-should-be-doing-this-right-now-approach. And force it. There´s always time to edit/erase/change things up and record variations at a later stage. That’s a different kind of creation I think, like what to add, what to remove, more of this and that, or doing a very sparse take.

Name five awesome songs of any genre or era where the piano is at the center of attention!
– OK. I just grab the ones that pop up first – there are so many…
“Tiny Dancer” – Elton John
“Let it Be” – The Beatles
“Pyramid Song” – Radiohead
“The Art Teacher” – Rufus Wainwright
“Blue” – Joni Mitchell

TITLES BY MARTIN HALL.

Martin has collaborated on several EZkeys MIDI packs over the years, spanning all kinds of styles. Below is a selection!

DRUM MIDI.

REAL DRUMMERS. REAL GROOVES.

A great groove is the heartbeat of your song. Our MIDI packs are played by real drummers, providing a wealth of musical ideas and inspiration for your songwriting.

“Toontrack provides a recurrent round of pistols off the starting blocks”

Robin Finck (guitarist, Nine Inch Nails / game score composer) on using Toontrack drum MIDI

METAL.

METAL.

20% OFF MIDI – ALL THROUGH MARCH.
MARIO DUPLANTIER.

DRUMMER SPOTLIGHT.

JAMI MORGAN.
DAVE MCGRAW.
MATT GARSTKA.
MARIO DUPLANTIER.

BLUES,
JAZZ & ROOTS.

BLUES,
JAZZ & ROOTS.

20% OFF MIDI – ALL THROUGH MARCH.
NORMAN GARSCHKE.

DRUMMER SPOTLIGHT.

MARTIN JONSSON.

»My aim was to give the end user the essential building blocks needed to quickly get an authentic groove going. Coupled with the Edit Play Style, Song Track and Grid Editor features in Superior Drummer 3, customizing drum parts and building entire drum tracks literally takes minutes.«

NORMAN GARSCHKE
SAMPLING DRUMMER AND MIDI COLLABORATOR.

MEET THE SUPERIOR DRUMMER.

You didn’t only perform the MIDI for Superior Drummer 3, you also sampled the entire core library. How was it sitting through sampling six kits (some several times with different tools), 35 configurations of snares, 27 configurations of bass drums – and on top of that countless cymbals?
It was such a great and unique experience! To capture the different tones and sonic flavors of these fantastic instruments in this extreme detail felt like being in drummer’s paradise. The process required a lot of concentration and focus, though. When sampling in a room this perfectly balanced and with this array of microphones, you actually have to concentrate to a level where your breathing is involved. It’s tedious work to “almost” breathe and still be 100% focused on your task for up to 12 hours straight, but I actually enjoyed every last second of it.

How long did it actually take and do you have any idea of how many hits you stroke?
The process of recording a snare with all velocities and different articulations usually takes a few hours, so you can imagine how much longer it took to record a complete kit with lots of toms, different bass drums, different heads, tunings and cymbals! Oh no, I have really no clue on how many hits I actually played, haha!

How was it to hook up these sounds to your e-kit and playing them for the first time?
It felt totally unreal, I can tell you that! I have played a lot of acoustic drums in my life. These samples felt just as real as sitting behind an actual acoustic kit. I was completely blown away. I was literally back in the room and could hear and feel every little detail of the drums. The response is the best I have ever experienced. For me personally it also had the strange effect of hearing my own recorded strokes while I was playing them. It was magical, like calling yourself on the phone!

COUNTRY
& AMERICANA.

COUNTRY
& AMERICANA.

20% OFF MIDI – ALL THROUGH MARCH.

INDIE,
POP & MODERN.

INDIE,
POP & MODERN.

20% OFF MIDI – ALL THROUGH MARCH.
HAMPUS SJÖSTEDT.

DRUMMER SPOTLIGHT.

THOMAS HEDLUND.
SEBASTIAN ÅGREN.

GUITARIST LOOKING FOR DRUMMER?

With EZdrummer 2, you’re done looking! In this video, our very own Rikk Currence lays down the three main reasons why you need the number one drum production tool on the planet.

Kenny Aronoff

Having recorded in excess of 1,000 albums, performed on over 30 Grammy Award-nominated productions and sustained a prosperous career for close to 40 years, Kenny is not only a well respected player in the session drummer business – he is the definition. Some of the artists he’s worked with include: John Mellencamp, The Rolling Stones, The Smashing Pumpkins, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Sting, Lady Ga Ga, Bruno Mars, Pharell Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Kid Rock, Bob Seger, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Chickenfoot, Jon Bon Jovi, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Steven Tyler, Slash, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Jack White, Garth Brooks, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, James Taylor, Chris Cornel, Rob Thomas, Alanis Morissette, Melissa Etheridge, Billy Gibbons, Gregg Allman, Keith Urban, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Puddle of Mudd, Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch, Joe Cocker, B. B. King, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Beyonce, Mick Jagger, Ray Charles, Alice Cooper, Tony Iommi, Meat Loaf, Bonnie Raitt, Ricky Martin, Santana, Crosby Stills and Nash, Celine Dion, Vince Gill, Gladys Knight, Aaron Neville, Trisha Yearwood, Patti LaBelle, The BoDeans, George Jones, Brad Paisley, The Buddy Rich Big Band.

LISTEN TO KENNY ARONOFF IN THE TOONTRACK PODCAST
WANT KENNY ON YOUR SONG?

Check out Kenny’s American Rock MIDI pack. Timeless grooves based on classic American rock. For the ages, for all ages.

AMERICAN ROCK MIDI

EZKEYS MIDI.

EZKEYS MIDI.

NOT A PIANOPLAYER? NOT A PROBLEM.

Professionally played piano and keyboard variations for a wide range of styles. Mix, match, change and rearrange to fit your songs.

ROCK.

ROCK.

20% OFF MIDI – ALL THROUGH MARCH.
RIKARD FROM.

BLUES,
JAZZ & ROOTS.

BLUES,
JAZZ & ROOTS.

20% OFF MIDI – ALL THROUGH MARCH.
MARTIN HALL.

COUNTRY
& AMERICANA.

COUNTRY
& AMERICANA.

20% OFF MIDI – ALL THROUGH MARCH.
GARY CORBETT.

A SONG IN THE MAKING – WITH NICLAS LUNDIN.

EZkeys Studio Grand

– Improvisation by
Rikard From

We asked longtime Toontrack collaborator Rikard From to play whatever came to mind after hearing the sounds of the EZkeys Studio Grand.

WRITING SONGS WITH EZKEYS.

TRY OUR FREE DEMO VERSIONS.

New to EZdrummer 2, EZkeys or EZmix 2? Try our free demo versions today!

FREE DEMOS

* ”20% off” promotion good March 1 through March 31 2018. In the Toontrack webshop, promotion will be switched off the following day no later than 09:00 CET. All individual drum and EZkeys MIDI titles are included in this offer (including new releases). Bundle options are excluded from this campaign, only single titles apply.

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