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CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT.

Name:  Steve Rivers
Location:  Nashville, TN
Links: www.steverivers.com / Facebook / Twitter
Spotify Link: Spotify

Toontrack loved your song so much that they contacted you and asked permission to remix it with the drum sounds in Superior Drummer 3. How does it feel to be part of this much anticipated product launch?
I was beyond excited when Toontrack approached me to see if I would be interested in having my song remixed with SD3.  I’ve been writing and producing with Toontrack products for the last 5 years and use them in my daily work flow. It’s really cool to come full circle with the this song which was originally written using EZ Drummer.

Tell us how “Don’t Come Here Tonight” came about and if there’s a story behind the song.
“Don’t Come Here Tonight” is about that period time after a break up where you just need space and time apart from the other person to get over them. When you’re from a small town like where I’m from it’s very easy to run the risk of seeing your ‘ex’ pretty much anywhere.  This song says “you can have any place you want in this town except where I am at right now”.

When and how did you discover your passion for music?
I started playing piano when I was about 5 years old. I really enjoyed making up little tunes and messing around with the various sounds on the keyboard I had. I grew up listening to my dad’s classic rock records from bands like the Eagles, CCR, the Beatles, Neil Young. By the time I was 13, I had picked up the guitar and started messing around with writing songs.

Do you have a general blueprint for writing, meaning you start with the music, then move on to lyrics etc? Or is every song unique in how it comes about?
Usually I’ll compile a list of unique lyric ideas that I can draw from in co-writing sessions. In Nashville, it’s all about lyrics and a great hook. I also have a catalog of instrumental ideas that I sometimes don’t have any lyric ideas for yet. I’ll present the instrumentals to my co-writers to see if it inspires anything during our writing sessions. I think coming up with grooves is a great way to get the writing session moving and Superior Drummer is my “go-to” for that all the time.  I have a songwriting template set up in ProTools with SDX pre-loaded, assigned and ready to go.

What’s your preferred instrument to write on?
Guitar. Even if I end up writing a central keyboard part, I’ll still write the bulk of the song on an acoustic guitar.

When do usually the most ideas for songs come to you?
Usually when I’m in my car driving and can’t write down anything (lol). I like to draw on relationships a lot because I think that’s a very important aspect of our lives and it’s what we can all relate to. I’m in my late 20’s so I’ve also been writing a lot of songs about self reflection lately.

What’s the best thing about writing songs?
Learning the rules to break them and stumbling upon a very unique angle to say and deliver an idea that makes you go “hmm that’s cool!”. Not every song is a hit, not every song is something that’s going to get past the work-tape stage, but every now and then an idea comes out and you know you’re on to something special.

What Toontrack products do you use?
I use Superior Drummer, EZdrummer, a variety expansions including the Indiependent Kit for SDX, Nashville (EZX), Americana (EZX), Indie Folk Kit (EZX) and lots of MIDI expansions.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?
I’m currently writing and recording demos for a new album.  I’m hoping to get back into the studio later this Fall to start cutting tracks with a band.  It’ll be great to get some new music out to fans and hit the road again in 2018!

Top-five of the greatest songs ever written – regardless of genre!
(In no particular order)
“Hotel California” – The Eagles
“These Boots” – Eric Church
“Jack & Diane” – John Mellencamp
“Won’t Back Down” – Tom Petty
“Hey Jude” – The Beatles

LISTEN TO STEVE.

“Don’t Come Here Tonight” by Steve Rivers was remixed using the core sound library from Superior Drummer 3.


GET IN THE GROOVE WITH EZKEYS.

Our friends over at Groove3 have just launched a massive series of videos centered around writing songs with EZkeys. Check the first two episodes free here.

WRITING SONGS WITH EZKEYS: EP. 2.

In the second episode, we add a pre-chorus and chorus to our song.

NICLAS LUNDIN & EZKEYS.

We asked Toontrack artist and professional songwriter Niclas Lundin to show how he uses the program. Check the first episode in this upcoming series of videos!

NEW TO EZKEYS? TRY IT FOR FREE.

Try any or all of the currently available versions of EZkeys right here.

WRITING SONGS WITH EZKEYS: EPISODE 1.

Watch the first of four quick videos in this series based around writing songs with EZkeys.

EZKEYS – GOES METAL.

Avid EZkeys user Ola Englund (The Haunted, Feared) demonstrates how he uses EZkeys when writing.

NOT A PIANO PLAYER? NOT A PROBLEM.

With EZkeys, you don’t have to be a piano player to add piano to you song. This quick video shows you how.

EZKEYS: THIAGO PINHEIRO PERFORMANCE.

Watch longtime Toontrack collaborator Thiago Pinheiro in this performance featuring the EZkeys Grand Piano.

17 ESSENTIAL SONGWRITING TIPS.

Award-winning songwriter Monty Powell shares some of his best secrets.

MEET STEINAR LARSEN.

Meet the forth week’s Customer Spotlight, the amazing Steinar Larsen from Norway.

THE "MONEY FOR NOTHING"-TONE.

Producer Neil Dorfsman explains how he got the famous guitar tone on “Money for Nothing” – by accident. Great story!

LIVE Q&A WITH MILLER AND THAMMARAT.

Join two of the world’s best guitarists this weekend on our Facebook page!

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