A massive body of sound for modern music production.| ADD TO CART
A massive body of sound for modern music production.| ADD TO CART
In the Electronic Edge EZX, drum machines, acoustic percussion, foley and melodic instruments merge, meld and converge in a universe of never-before-heard hybrids of sound. In this zero-gravity audio cosmos, layering, texturing, pitch shifting, granular processing and circuit bending all intersect and pivot at the zenith of cutting-edge sound design to deliver a truly one-of-a-kind percussive battery for modern music production.
In total, the EZX covers 30 mix-ready kit presets made up from in excess of 370 unique and individually engineered percussive components. You’ll find kicks, snares, risers, hi-hats, toms, atmospheric and FX sounds, claps, cymbals and more – all free-floating at the divides between electronic and acoustic and between modern and vintage and as far from anything conventional you can imagine.
Welcome to an immense universe of sound and an ideal vantage point for near-endless creative odyssey. Be it for beat-making, modern pop composition or elaborate sound design, the Electronic Edge EZX has got you covered.
These audio demos show all Electronic Edge EZX kits with their included, accompanying MIDI grooves. The examples were recorded directly out of the Electronic Edge EZX using the included kit presets and various amounts of automation of the eight knobs in the onboard mixer. No external instruments or post-processing effects other than master compression/limiter were used.
Name: Richard Veenstra
Occupation: Sound designer, composer
Location: Madrid, Spain
Take us back to the very beginning: How did your interest in music start?
Richard: I listened to a lot of my dad’s cassette tapes when I was a kid and when we went to my grandmother I wanted to play the harmonium, these are my earliest memories of being interested in music and sound. I always wanted to create stuff, so when I got my first cassette recorder, I could record things that I made myself. Every Sunday I went to the attic for a couple of hours to play with my Commodore 64 computer. I wasn’t too keen on playing games, but I loved programming my own things in BASIC. I think I was around seven or eight years old when I was able to program a pixelated balloon flying from left to right on my screen. I was the happiest kid.
Tell us a little about how you ended up being so fascinated by sound. Was there always an attraction?
Richard: Definitely. I always wanted to get sound out of everything. I remember we had an electronic organ in my parents’ house with those preset drum buttons. I found the sounds and patterns quite boring, so I was constantly on the lookout to get more out of the instrument. For example, I pressed multiple buttons at once to create glitched sounds or changing the timbre by not fully flipping some of the switches. A neighbor had a big antenna in his garden and radio signals would sometimes be picked up by the organ. For me, this was the most interesting part of this instrument.
For this project, you described your approach like “there’s a drum sound in everything.” Is this something you apply to your approach to composition in general?
Richard: Yes, I tend to misuse gear for purposes they are not designed for. I also take this approach when recording foley sounds or instruments. I am not interested in recording the perfect cymbal sound, this has been done so many times before. I try to capture imperfections. For the Electronic Edge EZX I tried to record a piece of scrap metal outside when suddenly a huge insect flew past my mobile recorder. The sound of the insect turned out to be the source of one of the ‘Atmosphere’ sounds in the EZX (‘Insect Buffer’). The piece of metal didn’t make it in.
You’re a composer, sound designer and electronic artist by trade. Walk us through a regular day in the life of Richard Veenstra, on the job!
Richard: It really depends on the project I am working on. I do a lot of different projects in various disciplines. When I am designing sounds for a new synthesizer or drum machine, I can really enjoy being locked up with this one instrument in my studio. On other days I’ll be preparing a live show, doing recordings in my studio or outside, writing an article on sound for a magazine or composing music for my own projects. I tend to split my day into two days: working some hours in the morning, taking a long break and working again some hours in the evening. For this, living in Spain is pretty much ideal for me, since it is very common to have lunch between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. every day. In the mornings I mostly do editing, administration, emails, meetings, etc. The afternoon from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. is for being creative. I can work very fast and have a lot of creative output during these hours.
Where did the idea for this product come from and what do you think it offers compared to other electronic sound libraries?
Richard: I wanted to create a unique instrument with sounds that I think fit well in different styles of electronic music. There’s an abundance of 808-inspired libraries, in my opinion. I really felt there’s so much more to do within the electronic music realm. The source sounds in the Electronic Edge EZX are sampled from lesser known drum machines and the foley recordings and acoustic instruments are all very far from what one would consider conventional. Combined, they all fit perfect in an electronic music context, though. In the end, I just went with my gut feeling and made sounds I liked and would use in my own compositions.
When mixing the sounds, you didn’t only rely on digital tools – you also used a lot of analogue outboard. Why was this a key factor for this project?
Richard: There’s so many nice tools available to producers nowadays – digital and analogue. For me, it’s using the best tools for every specific aspect. With digital tools I can manipulate sounds the way I want – a guitar string can become a snare drum or a coffee grinder can be turned into a hi-hat, for example. After the digital processing, I added analogue saturation, overdrive and distortion to most of the sounds to add warmth. A key factor as to why I added in chains of analogue hardware in this project was that it responds differently to every velocity layer due to the envelope followers I used. This makes for subtle dynamic variations when playing back the sounds and adds an organic feel to the overall sound.
When designing a massive body of sound like this, what does the design process look like? Do you have a preconceived idea going in or do you generally “go with the flow” and let the sound dictate where it takes you?
Richard: I’d say this is fifty-fifty. I created some sort of framework where I started with designing the sounds but always left enough room for improvisation and allow “happy accidents” to occur. The first step was recording source material. I then sifted through a lot of audio files and made a selection of around 2,700 samples. The next stage was to layer these samples and process them using pitch shifters, granular effects, compressors and so forth. In the end I had around 370 percussive sounds that made it to the final product.
The ‘Melodic’ portion of this project is quite unusual for a percussive sound library but still surprisingly creative and useful. How did this come about? Was it part of the plan going in?
Richard: Yes, adding some melodic content can really bring a beat come to life. Instead of just putting some sub basses in, I really wanted to have unique sounds that accompanied the presets. For this, I turned to two very talented instrumentalists I work together with on many projects: guitarist Frank Merfort and harpist Remy van Kesteren. We then recorded unusual playing techniques and weird tunings that I then processed through digital and analogue tools. Every preset has a different melodic sound included. There are also some percussive sounds from both the guitar and harp recordings in the EZX.
How do you see yourself using these sounds in your work?
Richard: I already have! Actually, because it reflects my own taste in music and sound, it’s my go-to instrument when I want to quickly create something these days! I sometimes take one of the MIDI grooves I made for the instrument and only one or two elements as a starting point for a new beat or track.
…and what do you hope users take away from this collection?
Richard: I hope users are ready to dive into a huge pool of sound! I am curious see what they can do with this EZX, which I really think of as an immersive instrument rather than a sound library. Automation of the eight knobs in the mixer really opens up all the possibilities and there’s a lot of room to tweak presets to your liking.
From small and tight to big, ambient and otherworldly – the kit presets in the Electronic Edge EZX cover the entire range.
What was your idea behind this massive collection of presets?
Richard: That every preset would stand on its own and allow you make a complete percussive basis for a track. I tried to be as versatile as possible with the presets – the Electronic Edge EZX can sound clicky and glitchy, but it can also sound huge and aggressive. My aim was to give the user as much flexibility as possible, which is why the knobs underneath the mixer are so important. You can alter a preset quite a bit, so the 30 included presets can actually be viewed as much, much more.
There was a ton of engineering that went into making the presets, with quite extensive chains of effects and routing involved. You then distilled this down to the knobs available in the interface. Tell us briefly how these work.
Richard: These knobs are bringing your beats to life, so I encourage you to use and automate them a lot! The first four knobs are the ‘Edge’ engine. This has two internal channels: ‘Character’ and ‘Motion.’ Character sometimes adds a little bit of fuzz, some bitcrushing and so forth. ‘Motion,’ on the other hand, alters the movement in a preset by adding phasing, a sample delay or maybe a chorus. You can really get creative and out-.of-the-box results when digging in to these controls. Also, note that every preset has a different ‘Edge’ engine with different effects and parameters assigned to it, so the options are endless!
Another important factor of the presets is that each one features three different kicks and snares. Why did you go for this approach?
Richard: Well, who doesn’t like three kicks?!? I feel that for a complex electronic beat, one kick or snare simply is not enough sometimes. One of my favorite things to do is to start making patterns with the three kick drums of a preset. This gives you a solid base. Try not to program them on every beat, instead make interesting patterns with these kicks. Every preset also has specific pitching options and by using the ‘Pitch’ knob to tune specific elements of a beat up or down you can really get interesting results. If you automate the pitch, you can have crazy complex and interesting patterns in no-time with only the three kicks. Note that the ‘Pitch’ knob alters every sound in the preset differently. It can sometimes pitch down a hi-hat a whole octave but only slightly detune a tom-sound.
What was the creative process like? Did you create with an end-sound in mind or did you simply go with the flow for each preset?
Richard: I had some specific tracks in mind when creating some of the presets to get started. As soon as I knew I could achieve this sound with my sounds, I let those tracks go and started creating presets that I felt worked well in a specific context. I used the ‘Edge,’ engine and the ’Pitch’ and ‘Dirt’ knobs extensively when creating presets to make sure the presets still worked well when altering these knobs drastically.
Reverb High Snare
Reverb Low Snare
Reverb Medium Snare
Trap High Snare
Trap Low Snare
Trap Medium Snare
Cycle Closed Hat
Electron Closed Hat
Filtered Closed Hat
Grainy Closed Hat
Heavy Closed Hat
Metal Closed Hat
Noisy Closed Hat
Pitched Closed Hat
Plonk Closed Hat
Pulsar Closed Hat
Retro Closed Hat
Ring Closed Hat
Rough Closed Hat
RX Closed Hat
Short Closed Hat
Snap Closed Hat
Stutter Closed Hat
Techno Closed Hat
Vintage Closed Hat
Boink Open Hat
Cycle Open Hat
Electron Open Hat
Heavy Open Hat
Machine Open Hat
Metal Open Hat
Noisy Open Hat
Pitched Open Hat
Plonk Open Hat
Prism Open Hat
Pulsar Open Hat
Retro Open Hat
Rough Open Hat
Short Open Hat
Stellar Open Hat
Techno Open Hat
Vintage Open Hat
Deep High Tom
Digital High Tom
Disco High Tom
Flat High Tom
FM High Tom
Grain High Tom
Laser High Tom
Prism High Tom
Pulsar High Tom
RX High Tom
Saturated High Tom
Space High Tom
Deep Mid Tom
Digital Mid Tom
Disco Mid Tom
Flat Mid Tom
FM Mid Tom
Grain Mid Tom
Laser Mid Tom
Prism Mid Tom
Pulsar Mid Tom
RX Mid Tom
Saturated Mid Tom
Space Mid Tom
Deep Low Tom
Digital Low Tom
Disco Low Tom
Flat Low Tom
FM Low Tom
Grain Low Tom
Laser Low Tom
Prism Low Tom
Pulsar Low Tom
RX Low Tom
Saturated Low Tom
Space Low Tom
Wooden Boardv Wooden Delay
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1.6 GB free disk space, 4 GB RAM.
A working EZdrummer 2.2.0 or Superior Drummer 3.2.4 (or above) installation.
Note: EZdrummer 2.2.0 and up is 64-bit only on Mac and requires macOS 10.9 or higher.