Earlier this month, mixing got even ‘EZ-er’ for music producers as the arrival of Toontrack‘s reincarnation of their popular EZmix software promised to deliver even better results through a wider variety of features.
We caught up with Toontrack’s Head of Sound Design Mattias Eklund to learn more about the thinking behind EZmix 2 and what the Swedish company’s responses are to some of the user feedback so far…
Hi Mattias, thanks for taking the time to talk to us, first up, what prompted Toontrack to create EZmix 2?
It was a natural step in the development of the EZ Line. With the products that fall under this category we try to erase the boundaries that stand between computer and user. Anything that makes the creative process easier while still providing top-notch results can’t really be argued with from our perspective. And EZmix 2 does just that. It’s a one stop for any mixing need. Imagine: with one click you can assign complex effect chains designed by seasoned professionals to any audio signal, making not only your music sound great immediately but adding immense value in terms of inspiration.
The new features of EZmix 2 include a revised interface plus new effects and signal chain content – please could you explain each of these new features in more detail?
The biggest improvement in terms of content is that EZmix 2 adds a large amount of new quality effects working behind the scenes as well as wide selection of guitar and bass amp and cab simulation settings. This does not only give the producers designing presets a much wider palette but makes EZmix 2 the perfect combined guitar/bass amp, mixing engineer and mastering suite. The new interface and its improved search functionality also adds a great value for speed and control. We are extremely happy and proud of how EZmix 2 has evolved. It really is a powerful tool.
How will these new features benefit users?
With all the new functionality, the user doesn’t need to call up any other plug-ins than EZmix 2 to produce a full-scale mix. You can start from a lined guitar and go from there, all the way to a finished master.
EZmix 2 also now includes guitar amp and cab simulation – what was the reason for including these within the reincarnation?
It was a perfectly obvious step for us in order to make it a one stop for all your mixing needs.
Several forum posters have said that they’ll just carry on using their existing plug-ins to tweak and mix their track – what would you say to convince them that they need EZmix 2?
We think that there’s always room for products like EZmix 2 – tools that help people be more creative. However, we have the utmost respect for the art and craft of mixing music. That’s why all the content in EZmix 2 and its expansion packs is designed by the likes of Chuck Ainlay (Dire Straits, Dixie Chicks), Mark Needham (The Killers, Fleetwood Mac) and Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad).
We know the content in EZmix 2 produce quality results; otherwise we would not stand behind it. But we are not here to impose be all end all solutions or to force new workflow on creative people. We believe that everyone knows best how they want to go about working on their music, so we encourage anyone with an interest in audio design to pursue their own path. What we do know and guarantee, however, is that EZmix 2 is quick, efficient and above all, a boost to anyone looking to focus staying in the creative zone instead of spending time getting started.
An overwhelming majority of users that have tried EZmix 2 love the idea that they can benefit from the know-how of some of the most interesting engineers and artists of today, call up a preset that involves a complex chain of effects and instantly produce a professional result regardless if they are working out of their bedroom, a tour bus or a multi-million dollar studio.
Who will benefit most from EZmix 2?
The songwriter that wants to ensure her or his songs sound like professional studio mixes already at the demo stage, or the track writer with tight deadlines or mobile work situations. Basically, anyone that wants to produce quality sounding tracks quickly and easily without spending eons of time tweaking.
Toontrack are renowned for their dedication to Rock and Metal sounds, are the presets in EZmix 2 particularly geared towards this? How suitable are they for other genres?
No, the core content in EZmix 2 spans over all styles. In fact, the new and improved search functionality even lets you browse by genre. The back catalogue as well as planned upcoming titles is and will not be weighted towards a specific genre. Our goal and mission is to make EZmix 2 the undisputable platform for any mixing need regardless of genre.