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Toontrack Action EZX

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Guy Rowland
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Toontrack Action EZX

Post by Guy Rowland » Aug 31, 2018 7:52 am

Image

Now this has piqued my interest. I have thunderous, orchestral, hybrid and ethnic drums aplenty, but almost all of them are in Kontakt, which is a mildly infuriating host for percussion I've always found. This is Toontrack's first foray into cinematic, and it immediately has my attention - the groove engine amd mixer (especially in SD3) are superb, which makes me think this will hopefully be a joy to use.

There's 2 demos on the website, the first of which is extremely irritating as a bombastic generic fff orchestra-laden cue, but the 2nd just hints at where things might get more interesting.

https://www.toontrack.com/action
The Action! EZX presents a fusion of orchestral percussion, sound effects, custom foley and classic drum machine sounds, designed for use in any creative context where beat, groove and tone are allowed to transcend the traditional confines. In addition to classic orchestral instruments like timpani, tamtam and timbale, it also captures one-of-a-kind foley, risers, claps, snaps, drops and layered textures of sound never before heard – all intuitively blended, mixed, matched and saturated with various effects in creative hybrid kits. All in all, in excess of 250 individual percussive sounds are presented and used in the more than 15 mix-ready kit configurations included.

FEATURE SPOTLIGHT

Orchestral and traditional percussion
Acoustic drums and classic drum machine sounds
Percussive foley sampled from a rich variety of elements
Ideal for soundtracks and creative sound design
More than 450 individual instruments/sounds in total
21 mix-ready presets
A selection of MIDI grooves included


wst3
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Re: Toontrack Action EZX

Post by wst3 » Aug 31, 2018 8:01 am

I'm a pretty loyal Toontrack fan-boy - have been since the days of DFH for Giga - and I own quite a few of their MIDI packs, EZ-Keys packs, and DFHS2 (still haven't upgraded to DFHS3 yet, but will before the end of the year I suppose). This is the first product announcement in a very long time that did not have me reaching for the "Buy Now" button. And not just because they aren't yet available. It almost seems like someone told them epic cinema was cool and they rushed these out the door.

Hopefully both the descriptions and the preliminary demos are misleading.

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KyleJudkins
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Re: Toontrack Action EZX

Post by KyleJudkins » Sep 07, 2018 11:10 am

I would like to hear the orchestral percussion


Topic author
Guy Rowland
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Re: Toontrack Action EZX

Post by Guy Rowland » Sep 11, 2018 8:55 am

It's out - https://www.toontrack.com/product/action-ezx/



It seems like a mixed bag to me. It's not met my initial enthusiasm, though there are still some real plusses. Listening through the naked kit demos on the product web page above, there's quite a few in the more ticky / sound design that sound very serviceable, and combined with SD3's pattern engine and mixer I think this may well still tip me over the edge. That area is definitely where I see the most scope, keeping subtly evolving and endlessly variable tension grooves going.

On the negative side, they plaster swampy reverb over most of it, there's a general lack of impact oomph and some of the sounds are downright terrible (those risers are right out of 1978, and not in a good way). I'm left with a bit of a missed opportunity feeling, but I'm still just about curious enough to maybe give it a go. That swampy reverb is a real limitation of the EZD2 engine, a real all or nothing thing. SD3 will be a far better host for it.


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Guy Rowland
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Re: Toontrack Action EZX

Post by Guy Rowland » Sep 11, 2018 10:20 am

I found myself pressing BUY, and 5 minutes later there it was. I'm going to pat myself on the back, because all the comments I made above are spot on - the bad and (fortunately) the good.

This is going to be my new ticky / tension machine. There's a pretty good variety of soruces for that, and very quick to manipulate. Song Creator is so great - start with a basic groove, whack it in that and there's 50 variations ready to go. I put some Latin grooves through it which produced some brilliant accidents. There's often an instrument or two that's irritating - their drones and risers are just awful and get in the way, but they're easily disposed of.

Its an enormous amount of fun, massively better than Kontakt or indeed Stylus or Battery for this sort of thing. So even though there's quite a lot wrong with Action, there's enough right with it to very much earn its place in my arsenal.

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