EZ Mix 2: Reasons To Be Cheerful
1. Overview: EZmix 2 is a savvy multi-effect preset driven plugin released by Toontrack (creators of EZDrummer) that provides a rich assortment of high quality studio effects powered by Overloud. EZMix2 contains 350 presets spread across a wide variety of production uses, such as; guitar processing, transient shaping, vocal processing, de-essing, advanced EQing to name just a few. Every EZMix2 preset is a complex chain of effect units which load seamlessly in the background and supply the plugin with its striking sound quality.
To have a tremendous collection of quality effects at your disposal when mixing and tracking is both a boost and a benefit to the engineer’s processor ‘tool bag’. To have the measure of those effects self contained within the EZMix2 plugin environment and ready to load in an instance – enhances the production workflow no-end.
When it comes to CPU weigh-in, and considering the number of effect units that make up a preset signal-chain, EZMix2 has a suprisingly small footprint. Loading several instances of the plugin on multiple channels is certainly achievable on an average system, whereas, a full mix using only EZMix2 processors and effects could be realised on a powerful machine for sure.
2. Interfacing: Designed for quick navigation, the user interface of the EZMix2 plugin has been given a refreshing face-lift and now displays 4 user sections on a single page where all user activity is staged. There is a comprehensive multi-levelled browser feature with a dedicated ‘Search’ bar that allows presets to be searched for by; effect, instrument, genre or type, preset pack and producer name.
Effects categories presented in the upper section of the EZMix2 interface lead to deeper searches allowing for a drill down to get to the specific details of the signal-chain settings as shown in the plugin’s centre section. As presets are selected, EZMix2 displays the separate effects units through a collection of icons which become illuminated in the plugins nifty graphic layout window.
At the foot of the EZMix2 interface is an easy to use mix control section with seperate trim/gain stages for both Input and Output levels and 2 rotaries for blending the intensity of an effect with the dry audio signal as it is processed through the EZMix2 plugin.
3. Preset Effects: The range of sonic dimension in EZMix2 is remarkable as the plugin equips the user with a valuable resource of effects settings based on high-tech mastering effects like the: Multiband compressor – Mastering Limiter – Stereo Enhancer – Aural Exciter and the new EZMix2 – Room, Spring and Plate Reverb algorithms.
The guitar features in EZMix2 have also been revitalised to encompass a far reaching colour pallette which expands across many genres ranging from Metal to Jazz to Classic Rock. The captured guitar sounds reflect the much sought after characteristics of classic vintage gear and include: Amp & Cabinet Modelling – 5 new guitar amps – a range of speaker cabinets and a host of new stomp effects totalling 41 Guitar & Bass signal chains in all.
Essentially, EZmix2 is a ready to use mixing engineer, mastering suite and guitar/bass amp all rolled up into one package with all previous content from the original EZMix included. Optional expansion packs that contain genre specific presets from renowned producers such as: Chuck Ainley – Charles Feelgood – Mark Needham are readily available through the Toontrack site.
Personally, I have no qualms about using ready made presets or of ‘quick fix engineering’ methods so long as the end result is a confident contribution towards a commercial quality audio release. My tendency is a marked preference for using those reliable tools that enhance the production workflow while delivering true sonic integrity.
The depth and dimension of the EZMix2 sound, both impressive and often inspirational, is achieved through the plugins carefully designed signal-chain settings, which, intelligibly demonstrate imagination and artistic invention. This stunning collection of effects presets serve as a valuable resource that should not be overlooked because they unlock a formidable treasure trove of production secrets all wrapped up in a single plugin instance!
Brought to you courtesy of Soundwrx Digital