If the improvement from EZ Drummer to EZ Drummer 2 is as substantial as the upgrade on the look of the packaging then I think we’ll be in good shape. Not that the original EZ Drummer looks like it was designed by an amateur, but that kit on the front doesn’t scream “this is the sweetest set you’ll ever hear and you have to check it out right now.” It looks like the kind of starter kit that the drummer in your first hardcore band played. You know, the one with a folding chair for a throne. But that 7-piece beauty on the new box? Classy.
According to Toontrack, their EZ Drummer 2 is an entirely revamped program and not just one with a few new features added on, although it is still compatible with the existing expansion packs for the original software. The list of features is pretty exhaustive. I have the entire list embedded below.
Besides the usual “we have more of everything” approach to beefing up the library of sounds, there’s also a lot of workflow enhancements. The new “Power Hand” feature, for example, is not an 80’s video game peripheral but instead is a way of customizing your virtual drummer’s performance. “Tap 2 Find” allows you to play a beat with your mouse clicks, and it will then bring up a list of existing grooves, with a percentage rating for how similar they are to the type of beat you were looking for. It’s a cool enough idea that I can ignore the usual anger that using a 2 in place of “to” usually instills in me.
Some of these features will obviously be of more use to some than others. For example I’m more the type to program my beats than to use existing grooves, but peruse the list below and it’s likely you’ll find something to your benefit. At the very least, new kit options are always a good thing.
|Drum libraries||2 (incl. the Cocktail EZX)||2|
|Drum kits||2 (incl. the Cocktail EZX)||5|
|Multi-out stereo channels||8||16|
|Edit Play Style||No||Yes|
|Individual velocity control||No||Yes|
|Tap 2 Find||No||Yes|
|Search by tags||No||Yes|
|Preview MIDI in original tempo||No||Yes|
|Mix & match EZX sounds||No||Yes|
|Pitch control for single instruments||No||Yes|
|Instrument properties audio preview||No||Yes|
|Volume controls for single instruments||No||Yes|
|Effect chain presets||0||29|