What is EZmix2?
The hardest part of music production is mixing and mastering. All your recording work is pointless if the song is not correctly mixed or mastered. But since it is not only a skill, but almost an art that requires a lot of knowledge and experience, it is almost impossible to do it right. Especially if you are one of these people who do not record music on a regular basis. Changing EQ’s and applying effects can make your recording worse if you don’t know what you are doing.
And there comes EZmix2!
Ezmix2 is a box full of different signal chains. You might ask: “But what is a signal chain?”
Let’s say you want to record an electric guitar track for a rock song. The first thing you’ll do is set up an amp to use its distortion. The clean guitar sound is going through the distortion unit of your amp and comes out as a distorted guitar sound. The distorted guitar track sounds already awesome, but you might want to add your favorite overdrive pedal between guitar output and amp input, to add some drive. The guitar signal is basically changed 2 times, first through the pedal and secondly through the amp signal. You basically built an analog signal chain out of those 2 units.
A signal chain is only changing the audio signal of any instrument. Components like Compressors, distortion, room effects, specific EQ setting and so on, can all be part of a specific signal chain. Now assume you have a really good and expensive guitar amp which delivers an awesome sound. A good sound engineer can emulate this sound and basically replicate it digitally. So instead of plugging the guitar into an amp, you plug it directly into your recording interface and apply for example a metal guitar amp sound, out of the EZmix2 Metal Gods expansion pack to your track. The digital sound is exactly the same as your real amp sound.
Your second track will be the bass, but as you might not have a bass amp, you just select a digital amp out of EZmix2.
The drum track you recorded (no matter if acoustic or digital drums) lacks on a strong kick drum sound. It sounds too soft and you can barely hear it. You will do the same here, insert a punchy kick drum EQ from EZmix2 to your bass drum track and there you go.
The Vocals need some echo and should be a bit brighter. You just need to select 2 different signal chains for the same vocal track from EZmix2.
As soon as you do with the mixing, by applying different EZmix2 presets and setting the volume levels, you can export the song or set up a mastering track. Here you do the same. You just apply one of EZmix2 Mastering presets.
Ezmix2 is a plugin and can only be used within a recording software. I tried it with an old version of Cubase, Garageband and Reaper. You just open it in the effect menu on your track.
The EZmix2 basic pack comes with 350 different amp simulations and effects of the most common instruments. And it can of course be expanded with many specific expansion packs. Such as Bass Toolbox, Metal guitar Gods or Mastering 2.
I would recommend buying EZmix2 as a bundle, either directly from Toontrack or of Thomann. Toontrack offers a direct download, Thomann sends the actual box including download codes. I purposely decided for Thomann, since the EZmix 2 + 6 Cards Bundle keeps you flexible in choice. You get 6 additional codes for expansion packs and it is your choice which one you want to add. Toontrack however, has predetermined bundles.
I only chose 3 so far and will get the others as needed. The installation and setup is easy and depends mostly on the DAW you are using.
The EZmix2 interface is as simple as it could be. You have your effect library and can search by category. Every effect can be modified by the 2 big knobs at the bottom. The input/output volume can be changed by the small knobs on top. It could not be easier.
The result and the quality
I tried to remix some of my old recordings and was overwhelmed. Within a really short time, I was able to make them sound awesome. I already have my favorite signal chains and use them over and over again.
This plugin was the missing piece in my small home recording studio and it is well worth its money. I can recommend it to anyone who is recording at home or even professionally. And if you are unsure, just download the demo version before buying it.