Anyone use EZ Keys for inspiration?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
GuitarPlayerinNYC
KVRist
63 posts since 23 Dec, 2019

Post Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:38 am

First, I hope I'm in the right forum; I looked for a Toontrack forum, but I'm new here. Anyway-

I'm a long time guitar player, mostly in the blues/blues-rock genre, but moving more towards fusion. I'm so-so at music theory. I'm a pretty good collaborator, but not so great at coming up with original stuff strictly on my own. I'm also thinking this may help with my music theory.

Lately, I've been experimenting more with my midi keyboard, and it's really lots easier to pick out inversions, etc. This has led me to start composing "cinematic scores" using Orchestral VSTs, and from youtube vids, even EDM/hip-hop- stuff WAY out of my normal wheelhouse.

So, what's your take on EZ Keys. Has it helped you? I really don't want to just grab a loop/genre, and paste it into my DAW, and claim it as my own. I'm looking for a tool to get my creative juices going. Basically, I'm thinking I could use Keys as a template for ideas.

I haven't demoed Keys, because they tend to throw all their libraries at you. I'm just looking for opinions now; good, bad, or indifferent.

I'm also looking to take advantage of sales going on through the end of the month. Sweetwater is selling EZ Keys for $149, then you get a link for a free expansion pack. At the Toontrack site, they're selling it at full retail, at $179 + an expansion pack.

Does it integrate well with your DAW (I have Tracktion's Waveform 10). TIA.
Last edited by GuitarPlayerinNYC on Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DrMEM
KVRist
234 posts since 6 Aug, 2017

Re: Anyone use EZ Keys for inspiration?

Post Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:51 am

I like it. You can learn a little more about how people use it in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=517113

Wait for it to go on sale! I got it for like $29 and even got a free sound expansion with it a while back. I think that kind of deal rolls around at least once a year.

Sciurus
KVRist
61 posts since 4 Aug, 2019

Re: Anyone use EZ Keys for inspiration?

Post Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:19 pm

Ask this guy if it's the full version he's selling.

User avatar
MadDogE134
KVRist
333 posts since 26 Nov, 2007

Re: Anyone use EZ Keys for inspiration?

Post Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:20 pm

yeah i got ez keys mellotron real cheap on sale @ Sweetwater... i just use it to create parts then drag the midi in and use another instrument VSTi in place of the mello .. so there is no real need to buy expansions (other than midi packs) to ex keys unless you just want to. i just use it for inspirational purposes. like last post said... i'd wait for a sale :) cheers

GuitarPlayerinNYC
KVRist
63 posts since 23 Dec, 2019

Re: Anyone use EZ Keys for inspiration?

Post Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:28 pm

DrMEM wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:51 am
I like it. You can learn a little more about how people use it in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=517113

Wait for it to go on sale! I got it for like $29 and even got a free sound expansion with it a while back. I think that kind of deal rolls around at least once a year.
Thanks a lot for the link! I've bookmarked it.

$29!!! Toontrack? I don't look at every email from them, but I was looking to upgrade EZ Drummer 1 for years, then I remembered around July 4, there's often sales, and EZ Drummer 2 was on sale for $99.

Did you get it during a holiday, or through a reseller like Plugin Boutique? I guess I could wait (but I'm a guitar player, and guitar players tend to buy tons of gear; all my amps/guitars/pedals, etc is better than your average Guitar Center used section).

I finally got smart this past Xmas, and went hunting for sales everywhere. I got an Arturia Keylab midi KB with pads, transport controls, sliders, and I got the Analog 4 software for free, plus a fancy pants Grand piano/keys bundle. Analog 4 alone, costs more than the keyboard alone. Then I got the Sonivox Orchestral Bundle with 5 orchestral instruments, for $32 v. the retail price of $280 (gotta love Plugin Boutique; but NEVER rely on Sonivox for any help).

I was wrong about the Toontrack Demos. You can demo the various Keys indepently: https://www.toontrack.com/ezkeys-line/#instruments

I'll test drive EZ Keys (I picked the Cinematic Grand). But I'm pretty brain fried from learning Analog, and the Sonivox programs. Between the 2, there's about 10,000 presets, then learning how to save banks/presets, etc- it's been mind numbing for me. I also got Scaler from Plugin on sale. This should help me with my theory.

Thanks again!

GuitarPlayerinNYC
KVRist
63 posts since 23 Dec, 2019

Re: Anyone use EZ Keys for inspiration?

Post Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:40 pm

MadDogE134 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:20 pm
like last post said... i'd wait for a sale :) cheers
Yeah, It would be great to get it for $29. Sweetwater only sends me stuff on guitar related gear, because I've bought loads of stuff from them. I only discovered they have Keys on sale, because I googled for sales.

I'm now free to spend more time on music, so I'm riding the high of being pumped to create again, while trying to reign in my impulsiveness in buying the latest shiny object. Thanks for your input.

User avatar
MadDogE134
KVRist
333 posts since 26 Nov, 2007

Re: Anyone use EZ Keys for inspiration?

Post Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:27 pm

well as stupid as it may sound i think i found mine in the 'clearance' section but it was not a physical box... they just sent info and serial so why it was considered as a clearance item i haven't a clue ('cos they still sell it) so check in there from time to time under virtual instruments :) cheers and good luck

DrMEM
KVRist
234 posts since 6 Aug, 2017

Re: Anyone use EZ Keys for inspiration?

Post Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:50 am

GuitarPlayerinNYC wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:28 pm
$29!!! Toontrack?

Did you get it during a holiday, or through a reseller like Plugin Boutique? I guess I could wait (but I'm a guitar player, and guitar players tend to buy tons of gear; all my amps/guitars/pedals, etc is better than your average Guitar Center used section).
I think I got it through a reseller but Toontrack was running the same deal themselves. 80% or 85% off if I remember correctly.

Since you're new to the wonderful and expensive world of virtual instruments, head over to the Sell and Buy forum here and keep an eye on the mega-threads. You can also search them to figure out what deals there have been in the last few years.

Also, just a general warning - try to keep your impulse buying down. The whole point of most of these sales is to get you to buy shit you don't need. As you're discovering, every purchase comes with a learning curve to get something useful out of it, and if you're buying a bunch of stuff on impulse usually all that accomplishes is buying a lot of work for yourself. So, I recommend you figure out what you want and then wait for it to go on sale, and don't buy anything on sale unless it was already on your want list.

GuitarPlayerinNYC
KVRist
63 posts since 23 Dec, 2019

Re: Anyone use EZ Keys for inspiration?

Post Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:56 pm

@MadDog- Thanks.
DrMEM wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:50 am
GuitarPlayerinNYC wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:28 pm
$29!!! Toontrack?

Did you get it during a holiday, or through a reseller like Plugin Boutique? I guess I could wait (but I'm a guitar player, and guitar players tend to buy tons of gear; all my amps/guitars/pedals, etc is better than your average Guitar Center used section).
Since you're new to the wonderful and expensive world of virtual instruments, head over to the Sell and Buy forum here and keep an eye on the mega-threads. You can also search them to figure out what deals there have been in the last few years.

Also, just a general warning - try to keep your impulse buying down. The whole point of most of these sales is to get you to buy shit you don't need. As you're discovering, every purchase comes with a learning curve to get something useful out of it, and if you're buying a bunch of stuff on impulse usually all that accomplishes is buying a lot of work for yourself. So, I recommend you figure out what you want and then wait for it to go on sale, and don't buy anything on sale unless it was already on your want list.
The bold should be pinned to every guitar forum on the planet. Few things piss me off more, when the invariable, "I have $300 to spend, and I'm a beginner. What's the best guitar?" thread is started, and about 90% of the responses is, "Save up for a better guitar." Better? Better than what, when you don't even know enough to judge- as you inferred in your response.

I'm not a young kid, btw. I'm a youngish boomer, and made all the impulse buys on guitar gear, that guitarists tend to do, so I know exactly what you're talking about. I'm siting in a room surrounded by 16 guitars, a bass, amps, pedals, mfx boards. It's insanity.

So yeah, I'm doing things the smart way for once. I'm researching, and asking for opinions, and doing research. Since my passion for creating music has been reignited, after lots of research, I've bought:

Arturia KeyLab 49 on sale for $200. The KeyLab has pads, transport controls, slider & knob controls, and the huge selling point was the Analog 4 software, which costs more than the KB alone in many places. I don't want to be tempted by the various external controllers.

The KeyLab doesn't integrate perfectly with Waveform, but I have most of the input controls working. It's geared towards Ableton, and more popular DAWs. But I can at least control the Analog instruments with the sliders and knobs, to shape the sounds I want.

I paid for Traction Waveform 10 Basic + DAW Essentials for $202, Instead of the Standard for $278. I think I'm only missing one component, Biotek. I have no idea what Biotek is, so I don't know what I'm missing. I didn't get Essentials for the synths, but for the FX- I know I'll be using verb, delay, compression, etc, so I figured I'd get something that should integrate well with Tracktion, while getting possibly better things I already use. Plus, I get a free upgrade to WF11.

I got the Sonivox Orchestral bundle from Plugin Boutique for ~$32 v. ~$300. Now I have all the orchestral instruments that I want. I think the strings sound amazing.

I got Scaler from Plugin on sale, bundled with a Theory guide, and a free video music mastering class hosted on their site, for...~$40. Watching youtube vids on Scaler, led me to EZ Keys "for inspiration." I have to admit, Keys was a shiny object that grabbed my attention.

I think I have everything I need for now. I have LOTS to learn, re: recording/mixing. I did d/l a demo of Keys last night. Their Circle of Fifths wheel doesn't cover the diminished scale, which could be a deal breaker for me. It's likely Scaler will do the job.

Anyway, sorry for the long-assed response, but I'm writing this as reinforcement for what you've said. There's need, and there's want. I've spent less than $400, and I have everything I need, and more.

Thanks for your input/insights.

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