59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
I'm a bit baffled by some of the reviews here. I got EZDrummer recently and I'm very happy with it so far. Let me clear up a few things:
1) It's a virtual instrument (says so right on the name). Apparently some people don't understand what that means. What that means is that you plug it into your favorite "main" sequencer program (FL Studio, Cubase, Mixcraft, whatever) and use it from there. Actually, EZ Drummer *does* come with a stand-alone program as well, but it's mainly a virtual instrument. Complaining that you need to buy a sequencer to use it is like complaining that you need to have a computer or an operating system, or a disk drive, or a power outlet. Duh! That's it's nature, and it's well understood.
2) The licensing is not *that* bad. Here's what it is: you install the program from the disk, you login to their website and fill in some info including the "license key" that comes with your disk, Toontrack generates an automated email containing an authcode that is specific to your computer and your serial number, you type that in on your computer, and you are done. The bottom line is that you can set two machines up to run with a single copy of EZDrummer. Then if you want to install it on a 3rd machine you have to de-activate one of the licenses that you had previously activated.
I'm not real thrilled about the licensing. It is certainly a bit confusing, and I wish it were either a little more flexible or let you license it via a dongle but I've seen much much worse, and I had things running 15-20min after inserting the disk into my machine. It's actually pretty similar to how Adobe does licensing for example.
Ok, so how is it at helping you create drum beats? Seems pretty darn good to me. The "default" drum beats are great. Just select what you want and drag it right onto your favorite sequencer. That is one way to use it. And even using it on that simple level it gives you a lot of power. You can make modifications like how hard the drum strikes are, and you can control the mixer right on EZdrummer itself to tailor the individual drums and symbols. The other way to use it is to create completely custom beats. I have not played with that much yet, but that is the feature that distinguishes it from places that just offer you drum loops that you pretty much have to take "as is" for example. And to me the fact that it offers so many different "upgrades" is a nice plus. It means that you can start small and expand, and also that the company is alive and well and motivated to keep making their product better.
I haven't used it enough yet to give a real in-depth review, but I felt like a few of the things that were said about it were pretty far off-base, and I wanted to chime in on that. I think the real telling thing about EZDrummer is what the real experienced hard-core musicians think of it. Go and do some searches and I think you'll see that this program has a real nice, well-earned reputation in the musician community.
By the way, I've been using it with FL Studio and Mixcraft and it seems to work very well with both those programs.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2011
I have several drum programs (Session Drummer Three, Studio Drummer, and Stylus RMX among others) and EZDrummer is pretty decent. It is not great because you get nowhere near the control you get with something like Stylus. The base package has a reasonable but not very robust number of kits and midi patterns. I think it is more an entry point to get you to buy expansion packs. That is fine as far as it goes. It is at least easy to get things going once you install and start to use the package, especially if you have used this type of software before. Now....the intallation issues. If you follow the instructions I am going to give you you will not have any problems. Otherwise, your mileage may vary! For the record, I am on Windows 7 64 bit Professional. Here goes....
1) Get onto ToonTrack.com and immediately create an account for yourself. Use your account to register your copy of the software. Note that I said to do this FIRST, BEFORE you even try to install anything. Stay on this web site because you have to be on it to activate the software. Registration and activation are two separate things. Activation is a PER COMPUTER thing.
2) Now that you have an account and have registered your product, you can go to the download section for support and get the latest patches for EZDrummer, the Cocktail Lounge kits package, and the standalone application. It is very important to get BOTH the 32 bit AND 64 bit update patches for EZDrummer. You do NOT have to get the downloadable copy of the EZDrummer software. It won't help you. It is actually at least as out of date as the 2 year old software on the DVD it ships with. Yes....this is a complete disgrace and should not be this way! It will want to put this program in the Program Files (x86) directory. Don't worry about this for now because eventually when you get around to the 64 bit patch you have the option to move the application and VST to a better location. Hang tight and follow the steps!
3) Install all the software on the DVD but DO NOT try to launch it standalone or use it in your DAW at this point.
4) Use the zipped patch files you downloaded to update the drum kit and the standalone application. There is just one patch for each so nothing to worry about there.
5) Now....this is important. You have to FIRST use the 32 bit patch to update EZDrummer to the current version of the 32 bit application. Do this and afterwards....once again...DO NOT try to launch the application standalone or in your DAW.
6) Finally, use the 64 bit patch installer to update the application to a 64 bit app and VST. This patch installer gives you the option to put the VST in a more intelligent place so you can see it in your DAW's default VST folder if you want.
7) After this you can launch the standalone version of the program or try to load it into your DAW. It will ask you to enter the activation code and will provide you with the computer code. The computer code is what you enter on the ToonTrack web site. It then uses this to generate your activation code. Once you get it you paste it into the window in the VST and the it is now ready to rock and roll (or jazz or samba....)
Hopefully this set of steps helps people avoid a lot of grief. ToonTrack really have to get their act together to put a coherent installer together and update the software.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2008
Hands down the best drummer I've worked with. Shows up on time, has no ego, and has no psycho girlfriend to deal with. Oh and did I mention that it sounds amazing?
I love this software. I've had it for two weeks and fell so in love with how easy it is to use that I just ordered all the expansion packs.
I was trying to use Session Drummer2 that came bundled with Sonar 7. It was awful. Took me two recording sessions to figure out that it would be forever useless. I now use EZdrummer exclusivley.
There is no end to what you can do with this software. Drag and drop and then edit the clip if needed. Just go to toontracks website and check out the video. If your not sold then get a real drummer.
But if your like me and you live in an apartment and you are tired of using drum machines that sound, well machine like. Then this is for you.
As for the whole registering it thing,it ain't that bad. In fact it was no harder then when I loaded up Sonar and had to go thru registering that.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2012
Let me start by saying that I've only been working with EZdrummer for a day, but I still would like to share my experience so far. I ordered the physical DVD software package, so those of you considering this path, take note.
First, after reading online about how miserable the installation, registration, and authentication process could be, I decided to read all of the installation instructions that Toontrack made available through the product manual and their online support, hoping to avoid others' missteps. They don't provide very thorough instructions from either resource. The majority of the information I found was from reading online reviews. Registration is easy. They made authentication more complicated than it should've been. By using some fancy overzealous security measures they overrode my MacBook Pro's ability to copy and paste the authentication code so I had to type it in manually. I don't see how this improves their product security but it does make it more difficult for someone who legitimately bought their product. Annoying, yes, but not a big deal.
Now, between those two steps I was instructed to download and install the software updates. Two of the patches installed successfully but the largest file, and what appeared to be the primary update, would not install, regardless of what I tried. So, I contacted their support and explained the problem. And this was the email response I received (yes, copy and pasted):
"Certain older versions of EZdrummer that were printed on a DVD are not able to be updated to the latest version 1.3.1."
Umm, so why did you send Amazon, which then sent me, an obsolete product that can't be updated?
The email response continues:
"The solution in this instance is to install the Full version of EZdrummer from the full download in your account, then install the 1.3.1 software update."
Ok, so why didn't your website mention this immediately and in bold print, when I registered my DVD serial number? And when I searched extensively throughout your website for an explanation as to why the update wouldn't install, why didn't I find that explanation anywhere? If I understand correctly, you had some extra outdated product lying around the warehouse that you decided to ship out to your retailers because that saved a few dollars over destroying the obsolete product and producing new, updated DVDs? Huh. That's an odd way of winning over your customers.
I will update this review after I have the chance to explore the software.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2011
I'm giving EZ Drummer 4 stars for the CONTENT. But not for
the "ease of installation".... what a pain in the neck.
The files on the DVD are dated 2009 - and are NOT compatible
with any current Windows 7 installations out of the box! After
many attempts to install, on a brand new fresh install of Win7
64-bit, it just kept bombing out in the installation. So I
went to the Toontrack web site - they don't have an email anywhere,
only a forum (which is pretty sparse) and a "support" wizard.
After filling in the wizard (which you can only do after you
register at their site), I did find the error I'm getting - Windows
error 1308. The FAQ here states basically "the files on the DVD are
really outdated so you need to download the current version from
your Toontrack account".... it's a 700MB DOWNLOAD! It's not a huge
issue or deal breaker, but I just wanted to warn others to not even
bother with the DVD. Chuck it in the bin.
I just don't understand why they are shipping 2.5 year old software
that isn't compatible with current operating systems. Pretty low class.
The drums? Awesome! Once you get past the bizarre installation ritual,
the plug-in is excellent. Works very well with REAPER DAW software.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2011
I spent months downloading all kinds of demos for other software and most were decent, but EZ Drummer stood out from the crowd for me. I've used it for so many things that I've grown accustom to not having a real drummer.
I still prefer a real drummer, but it's very difficult for me to duplicate the results I get from EZ Drummer by trying to record an acoustic kit in my apartment.
I use EZ Drummer inside Reaper and the results are nothing shy of amazing. The variety of kit options, the massive library of patterns and the ease in which you just drag and drop from EZ Drummer to the Reaper track and disco!
It's fantastic for working on arrangements without having to limit myself to rehearsals in order to get a feel for how the arrangements developing. I can put together a demo that sounds better than a lot of studio albums that I hear being released these days and present it to the band for their input.
I still prefer the real thing for the finished product, but EZ Drummer allows me to do so much more than I was ever able to do before.
The expansion packs make EZ Drummer a nearly never ending resource for rhythmic inspiration.
I'm not sure how it would work out for hip-hop or similar styles as there are plenty of other options for those styles of music. EZ Drummer is more suited to mimic a session drummer that never gets tired and plays the track perfect every time.
The only reason I give it 4 stars instead of 5 is for very small things that most people won't even notice. I'm a software developer by trade so I get really nit picky about the details.
I would not hesitate to suggest this software for anyone who could benefit from having the next best thing to a real drummer to work with. If you can find a better value for the price, I'm all ears.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2011
I own the following Virtual drummer plug-ins: BFD, Steven Slate Drums, idrum, Strike and RMX. None of these hold a candle to EZDrummer and EZDrummer is the entry level product! I quickly upgraded to their flagship Superior Drums withing 2 months because it worked and sounded so great. I use it on both the Logic Studio and Pro Tools platforms and it works flawlessly.
What does EZDrummer have that's so much better then the others? First off all a beat library that has a naming nomenclature that makes logical sense. Nothing else does that I've tried or seen. Go find a funk beat in BFD, the name with imply how funkifized it is but it wont tell you a thing about what instruments are used or where they land in the beat structure. Real Genius those guys at FX, plus their support is staffed by children who are as untrained as they are rude.
Second, it's bug free and rock solid. It's like the energizer bunny of Virtual Drummers, it runs and runs and runs without an over bloated sample library weighing down the computer. Try to get Steven Slate drums to give you multiple out's in Logic. Their tech support will blame it on Native instrument and the kontact player it's samples run on so you call them, then they say no it's Steven Slates issue. You can even send them a video of your screen and whats happening with out as so much as a return email once they can't figure out how to fix it. After 4 weeks you realize you have hundreds of dollars worth of software that doesn't work and the vendor could care less.
RMX is even worse, they don't have a tech support forum and they never answer email period. All you can do is call and hope they pick up. I can't recommend any of these 3 products and I payed for all of them.
EZDrummer is so rock solid, so bug free and simple to use I can now deliver finished product to my clients instead of to a drummer to bring in so he can have a rough idea of what he needs to play @ $100 an hour. In less then a few hours I can have full drum track arrangements in multiple time signatures that sound incredible and human. The genius in the naming conventions make altering a beat easy and user friendly. Even the stock drum kit that comes with it can sound really nice if you're handy with a compressor and EQ. The one time I contacted tech support my answer came via email in less then 24 hours and their support board is staffed by employees as well as power users. I have used it little because the software runs so intuitively.
For all the people complying about getting the software to authorize get used to it. Being an audio engineer means just that, an engineer. It's not flogging photo shop. You have to learn the ropes of information systems enough to learn how to use a challenge and response system to activate software. Out of all the software companies I deal with ToonTrack has the best and easiest to use authorization system. If you think you have it bad with EZ go try a piece spectrasonics or Celemony software, you may wait weeks to get them to even notice your alive let alone authorize the software that you've already paid for.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2012
Ok first off, the drums sound great but there are a few things to keep in mind if your looking at this software for the first time.
This is a virtual instrument NOT a DAW so if you just need to use the pre made grooves that come with it fine. If you want to create your own drum tracks you WILL need to buy other software to do that, so far most of the free DAW programs don't play well with this one.
This software does come with a program that allows you to play EZdrummer as a standalone but aside from the mixer controls and beat per minute adjustment you wont be editing the tracks.
The groove styles available are:
These are available in many different timings with fills for each style.
Now for the bad part
If you're running Vista 64 bit(and I'm assuming Windows 7) the disk is useless, the serial number on the CD case is what you really need, here's how it goes:
Go to the toontrack website
create an account
type in the serial number (but don't authorize it until you finish everything else, read on)
now download the newer version of EZdrummer, Toontrack solo and all the patches for them
now install EZdrummer from the download, patch it(pay attention to the instruction with the patch it's kinda weird if you running the 64 bit version) finish updating everything else then authorize it.
I can understand that the disk comes with an out of date version of the software but when you download it straight from the site I think it is messed up that you still have to turn around and immediately patch the stuff.
Bottom line: good drums, annoying install.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2011
The software itself (sound/interface): 4.5 stars
The installation and activation: 2 stars
1) The drums included in EZ Drummer are the most realistic "computer drums" I have ever heard. I'm using them on my latest song and have gotten nothing but compliments on how they sound.
2) All sounds are MIDI, which means you can manipulate how you see fit. I use EZ Drummer with MixCraft and have modified pretty much every beat I have used so far with the built-in MIDI editing capabilities.
3) The interface is clean an easy to use. You just drag a beat from the EZ Drummer window into your DAW.
When I was reading reviews I just thought the people complaining about the install/activation were being wusses. I mean seriously, how hard can it be? Well, they were right, it sucks. It took me two hours to get it all working.
My advice: Don't even install the app from the included disc. Instead, just go create yourself an account at toontrack.com and download the most up-to-date version and ALL the patches for the modules that come with it.
1) Try to install from disc. Fails with a 1308.
2) Google'd the problem. Found out I needed to get a toontrack.com account and download the installer from there.
3) Downloaded the ~650 MB ZIPPED installer. Then, I had to unzip the 18,000 files, which took about 20 minutes on my PC.
4) I was finally able to install it and then had to download three other updates to the modules within the install.
5) Then I had to jump through one final hoop to active it (take this key copy it here, then copy this here, stand on your head, etc..).
Great software, horrible install.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2013
The DVD was useless because the software failed to install on my Win 7. When you look up the error on the Toontrack website, it is a known issue and you have to download the entire software from their website. The only thing the DVD is good for is the product number and...a coaster. The software itself is a good and solid entry level drum sampler. You can build drum tracks that sound pretty realistic. And you have the option to buy and add different drum kits to use in your songs.