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Guide EZkeys Grand Piano comes with a Steinway and Sons model D grand piano, sampled to perfection in a world-class recording studio using only the best of the best in vintage and modern recording gear. The model D grand piano is the undisputed industry standard among performers and producers worldwide and has over the past century and half had an overwhelming amount of musical history and heritage created on it. The sounds were mixed to sit perfectly in a production environment without any additional tweaking. There is also a selection of ready-made and user controllable presets available, making your sound options seem almost endless.
Toontrack EZkeys Grand Piano
Shares Our Verdict If you’re a songwriter who can’t play the piano, EZkeys is flexible enough to bend to your creative will. Cons MIDI browser is old-school; you only get one piano; the music theory might confuse some. This first EZkeys release focuses exclusively on the grand piano – specifically, a MB sampled version of the much-loved Steinway Model D.
That, in a nutshell, is it, but the software does have some rather clever tricks up its sleeve. It sounds good, if not mind-blowing. What it definitely is, though, is simple: That’s about all there is to it, but given the software’s EZ billing, this shouldn’t come as any surprise.
No-one’s going to choose this piano over the gazillion others on the market on the strength of its tone: Fortunately, EZkeys scores pretty well in this area. Open up the Song Browser and you’re presented with a familiar-looking browser that enables you to scan through and preview files in the library. Going for a song While the parts are well-played and reasonably diverse, they’re heavily ‘songwriter’ orientated – great if you’re working on material for Adele’s next album, but probably not for you if you’re looking for the next iconic house piano riff.
These files can be dragged and dropped into the timeline-style Song Track at the bottom of the display, so it’s possible to string together a complete piano track intro, verse, chorus, bridge, outro in double-quick time. Each MIDI file is analysed so the names of its component chords can be displayed, and you can then change each of these using the Chord Selector see The circle of life below for more. You can transpose song parts, too, though there’s no piano roll for note-by-note editing.
Your own MIDI files can also be imported by adding folders to EZkeys’ browser, enabling you to adjust the key in a similar way. The circle of life EZkeys’ most impressive feature is arguably its Chord Selector, which enables you to make quick changes to the pitch and sound of any chord sitting in your Song Track. It’s accessed by clicking on any chord name, and has a circular design based on what’s known as the circle of fifths.
We haven’t got space to explain the music theory here, but the basic principle is that each step in the circle takes you a perfect fifth up or down, if you go anticlockwise.
The root chord of the key that you’re working in – and its relative minor chord – is in the 12 o’clock position, and chords that naturally ‘fit’ are highlighted. Above the circle, another panel enables you to change the flavour of the chord to a major 7th or sus4, for example. If you click the Details tab, you can even make adjustments on a per-note basis. It’s a simple, powerful system that enables you to put your own stamp on your MIDI files.
In many respects, EZkeys feels slick and polished, though in these days of intelligent, time-saving file searching, the strictly hierarchical MIDI browser does feel a little old-hat you often sense that you’re taking a click or two more than you should to get to where you want. What’s more, we’re a little disappointed that all you get is a grand piano: As it is, you’ll have to wait for the inevitable add-on packs: The best of MusicRadar in your inbox Don’t miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials No spam, we promise.
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VIDEO: Toontrack EZkeys: Grand Piano (Education)
Virtual Grand Piano (Download) Sampled Steinway & Sons B grand piano, MIDI Library with played-in piano patterns, Integrated timeline arranger, Smart. EZkeys Grand Piano comes with a Steinway and Sons model D grand piano, sampled to perfection in a world-class recording studio using only. Buy Toontrack EZkeys Studio Grand – Virtual Piano (Download) featuring Steinway & Sons B Grand Piano, Songwriting Package Piano Player with.