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Toontrack Alt-Rock Drums EZX Expansion For EZdrummer

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ALT OR NOTHING.


Drums by the man who helped shape the sound of alternative rock: Steve Albini.

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Steve Albini’s imprint on the sound of rock is undeniable. Having worked on seminal albums by the Pixies, PJ Harveyand, perhaps most notably, Nirvana’s milestone record “In Utero,” his sonic DNA is in the fabric of productions that have helped create a new branch in rock history. This collection of drums captures the incomparable sonic fingerprint of not only Steve Albini but also the ambience of his very own studio, which he personally built and designed. Welcome to Electrical Audio in Chicago, IL, and a truly unique collection of drums.

The Alt-Rock EZX presents a crude, genuine and raw palette of drum sounds with an incredible range, perfect for the soft-loud-soft approach that is synonymous with the distinct dynamics of the classic alt-rock sound. Capturing Steve’s unique method of mic placement, attention to detail and drum tuning scrutiny, this EZX gives you two full kits and cymbal setups as well as several additional instruments and percussion pieces, all crafted to perfection.

Even though this EZX takes off in the tremors of the nineties alt-rock scene, it presents a tonal palette with enough color to aid you in painting whatever sonic landscape you wish.

 

FEATURE SPOTLIGHT

Recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio
Two (2) full kits and cymbal setups (Ludwig Club Date & DW Collector’s Series)
Five (5) additional snares, two (2) kicks and five (5) cymbals
Five (5) percussion instruments, including 26” and 29” Ludwig timpani drums
Comes with a selection of MIDI drum grooves inspired by alt-rock music

 

THE DRUMS.

Steve Albini’s own words on the selection of drums recorded during the Alt-Rock EZX session.



LUDWIG CLUB DATE.

This is a ’60s Ludwig kit with thin shells, sized 20″, 12″ and 14”. The Club Date design uses a single central lug on each shell that accepts a tension rod from each head rather than two separate lugs, so the shells have less weight and fewer mechanical attachments. Though it was designed to lower the parts count and cost, this feature makes the drums slightly more resonant and lively than shells made with separate lugs. We kept it skinned with Remo Rennaissance heads, which have an elastic bounce with fewer high overtones than other single ply heads, while still having a strong fundamental pitch and clear sustain. The toms are tuned with the bottom head slightly higher in pitch than the top heads, which causes a slight rise in the pitch as the drums sustain. The additional drums added to fill out the compliment of toms are other Ludwig toms from the same era, tuned similarly. The bass drum features a full front (resonant) head, which provides a singing sustain with extended decay. The snare drum is a WFL 3×13” piccolo with a calfskin batter head. This drum has a short, dry and percussive midrange-voiced sound that is most expressive at the lower end of the dynamic range.

 
 

DW COLLECTOR’S SERIES.

This is a thoroughly contemporary kit made with modern materials and processes, so the tolerances and behavior of the drums are both predictable and consistent. The kit has large sizes (24″, 15″, 16″ and 18”) and Remo Emperor batter heads to control the irregular high-harmonic modes of the larger heads (and Remo Ambassador heads for the resonant side). These drums are characterized by a strong attack and fundamental tone with few overtones and a smooth fast decay. These drums are tuned with the resonant head slightly lower in pitch than the batter head, which causes a slight drop in pitch as the drum sound decays. The bass drum has a Superkick II head for strong attack with quick decay and the resonant head has a hole in it. The the decay is fast and suitable for quick patterns, despite its size. The DW 5×14” snare drum is the same shell construction as the rest of the kit and has a Remo CS batter head and a Diplomat-weight snare bottom head with a 2″ strainer. It has a modest amount of shell tone and a quick decay.

 


 


EXTRA KICK AND TOMS.

The extra kick and toms are ’70s Gretsch but updated with cast hoops and minimally-invasive mounting hardware. They all have Remo Ambassador batter heads and Evans resonant heads. The shells are slightly thicker with a plain lacquer finish, so the natural pitches of the drums are slightly lower than the same sized drums on our other kits and resonances are not damped by an external wrap. These drums have the batter heads and resonant heads tuned to nearly the same pitch, so each drum has a long, consonant sustain and a definite pitch. The bass drum has Remo Ambassador heads and is lightly damped.

 

“THIS EXPERIENCE IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE TOP MOMENTS, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF HOW PERSONAL THIS PROJECT WAS TO ME…”

PAUL SZLACHTA ON THE ALT-ROCK EZX SESSIONS

 

 

INSTRUMENT LIST

 
LUDWIG CLUB DATE.
KICK14×20” Ludwig Club Date Silver Sparkle
SNARE3×13” WFL/Ludwig Jazz Combo Duco finish
RACKTOM 18×12” Ludwig Club Date Silver Sparkle
RACKTOM 29×10” Gretsch USA Custom Natural Maple
FLOOR TOM 114×14” Ludwig Club Date Silver Sparkle
FLOOR TOM 216×16” Ludwig Hollywood Mod Orange finish
HI-HAT13” Meinl Byzance Traditional Medium
CYMBAL 118” Meinl Byzance Traditional Medium Thin
CYMBAL 219” Meinl Byzance Traditional Medium Thin
CYMBAL 317” Meinl Byzance Traditional Medium Thin
RIDE20” Meinl Byzance  Traditional Medium
COWBELL6” Cosmic Percussion by LP cowbell
DW COLLECTOR’S SERIES.
KICK18×24” DW Collector’s Maple Black Oyster Pearl
SNARE5×14” Ludwig Universal 1920s Nickel Over Brass
RACKTOM 112×14” Gretsch USA Custom Natural Maple
RACKTOM 214×15” DW Collector’s Maple Black Oyster Pearl
FLOOR TOM 116×16” DW Collector’s Maple Black Oyster Pearl
FLOOR TOM 216×18” DW Collector’s Maple Black Oyster Pearl
HI-HAT15” Paiste Giant Beat
CYMBAL 118” Paiste Giant Beat
CYMBAL 220” Paiste Giant Beat
CYMBAL 310” Meinl Byzance Traditional Splash
RIDE24” Paiste Giant Beat
PERCUSSION.
SLOT 129” Ludwig Universal timpani (low)
28” Slingerland Radio King bass drum (calfskin)
SLOT 226” Ludwig Universal timpani (high)
28” Slingerland Radio King bass drum (calfskin)
COWBELL6” Cosmic Percussion by LP cowbell
15” Paiste Giant Beat hi-hat bottom (hand-held) “cowbell”
ADDITIONAL DRUMS.
SNARE DRUMS5×14” Ludwig Universal 1920s Nickel Over Brass
6×14” DW Collector’s Maple Black Oyster Pearl
5×14” Ludwig Acrolite 1960s
5×14” Tama Starclassic Maple Red finish
3×13” Bison Piccolo Black Stain finish
EXTRA KICKS16×22” Gretsch USA Custom Natural Maple
14×20” Ludwig Club Date Silver Sparkle (fluffy beater)
ADDITIONAL CYMBALS.
CRASH CYMBALS18” Bosphorus Prototype Crash
20” Bosphorus Prototype Crash Ride
RIDE CYMBALS20” Paiste Sound Creation Dark Ride
CHINA16” Istanbul Agop Signature China
STACKED RIDE20” Paiste Sound Creation Dark Ride over cracked 20” Zildjian K Custom Dark Ride

 

MICROPHONES & SIGNAL CHAINS

KIT 1 – LUDWIG CLUB DATE
All mic preamps Neotek Elite unless noted

Bass drum batter head:Crown GLM 100
Bass drum resonant head:Beyer M380 –> Bob Alach modified Urei 1176 4+8 slow attack, medium release (NB: 1176 used as mic preamp)
Snare drum top:Altec 175 –> NTI equalizer
Snare drum bottom:Shure SM98
10″ tom top:AKG451 + CK1
10″ tom bottom:AKG451 + CK1
12″ tom top:AKG451 + CK1
12″ tom bottom:AKG451 + CK1
14″ tom bottom:AKG C414
14″ tom bottom:AKG C414
16″ tom bottom:AKG C414
16″ tom bottom:AKG C414
Overhead L:STC 4038 300 Ohm –> HPF @375 Hz – Manley ELOP limiter, 200Hz HPF on detector, maximum 6 dB deflection – GML 8200 EQ +4 dB shelf @7.5kHz +5 broadest bell @26 kHz
Overhead R:STC 4038 300 Ohm –> HPF @375 Hz – Manley ELOP limiter, 200Hz HPF on detector, maximum 6 dB deflection – GML 8200 EQ +4 dB shelf @7.5kHz +5 broadest bell @26 kHz
Blumlein stereo front-of-kit L&R:SM2
Ambient boundary L:Neumann Geffel CMV563 + N55k –> John Hardy M2 mic preamp –> Eventide EA delay +22 ms
Ambient boundary R:Neumann Geffel CMV563 + N55k –> John Hardy M2 mic preamp –> Eventide EA delay +20 ms
Hi-hat:Beyer M160 –> HPF @325 Hz
Distant ambience:STC 4038 30 Ohm
Bass drum sub:Bandpass of CH2, resonant head @45 Hz
 

KIT 2 – DW COLLECTOR’S SERIES
All mic preamps Neotek Elite unless noted

Bass drum batter head:Crown GLM 100 –> insert Drawmer DS201 ducking -6 dB keyed to snare hits
Bass drum resonant head/internal:Beyer M380 –> Bob Alach modified Urei 1176 4+8 slow attack, medium release (NB: 1176 used as mic preamp)
Snare drum top:Altec 175 –> NTI equalizer, +4@3.5 kHz +1@10 kHz +2@40 Hz
Snare drum bottom:Shure SM98
14″ tom top:Josephson e22S
14″ tom bottom:Josephson e22S
15″ tom top:Josephson e22S
15″ tom bottom:Josephson e22S
16″ tom bottom:Josephson e22S
16″ tom bottom:Josephson e22S
18″ tom bottom:Josephson e22S
18″ tom bottom:Josephson e22S
Overhead L:STC 4038 300 Ohm HPF @375 Hz – Manley ELOP limiter, 200 Hz HPF on detector, maximum 6 dB deflection –> GML 8200 EQ +4 dB shelf @7.5 kHz +5 broadest bell @26 kHz
Overhead R:STC 4038 300 Ohm –> HPF @375 Hz – Manley ELOP limiter, 200 Hz HPF on detector, maximum 6 dB deflection –> GML 8200 EQ +4 dB shelf @7.5 kHz +5 broadest bell @26 kHz
Blumlein stereo front-of-kit L&R:Neumann SM2
Ambient boundary L:Neumann Geffel CMV563 + N55k –> John Hardy M2 mic preamp –> Eventide EA delay +22 ms
Ambient boundary R:Neumann Geffel CMV563 + N55k –> John Hardy M2 mic preamp –> Eventide EA delay +20 ms
Hi-hat:Beyer M160 –> HPF @250 Hz
Distant ambience:STC 4038 30 Ohm
Bass drum sub:Bandpass of CH2, resonant head @42 Hz
 
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