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Review: Toontrack EZ Keys

Need a piano part to accompany your singing? Then Toontrack may have an easy answer.

Type: Computer Audio Software

Price: US $149, UK £110

Mic Rating:

At A Glance: Toontrack EZ Keys is essentially a virtual piano player that works within the DAW software on your computer. It comes with a large library of piano parts that can be easily customised to fit your song. The piano sound comes from a sampled Steinway Model D grand piano and there are a range of mixer presets for different music styles to make getting the right sound as easily as possible. It is compatible with most popular music sequencer software and you don’t even need to be able to read music to use it.

High Notes: The piano parts are organized by genre and tempo and there is a good enough variety to suit most users. Once you find a piano part that you like the feel of, you can easily alter its key, tempo and chord progression to fit your song using the EZ Keys interface. It even offers chord recommendations for your particular key if you’re not sure exactly what you want and you can create a finished piano part for an entire song within minutes. If you can’t find a performance you like from its library, MIDI files from other sources can be imported into the software to offer greater flexibility.

Off Pitch: Although the interface is very simple to use, it is still helpful if you have some music theory knowledge when altering the chord pattern of a sequence. Also, for more advanced users there is no way to edit individual notes of a sequence within the software.

A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: In addition to being useful for singers wanting to write music, this can also be a great tool for singers wanting to produce a custom backing track for rehearsal or auditions. For example, you could find a piano part with a similar feel to the song you want to sing and use EZ Keys’ graphic interface to alter the chords and key to fit – instantly creating a great sounding piano backing that you could put on CD and take to an audition. If you’re a singer who needs piano parts but can’t play yourself, EZ Keys is definitely worth checking out.

Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.toontrack.com

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