Thenatan Trax review

Bring on the beats

  • $50
null

Our Verdict

At times frustrating, but Trax is a solid package with a huge library.

Pros

  • Huge library.

Cons

  • Rough interface.

Directly incorporating (ie, built into the plugin file itself) over 400 samples (1.2GB), this quirky virtual drum machine is geared up to bring instant, mix-ready beats to your trap, EDM and other dance music productions. 

50 eight-channel drum kits are onboard, with no possibility of mixing and matching sounds between them. Each kit comprises two kick drums, two snares (one of them often a short roll), a hi-hat, a handclap or ‘Stick’, and two FX (percussion, cymbals, shouts, impacts, etc). Every kit loads with all controls set to defaults, so they’re not really ‘presets’ per se. Level and pan are adjustable for each sound, and reverb (short and uneditable), filtering (low- or high- pass), distortion, gain, pan and pitchshifting controls offer a degree of global processing. 

The four separate triggered noise layers - hiss, crackle, hum and a bizarre rolling cassette sound effect - make an interesting inclusion. The inability to pan or level them individually isn’t ideal, however, especially given how much quieter and louder Layers C and D are, respectively, than the other three of them. 

There’s also a confusing, aimless modulation section that doesn’t actually show you what Source, Destination (Pitch, Pan and volume) or LFO Waveform you’ve selected, requiring a trip to the various menus to check. The same lack of description is annoying with the filter type and mixer outputs (of which, for some reason, there are 16). 

The interface is a bit rough around the edges, it must also be said. As well as the informational bewilderment mentioned above, there’s no way to reset controls to default at a click, and the kits are simply called ‘Kit 1-50’, rather than being descriptively named. 

All that said, if Trax is approached as a focused and unarguably impressive library of 50 punchy sampled trap and EDM drum kits, conveniently loaded into a simple mixing interface with handy noise layering, the price actually seems reasonable, and the whole thing becomes a lot less frustrating. We really need to be able to mix up those sounds, though...