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Toontrack EZbass review

EZbass packs two multisampled electric bass guitars with a generous heap of onboard effects

  • £129
  • €155
  • $149
Toontrack EZbass
(Image: © Toontrack)

Our Verdict

Toontrack has put the easy into virtual bass with a hugely configurable package that sounds authentic and is equipped with some very intuitive features and great sounds.

Pros

  • The bass tones are superb.
  • Choice of picked or fingerstyle.
  • Realistic performance with MIDI keyboard.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • Some might want more bass types.

What is it?

Toontrack‘s EZdrummer 2 (10/10, 205) and EZkeys (various scores for various versions) virtual instruments give music producers everything they need to create authentic-sounding drum and keyboard tracks; and now the band is one step closer to completion with the introduction of EZbass.

At the heart of EZbass are two multisampled electric bass guitars – a ‘Vintage’ Fender Jazz and a ‘Modern’ Alembic, totalling around 2GB of samples – each of which is used as the basis for a variety of presets that, in typical ‘EZ’ style, incorporate fixed effects racks. 

These take in amplification, EQ, reverb, chorus, distortion and more, and although you can’t simply build your own rack from the ground up, the presets provide more than enough starting points to get the sound where you want it to be.

Performance and verdict

Both basses come in picked and fingered versions, and a comprehensive spread of keyswitching articulations enable realistic performances to be played via a MIDI keyboard, from the expected slaps, downstrokes, ghost notes, etc, to the more technically complex Polyphonic Legato and Slide.

Also consider...

(Image credit: Toontrack)

• Toontrack Superior Drummer 3
EZbass is a pretty much flawless way to give your DAW some electric bass tones. Superior Drummer 3 will take care of the rest of the rhythm section, with world-class percussion on tap.

Spectrasonics Trillion
If you are looking for more bass, the Trillion remains one of the finest choices on the market, with a humungous library of world-class electric, acoustic and synth bass tones to choose from.

Like its percussive and melodic counterparts, though, EZbass features its own powerful clip and song sequencing environment, which lets you really go to town designing incredibly convincing basslines within the plugin itself, either from scratch or based on any of a huge library of included MIDI grooves.

You can even drag a drum kit or keyboard MIDI file in to automatically generate a compatible bassline framework, and convert audio bass recordings to MIDI, both systems yielding impressively accurate results.

EZbass absolutely delivers on its promise of making utterly lifelike b-lines a snap to put together. 

The two multisampled instruments sound fantastic and contrast well (and we don’t doubt that expansion packs will add more in the future), and the sequencing tools are first class – it’s essentially a complete mini DAW for electric bass. Another EZ win for the Toon’, we can’t recommend EZbass highly enough.

MusicRadar Verdict: Toontrack has put the easy into virtual bass with a hugely configurable package that sounds authentic and is equipped with some very intuitive features and great sounds. 

The web says

"Fortunately, EZBass packs in an immense diversity of sounds. Toontrack has included large swaths of content to cater for all tastes and, in the unlikely event that you can’t find what you want straight out of the box, there are plenty of options to create your own musical and timbral content too."
MusicTech

"I think EZ Bass does have something for everyone. For the beginner, it will hold your hand all the way. Drag and drop an audio or MIDI guitar or piano part, and EZ Bass will do the rest. If you want to customize it, you can quickly start with the knobs and menus if you are uncomfortable editing the actual notes. For more experienced users, it's easy to access all the articulations when programming your parts"
Production Expert

"Finally, while you have a comprehensive toolkit to add all the performance nuances you want, the workflow is slick; creating a complete, thoroughly professional-sounding and very musical bass performance can be done quickly. All in, this list of top-level features sounds very tempting."
Sound On Sound

Hands-on demos

Mike Luke

Toontrack

Riffs, Bears & Gear

Sweetwater

Specifications

  • Type: Virtual bass (AAX Native, VST, AU, Standalone)
  • Key Features: ‘Vintage’ Fender Jazz Bass, ‘Modern’ Alembic bass, onboard effects including amp models, EQ, reverb, chorus, distortion and more
  • System Requirements: Mac – OS 10.9 or later (64-bit, Intel Core 2 Duo or higher, 4GB RAM or more recommended). PC – Windows 7 SP1 or later (64-bit, Intel Core 2 Duo / AMD Athlon 64 X2 or higher, 4GB RAM or more recommended)
  • Contact: Toontrack