Rewind a few months and you’ll remember our interview with Ash Soan: known by UK drummers for years as the session guy with feel.
But more recently, Ash has arrived at his rightful place, globally recognised for his groove, tasteful chops and instantly recognisable kit sound. His Instagram clips have introduced the world to what we already knew from his work with the likes of Robbie Williams, Adele, Seal, Rumer and countless others - if you want contemporary pop drums, call Ash Soan.
Now, after decamping to London’s Rak Studios with producer Mark Taylor and drum sample kings Toontrack, a taste of Ash’s signature sounds are available to use on your own recordings, thanks to the UK Pop EZX expansion for EZ Drummer.
UK Pop is not marketed as an Ash Soan signature pack as such - his name doesn’t feature in the title - however as you’d hope from his involvement, the sounds are very much his take on the brief.
There are four full kits: a Gretsch Round Badge, Ludwig Hollywood (recorded with sticks and mallets), Gretsch Broadkaster (un-dampened or dampened with tea towels) and a Gretsch USA Custom. An integral part of Ash’s sound comes from his snares, so included is a selection of eight different snare drums, two of which have been recorded with additional options, making 10 different snare options in total.
Of course, another stand-out part of Ash’s kits are his cymbals, namely the hi-hats and stack which he often uses as a ride. Here, there is a selection of vintage and modern Zildjians, including ’50s and ’60s hi-hats, plus a Constantinople/Kerope stack, and crashes and rides from the same ranges as well as Zildjian K Custom Special Drys.
So, with such special ingredients, how does it sound? Combine all of the above with additional processing options from the software (compression, delay, reverb, tape and drive sounds) and you have what could be the most distinctive EZX in Toontrack’s arsenal yet.
The snares carry Ash’s signature sounds: gushy, dead and fat or funky, lively and tight (plus one or two ‘medium’ options), while the cymbals are all a joy of musical smoothness to play. The presets span decades of UK pop sounds, with a nod to kit sounds that’ll work for singer-songwriters, trip-hop, punk, ska, indie and lots more.