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EZmix 2 from Toontrack is a plug-in that essentially functions as a mixing engineer, mastering suite and guitar/bass amplifier all wrapped up inside a single unified package. When inserted on a channel and a setting chosen from the plug-in browser menu, a more or less complex signal chain of different effect units opens up in the background. All the work of combining, routing and tweaking the individual effects has already been done by experienced mixing engineers.
The plug-in can be instantiated on a channel, auxiliary track, a sub group, or the master fader. And the wide range of presets allows the user to quickly hone in a desired combination of effects. All the functionality and content from the previous version of EZmix is still available in EZmix 2, with the major difference being that the new version comes with settings based on high-tech mastering effects, new reverb algorithms, guitar and bass amplifier and cab simulation, a completely revised interface, and a large core content boost.
Parametric EQ: Dedicated 5-band equalizer with full-parametric bell filters that allows for a very flexible and exact tone shaping of the signal
LPF (Low Pass Filter): Passes the lower frequencies of an audio signal and attenuates the frequencies that reside above a certain cutoff frequency - the slope of the high-frequency roll off determines how radically these frequencies get attenuated by the filter
HPF (High Pass Filter): Passes the higher frequencies of an audio signal and attenuates the frequencies that reside below a certain cutoff frequency - the slope of the low-frequency roll off determines how radically these frequencies get attenuated by the filter
Filter: The LPF, HPF, BPF, Band Reject creative filter can be modulated by many different sources, including an LFO (free running or synched to the host's tempo), an envelope follower or a programmed sequence (free running or synched)
Aural Exciter: Produces subtle effects that help to shape individual sounds in the mix, generating synthetic harmonics on the transients and adding more details to any kind of signal
Compressor: Helps to reduce the dynamic range of an audio signal, the range between the highest peaks and the lowest levels present in a signal
Limiter: Also reduces the dynamic range of an audio signal but in a much more radical way with ratios settings of at least 10:1 or much higher
Gate and Frequency Gate: Helps eliminate unwanted low-level noise from an audio signal, and in combination with a HPF or LPF, effectively keeps all unwanted signal out of the mix
Transient Shaper: Helps to exaggerate or attenuate the transient (attack) and/or the tail (sustain) of any audio signal
De-Esser: Compressor that only reacts on a rather narrow pre-filtered part of the frequency range of the audio signal, traditionally used to eliminate the high-frequency S-sibilants
Multi-Band Compressor: Offers individual compression settings of threshold; attack and release time, and makeup gain in up to four isolated adjustable frequency bands
Mastering Limiter: Generally used as the last unit in the signal chain on a master fader to set and control the maximum output level of the mix, and to prevent any signal passing through the upper-level barrier
Distortion and Saturation
Distortion: Adds special overtones to audio resulting in an "overdrive" effect sound that's generally associated with amplifiers, effects pedals and also clipped audio
Special Distortion: Big Muff Pi guitar pedal to pure metal distortion
Tape Simulator: Simulates the various effects of an analog tape recorder including bias, tape speed, wow and flutter
Guitar Amps, Cabinets and Effects
Amplifiers: Emulations of different amplifier models used to create classic and complex distortion and guitar amp settings
Cabinets: impulse responses (IR) of different cabinets to simulate the exact sound of an amp cabinet combination, also including an 8x10" and a 1x15" bass cabinet
Overloud: Tone enhancer processor that adds warmth and vibrancy by applying a combination of compression, EQ and harmonic generation
Bitcrusher: Reduces the bit resolution of any audio-signal and simulates a lower sampling rate
Wah-Wah: Type of guitar filter that produces characteristic vowel-shaped sounds
Vibrato: Classic guitar effect
Tremolo: Similar effect to the vibrato but with its own characteristic sound
Rotary Speaker: Based on the circuit simulation of the Leslie tube amplifier and on the impulse responses recorded from a set of Leslie 122 speakers
Octaver: Classic octave pedal emulation that adds another higher or lower octave to the audio signal
Modulation Effects and Stereo Field Manipulation
Chorus: Simulates the ensemble effect of multiple identical instruments playing the same part with slight variations in tempo, sound and pitch, resulting in a shimmering, widening and thickening of the audio signal
Flanger: Produces a constantly shifting and phasing tone of the original audio signal by splitting it up into two signals and dynamically delaying one against the other
Phaser: Modeled after one of the most famous and versatile phaser effects
Stereo Enhancer: Generates stereo widening effects with full control of the stereo position and width of a stereo track without adding artificial stereophony
Reverbs and Delays
Reverbs: Various reverberation algorithms for room, plate and spring reverb programs
Hall Reverb: Produces the sound of a "hall" type acoustic space - large, long and rich
Inverse Reverb: Reverse characteristic of a classic reverb
Tape Delay: Echo-type effect, typically a tape delay that results in echoes that get increasingly more distorted with each echo repetition
Filter Delay: Echo effect where the frequency of the echo repetitions can be adjusted
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Mac G5 (Intel-based Mac recommended) OS X 10.5 or higher 512 MB RAM 40 MB free hard disc space Audio Units, AAX, RTAS, or VST host application Professional sound card highly recommended
PC Pentium 4 or Athlon processor Windows XP SP3 or newer 512 MB RAM 40 MB free hard disc space AAX, RTAS, or VST host application Professional sound card highly recommended
Toontrack EZmix 2 - Virtual Effects Chains for Instruments and Channels Review