Toontrack Tutorial

EZkeys Explained

6 Tutorials (42min 52sec)
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    Tutorial 1

    The Piano

    7:19

    See how to set up EZkeys for stand alone use, and learn how to work with the presets, pedals, dynamics, and tuning sections.

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    Tutorial 2

    The Browser

    6:27

    The Browser section is used to audition MIDI files either in the host DAW's tempo and key signature, or in the original key and tempo; as well as to categorize, sort, and store favorites.

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    Tutorial 3

    Song Track & Chord Selector

    6:14

    Learn how to place MIDI files on the EZkeys Song Track, transpose the key of the patterns, and alter the chord extensions and qualities using the Chord Selector.

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    Tutorial 4

    Editing the Song Track

    9:39

    Learn how the edit tools work and how the contextual menu commands and Properties window are used to further stimulate creative editing and arrangement of song parts.

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    Tutorial 5

    Import & Export

    8:57

    Discover different ways of both importing and exporting MIDI files to and from EZkeys, as a means of stimulating new variations throughout the song writing process.

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    Tutorial 6

    The Virtual Keyboard Player

    4:16

    See how EZkeys is used to create a piano part for an original song idea /chord pattern, by customizing one of the pre-existing MIDI file piano parts in the Song Track using the Chord Selector.

Is the songwriter in you looking for an easy way to write music? Look no further than "EZkeys Explained". In this micro series, Eli Krantzberg breaks down the simply superb Toontack EZKeys plug-in and shows you all of its features and functions as well how to lay out your own song.

Eli starts with showing you how to set up the plug-in for standalone use, use its presets, pedals, dynamics and tuning sections. Then he reveals the browser section and how to audition MIDI files in different keys and tempos, as well as sort, categorize and save favorites. He then shows you how to edit the song track and arrange, import and export MIDI files and finally create a piano part for an original song.

If you use Toontrack EZkeys, watching this collection of video tutorials is an EZ choice to make. Watch "EZkeys Explained today.

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I started playing drums in high school at age fourteen. Like most kids my age around then, I was into progressive rock. Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Yes. They rocked my world. A few short years later though, my musical life changed. While studying music in college I discovered Charlie Parker, Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, and John Coltrane. Milt Jackson spoke to me in such a profound way that it left me no choice but to take up vibraphone.

These great players, along with  drummers like Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Elvin Jones changed not only the way I thought about drumming, but also music - and by extension, life - as a whole. I realized life was meant to be a creative endeavor. The idea of improvising based on a loose set of guidelines and rules permeated into my psyche even when I wasn't holding a pair of drumsticks or mallets. But if I am going to be perfectly truthful, I have to hold Henry Miller and Woody Allen equally responsible for shaping the way I view and experience the world around me. 

2. What training have you had?

I am currently an Apple certified Logic Pro. Young and cocky, and armed with only a partial University degree, I dropped out of school and  began playing steady commercial hotel engagements and jazz gigs when I could. This went on for many years until I decided it was time to complete my degree - which I ultimately did with a major in Political Science and a minor in music. 

It was at this point that I formed my current band Nightshift. We are going in to our twenty third year now - playing commercial one nighters like weddings, corporate events, etc. Don't turn your nose up at it though - it has allowed me a wonderful quality of life. It gave me the freedom to go back to school and complete a post graduate degree in Communications Studies - all the while supporting myself by playing weddings.

3. When did you get into recording?

It was in this graduate program - in the early nineties - that I found myself drawn to the fledgling emerging universe of hard disc recording and midi sequencing. Based on nothing more than the recommendation of one of my band mates who had an old Atari, I jumped in head first and bought a Mac LC ll, along with a version 1.1 of what was then Notator Logic. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But, in hindsight, it was a decision of epic importance in my life - shaping my future as much as the music of Milt Jackson and Charlie Parker did fifteen years prior. 

I opened up my own commercial home studio in 1998 and began doing a variety of projects, working on radio jingles, artist CD projects, and whatever came my way. A couple of years later a colleague called me up - desperate. He was working at a post production house and one of the editors had just quit. They were doing audio post for a weekly TV series and needed a Pro Tools editor - and fast! And so, once again, I jumped in head first into what would ultimately open up my world even more - the world of Pro Tools. 

4. People you have worked with/for?

Focusing on Logic, I built up a small but loyal client base and my phone kept ringing for Logic tech support and instruction. Film composers and studio owners all over the city were calling me. Even the music stores were giving out my phone number at this point! This kind of stuff becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The more of it you do, the more calls you get to keep doing it. At least that's the way it should be!

As my Logic chops kept growing, I was hired by an old buddy of mine, Len Sasso, who was then an associate editor at Electronic Musician magazine, and began writing some columns for them. I had a blast doing them - and really learned to focus and express my thoughts in a concise and clear manner. This lead to a collaboration with LA based composer Terry Michael Huud on the 2006 film called Civic Duty - which was certainly one of the highlights of my professional life as a composer. 

5. Why are you so good at training people?

I wake up every day excited to boot up, and create. Whether it's instructional videos, creating music, working with a studio client, performing with my band, or teaching at the schools - my days are filled with what I love doing. Enriched by the stimulation and creative freedom this modern music making software brings to my life. I bring that excitement and passion to each and every training product I create. My years of experience both using and teaching these programs has taught me the best way to make the user comfortable with these complex programs.

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The All-Access Pass gives you just that, instant online access to every single video tutorial currently on the site and any ones that get added during your membership.

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EZkeys Explained is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 6.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Overview! New to EZKeys, but after watching the video I know I'll be using it all the time.
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice overview I've been using EZKeys for a while, and this video filled in some gaps and answered some questions. I learned some shortcuts too.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ezkeys very little useful stuff in this series of videos, better to go for the songwritng with ezkeys videos which seem to cover the same material in more detail
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Simple and clear Here's a quite simple but useful tuto to take control of EZ Keys as the user manual might be too light sometimes. Direct access to informations and no diluted statements. It seems that some EZ Keys functions have evolved since videos shooting though it doesn't really affect tuto efficience.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Consistently perfect It doesn't matter which tutorial I purchase, after watching it I learn very quickly how to really use my software.
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly great explaination of Ezkeys I can be wrong, but its the first EZKeys tutorial i have seen and the author did an excellent job explaining the software uses and also some creative adaptations. Very well done.
Date published: 2016-02-25
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