Toontrack Custom Shop EZX by Matthewrayrgv
I have been using Ezdrummer, Ezdrummer 2 and Superior drummer 2.0 for 12 years. Every new expansion always has its good qualities and it's not so good qualities. I may like the way a particular instrument was sampled but hate the way another one was. Many times the expansion may have hi hats that would sound awful while the kick drum would sound Amazing. Other times one expansion may have great mic options while its mic placements make them sound unusable. Custom Shop has none of these issues. The best way I can describe this kit is that it is a modern take on vintage drums. The kit reminds me a lot of the drums you hear on John Mayer's continuum album. Other snares can bring out a steward Copland kind of sound to a nice classic rock and even jazz sound. The brushes are the best recorded brush kit in the EZX library.
The cymbals are warm and the articulations are so well sampled. They are the most natural sounding cymbals I have heard on a sampled drums. Most times cymbals are a big turn off point for me. The engineers and drummer did a great job. The hi-hats are the best I have heard in a long while. Not harsh, not overly 400-600hz heavy. The articulations are soooo natural and diverse. Snares are out of this world. Very versatile and the articulations are recorded very well. My only critique is I wish they had harder center hits on some of the snares. They are still absolutely usable but I feel they could have sampled even harder hits. The Rimshots make up for this and really take it too the next level (which is maybe why they didn't feel the need to record the center hits soo aggressively). The kick drums are so damn sexy. Not clicky, not overly "woofy". They all sound great! The toms are also amazing. Very useful and fit the tone of the kit very well.
The mics were all positioned so well. Nothing is too harsh. Everything sounds so natural. The room is the best and most versatile I have heard. It can be intimate or huge with a lot of compression.
Now here is maybe my only problem with this EZX. It's more of a personal preference. There should be more mic positions. All the mics kick ass but compared to EZX UK POP, it is lacking in mic options. Mainly they lack ribbon OH mic, close amb mic. If it had that it would be perfect. Then again UK POP has me spoiled so this is just me being picky. Still, it has a ride mic which is rare but is seriously cool as well as a out kick mic and a sub kick mic not to mention amb stereo mic and a mono amb mic! The options are still kick ass and better than most EZX mic options but it could be better. Articulations are amazing, as stated before, however I feel like they missed sampling the bells of the rest of the cymbals. It would really add so much to this kit. Still, what it has is all you need.
Can't say enough good things about this ezx. If you like warm vintage sounding drums with modern recording definition that has enough drum samples to accommodate most styles of music, this is the library for you. I seriously can't get enough of it.