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Toontrack Soul Roads EKX

Toontrack Soul Roads EKX

Hot on the heels of EZkeys 2 comes its first sound expansion, Soul Roads EKX.

Toontrack have wasted no time with the first sound expansion option for EZkeys 2. There are no prizes for guessing the target of Soul Roads — it’s the classic sound of the Rhodes electric piano — but what we get here is in fact two examples: an early MkI from 1970 and a MkII from the 1980s. Within EZkeys itself, these appear as two separate instruments, each with its own collection of presets. Toontrack already offered their Classic Electrics expansion for EZkeys 1 and that included a very usable Rhodes MkI (alongside a Wurlitzer 200A), so just what does Soul Roads bring to the party?

The Soul Enchilada

Sonically, both of the new pianos sound impressive and, as with the actual MkI and MkII, while they have a similar character, there are some obvious tonal differences. For those trying to get as close as they can to the sound of a specific musical era — ’70s or ’80s — the sonic details will be important. For everyone else, it’s simply two alternative electric piano flavours to choose between. It’s win‑win though, as they both sound beautiful. Whether you want old‑school soul, funk, pop ballads or some R&B (traditional or modern!), there are great options here.

The supplied presets provide plenty of variations for both core instruments. As well as a Basic option for both, there are presets featuring various ambience options such as tape delay or plate reverb, a range of modulation styles including chorus and phaser, rotary speakers, various amplified sounds (included the excellent ‘Panned Amps’ preset), an interesting ‘Talking Piano’ preset (which features a very cool envelope filter effect) and ‘Filtered Vinyl’ presets with tape flutter and vinyl noise that can be dialled in for a suitably lo‑fi sound.

Unsurprisingly, on a technical front, the Soul Roads is somewhat larger than its EZkeys 1 equivalent, clocking in at 1.2GB, and most likely representing a more sophisticated and/or detailed approach to the sampling. That said, individual presets from either expansion pack, once loaded into EZkeys 2, have similar RAM needs (around the 400MB size). There are obvious sound differences, though; compared side by side, while Classic Electrics still sounds good, the Soul Roads pianos just seem to have a greater depth and a much more satisfying tonal response to playing dynamics. And, designed for the EZkeys 2 engine, with its Effects panel on the Keys page, Soul Roads presets generally give you more options for adjusting elements of the sound.

The EKX is supplied with a suitable soul‑inspired MIDI library and, if you need more, alongside the EKX MIDI content, Toontrack have also released two further MIDI expansion packs — Retro Soul and Modern Soul — both of which contain plenty of excellent performance ideas. The Soul Roads sounds themselves will, of course, also suit lots of other musical styles represented within the EZkeys MIDI expansion options.

Classic electric piano sounds were an obvious first candidate for Toontrack on the back of the EZkeys 2 release and Soul Roads captures these sounds brilliantly.


Classic electric piano sounds were an obvious first candidate for Toontrack on the back of the EZkeys 2 release and Soul Roads captures these sounds brilliantly. If soul, funk, blues, ballads, R&B or chilled pop are your thing, Soul Roads is going to tick lots of sonic boxes.


Soul Roads delivers two generations of Rhodes electric pianos alongside some excellent MIDI content. The first EKX for EZkeys 2 sounds great.


£75 including VAT.