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Topic: Need feedback on Choirs for Giga

  1. #1

    Need feedback on Choirs for Giga

    I need feedback on Choir libraries for Gigastudio 3. I'm looking to purchase one to start with. Price is not much of an issue. So far, I was looking at
    • Spectrasonics - Symphony of Voices (is it hard to convert into Giga format?)
    • EWQL - Symphonic Choirs (available or not?)
    • EWQL - Voices of The Apocalypse

    If you have experience with any of these or you know of some other choir libraries please provide feedback regarding playability (e.g. legato vs. staccato), how good it tranlates into Gigastudio in case conversion is needed, etc.

    I plan to use this choir in recording sacred music of Russian Orthodox Church with real soloists. I require mostly quiet samples as well as ability to achieve smooth crescendo and legato.

    Do you know if any of the choir libraries can be programmed to achieve that the first note in a phrase can start with a shorter attack and in another phrase to start with a longer attack? How would you program that using MIDI? Some string and choir libraries have only long attack samples which are very annoying since every note that starts a phrase would be with a long (fixed) attack time. Are there any libraries that deal with this in a better way? How do they achieve improvement?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Re: Need feedback on Choirs for Giga


    I don't know SOV, but I have used the EWSC for demo composing and found it extremly useful and flexible. You will be able to do all of the above (different attacks), enter the words (!) the solists are singing (will not sound 100% russian I suppose but if it is to layer them I am sure the illusion can work very well). In addition I find the performers and the soundquality extraordinary. I am a VOTA user too, and would use VOTA only for Ah and Oh in the back of the orchestra. For more sophisticated choir parts the EWSC is much better. So I wouldn't go VOTA right now. The EWSC will be available very soon (or is already).

    It is (unfortunatly) not working with GS3.0 (I'd love to as well), but the sequencer is "integrated" based on the Kompakt software (works as plug-in). This is the main advantage of VOTA that I see -- it works in Giga.

    Hope this help,

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Need feedback on Choirs for Giga


    Huge collection of vocal colors, some moving vowel sounds. Lots of various material, phrases, Boys' Choir, "monks" choir, tight studio sounds--a really sweeping variety of different voical sounds. I think it is a powerhouse for the commercial musician, quite literally enough material to construct years' worth of music. It is easily converted with Chicken Systems' Translator--in fact, I worked back and forth with Garth for a while, giving feedback on various aspects of this specific library's conversion, and Garth really worked some wonders in getting the programming to transfer successfully from AKAI to Giga. One of the all-time classic libraries.

    EWQL Symphonic Choir--

    Not available in Giga format.

    EWQL Voices of the Apocalypse--

    A very interesting and nice sounding ensemble choir, with vowel and consanant switching such that the emulation of words can be programmed. There is a third-party applet which facilitates this. I think it sounds very nice, and very dramatic. I have gotten some very sweeping dynamic sounds from it. An excellent library.

    I would consider what you are attempting to do a very difficult task, since any attempts at word-building are complex and require a lot of fine-tuning. If you are using the choir ensembles more as color, without particular regard to simulating realism, it is easier.

    I hope that helps out some. I think very highly of the two products that I indicated experience with. Both are good investments for commercial musicians.

  4. #4

    Re: Need feedback on Choirs for Giga

    Thank you all for quick replies.

    Just to clarify few points:

    I am going to use real people singing as soloists. I have no plans to use samples to "emulate" soloists. The sampled choir would be used purely as a background. So, the most imporant thing would be to have high quality choir samples that are expressive as I mentioned before (legato, controllable attack, quiet as well as loud samples, etc.)

    Giga format is preferred, but not crucial.

    Thanks again for your feedback.

  5. #5

    Re: Need feedback on Choirs for Giga

    If price isn't an issue and it doesn't need to run on Gigastudio then I'd say buy EWQLSC. The possibilities should be in a completely different league than SOV and VOTA. I'm not saying that the other two are obsolete but three microphones sets in a concert hall, wordbuilding capabilities and sopranos, altos, tenors, basses and boys separated are something that neither of the two have and what I would really expect in a choir library. I'm in line with other preorderers so I don't know how it works yet.

  6. #6

    Re: Need feedback on Choirs for Giga

    To be honest, the new Symphonic Choirs is in a real sense the 'first' choral library to be made. To me all the others were... I'll just say lacking to avoid needless confrontation.

    I am also pretty upset about it not being available in Giga format.. though in the end, to really use it, it needs to have a system all to itself so that makes it *slightly* less of a bother than with other things...

    Frankly, the difference between most sampled choirs (excepting the new SC of course) and what you would get from the sounds on old Roland synths is remarkably negligable...

  7. #7

    Re: Need feedback on Choirs for Giga


    Do you have any analysis of why SC is so much better than what came before? I don't own any choir lib, aside from GM stuff, so I don't have an opinion here. I'd just like to know what might make the new lib so much better. More dynamic levels? Better tuning? Better articulations? Better timbre? Better matching between samples? Better what?


    edit: I do own Diva, but haven't done anything serious with it yet.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    UK- teeming with life....

    Re: Need feedback on Choirs for Giga

    You might like to consider the 'clone ensemble' if you want words. (Beware, it costs $25 to register it )

    I've thought it out as far as this. Sing your harmony lines into Melodyne or Leapfrog Rephrase (25% sale currently on) to pitch correct and timing correct. (Partyticipants could sing their line on one note....just to capture the words and the timbre/ formant).

    Then apply clone ensemble. May I direct you to this link: -


    I think that this technique, with intelligent use, (like using more than a single voice to seed it with) could produce remarkable results at low cost.


    Say 'good riddance' to my little friends

  9. #9

    Re: Need feedback on Choirs for Giga

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske
    The EW folks really pulled out the stops on it. World class engineering (Keith Johnson), world class hall, world class everything. Someday, I'm sure something will top it, but it's going to be undisputed king of the choral hill for awhile. It's a huge step forward.
    I think VOTA already has a great sound. Maybe not as good as the latest lib, but I would think that sound quality would be the least of what would hold it back.

    In my experience the key is great performances that are consistent from sample to sample. I'm sure that most of us have had the experience of going to another articulation only to find that it doesn't blend properly with the previous patch. Or that the musical intent of the note isn't musical in the work at hand. You really need that initial performance, plus top programming to make a lib seamless.

    I don't own either, but I'm wondering if the blendability/playability is improved over the previous effort. That can certainly make the difference between just going to a few favorite patches, and being able to consider using them all.


  10. #10

    Re: Need feedback on Choirs for Giga

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst

    Do you have any analysis of why SC is so much better than what came before? I don't own any choir lib, aside from GM stuff, so I don't have an opinion here. I'd just like to know what might make the new lib so much better. More dynamic levels? Better tuning? Better articulations? Better timbre? Better matching between samples? Better what?


    edit: I do own Diva, but haven't done anything serious with it yet.
    Hi Jon,
    I'll give a brief analysis, but bear in mind I don't have SC and am going on what I heard in the demos (which I have listened to rather thoroughly).

    First off, sound quality! The basic recorded sound of this collection seems to be in a completely different league from what has gone before. The potential dynamics do in fact seem much more expansive. Hard for me to say about the tuning and sample matching without actually playing it, but from what I heard nothing stuck out.

    Secondly, it is divided in sections! Previous choral libs gave you male and female (if even... groan), but here we get a thorough breakdown: Sopranos, altos, tenors, basses, and of course the added 'bonus' (so to speak) of the boys' choir.

    Thirdly, phrasing! From what I am hearing it is actually possible to write some fairly legato phrases with this set. No more halting disjointed lines. Furthermore the staccatos seem much more natural and usable.

    Fourthly, expression! As yet there is limited material to base oneself on, but it seems that the choir is not only well captured, they are actually singing expressively. There are a few moments in some of the demos where the tenors and basses especially really ring out strongly in a way that I simply was not expecting to be possible. I think it would even be possible to do some really rousing Verdian style choruses with this set - and there is no way in hell that was happening with anything that has come before.

    Fifthly, word building that actually works! Sure, not perfect comprehensibility (which is however frequently a feature of real large choirs - even though it shouldn't be of course ) as many have pointed out, but I think it is possible to get even closer than what we have heard so far. My experience with the old word builder was limited, but whenever I did look at it I couldn't help but wish a plane would crash on my head thus putting an end to my misery. If the new one is as functional as is being said, then that will make up for past grievances.

    I'll admit that my previous comment is harsh, and perhaps extreme, but I honestly do feel that way - those sets just never did it for me (frankly, I was even holding back ). Part of the reason is that I have very limited use for simple 'ahhs' and such, and thus the Roland sounds covered that just as well. SC is a whole new world though. Choral music isn't just a background effect for me, it is something that should be able to take centre stage as the main focus of attention (in the past a background effect was all you could achieve, since the phrases would not flow). Finally, this seems to be possible - and thus, the first real choral library!

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