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Topic: Choral Composers: what are you using for samples?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sonare Coeli's Avatar
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    Choral Composers: what are you using for samples?

    Hey everyone,

    I was just wondering what other choral composers were using in terms of sample libraries or soundfonts. I'm in the market for something really top notch for getting mockups ready for contests or commissions. I've been using the soundfont that came with Finale, and it's served me pretty well, but there's a lot of things that it just can't do. The same goes for a lot of other basic soundfonts and samples - they're either too messy (really breathy or unclear) or unnaturally clean (like a really fake keyboard patch).

    What do you use for composition and mockups?

  2. #2

    Re: Choral Composers: what are you using for samples?

    Hi Sonare,

    I would not call myself a choral composer but I have composed 2 small chorals and I use choirs now and again in my arrangments.

    I can quite easily reccommend Symphonic Choirs by East West. The word builder part can be a bit involved but the regular choir samples are very good. Check their site and see what you think.

    Regards John

  3. #3

    Re: Choral Composers: what are you using for samples?

    It´s not there about realism but it´s so flexible, just write the lyrics, that i recommend you to try "Virtual Singer" from myriad.
    Marcelo Colina

  4. #4
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    Smile Re: Choral Composers: what are you using for samples?

    When I am writing in Finale, I use Soundfont made from good old Extended Classical Choir (I think that is the name). But I don't care much about the sound. I just use it for checking.

    I don't need to create "demo" anymore (except when choirs want to have practice recordings), but if I have to create demo, I usually sing by myself or ask one of my friend to sing with me. This method has worked very well for me in normal demo making or competition submission.

    Examples...
    Two people mixed choir (me singing ten and bas, and one of my friends singing sop and alt)
    http://www.wisemanproject.com/mp3/07...loria-demo.mp3
    http://www.wisemanproject.com/mp3/08...heSky-Demo.mp3

    One person mixed choir (me singing everything)
    http://www.wisemanproject.com/mp3/08...hioto-Demo.mp3
    http://www.wisemanproject.com/mp3/08...nongu-Demo.mp3
    http://www.wisemanproject.com/mp3/08...tella-demo.mp3
    Kentaro Sato (Ken-P)
    Composer/Conductor/Orchestrator
    www.wisemanproject.com

  5. #5

    Re: Choral Composers: what are you using for samples?

    I think you have to split this discussion into two parts: do you intend to have a choral sample library that can sing words? Or ones that are just ooh's, aah's, and other choral effects?

    If the latter, there's a decent number of them available and lots of options.

    If the former, I think there's really only one option: EastWest's Symphonic Choirs. I think it's really quite good. The sampling quality and the choral singing is excellent. The programming detail is good but not stellar. WordBuilder, the tool you use to type in the phrases you want it to sing, is extremely cumbersome, and ultimately (IMHO) not capable of a perfect rendition, however, with a lot of patience you can get good results with it. I don't think you'll be able to convincingly mock up an a cappella masterpiece, however, you can do a good stab at an accompanied piece, and if mixed right and blended with an orchestral or piano accompaniment, you can get away with a lot of stuff...

  6. #6

    Re: Choral Composers: what are you using for samples?

    I'm sorry, but none of the above mentioned vocal "instruments" ever sounded remotely real to me. They always struck me as more like that fake voice you hear on telephone answering machines.

    I gave up looking for an application that would accept lyrics and have been hoping for a simple SATAB choir and soloists singing "La" or "Ah". After a while (i.e. years of waiting for releases like realivox and Garritan Choirs) I gave up on that, too.

    I am now rehearsing with my nices singing the soprano and alto parts and they are hoping to interest their friends in doing the tenor and bass parts for me.

    I am continually disappointed that so many previously announced libraries never made it to market and that those currently available sound so little like the real thing. It doesn't matter to me how much they are an improvement over the last releases. The audience doesn't care about that. If it can't fool a casual listener into believing that real singers were used, there is no point in bothering with it, as far as I'm concerned.

    Allegro Data Solutions

  7. #7
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    Smile Re: Choral Composers: what are you using for samples?

    >>I am continually disappointed that so many previously announced libraries never
    >>made it to market and that those currently available sound so little like the real thing.

    I think we all feel the same way.

    I suspect that the main problem is no developer understands how choir works in terms of vowel unification and modification. As long as developers think that having 5 basic vowels (Ee, Eh, Ah, Oh, Oo), hum and nice word construction software is enough for English (and Latin) choral sound making, there will no "great" choral sample...
    Kentaro Sato (Ken-P)
    Composer/Conductor/Orchestrator
    www.wisemanproject.com

  8. #8

    Re: Choral Composers: what are you using for samples?

    I would not consider myself a choral composer either, but i love to write music for choir.
    Unfortunately i have been trying to get the best out of what the market offers. As today there are few choices, it all depends on what you want to achieve and how hard you can try to make some sample to sound good.

    I personally tend to write slow music as that kind of music is the music i would like to write for a movie that i would score. So perhaps in this case the software out there seems to work for me at least at a mock up level. i have been using mostly EWSC because it gives the option of words, that means more realism. i am not advertising for EW but i believe that this piece of software is the foundation for the next to come. So here are some example of the music that i wrote and the use of this software that i make:

    Umming

    Bach

    My Kyrie

    Sam's Theme

    Good bye (towards the end of the piece)

    Panis Angelicus

    The shadow of the war


    Let's say that for this type of music it is very easy to get good results. i have wrote a tutorial that you can find at EW website. there i posted files and examples too.

    i am as for most of you guys waiting for something that would blow my head off!!! in the mean time lets have fun with what we have.


    Roberto

  9. #9

    Re: Choral Composers: what are you using for samples?

    I agree with Marcelo. Myriad Harmony Assistant with Virtual Singer is able to sing lyrics in different languages. I have written several chorals with it.
    Windows XP-SP2, IE7, ARIA GPO4, GPO KP2, Kontakt 3, NOTION 3, Amplitube X-GEAR, Overture 4.1, Harmony Assistant 9.5.1e, Virtual Singer, Gold SoundBase 2, OMeR 2.2, PDF to Music 1.2.1d, Miroslav Philharmonik, Sample Tank 2SE, Audacity, MuseScore 0.9.6

  10. #10

    Re: Choral Composers: what are you using for samples?

    Roberto: lovely demos! East West should include these on their demo page!

    Greg.

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