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Topic: EWQL Symphonic Choirs

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  1. #1

    EWQL Symphonic Choirs

    To those of you who own and use EWQL Symphonic Choirs:

    I have looked at YouTube videos, etc., so I have a fair idea of its capabilities. Given that Garritan's choir library does not appear to be anywhere near production (i.e., not this year), EWQL's Valentine's day sale has got me looking VERY closely at Symphonic Choirs. One of my primary interest is creating choral versions of classical style church music. Since many seem to use EWQLSC for gaming and movie tracks, it occurs to me to ask if there are any users who are successfuly using it for church music.

    So, are there any of you out their? Do you have an opinion you'd like to share about its usefulness for this purpose?
    John B.
    ------------------
    Sonar 8.5 Producer (64 bit)
    Notion 3

    GPO4
    EWQL Symphonic Choirs

    2.5 GHz Core2 Quad, 8 GB RAM, Windows 7 64-bit
    Audiophile 192

    Keystation 61es

  2. #2
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    Re: EWQL Symphonic Choirs

    It's perfect for hymns. I found one example for you on You Tube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPzZwWIBemQ


    also check out "Itineris Spiritus" by Thomas Bergersen.
    on the demo page at EWQL

    David

  3. #3
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    Re: EWQL Symphonic Choirs

    I've got the choirs - not the latest version but a recent one.
    I have mixed feelings about them. They are good, but hard work to get the phrasing right (in any language).
    I have to say that I haven't used them a lot, but here's a few observations.

    For me on a fairly powerful pc, I can't have all 4 parts SATB on the go at the same time in a track. I tend to get the midi notation right using, say choir oohs & aahs from Symphony of voices. Next I start to construct the EWSC's one set of voices at a time & export to audio.
    It then takes a lot of work tweaking & fine tuning.

    You need a lot of patience and time to get a track right.

    They ARE good, but not perfect. Indeed you will see many comments from experts or expert users that say something to the effect of "Well, if you listen to a real choir, you can't make out everything that they're singing". I think this comment is self-explanatory.

    Most people have the opinion that they are useful & great if tucked in with an orchestra or, say a big church organ. Don't expect to get a Harry Christophers Sixteen standard as a finished product.

    I cut my teeth by reproducing works by Palestrina - the greatest of church choir music.
    It was early days in getting used to the software & the failings were probably (or definitely) mine.

    If you are depending on them to be really up-front for a congregation to follow, I'm not sure.
    If it is for your own pleasure, to have "almost" choirs coming out of your music software, then I think they're worth it. I like them for that.

    Again, a lot of comments suggest that they are great for soundtracks, adding to, say, a filmscore, but it's damn hard work, if you'll excuse the expression, to make a full-blown track for just choirs from them.

    Now there are many users who have spent much more time with the package than I have and are far more learned & skilled in using it. These are just my observations. Have a look at the forum for these choirs and see what the "experts" say

    Do I regret buying it? Not at all - I love messing about with them. But I don't think I'd ever have the patience, skill or pc power to do what I originally hoped to do with them - which is virtually what you want them for.
    Having said that, I have written tracks that have been used in church services in different parts of the UK.

    Sounds all negative but I really aren't putting the package down. I really like it and perhaps I need to spend more time & effort so that I can get better results.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    Neil B
    Neil B
    Pentium 4 PC Windows XP Home 32 bit 3.6 Ghz, Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, Trilian, Kontakt 3, GPO 3, EWQLSC, Scope Pulsar II, Cubase 4.5

  4. #4
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    Re: EWQL Symphonic Choirs

    Awesome David - the youtube tracks.

    One of the experts I mentioned above!
    Neil B
    Pentium 4 PC Windows XP Home 32 bit 3.6 Ghz, Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, Trilian, Kontakt 3, GPO 3, EWQLSC, Scope Pulsar II, Cubase 4.5

  5. #5
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    Re: EWQL Symphonic Choirs

    I second your opinion about the patience and time required to get it to sound good. I attempted to do The Navy Hymn with them and spent hours and hours tweeking and I still don't like it. My dynamics are off and I didn't let them breathe.

    http://www.box.net/shared/uacjp7734u

    But as Niel said, I love playing around with them and they're far easier to mix in with instruments.

    David

  6. #6
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    Re: EWQL Symphonic Choirs

    I think the track from David, and some of his other tracks, show that he's got his head around the package.
    However, some words still don't sound human enough & I'm not sure that this is curable, however much time you spend tweaking.
    As nice as they sound, they will always come out artificial or synthetic and if you're happy with a church congregation following them for normal hymns, then fine, but I've been happier using tracks in services I've led where the choirs are integrated with instruments.

    You may want to skip the first 2 minutes of this track, although the tenors are used in that section, but after 2 minutes, there's a SAT section based around Agnus Dei, with the sopranos singing in Latin (Miserere Nobis) and SAt in English.
    Again, some words and dynamics are poor but it was part of my learning curve. Just uploaded it:

    www.tonaleffects.co.uk/agnusdeinb.mp3

    Sorry Commalot, but it's telling me to login so can't get at your track.
    Neil B
    Pentium 4 PC Windows XP Home 32 bit 3.6 Ghz, Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, Trilian, Kontakt 3, GPO 3, EWQLSC, Scope Pulsar II, Cubase 4.5

  7. #7
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    Re: EWQL Symphonic Choirs

    Very nice Niel. They do blend well with music.

    The link is fixed now.

    David

  8. #8
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    Re: EWQL Symphonic Choirs

    Forgot to mention - it also uses Symphony of Voices & Vocaloid Lola

    Neil B
    Neil B
    Pentium 4 PC Windows XP Home 32 bit 3.6 Ghz, Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, Trilian, Kontakt 3, GPO 3, EWQLSC, Scope Pulsar II, Cubase 4.5

  9. #9

    Re: EWQL Symphonic Choirs

    Thanks for the opinions, folks. I had listened to the demos, but I wanted to hear from users with similar interests to mine. I think you gave me some perspective I needed.

    My use would not be for actual in-church music but for the private enjoyment and encouragement of those who like traditional church music. There's a ton of outstanding hymns that you can't find out there, and if you do find one it's done in a way you don't necessarily care for. I also have a couple of original compositions I've sketched out that really demand a virtual choir.

    The key for me is I can't get too bogged down because my focus and stamina are severely reduced by chronic and irreversible health issues. So the idea that it takes a LOT of tweaking to sound halfway good is a concern. Long ago, 1974 to be exact, I took a college course that spent a whole semester in phonemes and language, so I have a sense of the challenges a virtual choir instrument faces and the kind of detailed phonetic spellings that would be required.

    As usual, I am sitting on the fence. Gets kinda hard on the hiney :chuckles: .

    Well, thanks for the comments, any more are welcome.
    John B.
    ------------------
    Sonar 8.5 Producer (64 bit)
    Notion 3

    GPO4
    EWQL Symphonic Choirs

    2.5 GHz Core2 Quad, 8 GB RAM, Windows 7 64-bit
    Audiophile 192

    Keystation 61es

  10. #10
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    Re: EWQL Symphonic Choirs

    Regarding phonemes and language IMO it's easiest to use Votox. The initial result more closely approximates what you want to hear. If I spent more time with Word Builder I would imagine my speed would vastly increase. Practice makes perfect, as they say.

    David

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