Best Strings Money Can Buy!
Best strings I've heard in a while!! Got lucky and bought these on sale!! Love East West!
Best strings I've heard in a while!! Got lucky and bought these on sale!! Love East West!
Having other East West packages led me to adding voices. I knew that I would not be disappointed because the excellence of their other products have proven themselves to be one of my best investments. I am not even a huge fan of choirs but having the power, versatility and authenticity of real voices brings my compositions to a new and exciting place. Even with the first composition listeners reacted with amazement to the haunting boys voices added to carry a portion of the melody...wondering where I had recorded the choir. With all the East West software I have only scratched the surface of creativity and expression that I have always wanted to achieve.
Real-live recorded choirs at your disposal for precision composing…
Once I started using them I even recognized layers used in video game soundtracks from Resident Evil 4 ( the castle part ) and Mortal Kombat stages. Totally worth the money if you're serious about bringing the power of human vocals to your sample library...
I upgraded to Symphonic Choirsa couple years ago and I've seen EastWest continue to develop their product with one improvement after another. There's still not a product out there that can touch it.
The main complaint left here by other reviewers center around Wordbuilder, the program that forms the words. Potential customers should know that once, Wordbuilder was a seperate program that ran alongside Symponic Choir. EastWest has since then fully integrated Wordbuilder. !!! happy happy !!!
I was using Voice of The Apocrolypse (VOTA) way back in the dark ages of Gigastudio // flashback!! // and Symphonic Choirs is LIGHT YEARS ahead of that. It takes me minutes to program now what used to take me HOURS.
Moreover, I appreciate a company that continues to develop and improve a product after you buy it. that's refreshing!
This is one of East West's best package. Loaded with quality choir samples and even the solo samples are great. Wordbuilder is an added bonus and is so much fun to use. Lots of keyswitching to work with.
East West is one of the top acoustic / symphonic virtual instrument companies, and deservedly so. Their products are consistently of the highest quality and realism, and their older products have held up very well in the face of newer offerings from other companies; even new East West products don't necessarily replace older releases either. E.G. Storm Drum 3 is different from SD2; not better, but different.
Symphonic Choirs is no exception. The age of this collection does not diminish its quality; it easily competes with more recent offers from other companies. SC is a powerful and flexible choice when you need a realistic sounding choir or solo vocalist. The Wordbuilder is very deep, allowing for the creation of almost any text you can think of. The general sound quality is superb.
1) Symphonic Choirs is not good at producing staccato choir parts, so don't expect to get a LOTR Dwarf Chant from it.
2) The Consonants in Wordbuilder often need a bit of adjustment to get them to sound right; but considering the depth and complexity of turning text into realistic sounds, this is not surprising.
3) I suggest you spring for the Platinum version. The multiple microphone positions are particularly important with vocal groups and will help you get the level of definition you need for a given situation.
Message to the readers: as of roughly 2010-2011 many of the other reviews are out of date. No other software is required to run this software as a plugin or in "standalone" on Windows or on Mac. It's all fully-functional, fully-integrated. On to the review! At the time of this review, years and years after the release of this product, Symphonic Choirs is still the only product that does what it does: it allows you to record a choir realistically singing your own lyrics and words. Of course getting very realistic results can be extremely time-consuming and require a keen sense of which phonemes build your words and how to manipulate the vowel and consonant sounds provided. I don't exactly see this as a flaw of the library though; human languages are all so varied and complex that perfect simulations of singing or speech without a bit of work are pretty much unimaginable. The only minor omissions I would also like to have in this library are divisi samples and sampled legato, so for the amount of work required and those omissions I have removed half a star. This choir sounds very powerful and detailed and comes with different microphone positions to hone in on the right sound or to let in more sounds of the hall. If you're writing music out of passion--not for money, and not under time constraints, but out of love--and see choirs and lyrics as vital to your music, this is the only option for you, and fortunately it's more than capable.
This synth/sample player represents the actual "next level" in the professional arena. Word builder doesn't work in stand alone mode, however you can still play the pitched samples. I run Windows 7 in the 64 bit mode, so finding a virtual midi driver (VMD)was a hassle. The online manual gives some names of compatable VMDs which can be googled but the freebies are 32 bit and the 64 bit units cost $20 on average...Forget it, I've got a killer system so the extra processing associated with running this in a DAW isn't an issue. Once your up and running though, functionality is a breeze with all of the available tutorials on EW web site. No vocal samples to date come close to sounding as human as these. A little tweaking in Word builder (shown in the tutorials) combine with the high quality and definition, anyone would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the real and the virtual. Aside from the stand alone midi problem, QLSC is better than perfect.
The final result is fantastic and is a mind blower. However, the installation for me was dreadful - the worst I've seen for any Windows program. Having Symphonic Orchestra already installed made matter much worst.
You must have the patience to work through the issues
Although not clear, you also need an software Midi router ( not included). I am using a free loopMidi that works well.
To record into my DAW, I am running a SPDIF cable from the target sound card into my recording soundcard and record to wav as I play.
It's easy to expect this program to come right out of the box and start singing your music back to you, but due to the subtlty of language that's asking way too much. There's a great deal of user interaction required in order to get the singing to sound realistic.
The Pros: High quality recording, extensive customization ability
The Cons: Incomplete recording of common vowels & consonants, limited ability to store/recall customizations.
The quality of the sound is excellent (as is all of the EastWest Symphonic libraries), but the interface is not quite as "intelligent" as one might want it to be. You can pretty much forget about typing in any known language and skip directly to the Symphoinc Choirs "votox" language. It takes awhile to get used to but I found adapting quite easy.
There are several common vowels and consonants that were not recorded. No "a" as in "bat", no "ay" as in weigh. You can simulate these sounds by mixing other vowels (ah & eh and eh & ee respectively), but the quality of the results depends on how much time you're willing to put into it. Also, no "zsh" as in vision or "ng" as in sing (all "g"s are hard "g"s in SC). Again, Votox simulates them by combining sounds, but the default results are only so-so and these sounds are so common that they probably should have been recorded.
The last criticism is the limited ability to customize pronunciations of words and phrases. It is possible to customize words and phrases, it's just not as extensive or easy to do as it probably ought to be.
All in all, a really good program if you're willing to put in the time, but don't expect it to do everything for you.
On-time delivery. Good sounds. credible choir. I would appreciate Wordbuilder plugins integrated with Apple Logic though
If you're a PC user, once again, you'll have to take a second seat to the Mac user. There's no instant gratification here. By that I mean: This is actually two programs that run simultaneously. The Word Builder controls the Chiors with midi messages. So if you want to use this software in the stand alone mode (on a PC), you've gotta find yourself a loopback driver. This is a virtual midi output to input driver that is intrinsic to a Mac but not the PC (so this is partly microsoft's fault [Win 7]) but can be found on the internet after some searching...And you WILL have to SEARCH for it if you're running x64, keeping in mind that most of the freebies out there are quite cheesy or potentialy infected. Now if you have a decent DAW (such as Sonar 8.5), this may not be necessary as the advanced midi routing within the software is taken care of. However, after dropping more than four bills on a program that can't talk to itself in the PC stand alone realm because of a piece of freeware omitted by it's makers because they use Macs...Okay guys, really? Symphonic Choirs is innovative in so many ways, but they tripped at the finish line. Could've easily been five stars. Oh well, can we has an update?
2 months after buying and I still have not been able to use this, i cannot believe the amount of crap you have to go through to install this.. i have tried to install it on two other computers and gave up. I just bought a new computer with more than what this program recommends and i am still having trouble installing it.. if you miss a beat in the 100,000,000 step process you will be ripping your hair out for days... i am now waiting for customer service to finally authorize this to my ilok.. call me dumb or whatever i have trouble with most vst plugins but i am use to the old ways of buying a product, put in code and having it ready to go. BUT THIS.. is just ridiculous. It's a great program i have been wanting it for years!!! to bad i can't use it!
Ok. So I've had a few months to sit on this and develop an opinion. I'm going to just go ahead and start with the cons... no need to sugarcoat it.
The installation process is very complicated. The software that comes in the box isn't even up to date, so you have to go online and install an update patch as soon as you are done installing the discs. The other drawback is that you have to use an iLok to open the program. iLok recently updated their license managing app, and the new app gave me problems after I installed it so I haven't been able to open the program. East West is not particularly known for their customer service either, so all in all, this has been a huge headache.
• Frustrating to install, update, use
• iLok required
When the program worked it was really cool. The word builder was the main attraction for me and it was really neat, but the rest of it (consonant and vowel sounds, etc.) is pretty much on par with some other choir samples. The choir samples that come with Logic are just as good in my opinion, and they don't require an iLok.
• Word Builder is really neat
• Samples are good (even if only on par with other programs)
I mostly use choir and orchestra as a backdrop for songs, so I don't really do any full-on scoring for movies or gaming. If you have the time and patience to really dedicate to using East West programs to their fullest ability for film and game scores, have to have word builder, don't mind dealing with the hassles of iLok and license managing/updating software and really sketchy customer service from East West then this might be for you. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
I bought this and the East West Orchestra Silver edition on sale, and regret it. If you are on a Mac platform, look into Logic. It's cheaper, comes with a lot of good choir and orchestra plugins (but no word builder), and doesn't require an iLok. Winning combination if you ask me.
Final verdict: Not worth it.
it plays like a bad mellotron
totally fake feel.
i hate it and feel like i wasted a lot of money
do not buy this
also the manual is impossible to understand
word builder almost non functional
why did they do such a bad job ?
No better than any of the other choir samples that came with Logic Pro, to be honest. Word Builder is so limited and overly convoluted it is useless. I'd advise others to not bother with this package. Not to mention how complex and messed up the installation process is. Really? All that for not much? I'm back to M-Tron, which works way better, and sounds way better.
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