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Tips and tricks for getting choir samples sounding natural and real...?

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by Puzzlefactory, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Puzzlefactory

    Puzzlefactory Senior Member

    Nov 22, 2016
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm using Requiem Pro by 8dio and so far what ever I do sounds really fake and synthy.

    I've tried using the phrase builder for the shorts and key switching vowels for the longs but everything I've come up with so far just sounds like a synth unless I have it in the background of the mix.

    Anyone got any tips and tricks for getting a choir library to work in tracks?
  2. Nils Neumann

    Nils Neumann Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2016
    Do you mean the Sustain patches?
  3. OP

    Puzzlefactory Senior Member

    Nov 22, 2016
    Both really. Can't seem to get the short patches to sound right either.
  4. Gauss

    Gauss The Untalented

    Oct 12, 2016
    There is a nice Alex Moukala video about how he incorporates a choir in his track.
    Epic Choir Basics & Tips
    Worth checking out. Might not be the most sophisticated approach, but definitely nice video.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  5. Greg

    Greg Senior Member

    Mar 16, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Hyping up the top end eq helps a lot to add more "air." I usually cut the mids and low mids quite a bit too. Those frequencies can get too resonated and build up a synthy sound. Adding more harmonies and dissonances to feel like a full ensemble helps it sound more real. Maybe try this library? http://performancesamples.com/oceania/
  6. muk

    muk Senior Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Bury them deep in the mix and hide them as well as you can. I am not even joking, unfortunately.

    I don't have any of the high class choir libraries. In fact I use a free choir library if I want to include one in a track. The simple reason: I haven't heard a single choir library yet that sounded acceptable to my ears for anything else than deeply buried background singing. The question of words and syllables doesn't even enter the picture for me. Buried as it has to be it really doesn't matter if it is singing uh, oh, and ah or actual words. And for that, the free choir library I found does well enough. For anything else - no choir library I found does quite well enough.

    Maybe some Requiem users can give you tipps how to get more out of it. But my overall suggestion would be: mask it as good as you can.
  7. Nick Batzdorf

    Nick Batzdorf Moderator

    I agree with Muk.

    Vocal samples (not just choir) are among my favorites. They can sound beyond gorgeous - but only if you use them for what they do well, not if you try to make them Handel's Messiah.
    muk likes this.
  8. wpc982

    wpc982 Senior Member

    Jul 10, 2015
    It isn't real, for sure, but here's an acappella vocal thing -- four voices, nothing else, in English.
    So 'burying' is not an option!

    (edit) -- more could have been done, of course: "mused" comes out as "moo" and many other issues remain -- each could be dealt with, with a large additional investment of time. btw Requiem pro, in the OP, I have and have given up on trying to use it -- it was a dumb concept for anything other than nonsense sung with the same nonsense words they recorded.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  9. JanR

    JanR Senior Member

    I've found with the Requiem Phrasebuilder I get the best results putting Marcato on instead of stac. and turn the release slider down to like 25% (very important). Now you can play shorts the length that you want by holding the keys and get more natural phrasing. Hope this helps :)
  10. Nils Neumann

    Nils Neumann Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2016
    I own Requiem Lite, the sustain/ensemble/phrase patches don't work for me at all (maybe the lack of dynamic layer in Req Lite supports that).
    I only use the Stac/Marc patches, the marc patch works beautiful if you combine it with cc11/cc7,
    here a quick example:
    (choir is only Req Light)

    The marc patch here is basically used as a sustain patch, but the different syllables give you different performances of the same note.

    Quick tips:
    Most of the choirs don't need additional reverb, they are all sampled pretty wet.
    Use a mid/side EQ to widen the sound.
    Most of the choirs (especially the old ones) don't work alone, you will need a good arrangement to cover the fake sounding artifacts at transitions if you wan't to feature a choir prominently. Not impossible, but hard work.
    If CC1 gives you not enough dynamic range, go for CC7/CC11.
    Use negative delay on your tracks, choirs tend to be a bit late.
    For the staccatos in Requiem the release knob can make the crucial difference.
    maxime77 and Ollie like this.
  11. Nils Neumann

    Nils Neumann Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2016
    but ... but ... what about http://performancesamples.com/oceania/ ?^^
    Lawson. likes this.
  12. dathyr1

    dathyr1 Senior Member

    Jan 14, 2013
    I was wondering with choirs as with wind instruments if a Breath Controller would give you realism to the tracks?
    I have a breath controller for wind instruments, but have used them with choirs yet. Of course you could use articulations to do a similar thing. just thowing out ideas.
  13. hummingbird

    hummingbird Active Member

    Dec 2, 2015
    Good idea on the Breath Controller.

    I have played with Word Builder and EW Symphonic Choir and the only way it's been acceptable in creating a choral part is to bury it in the mix as advised above.

    I think it would be a lot like working with strings.

    Voices are going to articulate an onset with slight variations and with slightly different resonation. Even with the best kind of choir or chorus, breathing and initiating on the downbeat will have tiny nuances, articulation of a vowel or consonant will also have that wee variation. So I would suggest perhaps using individual voices to create a vocal part (like 4 solo sopranos) so you can work to humanize them.

    Of course the optimal thing would be to have one or more live voices in the mix. Kinda hard if I'm writing for men lool.
  14. muk

    muk Senior Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    The demos sound good to my ears. Could be good for what it is designed for, which is epic music choir. For anything outside that narrow, specific field I don't see it working at all.
  15. maxime77

    maxime77 Senior Member

    Jul 19, 2015
    One of the keys is to actually have a heavy orchestration so that the imperfections cannot be heard (Requiem Light is used on these demos of 2011):

  16. Paul Owen

    Paul Owen Senior Member

    Dec 9, 2016
    What is the title of the King Arthur track?
  17. maxime77

    maxime77 Senior Member

    Jul 19, 2015
    Knights March or Knights Journey Begins, depending on the album:

    Paul Owen likes this.
  18. thov72

    thov72 Senior Membr

    Dec 28, 2014

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