Choir Library on a budget

DivingInSpace

Active Member
Hi everyone,

I am on the market for a good choir library as I the closest I come to one is the one from the factory Kontakt. I have no immediate need for one, and I am on a budget, but noticed that Soundiron has a sale right now on some of their cheaper libraries. The choir libraries on sale are:

Mercury Boy's Choir Elements ($69). Doesn't seem too interesting to me, as I need a full choir with Bass, Tenor, Alto and Soprano.

Olympus Choir Elements ($69) This one seems more like it. I dig the sound, and the price seems pretty good. It seems a bit limited at some points as it only has vowels.

Requiem Light Symphonic Choir ($139) A bit more expensive than the others, but to me seems like a great value. Lots of syllables and tempo synced latin Phrases, soloists and true legato. I saw a comment somewhere that mentioned it not being good for faster stuff though.

They also have both Mercury Boy's Choir Micro and Olympus Choir Micro ($29) but neither of those seems to be enough.


I have besides these been thinking about getting Performance Samples Oceania ($269) the price doesn't allow me to buy it at the moment though, as I would prefer to keep it under $200. Waiting for a sale wouldn't be much of a problem though, but the problem with this one seems to be that it is generally a high dynamic library. I really like the sound though.

I mostly write Orchestral stuff minded at video games. Nothing too fancy. Does anybody have any input? Should I jump on Requiem Light or wait for a Oceana sale? Is there other libraries that might be even better for the price? Or Should I maybe reconsider getting Olympus and upgrade later to the full version?
 

TrojakEW

New Member
Well I can speak only about Requiem Light since I have it. I also get it during sale (but for 129$) and I'm saying it is nice library for that price. I think using it for faster stuff is matter of how you can use this library it and not what you will get straight out of box. Here is my test with RL.
Requirem starts at 2:12. I used sustain syllables patches and not staccato. So you can get "faster" attack using staccato to fit more in faster tempo.
 

fretti

Senior Member
I have Olympus Elements, and for me it's enough as I don't use much choir. Has no phrases or word builder wich might be for more choir focused pieces not enough. But the overall sound and quality for this price is really great.
Requiem Light sound also really cool, but seems to be more focused on the light and "religious"/church sound (as the name suggests).

Strezov and 8Dio have a few choirs on different price levels as well; and regularly are on sale (8Dio just had their 40% spring sale).
Cinesamples has VOXOS, quite pricey but also great sounding.
And I think East West still have their 50% sale until 4th of July going; their Word Builder for Symphonic and Hollywood Choir need lots of work and time to get good results, but if you do that, it's probably the most satisfying for orchestral work:) (can be also tested with a one month subscription to the composer cloud)

And hopefully someday soon Spitfire will release the Whitacre choir...:rolleyes:
 
OP
DivingInSpace

DivingInSpace

Active Member
Here is my test with RL.
.
Damn, it really shines in your track. This actually made me fall even more in love with it!

I have Olympus Elements, and for me it's enough as I don't use much choir. Has no phrases or word builder wich might be for more choir focused pieces not enough. But the overall sound and quality for this price is really great.
Requiem Light sound also really cool, but seems to be more focused on the light and "religious"/church sound (as the name suggests).

Strezov and 8Dio have a few choirs on different price levels as well; and regularly are on sale (8Dio just had their 40% spring sale).
Cinesamples has VOXOS, quite pricey but also great sounding.
And I think East West still have their 50% sale until 4th of July going; their Word Builder for Symphonic and Hollywood Choir need lots of work and time to get good results, but if you do that, it's probably the most satisfying for orchestral work:) (can be also tested with a one month subscription to the composer cloud)

And hopefully someday soon Spitfire will release the Whitacre choir...:rolleyes:
I had the East West Composer cloud and tested out both symphonic and hollywood choir. Honestly, it took away a lot of my creativity because I took so much effort for me to get right, so I am going for something less advanced. I will definitely check out your suggestions. I have been looking a lot at the 8Dio choirs, but without a pretty big sale, it is out of my price range haha.
 

Niklas

New Member
Oceania is, IMO, by far the easiest Choir to work with. Nothing else comes even close in that regard. You basically just play what's in your head, and it comes out perfectly. The sound is top of the line for upper dynamics, and is widely used in trailers nowadays. Downside is that it cannot do softer stuff, and doesn't have a word builder. So if you need lower dynamics and can only afford one lib, look elsewhere. If you're mostly writing intense, epic stuff, I think Oceania is unmatched.
 

muk

Senior Member
Try the free Sonatina choir. It works well in orchestral settings, as long as you don't expose it too much. But then again, none of the choir libraries I know really work well when exposed.
 
OP
DivingInSpace

DivingInSpace

Active Member
Downside is that it cannot do softer stuff, and doesn't have a word builder. So if you need lower dynamics and can only afford one lib, look elsewhere. If you're mostly writing intense, epic stuff, I think Oceania is unmatched.
Yeah the Dynamics part is what scares me away, as I write softer compositions too, so being able to implement lower dynamics is pretty essential to me.

Try the free Sonatina choir. It works well in orchestral settings, as long as you don't expose it too much. But then again, none of the choir libraries I know really work well when exposed.
Sadly it doesn't really fit my needs. What I am mostly looking for is a library with some good syllables, as there is plenty of free options for okay sounding sustains. Thanks for the suggestion though.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
as I write softer compositions too, so being able to implement lower dynamics is pretty essential to me.
If you're interested in Requiem Light you should double-check if it has the sound you want on the lower dynamics. Afaik it's more suited for loud and epic stuff. I own it, but never tried to do anything super soft with it. And I agree on it being harder to use for very fast sections (at least if you don't really know what you are doing - like me).
 
OP
DivingInSpace

DivingInSpace

Active Member
If you're interested in Requiem Light you should double-check if it has the sound you want on the lower dynamics. Afaik it's more suited for loud and epic stuff. I own it, but never tried to do anything super soft with it. And I agree on it being harder to use for very fast sections (at least if you don't really know what you are doing - like me).
From what I have heard up till now it sounds like it fits my style, but I am in no way done listening. Thanks for the heads-up, I will make sure not to rush it before I am totally sold!
 

JonSolo

Not Han's Brother
I have seen Oceana on sale one or two times. I am sure it will happen again. It is awesome and easy.
 

lucianogiacomozzi

Active Member
Storm Choir I was my best ever choir on a budget (for epic, shouty stuff), still serves me well even to this day. Stack function really adds to it as well.
 

SoundChris

Active Member
Well Oceania is cool - but IMO just in certain situations. It works well for faster heroic and epic situations but not in calm and soft / classical tracks (but that is just my personal opinion. It definitely is a helpful tool - just not in any situation).

If you want to stay under 200 bucks there are not that many options - but there stil are some:

Strezov Sampling - Storm Choir I
That one is quite old but stil has a very powerful sound and also works wenn in silent tracks. You dont need to fiddle around with a word / phrase builder. There are 5 syllabs which you can use and there is an option so they cylce automatically. Also the stacking option allows you to get an even thicker sound if needed. Even it is an old library the sound IMO is very nice. I own all the new choirs from Strezov (Freyja, Wotan, Arva, SCI, SCII, Tropar, RhodopeII) and also a lot of other choirs (Fluffy Audio Dominus, 8Dio Requiem Pro, Liberis, Lacrimosa, Bestservice Mystica and Cantus, Soundiron Mercury lite, EWQL Symphonic Choirs VOTA etc.). I stil like to use Storm Choir I quite often because it just is so easy to use. You just play. Thats it. it works out of the box and sounds great in context. So you cant do anything wrong with it.

Another Option is Soundiron Requiem Lite (I think it is the smaller version of 8Dio´s Requiem Pro - both companies once were one called Tonehammer). Requiem is a classic and has got very nice vowel legatos. There also is a word builder but it is timeconsuming to get it sound well and you just have a very limited amount of latin syllabs (which in the end sounds like "Apokaly-Scrip-Tu-Domi-Kyri" or something like that. There are not enough syllabs to write serious latin sentences. It stil can sound good. It also has got solists which is a nice addition.

So IMO these are your 2 best / only options. While requiem sounds very nice in the softer styles Storm Choir I can sound stronger in epic tracks IMO. So it also depends on what kind of tracks you want to write. But again: Both products are solid and you ger good value for quite a low price.

Hope that helped!
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
There also is a word builder but it is timeconsuming to get it sound well and you just have a very limited amount of latin syllabs (which in the end sounds like "Apokaly-Scrip-Tu-Domi-Kyri" or something like that.
I'm not aware of anything that I'd call a "word builder", where do I find that? I know of the phrase builder for the syllables (By the way, am I right that there is no way to reset the syllable sequence of the phrase builder from midi? That bothers the hell out of me.) and I know you can mess with the starting positions of the latin phrases to puzzle together different pieces of phrases in an - as you said - time consuming way. Is there a third option that I might have missed?
 

nathantboler

Active Member
I'm not aware of anything that I'd call a "word builder", where do I find that? I know of the phrase builder for the syllables (By the way, am I right that there is no way to reset the syllable sequence of the phrase builder from midi? That bothers the hell out of me.) and I know you can mess with the starting positions of the latin phrases to puzzle together different pieces of phrases in an - as you said - time consuming way. Is there a third option that I might have missed?
I assume he was referring to the phrase builder/editor.

There is no way to reset the syllable sequence with MIDI, you are correct.

If you are using the phrase editor, you can create 2 unique phrases (one on each side of the GUI) and then use the X-fade (with midi learn if you like) to switch between them.

Conversely, if you dislike the phrase editing sequencer, you can keyswitch the individual syllables on both source 1 and source 2.
This is all in one instance of Requiem Light, so if you needed many different phrases or different starting positions, you could just duplicate the virtual instrument track to have multiple instances open. Sorry if that's confusing, it's a bit difficult to communicate in text form. Perhaps we'll do a video soon. :)
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
I assume he was referring to the phrase builder/editor.

There is no way to reset the syllable sequence with MIDI, you are correct.

If you are using the phrase editor, you can create 2 unique phrases (one on each side of the GUI) and then use the X-fade (with midi learn if you like) to switch between them.

Conversely, if you dislike the phrase editing sequencer, you can keyswitch the individual syllables on both source 1 and source 2.
This is all in one instance of Requiem Light, so if you needed many different phrases or different starting positions, you could just duplicate the virtual instrument track to have multiple instances open. Sorry if that's confusing, it's a bit difficult to communicate in text form. Perhaps we'll do a video soon. :)
Hi Nathan, super cool to have someone from Soundiron chime in! Thanks for the recommendations! Allow me to elaborate what exactly I'm trying to achieve and why the Requiem Light v3 behaviour doesn't seem to allow me to do that anymore:

When I use the phrase builder I generally only want to limit the used phrases to a subset and sequence that I feel fits well together in most situations, and beyond that I don't intensly care which syllable gets used when, but I do want a "deterministic" result for when I render out the track or start playback from a certain point in the composition.

In Requiem Light Player Edition v2.5 the phrase builder had keyswitches that allowed you to jump to a position in the sequence and I would use that to reset a sequence at the beginning of a section or if needed override the sequence for a small part. I found that a pretty ideal workflow for dealing with the phrase builder.

In the V3.0 update (btw. did I miss an update after 3.0?) the "Syllable Master" patch no longer works like this and it seems there is no way to reset the position in the phrase sequence other than opening the instrument in Kontakt, opening the phrase editor and clicking on the first phrase (no midi-learn option available for that button it seems). I would prefer if e.g. using keyswitch f-1 (setting the source 1 syllable "off") would reset the phrase to position 1, or if e-1 (keyswitch for phrase mode) resets it to position 1, or if I could atleast manually set one of the free keyswitches (f#-1 maybe?) to reset the phrase position to 1. I don't understand why the choice was made that this is no longer a needed feature, it seems so essential to me, that one wants to guarantuee a predictable sequence of syllables used when playing back the same part of a composition multiple times. And when it's an additional keyswitch that one can use but doesn't have to, I see literally no downside to having it.

Another switch that I would have liked to be pre-bound to one of the free key-switches is the toggle for sustain/staccato that is next to the syllable dropdown, e.g. one key to select staccato and one to select sustain. But at least for this one I can right click and assign CC automation to control it. I would have preferred keyswitches but as long as it's possible to control I'm fine. I could see it being useful for some people if this was something that isn't hardcoded into the phrase but instead is a global switch and the phrasebuilder allowed to either set sus/stac or something like "swch" where it takes that data from the global setting (would make sense to move it elsewhere from the current button that it shares with opening the phrase editor). You know what I mean?

For what I personally make, I love the sound of Requiem Light and I'm not even looking at other choir libraries, but these particular usability changes from v2.5 to v3.0 have created an issue for my workflow for which I have not yet found a good solution. Otherwise I see plenty of improvements in the v3 update and I think it's awesome you're still substantially updating the libraries so long after release! Thanks a lot!

Is there a chance you'll address this in a future patch, or should I look for a plugin that allows me to define a sequence of keyswitch presses that I can manually reset from midi and that get triggered/advanced by note-ons in the playable range, so that I'd effectively be overriding the built-in phrase builder, but still get the functionality of a phrase builder?

P.s.: Love the sound of your Symphony Series Brass and Woodwinds as well!