What's new

Do you appreciate the use of choirs in soundtrack- and orchestral music?

Do you appreciate choirs in your orchestral or soundtrack music?

  • Choirs are great! Give me *all the choirs all the time*

    Votes: 9 7.9%
  • There's a place and time for choirs

    Votes: 84 73.7%
  • I prefer the use of choirs to be kept to a bare minimum

    Votes: 13 11.4%
  • Keep your human voices out of my music thankyouverymuch!

    Votes: 3 2.6%
  • Are you alright?

    Votes: 2 1.8%
  • Choir is only allowed in 'Duel of the Fates'.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I just bought Insolidus 'cause sale and screw you

    Votes: 3 2.6%

  • Total voters
    114
  • Poll closed .
Edward Scissorhands (Elfman) and Ave Satani (Goldsmith)
Opposite styles, like heaven and hell. Both are great.

The epic choirs from epic braaamy trailer music.... Yeah... still love it. But so overused it's getting boring.
O' Fortuna is the perfect example of a monster track that has been ruined due to being used every-f*__*ng-time.

See, I have no quarrel with what you wrote. I mostly agree. I have a conflicted opinion of the Edward Scissorhands score, it is great and bad at the same time. This opinion is not important, it is beside my main point.
 

jazzman7

Member
How many generations back have people been saying stuff about "The kids nowadays"? The major commercially driven Cinema will stampede after fashion...Eventually, they shift as new innovators come along
 
I do not understand the presence of fashion in the seventh art. It seems myopic even financially speaking. Why don't you teach me about this: A flop such as Blade Runner lost money in the first year(s), but being one of the most important movies ever made, isn't it true that it's going to generate revenue for 80 years or so? Why don't they ever talk about this looong tail? I don't think it is negligible as they would have us believe... The store owner never says business is good, right?
 
OP
Shiirai

Shiirai

Avian Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #64
I do not understand the presence of fashion in the seventh art. It seems myopic even financially speaking. Why don't you teach me about this: A flop such as Blade Runner lost money in the first year(s), but being one of the most important movies ever made, isn't it true that it's going to generate revenue for 80 years or so? Why don't they ever talk about this looong tail? I don't think it is negligible as they would have us believe... The store owner never says business is good, right?

I'm going to keep this short as it has little to do with the discussion at hand, but I do agree with this sentiment. The problem is that 'Businesses' eventually enter a 'meta'. Hollywood is an important example of this. 'Opening weekend' is apparently the be-all-end-all of metrics and by all accounts that doesn't make a lick of sense. The 'long tail' you speak of is hardly ever mentioned on high-level, but when you look deeper you see that other production houses actually bank on it.

Apparently currently, Hollywood is percieved to be 'dying' as it can't handle the new 'world-meta' of not going out to cinemas.

I am sharply reminded of K-pop, where 'Comebacks', 'initial cd-sales' and big voting rounds decide the success of artists and groups, which to me sounds ridiculously arbitrary but it's what the 'market-meta' was built on.

I think that the most important word in all this is 'arbitrary'.

And honestly Choirs have nothing to do with this. Except I agree that they're usually used arbitrarily.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
I'm not sure everyone typing here gets the notion of "director" or "producer," in relation to "composer." We certainly ought to have sincere, developed opinions about music. It's also fair for us to propose, even argue a bit if we think something is artistically over-used or tiresome.

But I, at least, am no Harrison Ford. I think my job at times is to try to understand why they are asking for something and what I can do that substitutes something a bit less hackneyed that, nevertheless, does what they want.

It's Not a Symphony...

Most of us are actually on a project for a fraction of the time that the people who hire us are on it. Video games take four years of sometimes thousands of people. Films sometimes get developed over an even longer time. Television? Those people work themselves to death (as do we).

And furthermore, as creative people who come in at the end, we sometimes can, graciously, offer a fresh perspective on a scene or even the whole project.

...And PhDs Not Required

As the last (usually) to join the team, we are collaborators, not dictators. I think my job is sometimes to throw out everything I ever learned about music, from bar bands to Buxtehude, and try to "start over" from my colleagues' or the audience's point of view.

But to return to points others have made, when an "epic" choir shows up, one has to be careful that it's not inadvertently creating a parody.
 
Last edited:

I like music

Senior Member
We have also to keep in mind that choir sample libraries are considerably, considerably, more limited than what a real choir can do. So of course, if you do use a sampled choir, it'll do a fraction of a fraction of what a real choir can do. I'm sure that limits your ability to write for the virtual choir, so you often chuck it on as a colour. But of course, you paid big dollars for the library, so you have to show your significant-other that you are in fact using what you purchased.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
if you do use a sampled choir, it'll do a fraction of a fraction of what a real choir can do.

Sadly, true. Same for all samples, alas. Somehow the more simple the music, the less convincing. It can lead to over-orchestrating.

However, for me it was the Year of the Choir. I am using choir libraries from so many sources, old and new (or new to me) -- Spitfire, East West, Strezov primarily but Olympus and others are lurking around. For color, Strezov adds so many thing, and Eric Whitacre's choir library is so elaborate and has so many unexpected ideas (unexpected for a sample library, I mean) that I keep stumbling across patches and thinking, "I can't believe they sampled that!"

I wrote a piece that's really all about the choir which incorporates five or six libraries from different companies and I can't wait to have it released. Took quite some time to program!! It has live strings but because of Covid I didn't want to risk anyone getting sick, so the rest had to remain electronic.

[note: I have received free products from East West and Strezov Sampling]
 

I like music

Senior Member
Sadly, true. Same for all samples, alas. Somehow the more simple the music, the less convincing. It can lead to over-orchestrating.

However, for me it was the Year of the Choir. I am using choir libraries from so many sources, old and new (or new to me) -- Spitfire, East West, Strezov primarily but Olympus and others are lurking around. For color, Strezov adds so many thing, and Eric Whitacre's choir library is so elaborate and has so many unexpected ideas (unexpected for a sample library, I mean) that I keep stumbling across patches and thinking, "I can't believe they sampled that!"

I wrote a piece that's really all about the choir which incorporates five or six libraries from different companies and I can't wait to have it released. Took quite some time to program!! It has live strings but because of Covid I didn't want to risk anyone getting sick, so the rest had to remain electronic.

[note: I have received free products from East West and Strezov Sampling]

Aye, true of all instruments as you say, and maybe I'm wrong, but do you think it is moreso the case for choirs? Maybe its because I only have a few sampled choirs, and almost never have occasion to write for them, that I feel that they are behind (so I haven't tested them enough).

Also, I guess our ears are so well tuned to the human voice, that anything slightly dodgy will get picked up much more easily even by the average ear. I like to think of a modelled violin or trumpet fooling the average ear, but a modelled voice not being able to do the same in a musical context.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
I guess our ears are so well tuned to the human voice, that anything slightly dodgy will get picked up much more easily even by the average ear.

No doubt you have put your finger on it. That said, the expressiveness of choir libraries has leapt in recent years. People are really trying. And the new rendition of choirs from East West has a much-improved word builder, so that helped me.
 

nolotrippen

Senior Member
When I think of movies where the choir was integral to the movie, it seems it was a time when it was NOT being used in everything (so before samples 😉). Rozas' Biblical epics, Nascimbene's The Vikings, John Barry's Lion in Winter and Last Valley, Goldsmith's Omen series. Now I kind of cringe when I hear them as they're used as much as epic percussion effects. Gee, I'm getting old.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
When I think of movies where the choir was integral to the movie, it seems it was a time when it was NOT being used in everything (so before samples 😉). Rozas' Biblical epics, Nascimbene's The Vikings, John Barry's Lion in Winter and Last Valley, Goldsmith's Omen series. Now I kind of cringe when I hear them as they're used as much as epic percussion effects. Gee, I'm getting old.
Choir is not used everywhere even today. It is used quite commonly in a certain kind of film/TV/Game that has proved to be quite popular. The infernal drums/percussion are much more common than they once were and extend across far more genres to the point that you are almost surprised when they aren't there.
 

I like music

Senior Member
No doubt you have put your finger on it. That said, the expressiveness of choir libraries has leapt in recent years. People are really trying. And the new rendition of choirs from East West has a much-improved word builder, so that helped me.

Right. A friend of mine did a quick thing using the old EW choirs, once. He really put his back into it, and man, you could actually tell what the choir was singing. It was mega impressive. He did say it took a lot of crafting though.

And there was a demo posted here by someone using the new EW choir which blew some minds - I wish I could find it. I definitely have my eye on that for the word-building capabilities. And Genesis + Dominus have (in the right context) the ability to do some amazing things. So yeah, I'll gladly welcome improvements in choir technology, because choir is an 'instrument' which deserves to have the very best virtual instruments representing it.
 

ReleaseCandidate

Active Member
Well, I actually have Really Bad News(TM) for all of you: you ain't even the first in the misuse of choirs and orchestras, there exists genres of music that did (and do!) that since quite some centuries! And who's to blame? Some maniac called 'Il Zazzerino'!
But then again operas and operettas use music to support the acting of some people on stage, so maybe they have nothing in common with music that only exists to support moving pictures?
 
Top Bottom