Symphonic Choirs to Hollywood Choir Cross-Grade

Man Sum Lam

samuellms
My friend told me East West now offer cross-grade from Symphonic Choirs to Hollywood Choir, and it is a $400 dollars difference.
That's how East West treat their loyal customers. We stayed loyal when they kept delaying the release date. They told us how different Hollywood Choir is, and that's why they don't offer cross-grade.

After we bought it, now they sneakily offer cross-grade by email-ing offer, as you can't see this official offer in their website.

I mean if it is a sale I get it, but after they told us they are not offering crossgrade because the library is so "different", and now secretly send this "cross-grade" email, I just totally lose faith in this company.
 

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Jay Panikkar

Introduce A Little Anarchy
I was looking for a cross-grade when Hollywood Choirs was released so I am annoyed at seeing this offer now. However, keep in mind that Symphonic Choirs was released in 2005 and Hollywood Choirs came out this year. 50% off cross-grade to the full Diamond version of HC may not be a bad deal.

This is typical EastWest, though. Their marketing is a bit weird, seemingly stuck in the previous decade and sometimes loaded with bullsh*ttery. I'm not a fan of EastWest as a company but I use some of their products extensively.
 
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NYC Composer

Senior Member
Can’t really complain-I’ve owned EW choirs for almost ten years. I’m not interested in their new choirs, but if I was I wouldn’t expect a deal after all this time and if they offered one, great.
 
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Man Sum Lam

samuellms
The problem is they don't offer it at initial release. And talked shit about how different Hollywood Choir is.
 

pmcrockett

Senior Member
It's really more of a 33% discount than a 50% discount. They figure 50% based on the $800 "normal" price, but the library is and has long been $600 in actual price. Also, it's only a week-long discount, so it's not exactly a permanent crossgrade offer; it's more like the complete your Hollywood collection at a discount sales they occasionally used to do for people who already owned components of the Hollywood series.

This is just kind of how EW's marketing works. They've covered the market of pros willing to buy at full price, so now they're moving into lower market segments starting with people who are already invested in the wordbuilder concept (i.e. who own Symphonic Choirs) but won't bite at full price. Within a couple years, you'll be able to get the library on sale for $400 without having Symphonic Choirs.

They probably timed it like this because they just ran a contest that allowed people to demo Hollywood Choirs and they want to get purchases from people while that experience is still fresh in their minds.
 
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Vadium

Active Member
unfortunately, I did not have time to compare these libraries in detail - do they differ or use the same source samples?
If all of the Hollywood series was recorded in the EW Studio, then why the picture with the microphones of the Hollywood Choirs in the Play 6 we see the hall as in Symphonic Choirs?


End one more question: is crossgrade mean, that users change SC license to HC license and from this moment can not use SC?
 
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Divico

Senior Member
unfortunately, I did not have time to compare these libraries in detail - do they differ or use the same source samples?
If all of the Hollywood series was recorded in the EW Studio, then why the picture with the microphones of the Hollywood Choirs in the Play 6 we see the hall as in Symphonic Choirs?
End one more question: is crossgrade mean, that users change SC license to HC license and from this moment can not use SC?
As far as I know it´s a complete new library.- New samples plus a rework of the wordbuilder.

I got this mail today. Last month I tried out choirs gold when they had the competition running. To be honest it wasn´t blowing me away so I will stick to Symphonic choirs with the addon and maybe get a different library in the future.
I was surprised that hollywood one doesn´t offer seperate voices just male or female choirs.
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
Weird. I've also owned Symphonic Choirs for years, and I didn't get an email about the cross-grade offer, either. Also, I logged into my account, and my purchases prior to around 2011 were not listed.
 

pmcrockett

Senior Member
unfortunately, I did not have time to compare these libraries in detail - do they differ or use the same source samples?
If all of the Hollywood series was recorded in the EW Studio, then why the picture with the microphones of the Hollywood Choirs in the Play 6 we see the hall as in Symphonic Choirs?


End one more question: is crossgrade mean, that users change SC license to HC license and from this moment can not use SC?
Completely different samples. I assume the hall in the GUI is just a visual representation of how the mics are supposed to be thought of -- IIRC, the manuals for the rest of the Hollywood series describe the mic positions in a similar way to how the Hollywood Choirs GUI visualizes them, as though they were recorded in a hall rather than a studio.

I've not emailed EW to ask or anything, but I'm almost entirely certain crossgrade here doesn't mean you give up your Symphonic Choirs license. It's just marketing hype to make you feel like you're getting a special deal because you're a preferred customer.

The big differences between Symphonic Choirs and Hollywood Choirs are:
  • SC has a smaller church choir sort of sound whereas HC has a larger movie score sort of sound
  • SC has all four SATB sections plus a boys choir and a couple soloists whereas HC has a only a women's section and a men's section
  • SC's wordbuilding is wonky, inconsistent, and not suitable for a capella work whereas HC's wordbuilding is much more consistent and can be used for a capella work if you're very good with the library
I was surprised that hollywood one doesn´t offer seperate voices just male or female choirs.
The official justification that the manual gives for this is that combined sections give the choir a larger, more powerful sound. In practical use, though, combined sections make the wordbuilder easier to work with because you have to finetune things for only two sample sets rather than four. Symphonic Choirs was nightmarishly inconsistent across sections and Hollywood Choirs is a lot better in that regard. The combined sections are probably contributing to that.
 
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Mike Fox

Senior Member
Is HC even worth the $400 though? I already have SC, Requiem Lite, and Ark 1. Are there any choir fx in it?
 

pmcrockett

Senior Member
Is HC even worth the $400 though? I already have SC, Requiem Lite, and Ark 1. Are there any choir fx in it?
Speaking as someone who owns SC and demoed HC during the contest: I'm strongly considering buying it, but only because I'm extremely impressed with the capabilities of the wordbuilder. If you don't need/want the wordbuilder or aren't inclined to put in the massive amount of time required to learn to use it well, I don't think it's going to give you anything that a cheaper library couldn't.

There aren't any FX as such in Hollywood Choirs, but depending on what exactly you want, you might be able to construct it with the wordbuilder. You already have Symphonic Choirs, and that's pretty much the same level of FX capabilities you'd get with Hollywood Choirs.

I guess the bottom line for me is that if you like Symphonic Choirs but wish it worked better, then Hollywood Choirs is for you. If not, then not so much.
 
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Mike Fox

Senior Member
Speaking as someone who owns SC and demoed HC during the contest: I'm strongly considering buying it, but only because I'm extremely impressed with the capabilities of the wordbuilder. If you don't need/want the wordbuilder or aren't inclined to put in the massive amount of time required to learn to use it well, I don't think it's going to give you anything that a cheaper library couldn't.

There aren't any FX as such in Hollywood Choirs, but depending on what exactly you want, you might be able to construct it with the wordbuilder. You already have Symphonic Choirs, and that's pretty much the same level of FX capabilities you'd get with Hollywood Choirs.

I guess the bottom line for me is that if you like Symphonic Choirs but wish it worked better, then Hollywood Choirs is for you. If not, then not so much.
Thanks for your response. I think I will pass on it since I don't have the time for something like the WB, and Ark1 choirs sounds amazing and is super easy to use.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
At one time I was foolish enough to buy the crossgrade. It has nothing to do with the value or quality, it's just that I haven't even used the original. One of these days I will check it out.
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
FWIW, I put in a support ticket to EW, and got things straightened out. I was able to purchase the library at the cross grade price.

Lots of other great choral libraries out there (I particularly like the 8Dio stuff). But most of them don't have WB. WB used to be hard to use, for me. For some reason, it makes sense now. With the Hollywood Choir, if you can put a real voice or two on top of it, you can really get some nice results.

It's going to be really interesting to see if Spitfire's new Eric Whitacre library has WB.
 

SomeGuy

Active Member
Wow. Didn't realize EW specifically said "No there will not be any crossgrades" only to later offer one. If you give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps enough people asked and they changed their mind? Either way I can see how those who bought might be upset. They really should offer a refund or something extra to these customers.

As for the actual offer, are there any youtube videos or audio clips of the same phrase being sung by Symphonic Choirs vs Hollywood Choirs? Could never get intelligible results with Symphonic Choirs without adding a real voice on top. HC sounds better, but I do not trust official demos to show a libraries weak points.
 

Steve Lum

Member
For me the decision wasn't that hard. I could not stomach the asking price at launch, but now at 4 Franklins (which frankly seems the right price point) I took the plunge.
I agree that the best way to evoke realism is to layer with a real voice or two - in fact, it also works pretty well with call-and-response (melody line solo voice reprised by wordbuilder choir). And I still have the original for SATB, VOTA, and boys.
I didn't get an email - was worried about how long ago I bought the original - but EW validated against the account so all good.