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View Full Version : New Demo - and Case in Point about Choirs


Debinani
07-15-2005, 10:01 AM
Taking the Ring Pt. 2 (http://www.guildengine.com/stuff/takingtheringpt2.mp3)

Made with Choirs, Silver, and Stormdrum.

The point I wanted to make about the choirs is right at the beginning. This is using the Choirs VST in Sonar. All four parts of the SATB are using the Close Hard Mod patch, with the mod wheel cranked to 127 all the way through. In Wordbuilder I have "KEE S!ar ra" and you'll note that the hard consonants aren't showing up - but in the Boys Choir they're in there quite nicely.

Raul_
07-18-2005, 06:53 AM
I like the melody with Choirs :) They don't sound very realistic but they put a good atmosphere.

ToddK
07-18-2005, 09:21 AM
Yeah, i hear what you mean.

I've heard quite a few Symphonic Choir demos, and i must say,
the lib just doesnt sound good to me at all.

I love most all the EW products, but SC looks and sounds like
a big fat train wreck to me. :(

I'm very glad i didnt spend a thousand bucks on it, thats for sure.
Looks like its gonna be a while before it lives up to what its supposed
to be.
TK

CeXzer
07-18-2005, 11:21 AM
Yeah, there are quite a few flaws, but I hope as people gain more experience with the library we will see impressive demos.

Was this piece inspired by LOTR? (Yeah, I didn't figure that out by the title, but the music :))

At the ending the strings should be more like legato IMHO, this breathing effect breaks them up.

Debinani
07-18-2005, 11:36 AM
I actually adore the sound quality of the choirs, but I think both WordBuilder has a long way to go and I have a long way to go learning to use it - but I do still think it's a grand product (though...admittedly, I'm glad I got it in a bundle).
The inspiration actually came from a fan-fic story written for the game Star Wars Galaxies.
And I thought a legato on the strings would be good as well, but I'm not sure how to make that happen with Silver.

Nick Phoenix
07-18-2005, 12:45 PM
There are obviously some technical issues going on here. The consonants are way too loud. Also there is some added eq and verb that is a little scary sounding.

Lerue
07-18-2005, 01:10 PM
I am under the impression that Symphonic Choirs has a steep learning curve, which is understandable considering the difficulties of attempting to recreate the nuances of human speech in singing patterns, accompanied by the additional problems inherent in a full choir.

Since I do not have SC yet, may I ask how informative the manual is for most users? with Symphonic Orchestra Gold, I fould alot of technical specs. and some useful information, but what I really wanted, was a beginers guide to show me step by step means of emulating the samples.

I believe a well rounded tutorial would help alot of users out with the seemingly steep learning curve of Symphonic Choirs.

Just a few thoughts.

Le' rue

Doug Rogers
07-18-2005, 01:18 PM
This track sounds distorted and swamped in a reverb that sounds like amplified standing waves!

Todd, IMO Symphonic Choirs is the best library we have ever made, but it requires more skill to use than our other instruments. You don't become a virtuoso 'wordbuilder' overnight. Some of the demos show some of what this instrument is capable of, given that we are listening to choirs singing words out of a computer that they actually didn't sing. Over time you will hear more and more impressive tracks that demonstrate the beauty and outstanding audio quality of this library as users skills improve.

Video tutorial coming soon.

- Doug

exstreme
07-18-2005, 01:39 PM
Yeah, i hear what you mean.

I've heard quite a few Symphonic Choir demos, and i must say,
the lib just doesnt sound good to me at all.

I love most all the EW products, but SC looks and sounds like
a big fat train wreck to me. :(

I'm very glad i didnt spend a thousand bucks on it, thats for sure.
Looks like its gonna be a while before it lives up to what its supposed
to be.
TK

i think you most own it first and when you play with it for a couple of minutes and you hear the beautiful sound of this choir libery,than you wish you never said this ;)

i did not buy the choir libery for the wordbuilder,more for the oo and aahs,because i love them and the wordbuilder is exstra for me,but when the video tutorials come out than wil i gonna spend time for the wordbuilder,because the manual is to dry for me :)

svk

Debinani
07-18-2005, 02:18 PM
The only effects/eq/etc applied to any of the sounds in this piece were the Grand Hall reverb in the Kompakt player - which unless you're trying to get *really* surreal sounding choirs (which was my goal), is wholly unnecessary I think to use with the Choir patches.

As Nick said, I am having technical issues with my consonants, which is why the Boys sound harsh and the SATB sound like they can't articulate anything but vowels.

The Choirs really are gorgeous - and if you consider most synthetic phenome reproduction today, the fact that WordBuilder comes anywhere close to actually sounding real and not unbalanced robots is really quite amazing. Once I get my consonant issues worked out I certainly intend to try to show off Choirs more - just need to learn how to tweak it a bit better than my current "straight out of the box" production.

Doug Rogers
07-18-2005, 02:37 PM
The only effects/eq/etc applied to any of the sounds in this piece were the Grand Hall reverb in the Kompakt player - which unless you're trying to get *really* surreal sounding choirs (which was my goal), is wholly unnecessary I think to use with the Choir patches.

As Nick said, I am having technical issues with my consonants, which is why the Boys sound harsh and the SATB sound like they can't articulate anything but vowels.

The Choirs really are gorgeous - and if you consider most synthetic phenome reproduction today, the fact that WordBuilder comes anywhere close to actually sounding real and not unbalanced robots is really quite amazing. Once I get my consonant issues worked out I certainly intend to try to show off Choirs more - just need to learn how to tweak it a bit better than my current "straight out of the box" production.

Christian,

Two controls that were added after the manual was printed are the volume sliders in "voice properties" to adjust the volume of the non-pitched and pitched consonants. Experiment with these volume sliders "per choir", as each choir requires different settings, and see if that helps.

It sounds like you need to make some other volume adjustments also, as the track is quite distorted.

- Doug

nlamartina
07-18-2005, 02:38 PM
Yeah, i hear what you mean.

I've heard quite a few Symphonic Choir demos, and i must say,
the lib just doesnt sound good to me at all.

I love most all the EW products, but SC looks and sounds like
a big fat train wreck to me. :(

I'm very glad i didnt spend a thousand bucks on it, thats for sure.
Looks like its gonna be a while before it lives up to what its supposed
to be.
TK

I'll change your mind on that subject in a few days. ;)

Debinani, when I get home later tonight, I'll take a look at your issue. I have a couple of suggestions that may help you.

Debinani
07-18-2005, 05:50 PM
Christian,

Two controls that were added after the manual was printed are the volume sliders in "voice properties" to adjust the volume of the non-pitched and pitched consonants. Experiment with these volume sliders "per choir", as each choir requires different settings, and see if that helps.

It sounds like you need to make some other volume adjustments also, as the track is quite distorted.

- Doug

Thanks for responding!
The sliders don't seem to make any difference when using the SATB choirs (I used Close Hard Mod for all four with an event at the start to push modulation to 127). But I did unfreeze the boys and jiggled them a bit and got the choir to stop spitting on the audience. :)
When you mention the volume are you referring to the basses in the melody section? I noticed that not only could I not hear consonants, but a few of those vowels really belted out there even though my velocity was pretty even.

Now, the Kompakt reverb on everything I actually did on purpose - especially with the Boys. I wasn't aiming for realism as much as alarmingly creepy children.

I'm certainly looking forward to those video demos to see how it was all "intended" to be used. :)

nlamartina
07-18-2005, 11:12 PM
Here's a CHO file for you using "KEE-S!a-r!a" as an example.

http://www.lextechmedia.com/misc/BoysEx.cho

Basically, a thing you have to watch out for is setting the consonant volume right. To do that (and this is opinion, take it as it is):

1. In the voice properties dialogue, drag the non-pitched consonant slider to about the 3/4 position. Leave the pitched consonant slider where it is or a notch or two up. This will put a blanket emphasis on consonants as a real choir would do in a performance, but it won't be so obnoxious that it's out of hand. You'll have to adjust this depending on what choir you use.

2. Hit OK and leave the sliders there.

3. No seriously, leave them there. If you don't stand firm on leaving them here, you'll destroy all your tweak work later.

4. Move the mod wheel up and down and play a bit to 'cough up' any consonant imbalance inherent in Word Builder. Leave it at about 20%.

5. Play the passage by hand. Listen for the consonants. Make sure the choir sings on the vowel, but also ensure that the consonants aren't obscured. In particular, listen for the r's, ESPECIALLY retroflex r's (like "slider" or "greater"). Those buggers tend to jump out, and the best fix is to gently adjust the velocity of the r's, usually by dividing their velocity by numbers like 1.11, 1.25, 1.33, or 1.5 (you can also multiply velocities by these same numbers for consonants that are too quiet). It you ever have to adjust it by a factor greater than 1.5, something's wrong.

6. Adjust the consonants to ensure the vowel leaks from them (ie, overlap noticably). This will allow the consonants to be heard and prevent the choir from chewing their words.


That's it. The quickest way you're going to get results is through adjusting the velocity on letters, I've found. Too loud? Divide velocity. Too soft? Multiply velocity. It's all about evening out the letters to sound natural. Play around with it and see.