EastWest’s new Hollywood Choirs library combines cinematic gloss with sophisticated word-building tools.
Sample libraries geared towards the epic and cinematic currently seem to be coming at us from all angles. Given the predominantly orchestral bias of these, it’s no surprise that choirs are in big demand, particularly those that offer some means of verbalising lyrics, be they in Latin, Russian, English or just plain invented gobbledegook. In researching this review, I was surprised at just how many there are, each with their own particular twist on the subject (see the ‘Alternatives’ box).
Broadly speaking, they fall into two categories: those with ‘word builders’ that allow you to type in any words and (hopefully) have the choir sing them with some degree of intelligibility; and those that employ some sort of scripting to chain together pre-recorded syllables, whole words or tempo-sync’ed phrases, often in Latin, to give the impression of words that may or may not have any real meaning. Both approaches are valid and can, with a fair wind, give a real sense of animation and emotional intensity where static ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ vowels on their own just don’t cut the mustard. Hollywood Choirs (HWC) falls into the former category, and features brand new recordings with, the makers say, better singers than their previous Symphonic Choirs library. Hopefully none of those singers who toiled faithfully to create Symphonic Choirs are reading this!
HWC is EastWest’s third foray into the word-building field; their first WordBuilder (WB) engine was introduced in 2005 with EWQL Symphonic Choirs, originally running as an add-on application alongside NI’s Kompakt engine. The library was subsequently reworked to run in the Play engine, with WB integrated directly into Play.
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