Something remarkable can sometimes happen when vocal samples are used in a track. For some reason they tend to grab the listener’s attention, particularly if they have an ambience that is alien to the song. Finding great material that is copyright free can be tricky, though, so Resonance Sound have created Vintage Movie Vocals to solve the problem.
The library collects together 751 vocal phrases and 82 sound effects and delivers them in 24–bit WAV format. There are also patches for EXS24 and Kontakt, which group related phrases together and distribute them across the octaves of the keyboard.
To create the library, CFA–Sound founder Martin Breuhahn and Sounds Of Revolution’s Oliver Schmitt, collected ‘Public Domain’ material from old films and radio shows and sampled lines they felt would work in a musical context. Lines that were overly noisy and suffering from too much hum were cleaned up and anything that was mono was set in a mono–compatible stereo sound field.
In all, there are 18 themed folders, and the content of each seems to have come from a single film, TV or radio production. For example, the content of ‘VMV1 TheMoklins 1’ folder is taken from a 1956 half–hour radio drama called If You Was A Moklin, which was part of an NBC series called X Minus One.
Broadly speaking, VMV’s samples are a mix of single words, pairs of words, and whole sentences. Martin and Oliver have done a good job of picking words that have impact, and sentences that have ear–grabbing inflections and intriguing content. “Claudia, that man’s desperately ill, we’ve got to get a doctor!” and “It looks like he’s just stepped out of a Chinese finger painting,” are two such examples.
The 82 non–vocal sound effects seem to be a fairly random collection lacking a particular theme. That said, they all share the ‘old movie’ sound character and could easily be used within the same composition. Some examples include whooshes, control-panel bleeping, intercom buzzers, slamming doors, snippets of music played as part of the narrative performance and dramatic bits of original score, stylus on vinyl crackle, Big Ben chimes and aeroplane propellers whirring into action. In short, there’s a satisfying selection.
Although Resonance Sound haven’t done any recording as such to create this library, they have saved their customers an awful lot of archive research and editing. Every sample is trimmed, treated and ready to go, and it’s easy to imagine using any one of them in a track.
Martin and Oliver were specifically thinking of minimal techno, dubstep and ambient styles when they created the library, but the clips could just as easily be used in the way that bands like the Beatles and Pink Floyd used samples in many of their tracks. In summary, this is a great product that seems well worth the asking price, and if you find you want more of the same, volumes 2 and 3 are available too. Tom Flint