You are here

Sonora Cinematic Aria Vocalscapes

Kontakt Instrument By Dave Gale
Published June 2024

Sonora Cinematic Aria Vocalscapes

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5/5 Stars

Sonora Cinematic have an enviable track record when it comes to the creation of interesting Kontakt instruments. Continuing their philosophy that begins with great samples, Aria Vocalscapes contains some beautiful content performed by classical soprano Emma May Price. However, this does not set a stylistic precedent for the instrument.

Patch creation begins with the option to load up to two sample partials, described as A and B. These are clearly represented, with the central presence of an X/Y pad that can be used to manually create movement between the two partials. This movement can be recorded and replayed, and sync’ed to your DAW.

The samples themselves are presented in a menu format, with a considerable amount of variety within the vocal remit. The 39 available samples range from predictable ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ to the African‑inspired Tikiti. There are whispers and ‘shh’ samples, as well as examples that have been treated electronically with effects such as granular synthesis or cassette‑style degradation. In all scenarios the sampling is up‑close and personal in a one‑shot capacity, although this latter point is not really an issue, thanks to the considerable processing power of the plug‑in.

The resynthesis and interaction between the two partials is at the heart of the instrument and really helps to create depth and movement. Apart from the aforementioned X/Y pad, a dedicated page reveals LFO and filter layers, which can be applied to each individual sample. The LFO can be directed to the filter cutoff, volume and frequency, and has five waveforms to choose from. The filter provides cutoff and resonance control, and can also be linked to an independent step sequencer, providing up to 16 steps of automated control.

This instrument undoubtedly excels in the creation of soundscapes, pads and audio backdrops, and this is in no small part due to the extensive effects section. The effects call upon amp simulations, distortion, saturation, delay, reverb and a large number of modulation effects, including ring modulation. With three flexible slots, you can dictate the effects chain to suit your own design. In line with its pad‑like and cinematic tendencies, the delay and reverb elements can be cranked up to a pretty merciless state, although in the case of the delay the presence of a continued repeat can be somewhat blurred, allowing simple elongation of your chosen vocal sound.

It’s at its most creative when you dive in to the instrument and edit or create your own palette.

Aria Vocalscapes is an inspiring and creative product to use, thanks to its diversity and musicality, which stems from the initial sample content. It ships with a large number of presets but, for my money, it’s at its most creative when you dive in to the instrument and edit or create your own palette.