Rating: **** 4/5 Stars
Ethera Gold Atlantis follows the paradigm of Ethera Gold Sahara, created by Stefano Maccarelli and again featuring the exceptional voice of Clara Sorace to offer both playable vocal notes and complete phrases. This time there’s a haunted Celtic quality to the sounds, making them well‑suited to game audio, fantasy film soundtracks, ambient music compositions and so on. This is a standalone Kontakt instrument around 6GB in size and requiring the full version of Kontakt 6.6.1 or later.
Ethera Gold Atlantis comes as a set of six multisampled instruments that include a sophisticated true legato mode with up to two multilayers of articulations switched via MIDI velocity. Notes are simply overlapped where a legato transition is required. The instruments are Romantic True Legato, True Legato, Sustain, Phonemes Builder, Vocal Phrases and Reverse Vocal Phrases. The vocal phrases, which are typically simple melodically, can be sync’ed to the DAW tempo.
What makes this instrument sound so natural is that the legato transitions have all been sampled individually rather than being simulated, and the user can also choose Slow 250ms, Mid or Fast Legato latencies. Not only does this make the playable single‑note instruments sound more realistic but it also helps in linking vocal phrases. To create a long legato transition, latency must inevitably be introduced so when played live, the voices will ‘speak’ slightly late. Faster legato rates help minimise this delay but when recording it is usually necessary to offset the MIDI track by up to 250ms to restore natural timing.
Having got that out of the way, I have to say that the resulting sounds are simply superb, with the True Legato feature making them sound extremely natural. Any vibrato added is also natural rather than being faked using LFOs. The results obtained using the textural‑sounding Sustain and Phonemes Builder section are supremely evocative. Sustain sounds can be changed in character using a number of articulation keys, while lower octave can be used to play drones.
There’s a bit more depth to this instrument than I can cover here but what you need to know is that the voices are quite lovely, evoking a dreamy, Celtic feel, and there are lots of ways to weave them into a composition. Highly recommended — and not at all expensive for what you get.