VOXOS: Epic Virtual Choirs is Cinesamples’ virtual choir instrument for professionals, containing a full epic choir, boys choir, soloists, an innovative phrase builder and the industry’s most realistic and powerful true legato engine. Now with NKS Integration.
Powered by the industry-leading Kontakt Player engine, VOXOS contains world-renowned choirs and soloists with over 15 years of experience recording for countless Hollywood films, trailers, video games and the concert stage. Recorded at the legendary Bastyr Chapel, with its gorgeous acoustics, the choirs were captured with multiple microphone positions in 24bit/48k 5.1 surround. The result is a pristine tone that sounds great right out of the box. VOXOS contains over 35,000 samples, at an uncompressed size of 35GB.
Recorded in Seattle:
Seattle has long since become the recording center of the A-list video game/trailer soundtrack world. As it happens, the VOXOS sessions were recorded following Bungee’s Halo Reach sessions and proceeding Blizzard’s monumental World of Warcraft; Cataclysm. The musicians involved in this project are constantly participating in such high profile acts as these. In fact, some of our men sang on the famous Gregorian-style intro to the original Halo videogame for XBOX. Bastyr’s main stage chapel offers one of the highest quality recording venues in the country. Its unique acoustic signature is akin to Symphony Hall in Boston and the retired Paramount Scoring Stage in Los Angeles. An extremely flattering hall for vocalists and instrumentalists – contributing to the familiar Hollywood style reverb bed without the tasteless metallic tinge and never ending ring- out that the majority of cathedral’s give. Combine that with the highest end recording gear available and the table is set for excellence.
Children’s Choir/Boy Soloist:
To really get an accurate representation of Los Angeles style soundtrack choirs, we had to include a boys children’s choir and soloist. The 15-piece boys choir covers roughly the range of the Altos transposed up by a major third. Our solo boy was captured from C3 to A4. With an amazingly transforming tambre – the purest sound imaginable in his soprano and a charming inward sound in his lowest third. These children possessed amazingly mature musical discipline, excepting guidance from the booth and their choir master in the same professional manner as the other sections. This was quite an achievement considering that they were all under 12 years of age.
We were amazingly fortunate to have children who have sang on a wide variety of soundtracks themselves, they needed no explanation about wearing headphones or being still while the tape is running. They were true professionals of the scoring stage.
Hand Sculpted Scripted (true) Legato:
As one of our trusted colleagues once stated: “There are no shortcuts when it comes to legato.” Our true sectional legato covers the full ranges of the Sopranos, Altos, Tenors, Basses, Boys and Soloists. After much trial and error, we were able to formulate a recipe for recording legatos in the most musical and accurate manner possible. It may not be evident while playing the patches how many samples you are triggering back and forth but it is mind blowing when you stop and look at the audio files involved in one patch, at one microphone position. On the surface things seem simple, but much is going on under-the-hood.
During programming all 35,000 samples and transitions are meticulously tightened by hand. This process takes fresh ears and cannot be rushed or automated. The charming human inaccuracies which give live performances vibe and soul also cause issues when aligning samples during programming. We have, without exaggeration, been tweaking the legatos for over six months – still making final tweaks the moments before delivering to Native Instruments for encoding. It needs to be perfect or its not going out the shop door.
The Voice Leading Legato Engine – Live SATB representations from one midi track
They call it voice leading for a reason. From day one, composers of all styles are taught the value and importance of proper voicings. It all begins with SATB, the notable 4 part chorale diagrams in music textbooks all over the world. It is the basis of all chorale writing, the foundation of jazz ensemble writing – the glue of all composing. It was something we had to address, and address from the point of view of a composer under the anxiety of an approaching deadline.
The included SATB Voice Leading Engine can take incoming midi data sent from a piano track and assign the proper notes to each section automatically. Resulting in properly voiced chords with full legato from one track. No settings, its all intelligently scripted and prepared. This is a monumental time saver.
Phrase Builder – Intuitive Simplicity – A Defined Approach From Day One
Way back, months before a note was recorded, the entire final product was thought out, sketched and tested. We knew what we wanted as an end result and we backed up from there – we didn’t just roll the dice on the recording sessions and see what we ended up with. We knew we wanted to stay in Kontakt. We knew we wanted to avoid artificial word synthesis – aka Apple Talk or the Steven Hawkings effect. We knew we wanted to have the simplest, most powerful phrase building interface possible. We knew we wanted to enter all word data only once with just a few clicks with no external programs running. We knew we wanted the engine to keep track of the words no matter the articulation – long or short. We knew we wanted it to use the absolute minimum of MIDI CC controllers possible and be processor-friendly to our computer. We knew all of this plus more. It was just a question of finding the right way to make it happen.
Through process of elimination, we were able to create a truly monstrous phrase building engine. Streamlined for simplicity and accuracy. Created for the guys and gals who don’t read instruction books or have time to learn the intricacies of a poorly produced/overly complex library. Watch our “Phrase Builder” video for all you need to know about our industry-first Matrix Phrase Builder.
Fully Scripted Dynamic Control
We tried every single method of dynamic and vowel morphing available via Kontakt including the AET simulation. After double blind listening tests with some of our most trusted audio gurus the decision was unanimous. This method doesn’t use simple envelopes for simulated fading but rather uses powerful scripting to guarantee a 100% accurate and smooth dynamic morph. Just another time consuming detail that we had to have perfect.
Useable Cinematic Effects
As composers, we own tons of soundtrack recordings and we keep up to date with new trends in the soundtrack world. We wanted FX that would integrate and cooperate with other tracks in your template, not dated, crazy, unusable stuff that is only good for that rarely requested track. Aside from our assortment of grunts, shouts, whispers, layers and risers we also went in a tonal direction – recording beautifully layered divisi clusters and female “bum-bums”.
5.1 Ready – Full Mix Option – 4 Mic Positions
VOXOS was recorded in cinematic 5.1 in 4 microphone positions. To save polyphony, take advantage of the pre-mixed Full Mix position, a standard mixture of the spot, tree and ambient mics bounced down to one track. If you prefer to make your own mix you have unprecedented control over 4 microphone positions including the surrounds, which can be placed in the rear speakers on a 5.1 setup. This is in answer to a request for our top tier of users which we are happy to provide.