East West – Hollywood Choirs Gold from $665
After last month’s look at East West’s Voices Of The Empire, we are back in more traditional territory with Hollywood Choirs. EW have been at this kind of thing for many years. Apart from the impressive recording and sound potential, the big sell here is the inclusion of a new version of WordBuilder – a system for creating recognisable word-based sung phrases.
Like other EW libraries, Hollywood Choirs runs (standalone or as a plugin) from within their Play software, and WordBuilder is nicely integrated into this workflow. Text can be entered as plain English words (which are then matched to a 100,000 word dictionary), phonetics or Votox, a custom alphabet. Although it can take a few adjustments to get a phrase to sound correct, once done the results are excellent. The pleasure of having a large choir sing your own choice of lyrical phrases is immense. WordBuilder allows you to go into enormous detail when customising triggering, timing and tonal phrasing of the vocal playback, but it is the way in which it connects with the underlying sound library that makes this such an impressive product.
The most affordable way to get hold of Hollywood Choirs Gold is via an EW Composer Cloud subscription. The Cloud X version adds Surround Recordings to the mix. However, if you need the flexibility of accessing five different mic positions then you will need to stump up for the $799 Diamond Edition. Bruce Aisher www.soundsonline.com