Review: ERA II Vocal Codex by Best Service

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Eduardo Tarilonte conjures the land of dragons and dreams with the latest library, ERA II Codex. The first I noticed is that you can immediately play a completely convincing vocal melody without even spending any time with the manual or working your way through the interface.

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Review: ERA II Vocal Codex by Best Service

You need only hear that this library was produced by Eduardo Tarilonte to know that it is going to be something special! A fantastic follow-up to the ERA II library, we are once again headed out to explore the vocals of the ancients and the land of dragons and dreams.

ERA II Vocal Codex sells for $159.00 from Best Service
If you already own the original ERA II library, you are eligible for Crossgrade pricing of $99.00.

 

Thoughts

ERA II Vocal Codex brings us another beautiful vocal library from Eduardo Tarilonte. Having worked with all of his other libraries, I was really excited to look under the hook of this one. What we find is a treasure trove of amazingly realistic vocal possibilities imagined as only Eduardo could do. Vocal Codex creates a stunning cast of characters to provide voice to the instrumentation found in ERA II (For a limited time, the bonus content from the ERA II Limited Edition is included with Vocal Codex).

Our cast of characters include: Celtia – a beautiful and enchanting Celtic soloist voiced by Celica Soldream, Heroica – a powerful and emotive voice for epic production also voiced by Celica Soldream, Bard – a gentle and soothing ancient sounding male vocal voiced by Ivan Lopez and the Medieval Tenor – an evocative voice for chant, brooding solos or ritual song, voiced by Victor Sordo. The first thing that I noted was that each of the vocals was so well recorded and scripted that you can immediately play a completely convincing vocal melody without even spending any time with the manual or working your way through the interface. This is consistent with my experience working with Eduardo’s other libraries and this one is no exception.

There is great deal of content and flexibility packed into ERA II Vocal Codex

There is great deal of content and flexibility packed into ERA II Vocal Codex so let’s dive in and have a look at the interface and our cast of characters (There is literally too much content and vocal sculpting capability to do it all justice in a review but I want to cover the most important highlights).

Each of the four characters has their own personality and phasing in the library and the main interface page look will morph slightly as you load the different vocalists and their specific sample sets. Each interface has the consistent selectors for Volume, Pan, Expression and Reverb.

Celtia comes with a detailed set of Celtic phrases, breaths & Vocal FX and is my favorite of the four.

Some will also have indicators for Legato Vowel, Legato Speed and Word Speed. The control over the vocal delivery is almost surgical in its accuracy given the super smooth legato transition when moving between notes on the keyboard. Celtia comes with a detailed set of Celtic phrases, Breaths and Vocal FX. Celtia is my favorite of the four based on the gentle ethereal atmospheres that you can evoke.


Heroica creates a more powerful and epic vocal experience. While all of the vocals in the library easily lend themselves to scoring film, video games, and trailers or as a studio vocal tool, Heroica is that forceful female vocal that is longing for her place on the silver screen.


The centerpiece of Heroica is the Solo voice patch. This is where the magic happens for this voicing. In the illustration above you can see the specific key-switched vocal parts available. To reiterate, the realism of the legato samples is just amazing. Heroica also comes with Breaths and some Phrases.

I have always been partial to the female voice, but am pleasantly surprised by the tone of BARD

BARD is the first of the male voices in Vocal Codex. BARD is the voice of the ancients – the soft and gentle sound of lost centuries. I have always been partial to the female voice, but am pleasantly surprised by the tone of the voicing and can see this being used in not only period features, but also in more contemporary works given the gentle nature of the voicing and exquisite control of the phasing. I have done some experimentation combining BARD with the various voices and have gotten some really great results. The main interface for BARD is identical to that of Heroica (pictured above) with the addition of a Word Speed control. BARD comes with the Solo voice patch as well as a Tempo Sync’d Solo voice patch, Breaths and Phrases. The Key-switched phrases are displayed in the illustration above.


Medieval Tenor is our last character in the library. This immediately makes you think Chant, Sacred Song or the distant sound of the Di Vinci Code or Angels & Demons. Medieval Tenor has everything in it that you need to go to that place. I multi-tracked a few instances of it and the resulting chant sound that I was going for is really amazing. If you look at the list of phrases in the main voice above, the Latin base is pretty well covered. One thing worth noting is that the for the majority of the voices, the phrases are played full or split by syllable depending on the velocity you play at. Medieval Tenor comes with the Solo voice patch as well as a Tempo Sync’d Solo voice patch, Breaths and Phrases.

Vocal Codex also includes 30 enchanting soundscapes that you can use to compliment your soloists.

I enjoyed working with ERA II Vocal Codex from the first time I installed it. Like I said earlier, I have worked with all of Eduardo’s libraries and Vocal Codex is hands down another masterpiece from the master himself. I think there is a great deal of flexibility in the vocal capability and it is hyper-realistic. With a little bit of time and persistence, you can achieve a highly convincing vocal performance. The asking price of $159.00 is another pro for me. Well worth the investment.

If I have to nit-pick one thing here, it is the fact that I am not a huge fan of Engine 2. I prefer Kontakt, but I have enough libraries that use it so I am really okay there. I had to find one thing wrong I guess…..
As always, please check out the audio and video demos with the links provided below to make sure that this is the right tool for your unique needs.

 

Facts

ERA II Vocal Codex contains over 14,000 samples and downloads at 8.5 GB. Recordings are comprised of samples from two Female voices (Celtia & Heroica) voiced by Selica Soldream. The two Male voices are (Bard & Medieval Tenor) voiced by Ivan Lopez and Victor Sordo respectively. The library provides five true legato vowels (A, E, I, O, U) per voice, velocity-sensitive triggering of syllables and extensive controller navigation allowing you to realize life-like vocal phrases in your compositions. In addition, there are 30 soundscapes that have been added that provide complimentary atmospheric sounds.

The vocals were recorded at Eldana Studio in Duenas, Spain by Eduardo Tarilonte using a U47 Kahayan microphone, an API Pre-amp, and the Kahayan Epsilon I Summing Unit. All vocals were recorded close to avoid room ambience.

The library requires the latest version of MAGIX Engine 2 available free from the Best Service website.
Official Demos Of ERA II Vocal Codex: https://www.bestservice.de/en/era_ii_vocal_codex.html#Description
Official Videos of ERA II Vocal Codex: https://www.bestservice.de/en/era_ii_vocal_codex.html#Description

ERA II Vocal Codex sells for $159.00 from Best Service
If you already own the original ERA II library, you are eligible for Crossgrade pricing of $99.00.

 

Videos and Demos of ERA II Vocal Codex

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