Review: Lyrical Vocal Phrases by Sonuscore
Over 300 phrases and thousands of possible combinations
Carefully recorded in multiple tonalities
Captivating performances in a variety of languages including fantasy creations
Built-in FX with unique presets
Must avoid overlapping notes when you play or the end of the sample is audible
Upon first hearing this library, my mind immediately conjured up imagery of exotic landscapes, enchanted creatures and epic adventures. The performer for this library, Conny Kollet, has been featured in the soundtrack of The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug, The Elder Scrolls, Mortal Kombat X, Halo Legends, and more. Lyrical Vocal Phrases delivers a primal voice of fantasy, mystique and legends; a female vocal phrase library you won’t want to pass up!
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Review: Lyrical Vocal Phrases by Sonuscore
Upon first hearing this library, my mind immediately conjured up imagery of exotic landscapes, enchanted creatures and epic adventures. The performer for this library, Conny Kollet, has been featured in the soundtrack of The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug, The Elder Scrolls, Mortal Kombat X, Halo Legends, and more. It really comes as no surprise then that the connection between her stunning voice and the world of fantasy is so immediate and so strong. Kollet is also a master of creating fantasy languages, and infuses her performance for Lyrical Vocal Phrases with 4 of her own design, including spoken themes.
There are over 300 phrases, divided into 17 themes
There are over 300 phrases, divided into 17 themes. A theme is a group of 5 phrases that suits a particular atmosphere or setting. Most of the themes (aside from the spoken ones) are playable in any tonality; the root can be changed using the keyswitches beginning at C2. Themes come in minor tonality (Laurielle’s Dream, Lament for Snow, Mio Destino, Siren’s Call, Dolore Di Diva), “Ethno Major” (White Magic, Merciful Mother, Ruins of Jaelrem), “Ethno Minor” (Heart of Stone, Antiochia), Dorian (Gregorian Chapel, Sacred History), Lydian (Healing Charms) and spoken (Field of Barrows, Ancient Runes, Incantation of Light). There is also a bonus theme called Whispering Witches, which comprises crackling, sinister and at times near-hoarse chanting.
Within a theme, there are 5 complete phrases which have been further broken down into openings, middles and endings. This allows for dozens of combinations within any theme. In addition, each theme has 2 short endings (the green keys on the keyboard below) which are duplicated across the keyboard for a quick return to the root. Phrases within a theme can also be combined with those of another theme, allowing even more combinations. Each theme is assigned its own keyswitch, which becomes available in the C5-B5 range (shown below) when a theme is selected in the main window. Selecting multiple themes gives you quick access to all the phrases within the selected themes by means of the now displayed keyswitches. This is particularly helpful if, say, you want to select all the themes that are designated as minor, and then toggle through them to combine phrases.
Behind the main window, there is an effects rack which boasts multi-band EQ, Delay, and 5 specially designed reverbs. At the bottom is a fun preset called Mystique, for when you need it to be even more mysterious. (I’m not being dodgy, the mystique of the Mystique button is part of the mystique… all the manual says is that it is a mix of a chorus effect, “experimental impulse responses” and a stereo spreader). I find the Mystique preset most effective on the shorter phrases due to the delayed echo effect it creates.
The depth of design features here cannot be overstated. Although it is a phrase library, you have complete control over the tonality used by the solo performer. The sampling process was very careful to capture performances at multiple pitch levels, so this library sounds genuine on every tonality and not like it was pitch-shifted. There is a knob which allows you to speed up or slow down the phrases, which I found kept them very authentic sounding even at the extremes.
The one issue I encountered with this library was that you have to be very careful to never let two keys be pressed simultaneously, or you will hear the end of whichever sample is shorter of the two. This means no duet performances, but also that you must be very careful not to trigger the next phrase until the previous one is completed, as the slight overlap is enough to cause the issue. Fortunately, the folks at Sonuscore had playability on the top of their mind when they designed the engine for this library, and there is a handy window at the top called the Phrase Progress Bar that lets you see the waveform of the phrase with a streamer showing the real-time playback position. Once the streamer gets to the edge of the Phrase Progress Bar, you are clear to trigger the next phrase without issue.
Overall this library is easy to use, well designed to be effective in multiple genres and in particular suited to the realm of fantasy. Captivating lyrics immediately transport the listener to a realm far away, and stir excitement for the story that will unfold.
The library requires the FULL VERSION of Kontakt (5.6.8+). and requires 5 GB of disk space.