Review: Oceania Choir from Performance Samples

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Performance Samples’ Oceania Choir is a small (only 2.1 GB!) yet BIG and POWERFUL sounding library that focuses on playability and ease of use. Its two all-in-one main patches (24 men and 24 women with 10 syllables) will deliver the right articulation according to your playing without the need of keyswitching or extensive MIDI programming

Jump to the Videos of Oceania Choir from Performance Samples

Jump to the Demos of Oceania Choir from Performance Samples

Oceania Choir sells $269 from Performance Samples

Thoughts

Performance Samples is a relatively new sample library developer.
Captained by composer Jasper Blunk, the developer has focused on creating libraries that, as they boldly state, “are not for purists”.

What makes this library (as well as other libraries from the developer) different from the others on the market is the approach to capturing and scripting the instrument. Instead of sampling separate sets of articulations, the developer utilizes “a variety of performance sourced assets” to build their sample set and then uses advanced Kontakt scripting to achieve libraries focused on specific tasks.With Oceania you don’t need to load different patches or manage complex phrase builder or articulation switching, you rather “just play” the library and to achieve amazing results. Play a short note on your keyboard and you will have a short note, play a long one and you will get a sustained note!

After downloading the 2.1 GB library with Continuata and opening the instrument folder through the Kontakt files tab (the library needs FULL Kontakt to run – v5.5.1 and up) you will notice that this is a pretty straightforward choir library. In fact all you have to choose before playing is:

Men Main
Women Man
Men Rise
Men Shouts

You also have “Oceania All Sect Octave Doubling” (a shortcut to load the two main patches together)

The GUI for all four patches is very simple and similar, they all have a MIC MIXER with Close and Far mics, adjustable in volume and pan as well as output channel.
The two main patches also have a Dynamic CC that lets you choose a different CC for Dynamics (just in case you don’t love the trusty Modwheel on your keyboard) and a “Flatten Dynamics” mode which does… exactly what it says: it reduces the dynamic range of the patch, making it quieter overall, instead of following the natural dynamic range of a choir according to the played pitch.

You can also select a Normal/8va/8vb mode in case you load up both men and women in one Kontakt instance and would like to double in octaves what you play. This mode is already selected if you load the handy “Oceania All Sections Octave Doubling Patch”.

The releases can be controlled in different ways but, generally speaking, you can select Velocity Mode or Sustain Pedal Mode to trigger a normal release or “S” release. In any case, even if you do not touch this parameter, it will sound great straight out of the box.

Last but not least, you can change the Keyswitch Root…

– “What!?! Keyswitch? You said there were no KS in this library!” –

In fact the only KS you will find – and hardly use – are the red KS which control the syllables. The two main patches will cycle through 10 different syllables regardless of what you play (short or long notes) without ever sounding repetitive but, in case you would like to have a different sequence, you can control it with keyswitches!

The Men Rise and Men Shouts patches are quite interesting and I consider them the cherry on the pie.

The Rise is one octave of sampled risers with different lengths and the shouts are 8 different shouts in 4 different dynamic ranges. Very useful and nice to play with, especially for action and trailer cues!

 

 

Besides the great, bold sound and the playability of this library I also really liked how it is introduced to you by the company itself. They are clearly not trying to sell this library for what it CANNOT do since they even have a “Library Limitations” section on their website to make sure you will be happy with what you are buying!

There are also plenty of audio demos that perfectly represent what this library sounds like out of the box, without any processing!

Facts

Oceania Choir downloads through Continuata and installs at 2.1 GB, requires the FULL version of Native Instruments Kontakt 5.5.1 or higher, the Kontakt Player is NOT supported.

The library contains 4 patches recorded at 48kHz/24bit with two mic positions (Close and Far) and 10 syllables for the Main patches: Men Main (24 men), Women Main (24 women), Men Rise and Men Shouts.

Really easy and intuitive to play, definitely great for powerful and big sounding compositions.

Oceania Choir sells $269 from Performance Samples

 

Demos of Oceania Choir from Performance Samples

 

Videos of Oceania Choir from Performance Samples