Review: The New Studio Sopranos by 8Dio

by

The New Studio Sopranos is a content-filled update from 8Dio which adds some great new features and flexibility to an already beautiful-sounding vocal library.

Jump to the Videos of The New Studio Sopranos by 8Dio

Jump to the Demos of The New Studio Sopranos by 8Dio

 

Review: The New Studio Sopranos by 8Dio

Like with many recent updates from the 8Dio, The New Studio Sopranos is a fantastic choir library that makes the old new again with completely re-designed functionality to help truly sculpt your sound. The newly refined sample set now includes considerably improved control, programming, interface and effects in a modern package.

The New Studio Sopranos sells for $198.00 from 8Dio

Thoughts

ARCs

At first glance, The New Studio Sopranos is a wonderful vocal library that shines both in its expressive approach and also it’s inherent versatility. Originally released in 2015, The New Studio Sopranos is a dynamic soprano choir, produced by composer Colin O’Malley, that is made up of nine talented soprano singers recorded in three separate sections. At just over 5,400 individual samples, this 1.77 GB download is an all-in-one soprano choir package that is characterized by it’s all new features while retaining its original, world-class sound. This all culminates into a superior vocal library whose focus has always been on genuine emotion and capturing the most evocative performances possible.

NKIs

One of the first noticeable strong points of the library is the beautiful choir tone. Undoubtedly, this is due to the unique ensemble grouping, amazing musicianship and true passion behind the recordings. Both angelic and hellish in quality, The New Studio Sopranos is an emotional choir with a vast dynamic range that can go from a whisper to a full fortissimo at a moment’s notice. Because of this, the library should be able to handle everything from light, ethereal cues, to epic and powerful hybrid trailer music with ease.

The library also boasts a substantial amount of content as well as a wealth of articulations that consist of marcatos, staccatos, sustains & arcs and polyphonic phrases. As well, there are four legato options available, each with its own distinct sound and approach. The first of which is the ‘Ah’ legato which is similar to your standard, bread & butter style that you’ll find in most vocal sample instruments. The ‘Ah Air’ legato is a step in the softer direction with a clear breathy style wherein the focus is on adding a certain lightness to the attack which is great for more atmospheric moments. The ‘Eh’ attack is significantly more pronounced and thus works well with slightly more aggressive genres wherein that effect needs to cut through a mix. Last is the ‘Ooo’ legato which is highlighted by it’s definite ethereal sound for more spooky tracks, a la Danny Elfman. On the whole, the legatos are extremely clean, smooth and well-programmed making them a pleasure to perform with and requiring very little CC data editing.

Legatos

The numerous Arc patches are handy for adding some movement and interest to more static passages. It’s best to think of these articulations as small snapshots of musical expression that capture a performance rather than a single note. It is these dynamic performances ultimately that leads to more musical passages and better mock-ups overall.

The library also has 16 staccatos and 11 marcatos respectively which are controlled by keyswitch. Globally, the shorts are sharp, crisp and powerful but also soft and reserved when needed. Composers should have no issues getting these to sing over a dense track and really bring that aggressive sound to the forefront. That said, the staccatos do have a tendency to cut out a bit prematurely and it would be helpful to extend the releases on occasion.

Staccatos

One of the best elements of the library are the Polyphonic Phrase Legatos which allow users to seamlessly transition from one note to another while retaining word or lyric structure. This new point is a definite game-changer that negates the need to re-trigger phrases, which makes for a more realistic performance. Playing through these patches is an absolute treat, akin to working with a real choir.

Polyphonic Phrase Legato

When it comes to playability, The New Studio Sopranos performs quite well and its diverse collection of articulations are certain to fit any need. More to the point, the library radiates with life and simply does not require much midi editing. Naturally, this in turn leads to more expressive mock-ups by allowing composers to ‘perform’ parts rather than endlessly manipulating CC data for hours after the fact. That said, the legato transitions in general can be a bit sluggish for faster passages, though this should not be a major concern for most standard applications.

The all-new interface comes with a completely redesigned GUI with 5 main tabs that divide the Articulation Browser, Sequencer, Mixer, Effects and Modulation panels, respectively. The Browser panel displays the numerous articulations which composers can quickly toggle through. In addition, there are several useful controls to manipulate the samples such as attack, release, speed, pitch envelope, glide, sample offset. The 4-Part Effects Engine is a quick and easy audio processing tool that enables composers to easily construct new sounds with an X/Y matrix that can regulate numerous built-in plug-ins. Naturally, this is directly related to the Modulation Panel which consists of several controls over expression, gate, tuning, etc.

Effects

As one might assume, the library is quite dry upon loading which is a decent starting point that gives the library lots of adaptability. There should be no issues getting the choir to sit within a deep, orchestral mix and the additional included reverb fits the vocals beautifully. The Mixer panel is another exceptional facet of the library that contains the Divisi Mics which gives control over the individual trio sections which comprise the whole ensemble. This is a super useful aspect of the library that gives composers the ability to choose their ensemble size. In turn, this library essentially triples in terns of content as each section becomes completely independent instrument. Moreover, there are several included stock effects, like EQ, filter, delay, etc., which are useful to have on hand.

Mixer

Modulation

The New Studio Sopranos also takes advantage of the new Stack option which enables composers to layer multiple vowels or articulations on top of each other. This type of approach adds a whole new dimension to the library wherein new sounds can be created quickly. This is perfect for adding interesting clusters as well as a new level of tension to your track. In a similar fashion, the included Chaos button is a practical device which forms unique and interesting sound combinations through randomizing the different effects and parameters. The Sequencer Panel is a midi sequencer that can be convenient for creating quick rhythmic figures at the touch of a button. Given the nature of vocal libraries in general, it may not be the most useful tool though it is still a welcomed addition and adds even more content to an already full sample set.

Sequencer

This fresh update revitalizes this already exceptional library by giving The New Studio Sopranos even more versatility and putting the control back in the hands of composers. Having this added flexibility at your disposal is an amazing asset that can adapt the libraries sound from a small intimate group to a large and powerful ensemble. The Polyphonic Legato Phrases in particular, are a huge stand-out and well-worth the price of admission alone. The modern, clean user interface makes navigating the countless sounds a breeze and the individual sections mics are a wonderful option to have at your disposal. In all, this choir brings forth a wealth of high-quality content and is an outstanding choice for any music producer hoping to add some phenomenal sounding vocals to their project.

As a final note, it is highly suggested that new and old users take a look at the different video walkthroughs and audio demos to properly appreciate all of the new features.

Facts

The New Studio Sopranos is a 1.77 GB download with 8 separate NKI patches and contains just over 5,400 individual samples. The library requires Native Instruments Kontakt 5.8 Full or later; it will NOT work with the free Kontakt Player.

The New Studio Sopranos sells for $198.00 from 8Dio

 

Demos of The New Studio Sopranos by 8Dio

Videos of The New Studio Sopranos by 8Dio

Contributor BenG reviews The New Studio Sopranos by 8Dio
“The New Studio Sopranos is a content-filled update from 8dio which adds some great new features and flexibility to an already beautiful-sounding vocal library.”