Voices of Rapture

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1 posts since 18 Aug, 2020

Post Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:56 am

I bought Voices of Rapture just now. It was a third off and I’m glad I didn’t pay full price for it.

The voices are lovely, and would contribute very nicely to a background sound, provided you were careful about what actual notes they sing and were prepared to change them if necessary to suit the quirks of the software. They wouldn’t serve well as prominent parts in music of any complexity, which is a shame because they could be so much better.

The key to a good virtual instrument is reasonable consistency across the range. Not always easy to achieve, especially with vocal samples, and in the Legato mode (which otherwise works extremely well) the authors make it harder for themselves by including the whole of the second “sustained” note in the transition samples, instead of crossfading into the new note, as Spitfire does, for instance. This means that consistency has to be maintained over several hundred samples instead of a dozen or so. With your lovely soprano in particular, this doesn’t always happen, and in places you can actually tell where the lady took a break and came back singing the same note with a different timbre. And it shows in the music.

The biggest problem however affects all the singers and is simply that they are not chromatically sampled. Some musical instruments will tolerate stretching more than others: string sections, most winds, percussion - ok; solo strings, piano - no no; solo vocal - absolutely not! I thought everybody knew that. All the samples in this library are stretched, in the Bass, some at the extremities over 5 semitones!! If your music hits the wrong interval, it sounds terrible! Kontakt so-called “HQI high” or “perfect” tracking just doesn’t cut it. You can’t treat the human voice like this.

Fortunately all needn’t be lost. There’s a lot the engineers could do without any further recording, and I would like to think they might consider implementing as an update.

For the soprano, choose a nice consistent sustain set (preferably one with her fabulous rich vibrato), and use it exclusively. Shorten the transition sample and either adjust the script to crossfade to the second note, or physically graft the relevant sample from your sustain set to each transition sample.

Most important, make it chromatic! A high quality time machine, such as the one by zplane, on which I believe the Kontakt tm pro is based, will bend the singer’s pitch realistically, even through 5 semitones, to make new samples to fill in the gaps.

With a few hours’ work you could make an enormous difference to this software. I look forward to the update!

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