Is EastWest symphonic choir worth it?

I’m thinking about getting the EastWest symphonic choir plugin but I’ve been disappointed by EastWest a lot in the past and their player sucks, whoever’s doing the recording for their samples should look for another job before EastWest tests its own products to find all the noise and instrument collisions, but the choirs seem pretty good looking at videos, so I don’t know

Their player runs very stable and smooth on my system (windows 10, streaming from HDDs, Hollywood Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra and other EW libs (full EW template)).
Symphonic Choirs is the only choir I own, so i can’t compare.

I think it is very useful for your up to 4part writing in orchestral setups, here are some thoughts off the top of my head.

Great stuff:
-consistent tone among all sections that blends well with EW SO (and HO)
-It’s got a nice soft and a decent forte sound
-the wordbuilder is a very powerful tool, but you’ve got to accept it’s limitations (EW decided not to implement useful features), once mastered you’re able to pull some nice gibberish or actual english/latin phrases. I’ve heard german demos aswell that sounded convincing enough.
-Utilizing the mic positions you can really create all kind of different choir section sounds from big and epic to very upfront and detailed (just works with the platinum edition!)
-Solo voices for Soprano, Alto and Boy Choir. They sound really nice!
-Some nice choir effects

-No good molto vibrato sounds at fff (Voices of the apocalypse expansion doesn’t do the job either)
-Staccato articulations are pretty much useless, they are too long. You’ve got to do some editing on the release tails to achive a snappy stacc sound.
-no divisi

  • working on long phrases with the wordbuilder is just painful. There is not even an option to jump to a specific position via Keyswitch. The best approach is to build the shorter phrases, than safe them and load them after each other in the final project.
    -obviously no legato, but that’s no real limitation.

Here are some examples where I used Symphonic Choirs:

Starting at 0:50 you can hear some longer and shorter staccatos (there is just 1 stacc articulation, but as sayed above using the release tail you can create some various length staccs)
Towards the end you can hear how I used some tremolo strings to make up for the low vibrato amount on the highest choir dynamics.

In the beginning some soprano and alto coupled 3rds on soft dynamics, than at forte with some choir effects and shouts

Sopranos from their lower tonal and dynamic range to their higher, one line is doubled on altos an octave below.

2 mix versions: 1 uses more close mics, the other more surround mics.

The choir in this piece is just used to support the harmony when it modulates, starting at 1:07
As stated above, it blends really nice. (The orchestra is Hollywood Orchestra)

If you’re deciding to do over-the-top-epic style, better go for Cinesamples Voxos or strezov Samplegs StormChoir II

remember: with composer cloud, you can pay 1 month and try it out. It’s really not much money to invest to try their whole palette.


Alright, thanks for the detailed post, that’s something to consider. And can I just ask you, would you prefer it if every sample and note was automatically panned all the way to the right and you had to manually adjust the panning on each channel to the center?

Oh, and their recording engineer was Keith O. Johnson, on the newer Hollywood Series it even was Shawn Murphy (you know his sound from star wars and other top hollywood scores), so don’t say their recordings are bad :smiley:
it’s the editing of the thousand samples where some errors were overlooked.

Their recordings are bad but I found out it was purposely done, yes, apparently EastWest somehow actually wanted every sample horribly to the right. I defanitely don’t see that panning issue in any of Bergersen’s pieces. I am not inclined to buy symphonic choir or any eastwest product if this panning and noise issue is going to be a recurring problem.

How would one prefer such a setup?
No, I prefer prepanned sections as is the case with all EW Orchestral products.

They recorded Symphonic Choirs in the correct stage position, so you get a realistic choir sound out of the box. The closemic samples are not panned itself (obviously that won’t make much sense), but the player already got you the correct pan setting. But if you’d like to place your choir somewhat differently, you could use the close mics, remove the pan information from the EW Player mixer and position with your external plugins.

Notice that multiple mics are only aviable on the platinum edition

What samples from EW have you used where they are horribly panned and noisy? Just wondering, since I own a lot of their stuff and rarley run into noise issues.

So in other words, the panning isn’t correct and once again I would have to manually fix their mistakes and pan every channel I wanted to use way to the left to balance it out, only to leave the playback dramatically quieter than I wanted it? I*'d never even consider selling something that was panned that much, I would only modify something centered to fit a specific scene in a movie, game, commercial or website.

Their eastwest strings

The panning is 100% correct as far as contemporary choir sections are placed in the orchestra.
All my pieces I posted never touched the pan buttons, so that’s the sound you’ll get pan wise.

Ok man.
Their EW Strings is one of THE best recorded libraries I’ve ever heard.
I don’t know what kind of music you are creating, but on orchestral scores you want your instruments to be placed in their respective place of the stereo field.
And you should use this placing for other styles as good as you can.

Again: The close mics are not panned in any of their libraries.

Alright, that’s good to know for the choir, that’s for being patient and working this out. So if that issue did occur as it always does in eastwest strings no matter which DAW I use, I could only rectify it in the platinum version? The issue is I can’t see any logical reason whatsoever why I would want everything to start out panned to the right just so that I could waste time centering it. IF I want something panned, I would, as you implied, touch the panning myself.
EW strings use to sound like one of the best…in the videos…then I actually opened play and started using the samples…everything is panned to the right…

What do you mean by “all the way to the right”? You are talking the bass instruments on EW HS right?
And than the violins should be “all the way to the left”.

The reason you want it is that for orchestral music the classical panning is essential. If you are doing other works, platinum and diamond editions will be your way to go.

The Choir is very little noticable panned tho, since the classical placement is more towards the back middle stage (depending on the choir size).
It sounds as if it’s coming from the front.

Actually both the alto sections bass sections were panned to the right. Yes, panning to both sides is essential, but a lop-sided song where everything is lop-lopsidedly panned to one side is not essential. I still see no reason why everything should be panned to the right, I will control how far left or right the instruments are from the center as I see fit, I don’t need to have the volume cancel out as I try to balance the panning to the left. Why would I want only the alto sections panned on one side for the entire song? That makes no sense, obviously starting from the center is more versatile unless there is a simple channel swap option which I see no trace of on the Play player.

I get your point. The Celli and Basses are panned to the right to seperate them from the high strings. Violas act as a filler in the middle.
When you want to place HS Celli to the left, you could just swap the channels play internally. You can also stereo double and than pan toward the middle. The best results occur with the close mics tho.

On the master channel source there should be a swapped option at the dropdown (upper right side on the inteface)

Yes, to distinguish to different octaves more noticeably to create a richer sound when you combine the altos, tenors and bass when playing them all at once, it makes sense. Unfortunately, listeners and creators of music are not deterministic in always looking to combine the different string sections, sometimes you only want bass, sometimes you only want altos, sometimes you’ll want both at once but have one be quieter and another be louder to act as melody and harmony.

But you’re saying the original samples themselves are perfectly in the center and if I went to the real-life choir and stood in the center, I wouldn’t hear any panning, it’s just that in Play, they are loaded with hidden settings that pan the different sections?

Yes, I get your point.
East Wests target customers are orchestral composers and orchestrators I guess, that’s the reason for the panning. I personally am a huge fan of the prepanned sections.

But than again, the choir is not very hardly panned, it’ll be easy to compensate the slight left or right pan inside of play.

The samples are not ALL without pan information:
Actually all the mic positions EXCEPT the close mic were recorded with stereo information.
JUST the close mics are not panned in themself! When using a close mic, Play uses it’s internal pan knob to pan the close mic. You can simply reset the close mic pan knob.

So to me what it sounds like is unfortunately you actually are talking about the wave forms of the channels of the audio file that was directly recorded in microphones on different sides, they purposely sampled the instruments to be be quiet on one side and loud on another which is a real bummer because I definitely don’t always use every section at once, not everything has to be some epic journey. But, it also sounds like there is some other way I can pan them to the center without a huge volume loss? Where is this panning information that I can adjust the mic locations from? Only in platinum? I would imagine that every mic on the stage picked up all volume, so the raw samples that were loaded should be perfectly centered, there must be some way to get rid of this automatic pre-panning.