Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: Black Octopus Siren by Veela and Corey Friesenhan Vocal Sessions Vol. 01

Developer: Black Octopus
Distributed by: Resonance Sound
Format: Downloadable 24-bit WAVs
Price: £31.05
Demo: Audio demos and free samples available on the product pages.  (Veela / Corey Friesenhan)

So you've been working on a brilliant, floor-smashing trance tune.  The beat is punchy, the bassline is throbbing, and there's enough ear-candy in your mix to cause diabetic shock - yet, something is missing.  What you really need is a killer vocal to tie everything together and make it hooky.  Unfortunately, maybe you don't happen to know any world-class vocalists with the required amount of polish.  That's where these 2 new libraries from Black Octopus come in to play.

Both of these libraries consist of vocals by two professional singers impeccably recorded through an impressive signal chain.  Each library contains a number of "construction kit" type full songs (15 for Veela and 12 for Cory Friesenhan).  All of the tempo and key information is included, as well as the intended chord progression for the vocal (although most will work with other progressions as well). You also get manipulated rhythmic vocal loops, ad libs, swells, tones, and more that can be great for adding variety and spice to your tracks even if the construction kits aren't to your tastes.

Describing a vocalist in words can be a bit difficult, but I will try my best.  Veela, the female vocalist has a lovely, breathy, but strong vocal tone with the slightest hint of an Irish accent.  To my ears, her voice is perfect mainly for mainstream trance or downtempo.  Sweet, beautiful and ethereal.  Corey Friesenhan has a very smooth tenor voice with a bit of soul that would be perfect for R&B, dance, and house.  Of course, your ears are your best judges of which is right for your production, so check out the audio demos for yourself.

The sound quality of both libraries is pretty much perfect.  Great-sounding recordings and professional performances all captured with top notch gear.  As you would expect, the vocals are mostly dry, allowing you to process them as you see fit.  I really appreciated all the extras included in these libraries.  The processed vocal loops are great for adding a bit of interest, and even seemingly innocuous things like breaths and sighs can be the basis for rhythmic loops or time-stretched into ambient textures.  

Lyrically, there's not much to write home about.  Fairly generic sentiments, nothing mind-blowing, but would  you really expect that from this type of music?  This is aimed at the mainstream and everything here is pretty representative of what you'd expect genre-wise.  In addition to actual lyrics, there are tons of oohs, ahhs, uhhs, and other non-verbal riffs.

I'll admit, I am not a user of construction kits, but I can certainly see their value, especially for up and coming musicians who might not have the resources or desire to write and record custom vocals.  For cases like this, I think these libraries will be much appreciated.  They put professional-sounding vocals from world-class vocalists within reach for even the noobiest of noobs.  Of course, this will appeal to many professionals as well, and the quality of the performance and recordings will fit right in.  [Both libraries: 9/10]


Anonymous said...

"Distributed by: Resonance Sound"

why didn't you link to the original distributor:

also this product is from dec 2011 and has been used to death.

Tom said...

The libraries were sent to us by Resonance Sound. Sorry this upset you so much.