Ueberschall The Voice 1 & The Voice 2 Through Bestservice.de
Here are two old vocal packs with dated demo clips, but as soon as we blow the dust off, we can find up-to-date vocal phrases that can shake the charts.
by Alex Arsov, July 2014
If you are a musician without being blessed with a nice voice, then you are a Ms. or Mr. Unlucky, constantly looking for any sort of vocal lines, sampled or real. The fact is that the human voice is the most recognizable instrument. Even if you are doing mainly instrumental music, you will need a sample or two of a real voice, as even just a few human voices can drastically improve a song, giving it a touch of life and pushing it onto a whole new level. Even if you already have a lead vocalist, those voice libraries could still find their place as great background builders. It’s kind of boring using the same vocal for lead and background vocal. So if you are a good producer but a bad vocalist, then having any vocal library is almost a must. Sometimes just one vocal phrase can build a whole song.
From Liquid to Elastik 2
The Voice Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 libraries were made originally for Liquid, a plug-in that allows you to change notes inside the sample, some sort of a Melodyne-like instrument that was used for some of the Ueberschall libraries. It looks like Ueberschall has abandoned the Liquid engine, so now those two libraries are in Elastik 2 format. Elastik 2 is a plug-in that can stretch a sample in real time, synchronizing it with the song tempo, and offers an internal keyboard where you can assign selected loops to different keys for playing through a MIDI keyboard or exporting to a disk. (Currently Elastik 2 doesn’t support dragging of samples directly to the arrangement window inside a DAW.) With Elastik 2 you can change the pitch of the whole phrase or sample, so you can still adapt the key of the chosen sample, but you can’t change notes inside the phrase or sample as was possible with Liquid.
The Voice Vol. 1 & The Voice Vol. 2
Both packs have the same price, €99 EUR or $135 USD each. They are not latest Ueberschall libraries, being they’re from 2007 or 2008, but I found that they still sound very up-to-date and fresh. The overall quality of the recorded material is on a really high level, nothing new for Ueberschall. After all, vocal phrases don’t sound dated on any level – actually, both libraries offer those sorts of vocals that you can hear on all charts, all the time. I presume that you can’t make a full lyric song out of these libraries, but you could easily find enough quality material to fulfill your dance EDM arrangement, or to cover all background vocal needs in any sort of R’nB, Pop, or any similar contemporary genre.
All female phrases are doubled with male voice, so layering or building a tension is just a matter of one click. Also, at the end of the phrase is the key in which this phrase is recorded. The Voice Vol. 1 brings 300 different short vocal phrases (2400 samples – 3 GB disk space), mainly composed of few-word sentences expressing some feelings or statements (“Back on my feet,” “Be somebody,” “Let me love you,” and similar), while The Voice Vol. 2 brings another 300 short vocal phrases, this time non-verbal ones, not just “Oh” and “Ah,” but all sorts of other “Doo-wah schooby-dooby dah” ones.
Every phrase or vocal line inside both libraries is completed out of eight lines, four for female and four for male. Female vocals are not aggressive, but nicely balanced on the edge of a breath vocal, still strong enough to build a really nice melodic atmosphere, and the same goes for the male vocalist. Every line can stand by itself (which is not always the case with backing vocals), so you can gradually build tension, adding additional voices until you don’t quite reach a full choir from all the layers.
It is a funny thing that you should spend some time finding these libraries on the Best Service site, the same as for Ueberschall, especially as they sound as they were recorded yesterday, and not so many years ago. I used a few of those samples in my newest EDM production and they made those songs even more up-to-date. Libraries from 2007 that can help you to sound like those fellows on Beatport during the upcoming summer of 2014.
Finding really good vocal phrases is not so easy, and it never was, so it is worthwhile to take a shovel in hand and dig deep around to find good ones. So, for €180 EUR or $245 USD (Best Service offers a 10% discount when you buy both libraries), you can get 600 different vocal phrases, 4800 samples, eating just 6 GB of your valuable disk space.
We are constantly bombarded with some up-to-date libraries that try to bring us some retro sounds, and I finally found two retro libraries that sound up-to-date. Very up-to-date. So if you are looking for some vocal lines, just don’t sound like everyone else (using new vocal libraries that everyone uses). Instead, dig out of the dust something that everyone already forgot.
The archaeological department of Soundbytes magazine presents to you The Voice Vol. 1 & The Voice Vol. 2.
In listening to the demo clips, don’t be fooled by dated musical backgrounds; they are not included in the package. 😉
Director of Archaeological Soundbytes Department.
Alex ( dig deeper ) Arsov