Spooky Chorus is Kontakt Instrument created by making convolution IR responses out of vocal notes, and then routing noise through each sample to make an atmospheric choir sound. As a second set of sounds, the original samples were then fed through a shimmer reverb to create an even more atmospheric sound. As a third set of sounds, a spooky transient layer was added.
The GUI of Spooky Chorus was designed to be very graphical. It can be divided into two categories: local and global. The local parameters are made up of 2 XY Pads so the user can graphically place the instrument in both space and frequency. The global parameters are made up of traditional sliders. A second tabbed page gives arpeggiator controls.
Included in Spooky Chorus:
- 1 Kontakt Instrument - 100MB
- 22 Samples
- 13 Snapshot Presets
- Clean Simple GUI with Arpeggiator
- Recorded at 24 Bit and 44.1kHz
- Full version of Kontakt 5.8.1 or above is required (will not work in Kontakt Player)
Our mission with Spooky Chorus was to minimize the amount of knobs and sliders without losing any control. The bulk of the UI is made up of 2 XY pads, each containing the 3 unique sounds. You can drag around the sounds on the Volume / Pan Pad to position the instrument in space, and then drag the sounds on the Cutoff / Saturation Pad to position the instrument in frequency content. The remaining sliders control the global parameters of the instrument in a more traditional manner.
Spooky Chorus comes with a second tab on the GUI that gives you access to an arpeggiator. This is a stock NI preset arpeggiator, but it gives you access to a completely different way to play the instrument. Our favorite mode is random, with the rate set to high speeds - this creates a flurry of notes around whatever chord or groups of notes you're playing.
Spooky Chorus comes with 13 snapshot presets to get you started. We found that Spooky Chorus performed best in 3 core areas: the main sounds (resembling a distant choir), the spooky sounds (ghostly artifacts), and fast arpeggiated sounds (to create a wash of sound).
Note that if you want to use the snapshots in the drop-down menu on Spooky Chorus, you must move the snapshot folder into your Kontakt snapshot folder. There are instructions for how to do this in the README file included with the download.
Recommended if you want to learn more about Kontakt's own arp feature
I didn't find anything overtly exceptional about the sound(s) and, unlike Lush Atmosphere, how the sounds could be altered/tailored. I found the un-automatable/unrecordable XY pad to be more confounding than creative and not helped by its interaction with the main controls. With effort, I was able to coax a theremin-type quality from the samples but the control and XY pad extremes often became dead zones and tonal variations occurred in a narrow slider range. The "Try Me" ARP tab is another story, providing this inexpensive package with its most creative feature in a quickly-accessed tab.
If you are not familiar with the back end of Kontakt via the monkey wrench, you might be interested in Spooky Chorus as a learning tool for Kontakt's arpeggiator, a feature which is available for all those libraries that you thought didn't have an arp---as long as a developer doesn't lock you out of the back end. Contrast the unusual front page of Spooky Choir with its arp page, which looks and functions exactly like Kontakt's arp tab---which many don't realize is there and where look for it. Spooky Chorus keeps it standard makes it very accessible. Do try the Hold Modes if you go there. I don't want to be too critical of something so inexpensive but I can name a few dozen freebies and demos that would outperform this in the sound department, and some even at its own focus. I give this a 2-3 for sound(s) (if you equate average with common), 2 for the confounding control on the front end of the GUI, and a 5 for including the easily-accessed and instructive arpeggiator tab.
SOUND QUALITY: 3; FEATURES: 4; PRESETS: 3; EASY OF USE: 5; INNOVATION: 4; VALUE FOR MONEY: 5; CONCLUSION: Almost nothing more than an interesting approach and a good arpeggiator. Sounds not very good, but inexpensive.
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