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I have written a score for a piece of mine in Sibelius and am now doing a mockup of it using East West's Hollywood Orchestra. I want to add some choir at a climactic point in the piece. I haven't written for choir before so I was wondering are there any particular guidelines to follow, any dos and don'ts etc. Do you generally treat the harmony in the same way as when writing for instrumental sections or instruments or is there a different approach? Thanks.  

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Yes you're absolutely right.. not as much fun, nor anywhere near as complex and difficult!

Analysis will always reveal the different elements and layers and they can usually be described in terms of back, middle and foreground, melody and accompaniment, resonance and texture etc. However it took me a while to appreciate that there was a meta-level where all those separate elements could be conceived of as part of one whole from the start. That eventually, fluency of craft could enable one to create something whose essence was far more than the sum of its parts. Not sure I am conveying this very well.. What really made it click for me was when my teacher would frequently emphasise the simple idea of support as opposed to layers. That simple concept opened the door to a real shift in how I approach things. Anyway, in terms of what you say at the end there I find that very exciting, i.e. that by studying the scores of music that I had previously thought to be pretty much incomprehensible I am now much more able to identify the intention behind the different elements, what the composer was trying to do and specifically how they achieved that. The next challenge being how can I apply that to my own music. Still so much to learn but so exciting..   

For anybody making choir mock-ups, there's a great new Choir in town: Oceania:

Very Good: The sound. In your face, realistic (so realistic in fact, you can't believe you're not hearing actual words. I've listened very closely, and it's difficult to tell it uses only 10 syllables (but in an extremely detailed/focused way).

Very easy to use. Ridiculously easy to use.

Good: Decent intro pricing ($199). Small footprint (2.1 gb total on the hard drive...from the video, it looks like 1gb in RAM covers both Men and Women).

Less Good: It's not a lush wash of vocals. You'll probably need another patch (or library) for that.

The Bad and the Ugly: Not a single durned thing (that I can see).


"are you affiliated with this product? :)"

Nope...not even a little. My ears just fell in love with the sound. Given the price-to-sound ratio, I would say that this is a high value proposition by almost any standard.

Why am I so effusive? I love value and greatness. It's as simple (or not so simple) as that. Truth is, I don't even own it (and sure as heck don't know the developer). But certainly would like to (on both counts)!

Hmm.. must check it out. Thanks for posting Josh.

Ah Excellent. Will take a look at that too! 

Oceania looks and sounds great but it's only for full Kontakt which I don't own. So I guess I'll stick with East-West's offering for now. 

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