Music Software Review: Rhodope – Ethnic Bulgarian Choir (Complete) [VIDEO]

Strezov Sampling had already proven their excellence at handling choir samples when their first release of the type, Storm Choir, was well received by the composer community. This helped them launch Storm Choir 2, expanding the scale of production and possibility while maintaining their trademark excellence in recording and presenting their instruments. In 2014, they released their most comprehensive choir effort yet, Rhodope: Core, capturing the sound of an authentic Bulgarian choir and combining it with the endless possibilities of their very own word builder. Much more recently, they have released Rhodope: Expansion A, featuring new legato options and choir effects. In today’s video review below, Meena Shamaly takes a look at the Rhodope Complete Bundle, which combines both the Core and Expansion A modules.

Below is a brief description of Rhodope from Strezov Sampling website, followed afterwards by the video review (including timestamps):

“Ethnic Bulgarian singing is something really unique. This special type of “throat” singing gives a new and interesting timbre that is not typical for choir ensembles. This is why Strezov Sampling decided that this requires a special approach. After 2 years of work, Strezov Sampling now offers the complete and definitive edition of their critically acclaimed Rhodope Ethnic Bulgarian Choir, including both the Core module and Expansion A at a no brainer price.

Blending traditional phrasebuilding with the deep editing options of wordbuilding, the Syllabuilder engine is the ultimate tool for producing virtual choir mockups. Rhodope Ethnic Bulgarian Choir Core and Complete feature this powerful tool, which has been in constant development for more than two years.

Rhodope Ethnic Bulgarian Choir Expansion A features three unique true legato singing styles, which are most commonly used in ethnic Bulgarian choir singing. All three types are included within one patch, allowing the user to switch between different legato types on the fly using different velocity values and the sustain pedal. But wait, this doesn’t mean that you are limited to one legato style at a time! Due to our Overlapping notes script it is possible to overlap different legato transitions within one performance, and if writing whole polyphonic arrangements is your goal, you can easily do that just using the same patch. The special polyphonic legato script, developed with the special needs of this unique singing style in mind, makes writing choral arrangements easier than ever before.”

Rhodope Ethnic Bulgarian Choir Complete‘s Core and Expansion modules are designed for the full version of Kontakt 5.0 (or higher), and require 7 GB of free space. The bundle is priced at USD 259, and it can be purchased and downloaded directly from the Strezov Sampling website, and is also being distributed by Best Service.

Watch Meena Shamaly’s review below, and use the timestamps underneath the video to skip around if you’d like:

0:19 Introduction to Rhodope
3:45 Introduction to Rhodope Core: Syllabuilder Module
5:06 Syllabuilder Interface
16:51 Syllabuilder Keyswitches
22:49 Syllabuilder Load & Save Features
27:13 Syllabuilder Options Page
36:49 Demonstration of a Phrase with Syllabuilder
46:33 Introduction to Legato + FX Expansion
47:21 Legato Play & Options
49:15 Polyphoic Legato
50:52 Tone Comparison: Syllabuilder vs. Legato
51:36 Legato Mic Positions
52:35 FX: Shouts & Risers
54:10 Wishes for Legato
54:57 Conclusions & Wrap-up

Strezov Sampling had already proven their excellence at handling choir samples when their first release of the type, Storm Choir, was well received by the composer community. This helped them launch Storm Choir 2, expanding the scale of production and possibility while maintaining their trademark excellence in recording and presenting their instruments. In 2014, they released their most comprehensive choir effort yet, Rhodope: Core, capturing the sound of an authentic Bulgarian choir and combining it with the endless possibilities of their very own word builder. Much more recently, they have released Rhodope: Expansion A, featuring new legato options and choir effects. In today’s video review below, Meena Shamaly takes a look at the Rhodope Complete Bundle, which combines both the Core and Expansion A modules. Below is a brief description of Rhodope from Strezov Sampling website, followed afterwards by the video review (including timestamps): “Ethnic Bulgarian singing is something really unique. This special type of “throat” singing gives a new and interesting timbre that is not typical for choir ensembles. This is why Strezov Sampling decided that this requires a special approach. After 2 years of work, Strezov Sampling now offers the complete and definitive edition of their critically acclaimed Rhodope Ethnic Bulgarian Choir, including both the Core module and Expansion A at a no brainer price. Blending traditional phrasebuilding with the deep editing options of wordbuilding, the Syllabuilder engine is the ultimate tool for producing virtual choir mockups. Rhodope Ethnic Bulgarian Choir Core and Complete feature this powerful tool, which has been in constant development for more than two years. Rhodope Ethnic Bulgarian Choir Expansion A features three unique true legato singing styles, which are most commonly used in ethnic Bulgarian choir singing. All three types are included within one patch, allowing the user to switch between different legato types on the fly using different velocity values and the sustain pedal. But wait, this doesn’t mean that you are limited to one legato style at a time! Due to our Overlapping notes script it is possible to overlap different legato transitions within one performance, and if writing whole polyphonic arrangements is your goal, you can easily do that just using the same patch. The special polyphonic legato script, developed with the special needs of this unique singing style in mind, makes writing choral arrangements easier than ever before.” Rhodope Ethnic Bulgarian Choir Complete’s Core and Expansion modules are designed for the full version of Kontakt 5.0 (or higher), and require 7 GB of free space. The bundle is priced at USD 259, and it can be purchased and downloaded directly from the Strezov Sampling website, and is also being distributed by Best Service. Watch Meena Shamaly’s review below, and use the timestamps underneath the video to skip around if you’d like:

0:19 Introduction to Rhodope 3:45 Introduction to Rhodope Core: Syllabuilder Module 5:06 Syllabuilder Interface 16:51 Syllabuilder Keyswitches 22:49 Syllabuilder Load & Save Features 27:13 Syllabuilder Options Page 36:49 Demonstration of a Phrase with Syllabuilder 46:33 Introduction to Legato + FX Expansion 47:21 Legato Play & Options 49:15 Polyphoic Legato 50:52 Tone Comparison: Syllabuilder vs. Legato 51:36 Legato…

Rhodope Ethnic Bulgarian Choir Complete


Installation – 95%


Patches – 100%


Interface – 95%


Sound – 100%


Value – 95%



97%

97/100

The specific yet sought after need for the sound of a true Bulgarian choir is brilliantly met by the Rhodope Bundle and its stellar tone. The power and ease of use of the Core Syllabuilder Module makes it a joy to use, and you cannot argue with the beauty and the energy of the Legato+FX Expansion. The scripting works seamlessly behind the scenes, and the polyphonic legato is so well implemented, I almost forgot it was there!

97

Written by: Meena Shamaly

Meena Shamaly is a composer, artist, multi-instrumentalist and performance poet based in Melbourne, Australia. His music covers a wide range of styles and sensibilities and often intersects with his poetry. He is part of international production house EON Sounds, working on various film, TV, video game, and production library projects.

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www.FilmandGameComposers.com offers a wide range of interviews, reviews, guides and tutorials for composers and musicians who are interested in writing music for film, TV and video games.

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