Last month I had the pleasure of reviewing some excellent products from Realitone. They produced some great acoustic, banjo and whistling products that really aided my workflow and made life quite easy! Today I’m taking a look at the company’s new flagship product, Realivox Blue. Realivox Blue is a vocal based sample library providing you with a huge range of scope.Vocals are such a prominent feature of film and game soundtracks these days, and it’s leaning towards more ethereal and ambient style vocals. This is where Realivox Blue comes in. Check out the main theme for the hugely successful Assassin’s Creed computer game and how it uses a basic ‘ah’ vocal sound as the melody:
Realivox Blue can do this and so much more. Programming in basic ‘Ah’ sounds is just the tip of the iceburg, as Realivox Blue can actually sing back any words or phrases you want.
Nice and easy install. 2 zip files to download, one containing the samples, the other containing the presets and other data. Download both of them and un zip them to the same folder. Then you just need to activate it in your Native Instruments service centre (serial number comes in a word document in the second zip file). I’m a huge fan of having a product show up under the ‘library’ section of Kontakt, rather than having to search through long file paths. This is a licensed product from Realivox, meaning you can get thelibrary to show up exactly where you want it. I will quite happily pay the extra to have this!
Tricky one to describe really as there is only one patch. There are plenty of options on the instrument though, Oh, Ah, Oo, Bom, Boop, and many many others! To start the ball rolling, here is a brief demo that I created.
It was very quick and easy to get up and running. This was a basic ‘Ah’ patch, with the modulation wheel on your midi keyboard controlling the amount of vocal vibrato applied. This is a great touch, and gives your performances an ‘authentic’ feel. If your into creating these vast atmospheric soundscapes with vocals then Realivox Blue is right up your street. One thing that I would say here is that the pitching is so accurate, which is a difficult thing to do. Have a think about all of the samples that have been recorded for this product (literally thousands – 12,000 to be exact). The pitching for every vowel and syllable is spot on – and it’s something that Realitone should be proud of, because sometimes even the top sample library companies (naming no names….) get this wrong.
What you can also do with Realivox Blue is create some excellent ‘ethnic’ style voice textures and sounds. Inspired by the walk through video, I created my own haunting ethnic sample using notes from the Arabic scale (C – Db – E – F – G – Ab – B). Again, you can hear this style of music and phrasing all over film soundtracks these days. Classic examples include Lord of the Rings, , How to train your dragon, and many more.
As well as single phrases, Realivox Blue has a handy feature where you can add a second layer and third layer of voices. This gives you the option of making a ‘choir’ style sound. Turning the additional voices on, adding a splash of reverb, and it’s very easy to create a basic choir sound –
Imagine this mixed in with an array of instruments. Sometimes when you play these vocal based libraries on their own they don’t sound exactly right, but add a whole lot of other instruments into the mix and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Here’s a brief demo showcasing how the choir sounds mixed in with other instruments.
Building on from a basic ‘ah’ patch, Realivox Blue can do a whole lot more. We can program it to sing pretty much whatever you want. Mike Greene from Realitone has created a fantastic walkthrough video showing you how to create basic words and patches, and he also goes into incredible detail about how he (painstakingly) recorded consonants into vowels and the many variations.
You can clearly see how much time and energy has gone into this product. Mike has not been happy simply creating a vocal sample library. He’s gone into an amazing amount of detail with this library, and I can’t think of any other vocal based library that is this brief demo I created with the word ‘composer’
You can continually play the first syllable until you let go of the keyboard, then it triggers the next syllable. What’s also great about the word builder is that you can assign a phrase to a keyswitch, so that you can build up longer and more complex phrases. I have used many ‘word builders’ from a few different companies, and have found the system in Realivox Blue the most easiest to date. A lot of other companies make it far too complicated, and Realivox Blue has really hit the nail on the head making it dummy proof.
It’s not an easy thing to get your head around, so I would strongly advise you to watch the tutorial video above. A few helpful hints and you will be on your way.
The price of Realivox Blue is currently on at an introductory offer of $99 (normally $149). Under 100 bucks for a sample library with 12,000 vocal samples is an incredible price (if anything, I believe the product should be twice as much as this!). The product easily holds its own against things like East West’s ‘Voices of Passion’ (which I also own).
Realivox Blue is an incredible product, that is currently available for a brilliant price. Realivox have made the interface nice and easy to get around, and the instrument is very ‘playable’. What’s also amazing is that the entire library takes up less than 2GB of your hard drive space!