He’s back! No, not “that” masked guy, I’m talking about the other one. Mystica – Female Chamber Choir is the latest choir library to be released from Mr Sample Developer of the Year Eduardo Tarilonte. Can it live up to Cantus degree of perfection?
Installation is smooth, a neat download and when expanded it takes up about 3GB of hard drive space. An interesting note, when looking through the files installed in the Samples directory we find files such as “Mystica__phrases.nkx” with a size of 108.7 MB. In total there are nine files in this folder, the file with the name “Mystica__legato.nkx” weighs in at 1.55 GB. Nice, let there be no confusion as to where the focus is in this library
Let’s take a look at the patch list first shall we. They are divided as follows:
- Mystica Phrases.nki
- Mystica, Female Chamber Choir.nki
- Eerie Wind.nki
- Evil Laughter.nki
- Evil Whispered Words 01.nki
- Evil Whispered Words 02.nki
- Evil Whispered Words 03.nki
- Summon Spells.nki
- Dark Horizon.nki
- Empty your Mind.nki
- Guardians of Secrets.nki
- Mystica Vox Pad.nki
- Past Visions.nki
- Summoning Demons.nki
- The Awakening.nki
- Voices of Light 01.nki
- Voices of Light 02.nki
- Voices of Light 03.nki
- Voices of Light 04.nki
- Voices of Light 05.nki
I’ll just do my usual backwards review then, ok? The soundscapes are (as usual) very well put together. I’m thinking that I could use one or two somewhere but they won’t be loaded in my template and stuff that’s not loaded will not be used since I forget what I have on the hard drive. Sad but true.
Moving on. The FX patches left me wondering why there are so many patches when each patch is actually quite small? One could easily fit them all together in one big “Mystica FX Ultimate” kind of patch and have all of them instantly available. Thoughts aside they sound good but are nothing I’m basing the rest of this review on.
That leaves us in the most interesting folder, the Vocal patches. “Mystica Phrases.nki” is divided in four sets of phrases with each phrase on a separate key. Set 1 contains 29 phrases, set 2 contains 23, set 3 contains 26 and set 4 contains 12. Set 4 is a soloist and is worthy of a special mention. When loaded it takes up 103 MB. You have control over attack, release, start point, end point, reverb, expression and speed. All those parameters are controllable via MIDI and the speed parameter in particular is very rewarding to use. One drawback, as I see it, is that all phrases share the same start and end points. It would have been much easier if they were independent, as it is now there needs a lot of trial and error with MIDI automation to get them to start and end exactly where you want them to.
On then to the main patch “Mystica, Female Chamber Choir.nki”. Loaded it takes up 1.14 GB of memory but it is worth it. Just playing a bit with the first phrase “Agnus” which is selected as a default gives me goosebumps. Those familiar with Cantus will feel right at home since Mystica is built in the exact same way. I feel there is little need to repeat what’s already been said so if you want to know about the controls and such for Mystica you can read my review on Cantus.
There are some differences in the controls. Mystica lets you set a vibrato intensity as well as a vibrato depth. When used in moderation it could work but in my ears it sounds far to artificial, even when you automate both the variables. Mystica also has an export feature in the wordbuilder which lets you save your ramblings. If I’m correctly informed Cantus will have the same feature in short so it would be very easy to exchange words between the two libraries.
Yes, Mystica is the perfect partner to Cantus! Both libraries complement each other in a brilliant way and I honestly like Cantus a bit more now that Mystica lives right next to it on my hard drive as well as in my scoring template. They sound great on their own but when used together they become something completely different. Just take timing as an example. When playing the phrase “Agnus” simultaneously they sing it in absolutely perfect sync, in all three speeds. Well, not exactly perfect but you get the idea. Also, the word building has the exact same phrases so getting the combined choir to sing together is a breeze. I really like when developers are following up on previous releases. The only gripe is that the default reverb setting for the libraries differ. No issue since I use an external reverb but good to know if you feel the sound doesn’t “glue”.
Actually, I’f like to go back in time and set Cantus score for sound to “just” 95 so that when used together with Mystica it would get 100, but I can’t. I also can’t give Mystica a lower score than 100 in sound. But hink of it this way, when you use them together they are way past 200.
It’s just to surrender. I believe that anything Eduardo releases will be a hit and Mystica is by no means an exception. It’s brilliantly put together, from recording to scripting. Mystica sounds gorgeous, is easy to work with and it’s the absolute perfect companion to Cantus. Enough said, get it.
Developer: Eduardo Tarilonte
Publisher: Best Service
Library size 3.16 GB + 1 GB for the Kontakt Player contents.
Windows Windows 7 or Windows 8 (latest Service Pack, 32/64 Bit), Intel Core Duo or AMD Athlon 64, 2 GB RAM (4GB recommended) Mac Mac OS X 10.7 or 10.8 (latest update), Intel Core Duo, 2 GB RAM (4GB recommended)