Symphonic Choirs Sample

Under the direction of Dorico, the EastWest Symphonic Choirs sing five verses of the familiar hymn The Church’s One Foundation. Each verse appears on a separate page because the playback start and end offsets of the notes change from verse to verse depending on the lyrics.

The video and audio were captured simultaneously using the Xbox Game Bar which comes with Windows 10.


This is really good! I’ve just bought EW Symphonic Choirs and am trying to get it to sound intelligible - you’ve proved conclusively that it’s possible. So far I’ve been using it in Cubase to learn the basics, before I move on to Dorico. Great work, please add more!

All the best

You got the WorldBuilder working, then? Is that by downgrading to v5 of Play, or something else?
Play has been completely unresponsive for me, and with Ulf’s help, we tracked down the “Ohmicide” effects plug-ins as the cause.

In all honesty, despite knowing the hymn very well, if I close my eyes, it’s very difficult to comprehend the words. It could be a setting in Finnish.

I bought Soundiron’s Requiem choir library, which is quite good for general Oos and Aahs, but is woefully flat on some notes. Symphonic Choirs is also a disappointment, based on the instability of the VST.

Until there’s a mix of NotePerformer’s phrasing AI and speech synthesis, I think I’ll have to settle for the Swingles going ‘Doo’ to everything.


I am using version 5.0.1 of the PLAY sample engine.

Hi Benwiggy - I have the latest version of Play 6.x and Wordbuilder works fine in Win 10 (haven’t tried it on my Mac yet). I’ve only just bought EW SC, so am still on a steep learning curve. I’ve managed to make an authentic sheep sound!

PS A really good choir is Soniccouture All Saints (Tooting) - worth a look, sounds great (but only vowels and mm)

Fascinating! I just wonder what the native language of this choir is… :smiley:

The basses could sing louder. The most exciting feature is that the breathing is quite natural.


have you tried a SATB Wordbuilder choir with PLAY 6.19? So far, I haven’t heard of anyone who has got full functionality using PLAY 6. I find it’s fine with 5 (including within Vienna Ensemble Pro 7 where some difficulties have been reported)

Sounds great on the demo, but not sure I can punt another £269 on a third choir library.
For basic vowels, I’ve actually got a result that’s as good as anything I’ve tried, using samples from Logic in an ARIA Player sfz instrument!

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Not sure what you mean by “full functionality”, but it seems to work OK (in Cubase 11 Pro that is, haven’t tried it in Dorico yet)

ok, apologies, I forgot you’re trying it in Cubase first. Maybe you can feed back when you’ve used it in Dorico with a standard SATB choir using Wordbuilder.

Well done. It’s definitely better than I was ever able to achieve back in the day.

I imagine most would agree that the state of the art of custom word-singing in vocal libraries has not yet achieved any sort of production quality, but for demo type work this is as good as it will get until there is dramatic improvement.

Again, congratulations on some fine work, and on your choice of music.

I instinctively tried the same test and had the exact same thought. If I was reading along, I could understand it, but as soon as I averted my eyes… well, it just falls flat. Some of the transitions are abrupt and odd too. About the only thing I could see this being useful for is to provide a generic backing to make an overdub of real singers sound larger than they actually are. (And even then, odds are multiple dubbed takes would just sound better anyway.)

My video has elicited quite a diversity of opinion, effectively ranging from “Good job!” to “Why bother?” Although I readily admit that the Symphonic Choirs have many flaws, when you consider that all of the vowel and consonant sounds were recorded separately and that the computer is stitching these bits of speech together to create the words and musical phrases that you hear, I find it fascinating that the results can be as good as they are. To each his own.

Very nice. How do you set the playback start offset? I can not find that option.
Can it be set to a negative number? I am looking for a similar feature of Cubase track delay.

for what it’s worth, I think you’ve done a pretty good job with this and if all you want are simple church hymns, I think SC is perfectly capable. For more rhythmically or dynamically challenging music, it can struggle a bit more and indeed Hollywood Choirs seem to have taken the easy way out by reducing to Men’s and Women’s choirs only rather than being lumbered with the four part problem that the far ends of the range (such as anything above an octave above middle C for the women) are simply too quiet compared to the comfortable common areas

Unlike some, I can hear quite a few of the words – about as many as a typical real choir such as the ones I sing in-- and from my own experience, both Latin and English are really not that bad though it can be a real challenge to get the correct vowel sounds in German for instance in certain cases. But it can have a bash at any language and that’s more than just about anything else out there.

If you select a note, the playback start and end offsets can be set in the properties panel at the bottom of the window in write or engrave mode. The offsets can be set to negative numbers, which means that the note will start or end sooner than notated.

Just to note that v.6.19 of Play doesn’t improve things in Dorico, for me at least: seems that there’s a glitch with note-off . I just get a bigger and bigger chord, same as before.

Play 6 sends note-off which it seems that notation software can’t handle. It was just the same with Sibelius and even before I switched to Dorico, EWQL tech support advised me to go back to Play 5 which I still use with Dorico. This version doesn’t made use of note-off from what I’ve been told which is the reason it works.

I was going to try it with Finale (v25), but found that I didn’t install a VST2 for Play, so that’ll remain a mystery as far as I’m concerned.

Here are two recordings I made last summer using a digital audio workstation and the EastWest Symphonic Choirs:

Jean Berger – The Eyes of All Wait Upon Thee
Psalm 145:15-16

John Tavener – The Lamb
Poem by William Blake

Although my virtual choir has many flaws, it has two advantages over a typical real choir: it doesn’t tend to go flat when singing a cappella, and no one is gasping for air just before an entrance.

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