Vocals for contemporary musical theatre

Hello everyone

I’m writing a musical theatre show with Dorico, in a contemporary style . I’m looking for a decent vocal library that supports people in rehearsing their parts.

I initially started with the bundled Olympus Micro chorus and upgraded to Olympus Elements last year. I’m using “Ah Sustain”.

I’m still quite unhappy with the following issues:

  • They are not really “tight” in terms of “attack”. They lag a bit behind the other instruments.
  • There is a fixed breakpoint between male and female voices at C4. I’m looking for a library with separate male and female singers in the same style.

Is anyone else here writing for musical theatre and has found a decent library? I don’t need any words playback, just something that gives a better feel than what is bundled with Dorico.

Hey LorenzU,

I do a certain amount of musical theatre tracks - I often end up using non-vocal sounds like Clarinets and bassoons for people to follow. As you say, most vocal libraries have very slow attacks and washy sound. None of them sound particularly “good”!

Having said that, I’d say I’ve had the clearest sound and shortest attack from NotePerformer - it’s not exactly a VST in the usual sense of the word, but a simple package that makes your scores sound nice:

I can usually hear the vocal sounds from this above big orchestras and definitely more immediate than usual

If you are creating a Piano/Vocal Score, I would use definitely use woodwinds for the voice parts. I’m a great fan of double reeds, although Clarinet could be good too.

I’m not trying to characterize the style of the music, just to use instruments that keep the voice parts prominent and perhaps help differentiate one voice from the other.

Thanks, @Derrek. After trying out multiple instruments, I ended up with the GM Oboe. It doesn’t sound like a real instrument which is exactly what I need here and it also doesn’t care about playable ranges, so I can use it for all voices from Bass to Soprano.

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@eddjcaine Thanks for the tip. I tested NotePerformer 3 on my score last year and was not really happy with the result. And I have specific requirements for the Keyboard parts (Individual Voice Playback so I can switch in an instant between instruments as it is common in musical theatre) which is hard to translate to NotePerformer configuration.
But I think NP is a nice tool if you are close to a standard ensemble.

Heya, you can always combine more than one VST - voices by Noteperformer, keyboard by FM8, Albanian wolf whistle by Kontakt, Strings by Garritan etc etc

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I personally use a suite of saxophones because of the blend, and I can choose an appropriate sax for the required range.