Quantum Leap Voices of Passion

Wow. Well, that’s the short-form review. To elaborate, these are superbly-recorded “ethnic” samples from Bulgaria, Syria, India, Wales (think Enya), and America (which tend toward more multisampled notes rather than idiosyncratic phrases). They play back through East West’s Play engine (32/64-bit, Windows/Mac, ASIO/Core Audio, VST/AU/RTAS) which itself is pretty cool, with convolution reverb, delay, artificial double tracking (chorus), amplitude envelope, and lowpass filter.

There are also interesting tricks, like assigning mod wheel to sample start point—start anywhere within a phrase. Another is you can use the left, right, or both channels of a vocal (different channels use different mics) but if you use only one, you can synthesize a stereo spread. The Welsh vocal “phrase generator” is cool, too.

Although initially it seems there are only a handful of presets, the “master” ones use keyswitching to access multiple articulations. There are also presets with individual articulations, and some with true legato. Print out the PDF manual—lots of options are hidden in those presets.

While obviously geared for video and movies, the vocals are great for replacing that clichéd diva sound used in a lot of trance music, as well as for any kind of chill. Three words: evocative, fascinating, and unique. Oh, and add “wow,” too.

Contact: Quantum Leap, www.soundsonline.com
Format: Virtual instrument with about 7.3GB of 24-bit/44.1kHz samples; requires iLok (not included) for installation
List Price: $495