East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Choirs is without question one of the most extensive and sophisticated choir sample libraries on the market. In order to put such a mammoth to the test, I felt that that it was important to be more critical of the software from a professional perspective, and that I must be able to demonstrate how accessible, thorough, and powerful this software could be for the end-user. To meet these goals and truly put EWQL Symphonic Choirs to the test, I intend to see if I can use it to rework an entire choral piece, performed entirely from the sampled voices from this library in place of a real choir. Due to the nature of the review, I intend to provide CDM readers with something different: an episodic review. With that, I give you Episode 1: The Arrival.

9 DVDs – are you serious!?

EWQL Symphonic Choirs arrived at work one sunny, summer afternoon. The packaging was nice – standard software size, with the usual EastWest design aesthetic. â€Å“Hmmm…this box is pretty heavy,â€Â? I thought to myself. I cracked open the seal, and emptied the contents. A couple of user-guides, some registration papers, and a thick, posterboard disc envelope. I mean really thick.

â€Å“How big is this thing?â€Â? I checked the back of the box. 38 gigabytes. 9 DVDs. Let me type that again, in case you missed it. 38 gigabytes. 9 DVDs. â€Å“I wonder how long this will take to install,â€Â? I mused to my co-workers. â€Å“I’ve got a Pioneer DVR108 in my G5 – it should have no problems flying through this installation, right? It reads at 16x…â€Â? I took the package home that night and decided to wait until the weekend to do the installation.

Saturday morning arrived and I decided I would go ahead with the install and start plowing through the user guide. I put the first disc into the drive, opened up Omniweb to grab any software updates from the SoundsOnline website, and cracked open the manual. The installation dialog box slowly ticked upwards:

5 minutes remaining, 7 minutes remaining, 11 minutes remaining, 15 minutes remaining.

I was clearly in for a long wait. â€Å“So…I’ve got 9 DVDs here…I’m thinking I don’t want to sit in front of my Mac for two-plus hours today to wait for this to install. Boy I wish dual-layer discs were in-fashion…â€Â?

And so it was, that I spread out the installation of EWQL Symphonic Choirs over the course of two days. Yes – it took me a weekend to finally get this app up and running on a Dual 1.8Ghz PowerMac G5 with relatively fast drives. I spaced the install out such that I would stick a disc in, resume the install, and walk away to run errands, clean the apartment, play some Ghost Recon, or catch up on e-mail. This is not an installation for the impatient. Now, if you’ve got the time and willingness, you could probably get this thing installed in a couple of hours. But honestly I’ve always been rather fussy about how I spend my time, so this seemed like the best way to do it. After all was said and done, I was up and running by late Sunday afternoon and had skimmed the manual enough to know that not only was the install process rather lengthy – this was not a simple plug-and-play application. I’d had it easy with EWQL RA and Stormdrum – just pick a patch and start jamming! Not so with Choirs. If I was going to get ANY useful results from this library, I was going to have to devote some serious time and study to its use and application.

So back to the manual I go – this time from start to finish.

…to be continued…

Symphonic Choirs Product Page