St. Helen’s Cantores

A school choir recorded with a Rode NT4 stereo condenser and an Olympus LS-5....

The story

“After the buzz of making my first instrument – my singing radiator – I thought it might be cool to make a choir from the students who go to school at St. Helen’s in Oxfordshire where I work. We recorded it one lunchtime in our beautiful school chapel with the intention of doing “Mms”, “Oohs”, “Aahs”, and then some blowy wind-type effects… but we only managed “Mms” and “Oohs” in the time available. We’ll need another session.

I used a Rode NT4 stereo condenser in front of the choir and an Olympus LS-5 at the rear of the chapel to pick up some reverb, and then mixed these together. The chapel is next to the kitchen so there’s some weird external extractor fan I needed to get rid of using iZotope RX7. I also, de-rumbled the samples and comped them using Adobe Audition. Then into Logic to filter out some resonance and added some Space Designer splosh.

Needless to say, this isn’t supposed to compete with SA’s Eric Whitacre’s library! I quite like the odd creak as a singer moves against a bench mid-take, or the faint whooping of another student realising it’s sausages for lunch in the corridor outside. Stick it in your DAW with a rich churchy reverb and it sounds awesome. If someone wants to have a go creating an EXS24 version, be my guest!

I guess I love the idea of the perpetual wheel of these young singers just starting out in life, and already contributing to the artistic community many of them hope to go on and be a part of. The world needs more music in it, and it’s with great pleasure that we offer you guys this humble little choir library.”



Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Evolving and textured choir

    I do love the nice and warm choir sound like this. Higher register has some interesting evolving voices. I would enjoy using this library for some projects!

    Asuka Amane17 October 2021
  • Love the tone of this choir

    This was one of the first libraries I downloaded when I first got the full version of Kontakt. I love the tone. Although I appreciated the various creaking sounds as, well, real, it took me some fiddling with longer reverbs to wash those creaks away enough to use in a wider spectrum of songs.

    Just Bob16 October 2021
  • A chilling choir!

    If you want a female choir with an ambient characater, this is a very good choice. At this point I have become very familiar with the Photosynthesis Engine, but I feel that it doesn't do enough justice to this specific library. The cutoff filter bound to the modwheel seemed nice at first, but since it acts as a filter, it also catches the release sample and this makes it very unnatural if you want to play with more dynamics. You should also mostly avoid the lower part of the library, since after the middle C everything sounds very down-pitched and unnatural. The higher "female" parts are incredible though! I'd also stick to the NR version, because the other one seems to have some noises that I am not a fan of.

    Alex Raptakis15 October 2021
  • Humanistic Choir

    I tend to love adding ambient noises to the projects I'm working on, as I feel such imperfections add a human element to pieces. that's probably why I love these instruments so much. They're warm, usable, and inspiring, and have the odd noise here and there. Love love love this library!

    Sam Ecoff15 October 2021
  • So sorry....

    ...I want to like it more because I think there is a nice atmosphere to it. Personally, I can't abide the creeks although it might work for others? It's not something I can see myself using.

    Steve198714 October 2021
  • Love the Kontakt 5.8 Version

    Ash's initial choir instrument was great but for me the seat noises were not to my taste. With the help of Darren J Prescott he noise reduced it and I wrapped it in the flexible Photosynthesis GUI and am really pleased with how it sounds. It is now part of my template.

    Bob Ellis14 October 2021
  • Super realistic...

    This is probably one of the most realistic choir recordings that I have heard. There are audible creaks and background noise, so it might not be best for traditional scores, but it does add character and doesn't harm the performance. This is an instrument that I'll be coming back too!

    christopher13 October 2021
  • Great for adding a human element and some atmosphere

    This was one of the first piano book libraries that I downloaded. I was really impressed. I actually like hearing the creaks and noises from the recordings. Throw a long reverb on it and it sounds great!

    CJ Thomas12 October 2021