Sampling master Eduardo Tarilonte has done it again with this intimate, realistic library of full of rich African spirit. Introducing Kwaya.
This is a library that is quite specific, but that’s something that its creator, Tarilonte, does by default – to create a sample based instruments that are highly focused. No matter how many vocal or choir libraries and instruments you have, this one is different – different by content, by color, by vibe and by general feel. It brings a sort of warmth and harmoniousness, even if you use just a good old M vowel that you can find in almost any vocal library. And this is just the beginning since Kwaya, a choir library compiled from recordings of award winning Aba Taano choir from Uganda, offers a great Phrase builder where we can join forty different syllables, creating authentic African chants that can be combined with any spoken or even sung African phrase or word that can be found in the FX section. To be more precise – there are 1600 different phrases and words, more than enough to pick the right one for your need.
The main target of this library is to serve various new age, score, documentary, media or stock music needs. But, as always, feel free to combine these sounds with any genre, adding a touch of African spirit to your composition. It’s ideal for making some unique backing vocal lines for your lead vocal, or even using legato syllables instead of conventional pad sounds from your classical synth arsenal.
What Do We Get?
The whole sample instrument is divided into three main sections – actually one main phrase builder patch along with two additional directories, FX and Soundscapes. These bring us a generous number of presets, patches that offer singing, talking and yelling phrases and words.
Let’s start with the phrase builder. In the upper part of the main window we see separate volume and pan controllers for four male and two female voices. The middle part is reserved for some general controllers like expression ratio, reverb amount and a legato knob. Under this central controller area is a small drop down menu in which you can select one of twenty different syllable combinations to set active, or simply to edit, delete, add or change syllables. All twenty syllable combinations are also selectable through key-switches. Those key-switches also come in handy if you want to start a phrase from the first syllable, since all you need to do is to press the appropriate key-switch for that combination. Then the first syllable will automatically be selected, no matter where you ended with the last MIDI note. In the lower part we can find a row containing eight different syllables that are triggered from left to right, building a syllable combination where an upcoming MIDI note triggers the next syllable along with playing it in a pitch of the MIDI note.
Under every syllable you will find an option to set the length – that is, whether the syllable will be sustained or staccato (selecting between Long and Short), and at the bottom you will find a small Edit button that will open a new editor with a few rows containing 40 syllables along with basic vowels that includes an Mm vowel (OK, that’s not really a vowel if we want to get precise).
The FX directory brings a multitude of shouts, yelling poems, chants and vocal rhythms with one big wav display that you can use to change the sample start and end, selecting just a part of a phrase. Every such window also contains additional reverb and expression buttons. I only wish there was some sort of mega patch with a bigger group of those phrases distributed over the key range because it is a bit laborious to load patch after patch to find the right combination.
Because this is a Tarilnonte instrument, there is no way to avoid wanting to create some ambient soundscapes. How do they sound? Excellent, as always.
As in all libraries from Tarilonte, you will always find some unique content that you can’t find anywhere else. Maybe there will be fewer controllers than you’d expect in library of this type, but the main sound will always be so inspirational and to the point that you will probably not need any of those additional controllers in the first place. Actually, Tarilonte reminds me of the writer Luis Borges, always bringing some unique, beautiful, unexpected but highly desirable content. If you are after hyper-reality, wishing to sound more real than the real thing, being able to control everything, and fooling everyone that you aren’t using a virtual instrument, then you should go for Chris Hein instruments. If you are after fairy tales, not to listen to them but rather to create them, then this is the right solution for you. Instruments that Tarilonte make always start to whisper some stories to you, ones that will make you smile, dream or even cry. So, this time we have an African choir instrument, a fairy tale about Africa. Kwaya brings all the voices that we need in order to add some African spirit to our songs. If you asked me, that’s exactly what I was looking for.