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# DIVA Classical Female Soloists Official Demo # 2

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GAMEDEV please email fbelardino@beladmedia.com _______________________________________________ We are very proud to bring you our second official demo. Composer/Arranger, Rob Elliott has created an epic sized score entitled ANGELS LAMENT “Diva’s epic moment” http://www.beladmedia.com/sound-1.html From the composer: Hi all, I have been commissioned to compose DIVA Classical Female Soloists Official demo #2. I have to say, that this library has been a gas to work with. Also, from what I hear coming soon in the form of updates and Diva Extended, the Library will offer additional tools and new samples. I find it a great scoring tool to get just that ‘high end solo voice’ sound. By using the oo’s and ah’s and some verb (to give some distance and depth) they make a very nice intimate angelic pad as well – perfectly suited to support the more ‘up front’ solo voices. I built this ‘Diva choir’ with multiple tracks of the oo’s and ah’s each with different levels of reverb, giving the overall ‘choir’ some depth. This Library should be quite useful for years to come. Oh yea, as I know some will ask - in addition to Diva vowels, crescendo ah, moving vowels, and performances I also used VSL (woodwinds, harp, stings), GOS (Grand Sustains), LOP (cymbals and crest timps), PMI Steinway, and Sam Horns. I am also so amazed that the better libraries seems to ‘play so well together’ – certainly true with Diva. http://www.beladmedia.com/sound-1.html

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Man, that new one sounded awful. I know it''s just a demo and not supposed to be a serious piece of music, but the composer could have done a much better job in terms of arrangement and overall sound quality. The composition itself is a rather nice piece with a newage-film-score feel to it, but I think the direction the library should be taking is more operatic and less cinematic.

That’s just my opinion. I know lots of people out there will find this product amazing, but we’ve still yet to see the definitive voice/choral sample library that isn’t aimed towards the Danny Elfman/Hans Zimmer wannabes out there.

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...and the over whelming response else where has been very positive. If you are looking for the definitive voice library, you may want to set your sites higher than $149.99. We are very proud of Rob Elliott's work. We argee that the vibrato can be over the top here and there but Diva Extended will ($49.99 straight tone vowels - delayed vibrato) take DIVA to another level.

[edited by - Bela D Media on October 12, 2003 4:36:44 PM]

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You are misinterpreting me.

The library itself is really good, especially for such a low price. But your strategy of selling this to myself as well as others leaves something to be desired. So far both demos posted sound like something out of a gothic video game or Hollywood horror-flick. The demos themselves do not represent the true potential of the library. I''m not saying the compositions or the library are bad, I''m saying together they don''t do much for me.

My definition of the definitive library would be one as low-priced as yours that I know for sure can do the classical thing as well as the gothic/atmospheric thing. I’m no audiophile with piles of money from hundreds of scoring gigs that can afford anything, just another customer looking for a certain sound.

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"So far both demos posted sound like something out of a gothic video game or Hollywood horror-flick"

That is the intent of the library hence, the demos.

DIVA is designed for the slow, haunting and ethereal female vocal. Yes. I believe you can generate a focal point more on the classical opera style. Both soloists are from the Philadelphia Opera Company so it would only make sense.

There is another "official" demo being released soon by Doyle Donehoo. Doyle is known for his work on many video game titles.

Perhaps, the fourth and final demo could be of your suggestion. I have to admit ... you have me thinking

Best
FB

[edited by - Bela D Media on October 12, 2003 12:38:44 AM]

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Hi Sil, just a quick note...

Bear in mind that only two demos have been posted so far for the DIVA library. When writing the demo, I chose a genre in which to write which, as a composer, I felt would help showcase the potential of the library in that particular genre for others who may write in that style.

When you listen to the demos, it does not in any way reflect on the library''s stylistic limitations. Quite the contrary. If the two styles picked so far to demonstrate the product are not to your taste, then bear in mind that alone is not enough to reflect or form an informed opinion of the product.

I am sure I can speak for Rob Elliott when I say that neither he nor I, as working composers, are "Danny Elfman or Hans Zimmer wannabes". Rather, having had the product in our hands, we chose styles of music that would help showcase and at the same time be appealing to the general audience of such a product.

By all means, if you are dissatisfied, purchase the product from Bela D Media first, then compose an original piece of music further demonstrating the possibilities of the library in whatever genre''s interest you and you sensibly deem appropriate to use DIVA in.

On a final note, another thing to bear in mind is that we cannot please everybody all the time. If I had written the first official demo as an action piece, no doubt somebody would comment, and if Rob''s was a waltz, again without doubt, it would dissatisfy some potential buyer. This is not about "wannabe" composers, rather it''s about "wannabe" critics who need to purchase a library if they think it may be of some professional use, then post informed opinions. In the end, any library is a potential risk. How many libraries have you purchased on the strength of the demos alone, only to find out that is is useless to you? At least a few. But, that is an indigenous risk to any purchase.

Thank you,

Kaveh Cohen
Composer.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Bear in mind that only two demos have been posted so far for the DIVA library. When writing the demo, I chose a genre in which to write which, as a composer, I felt would help showcase the potential of the library in that particular genre for others who may write in that style.

Two more have been posted as of the time I''m typing this and I don’t like the pattern I’m seeing. That’s all. Actually, I was looking forward to hearing the second one, especially after reading "Diva’s epic moment" as its tagline. I''ve never considered this genre of music epic. It reeks of inhuman qualities and thrives on its own sensationalism. It''s been done before and it will be done time and time again, but not by me. I''m sorry if this sounds harsh, but as you''ve probably already figured out, I take music pretty seriously. As a music/clarinet/composition major, I think it''s within my rights.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
When you listen to the demos, it does not in any way reflect on the library''s stylistic limitations.

As an outsider that is hard for me to believe from just listening to the demos thus far. The demos don''t exactly cry out "versatility". I''ve heard four of them now, and they all sound like they’re from the same movie soundtrack. Two of them even started with the same motif for some reason.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Rather, having had the product in our hands, we chose styles of music that would help showcase and at the same time be appealing to the general audience of such a product.

I guess you''re right on this one. There is a rather large audience for this particular sound, be it dark, gothic, or whatever, and I''m sure many of them populate the northernsounds.com forum. But that''s a biased demographic. Yes, you will get their money, but why not get more by showing Diva can go much further? You''re the composers, you should know how to do this. Let''s pretend this is just a random inquiry asking if it can sound like Vaughan Williams'' film score to Scott of the Antarctic, or everybody''s favorite, Carmina Burana. I’m talking along the lines of Ave Maria, which is what I think this library just might be able to pull off. It’s not too far off from the sound I’m hearing already, it just needs to be a little more controlled and “human”. I uploaded a short composition of mine that would demonstrate the sound I’m looking for if you wish to hear it. The vocal sample is not the best in the world, but it still worked nicely.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
By all means, if you are dissatisfied, purchase the product from Bela D Media first, then compose an original piece of music further demonstrating the possibilities of the library in whatever genre''s interest you and you sensibly deem appropriate to use DIVA in.

I think it''s already been demonstrated that you can''t compose original music with this library. Seriously, though, I''d rather work up the nerve to ask one of the girls in the music program to sing some of my compositions than take my chances purchasing a product I may find no use for. Like I said, I''m no audiophile with an unlimited credit card.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
On a final note, another thing to bear in mind is that we cannot please everybody all the time. If I had written the first official demo as an action piece, no doubt somebody would comment, and if Rob''s was a waltz, again without doubt, it would dissatisfy some potential buyer.

Yeah, well, we''re up to four now, going on five, and still no waltz. Actually, a funny thing; the Donnie Darko soundtrack contains a waltz that uses those same type vocals in a waltz-like structure. I think that just goes to show that maybe you don''t have to risk dissatisfying some customers to appease others.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
This is not about "wannabe" composers, rather it''s about "wannabe" critics who need to purchase a library if they think it may be of some professional use, then post informed opinions.

Ah, but I''m not criticizing the library. I can''t, because I don''t own it. I have downloaded the demos, though. Am I not allowed to criticize those?

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
In the end, any library is a potential risk. How many libraries have you purchased on the strength of the demos alone, only to find out that is is useless to you? At least a few. But, that is an indigenous risk to any purchase.

I''m not an impulsive buyer so I hope every salesperson I meet can forgive me for my questions, opinions, and biases I bring to the table. I’m also not trying to draw out a huge debate. I find this sort of thing interesting to talk about. Perhaps one day I’ll even try making a sample library myself. That day will have to wait though.

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quote:
Original post by Sil

"I''m sorry if this sounds harsh, but as you''ve probably already figured out, I take music pretty seriously. As a music/clarinet/composition major, I think it''s within my rights."

This is not at all about taking music seriously. Although you deny it, your comments are indeed attacks on the demos themselves. Are you implying that Rob or I don''t take music seriously? You are currently a student. I am no longer a student. I am a working composer, making a living from scoring to picture. I have three pages of credits ranging from Dreamworks to Universal to Discovery to the U.S. Air Force. Believe me when I tell you I take music very seriously, perhaps considerably more so than a student since my very livelihood depends on it.

"As an outsider that is hard for me to believe from just listening to the demos thus far. The demos don''t exactly cry out "versatility". I''ve heard four of them now, and they all sound like they’re from the same movie soundtrack. Two of them even started with the same motif for some reason."

This is impossible to assertain if you don''t own the product. If you cannot afford it or don''t wish to buy it, don''t post negative critiques based on a demo in a style of music you''ve made painfully evident you either don''t appreciate or understand. We all love classical music and have been trained in it...that does not mean that it has a home everywhere or is to be a basis for showcase demos for products like DIVA aimed at film and TV composers. If the demos sounds like a familiar movie soundtrack to you, then both our demos and the product have done their job. Think demographic.

"...but why not get more by showing Diva can go much further? You''re the composers, you should know how to do this. Let''s pretend this is just a random inquiry asking if it can sound like Vaughan Williams'' film score to Scott of the Antarctic, or everybody''s favorite, Carmina Burana. I’m talking along the lines of Ave Maria, which is what I think this library just might be able to pull off. It’s not too far off from the sound I’m hearing already, it just needs to be a little more controlled and “human”."

To reiterate, there have been only a few demos written so far. You are right, we are the composers and we do know how to "do it" and much more. These are the styles we have chosen, and the developer and much of the user base is happy. To answer your question, in order to emulate a Vaughan Williams score, I will be happy to refer to you capable session singers who are appropriate for such un undertaking. The $500 Symphony of Voices and$500 Voices of the Apocalypse libraries would also be unable to assist you in this undertaking. If you are not well versed in electronically mocking up orchestra, realize the realistic limits of these libraries. There is no such thing as an end-all-be-all library. If anything, realize that DIVA is the first of it''s kind. We are lucky to have it at all.

"I think that just goes to show that maybe you don''t have to risk dissatisfying some customers to appease others."

"Ah, but I''m not criticizing the library. I can''t, because I don''t own it. I have downloaded the demos, though. Am I not allowed to criticize those?"

Bela D Media is not selling demos. They are selling libraries. The demos are background support for the contents of the library. This is what is called a showcase. Critical remarks in this context are about the library. If you don''t like the music, then why post on a thread about DIVA? In any case, this is not how you opened your original post. Read it again.

"Perhaps one day I’ll even try making a sample library myself. That day will have to wait though."

You will then realize exactly the daunting task at hand, and the sheer effort that goes into realizing a product that working composers like myself deem "useful." You will also see for yourself that chances are your product will not be everything to everybody and cannot be used in every context. Earlier you spoke of a "biased demographic"...every single thing available for sale has a biased demographic. Every car to every can of soup on a shelf is not for everybody. This is why there are choices. In this discussion, so far there is no other choice other than to hire live singers. For that reason alone, DIVA is well worth it''s miniscule asking price. If you don''t like the dark tone of my work, or the quality of Rob''s, again as I mentioned before, that does not reflect on DIVA.

Incidentally, on a final note, in a one of your posts you said "my definition of the definitive library would be one as low-priced as yours that I know for sure can do the classical thing as well as the gothic/atmospheric thing..." This point goes back to the demographic. So just because none of the composers working with Bela D Media have written a classical composition that is up your alley, then does that means that DIVA can''t be used in a classical context? Or that it''s not a viable product? Do have any idea how many styles of music this library may effectively be used in? Well no, you don''t own it. But what are we supposed to do? Write 50 demos?

Now if I sound harsh it''s because you didn''t come out and praise the compositions, the potential of the library and that you hope to hear something in a classical vein because as a potential consumer that is what you''re in search of. Instead you posted abrasive and negative comments based on very little exposure to product you don''t own. As they say, "presentation is everything."

Thanks again,

Kaveh Cohen
Composer.

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“This is not at all about taking music seriously. Although you deny it, your comments are indeed attacks on the demos themselves.”

I never denied attacking the demos. I said I didn’t like them and why. If you think I’m criticizing the library or your composition skills, think again. I’m not.

“Are you implying that Rob or I don't take music seriously? You are currently a student. I am no longer a student. I am a working composer, making a living from scoring to picture. I have three pages of credits ranging from Dreamworks to Universal to Discovery to the U.S. Air Force. Believe me when I tell you I take music very seriously, perhaps considerably more so than a student since my very livelihood depends on it.”

It’s kind of hard to believe that you, or even several others including many famous film composers (think Media Ventures) as well as a good 50% of music artists out there in any genre take music seriously when all I hear is the same thing over and over. The commercialism involved in sickening. As far as I can tell, many artists are only as serious as what they are paid to do, even in the film scoring industry. If that makes you a living, then fine. That doesn’t mean I have to take it seriously.

“This is impossible to assertain if you don't own the product.”

This is stupid. I keep saying how I don’t think the demos represent the library well, and all you can say is how uninformed I am and I’d have to buy it to be sure. But I can only assume the gothic/dark, semi-classical thing is all it can do because no one has given me enough evidence to the contrary. So why should I bother buying it? I don’t want to write the kind of music that’s in the demos and I don’t think I should be forced to either.

“If you cannot afford it or don't wish to buy it, don't post negative critiques based on a demo in a style of music you've made painfully evident you either don't appreciate or understand.”

Why not? I thought we were making some progress here, as well as perhaps given you some ideas for future libraries. In my opinion, it is easier to adapt classical sounding libraries to do what you will than it is to adapt sounds aimed towards a specific final product. All I ask is for you to prove this can be a classical sounding library. Hey, all Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman had were the classical sounds to work with, so they figured out new things and created their own style. Now everyone wants to imitate them and I find that insulting to music. I don’t want to sound like them; I want to develop my own sound, therefore I need the raw materials to work with.

“We all love classical music and have been trained in it… that does not mean that it has a home everywhere or is to be a basis for showcase demos for products like DIVA aimed at film and TV composers.”

Basis, no. Consideration, yes. The classical roots of film scores cannot be ignored. If you draw inspiration from film scores solely, you will end up limiting yourself artistically. If you truly love classical music you will understand where I’m coming from with this. I’m not saying you have to be atonal/20th century/12-tone to be original, just be original. Elliot Goldenthal is original. So is Don Davis. Therefore I have a feeling those two wouldn’t be too interested in what we’ve heard from the library so far. Media Ventures, on the other hand, love money, not music.

“If the demos sounds like a familiar movie soundtrack to you, then both our demos and the product have done their job. Think demographic.”

“These are the styles we have chosen, and the developer and much of the user base is happy.”

But if all the demos sound the same, can’t I only assume once I purchase the library and crank out some music, my compositions will also sound the same? This is good for whom, the artistically declined? Is that what you think of your user base? Hmm, I must be listening to the wrong radio stations or buying the wrong film scores, because last time I checked there wasn’t exactly a huge demand for this style of music. It’s nice once in a while, specifically in the context of a few films, but I’m certainly not looking forward to hearing more of it in the future, especially if composer A ends up sounding like composer B.

“If you are not well versed in electronically mocking up orchestra, realize the realistic limits of these libraries. There is no such thing as an end-all-be-all library. If anything, realize that DIVA is the first of it's kind. We are lucky to have it at all.”

I’m not looking for perfect sound. I gave that up years ago, but that’s just common sense. I’m looking for a sound similar to the excerpt from 1:04 to 1:09 in the song2-1.mp3 demo. The lack of pitch-bending there actually made it sound better. It sounded like an actual woman singing, not a ghost or whatever.

So you’re saying if your demos consisted mostly of classical repertoire, dj DaRkKnIgHt2000 and friends are going to e-mail you complaining that they can’t sound like Elfman? I don’t follow. As long as we’re talking about demographics, can you let me in on what research was done to come to the conclusion that you needed more demos that sounded the same?

“The demos are background support for the contents of the library. This is what is called a showcase. Critical remarks in this context are about the library. If you don't like the music, then why post on a thread about DIVA? In any case, this is not how you opened your original post. Read it again.”

Hey, I voiced my opinion, and just because I don’t fall in line like a good little audiophile doesn’t mean I don’t have a point. I will probably end up buying the library anyway because I need the sound like anyone else, and this is as close as I can get within my budget. I finished writing a 40-minute long symphony for full orchestra over the summer using solely instrumental parts (many of them cheap or freely available online) and I just feel like doing some stuff with voice and chorus now. And as a non-impulsive buyer, I tend to investigate a lot more closely the products before purchasing. I just don’t seem to be any good at getting the right information from you.

“You will then realize exactly the daunting task at hand, and the sheer effort that goes into realizing a product that working composers like myself deem "useful."”

Useful for maybe a score or two, perhaps. But then what? Wouldn’t you just be repeating yourself? If so, the library would be useless to me then.

“Earlier you spoke of a "biased demographic"...every single thing available for sale has a biased demographic. Every car to every can of soup on a shelf is not for everybody. This is why there are choices.”

In a perfect world, yes there are choices. For me this is a take it or leave it situation. You should be thankful you are not in the same position I am.

“In this discussion, so far there is no other choice other than to hire live singers. For that reason alone, DIVA is well worth it's miniscule asking price.”

So just like that you’re going to admit this library cannot even remotely (with some tweaking perhaps) do the classical thing I want? Again, I’m not looking for the perfect sound, just some sign I know what I’m getting.

“If you don't like the dark tone of my work, or the quality of Rob's, again as I mentioned before, that does not reflect on DIVA.”

“This point goes back to the demographic. So just because none of the composers working with Bela D Media have written a classical composition that is up your alley, then does that means that DIVA can't be used in a classical context? Or that it's not a viable product? Do have any idea how many styles of music this library may effectively be used in? Well no, you don't own it. But what are we supposed to do? Write 50 demos?”

And now we’re back to square-one. As far as I can tell from your demos, this library can’t even sing in a major key. I know it can (with some tweaking perhaps) but that’s for you guys to prove.

Also, isn’t it reasonable to assume many people want the classical sound? That is after all where all this came from!

“Now if I sound harsh it's because you didn't come out and praise the compositions, the potential of the library and that you hope to hear something in a classical vein because as a potential consumer that is what you're in search of. Instead you posted abrasive and negative comments based on very little exposure to product you don't own. As they say, "presentation is everything."”

You are reading too far into what I say:

-back when the first demo was posted here at gdnet, I praised the library thinking “hey, if this is how well this library handles the gothic/dark genre, just think how well it could do the classical thing by itself”
-I assumed the first demo was using something that came from a greater whole, not the library at its fullest
-thus when you posted the second, I thought “hey, this sounds just like the first one, but now with less coherency and like something we’ve already heard time and time again in the movies”
-by the third and fourth demos I had become quite disappointed, but I’ve been trying to be careful to show my disgust only towards how the library is being portrayed

Reread my comments with that in mind and you’ll see I’m criticizing nothing more than how the library is being portrayed. Are you showing the library at its full potential, or just enough to get the artistically declined to buy it?

Look, the reason this argument is so long and drawn out is because we don’t yet understand eachother. That’s what makes this tough. Maybe I’ve given you some incentive to try out the classical aspect and come back to me with a YES or NO answer. I somewhat doubt your argument stating that there are many more genres out there that this can be used in besides what you’ve already shown us. And who’s to say there has to be demos out there to show off that it can be used for techno/trance/or whatever else? Since when did non-classical artists need a non-classical demo to show that they can use it in non-classical music? I think you have the whole thing backwards.

[edited by - Sil on October 14, 2003 6:30:00 PM]

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I have to say that I am with Sil on this one, to a certain degree of course. Do you believe (Kaveh) that this would be considered one of your stronger pieces in regards to your compositional ability? I am aware that this will probably not be answered truthfully and I do not blame or criticize you for that. That is really the point to purchasing a library, isn''t it? To exemplify your compositional strengths and hide your most evident weaknesses.

The two demos that I have heard thus far have been at best average and would not sway me in any way to purchase the package. I am not in any way questioning your compositional ability, but it appears that "your best" may not have been portrayed, which makes me question the integrity of the library itself.

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