Hollywood Backup Singers instrument that can sing your lyrics

In today’s Logic Pros, we are taking a deep dive into the new EastWest Hollywood Backup Singers. The powerful vocal sampler instrument adds a trio of iconic Hollywood singers to your Logic Pro X library and directly beneath your finger tips. EastWest has been a major player in the premium sampler instrument game for a while now and its latest gives producers incredible ability to program three equally tenured, if not even more iconic, vocalists to their liking. Head below the jump for everything.

Hollywood Backup Singers

Hollywood Backup Singers is easily one of the best vocal sample libraries for what it does, but this thing is much more than your average collection of license-free vocal recordings you can sample into your songs. Featuring about 9GBs of meticulously recorded vocal patches, the backup singer samples here range from your typical collection of vowel based Ooohs and Aaahs to multi-instrument patches with intelligent key switch/modulation performance settings, and vocal oddities/noises. This is an entire vocal plug-in instrument with precise control over the microphone setup, world-class FX, performance options, and more. Unlike your average vocal-based instrument, EastWest’s Hollywood Backup Singers product makes use of the company’s powerful WordBuilder technology that allows it’s wonderfully recorded vocal samples to actually sing whatever lyrics you want.

Here’s a brief overview of the content included in Hollywood Backup Singers:

  • Approx. 9GBs of 24-bit/44.1 kHz samples with 3 Mixes
  • Collection of 87 instrument files
  • Plus 588 expressive solo vocal phrases (in all keys)
  • WordBuilder software turns text into sung words
  • 222 preset WordBuilder phrases across 4 sub-categories (Common Words, Gospel, Pop, or Soul)

EastWest has brought on some serious talent for this collection as well. Durga and Lorelei McBroom (Pink Floyd’s backup singers for many years), alongside C.C. White (Lenny Kravitz, Al Green, Jason Mraz, and Crosby, Stills & Nash) are in top form here. Everything was recorded at EW’s iconic Studio 3 too — a room known for iconic recordings including everything from the Beach Boys Pet Sounds masterpiece and Blondie right through to Ariana Grande, Frank Ocean, and Lady Gaga’s Academy award-winning “A Star Is Born” soundtrack.

EastWest Hollywood Backup Singers-Browser-Xfde

Instruments:

Hollywood Backup Singers works like just about any other plug-in instrument for the most part. You load one of the many vocal instruments up from the browser on EW’s free Play 6 instrument hub and you’re ready to go. As we mentioned above, these instruments range from the various vowel and pitched consonant sounds right through to solo phrases and vocal licks in each key. The functionality for each varies slightly including those with keyswitches — designated keys on your MIDI controller for switching between various sample sets on the fly — to split-instruments that allow you to play chords on the bottom half of your keyboard and solo phrases on the top.

The options are quite extensive for something solely focused on background singers if you ask me and is easily among the most impressive I’ve experienced of its kind. The Combo MOD set is a particular favorite among the batch here, especially the Xfde sub-category within. Here you’ll find combo patches with a pair of vowel sounds you can smoothly fade between (say from Mmmmm to Ooooh, for example) using your controller’s modulation wheel during the performance or programmed after the fact in your DAW.

EastWest Hollywood Backup Singers-Main Player

Backup Singers Player Interface:

The Player page aspect of HBS is where users have control over the sound of the instrument chosen. This includes must-haves like the AHDSR envelope, master out tuning/pan/volume, per-instrument/master reverb (massive number of response types, pre-delay, and amount control) and some performance controls (Portamento, Legato, more).

You can’t record singers this amazing without an equally capable mic, which is likely why EastWest employed industry-heavy hitters like Neumann’s U47, a Telefunken 251, and a Shure SM7 (among others) when recording the HBS vocal sample library. And we also get quite a detailed level of control over the three-pronged microphone setup inside the plug-in. That includes the volume and pan balance of close, rear, and room mic arrays. Although, some expressive vowel and solo phrase instrument types in the built-in library — designated with “LES” when you’re selecting them in the Browser — also feature a fourth microphone setup that has been run through a Leslie speaker cabinet for a subtle chorus-like effect. These mic options are great for getting the vocal part to sit in a particular project just the way want whether it’s distant airy vocals drenched in reverb, a tight, in-your-face pop approach, or maybe something sitting nicely in between.