SoundIron – Mimi Page Light & Shadow Vocal Library Review Angels and Demons Unite In Harmony!

SoundIron – Mimi Page Light & Shadow Vocal Library Review

Angels and Demons Unite In Harmony!

One of the best ways to humanise and add some soul to a perhaps otherwise sterile sounding electronic track is to include some form of vocal layering. The best libraries will allow you the chance to add a certain ethereal worldly appeal to your track, without necessarily rubber stamping it to a specific country or region, yet will still provide enough flexibility to do so should you require it.

There are certainly no shortage of products on the market to allow you to do this, and one of the most popular ones in recent years has arguably been SoundIron’s excellent ‘Voices of Gaia’ series.

The latest release from this highly regarded developer is their new Mimi Page Light & Shadow library. Whilst not part of the ‘Gaia’ series, there are certainly elements that would make it at home there , however Mimi Page Light & Shado is clearly a library in it’s own right, with a plethora of usage scenarios.

Mimi Page…

Mimi Page is a Los Angeles based singer, songwriter and producer who specialises in her own brand of ethereal, ambient and electronic music. She has a string of credits to her name in EDM, video game, tv soundtracks and live performances, and self produces much of her own material. it is her haunting vocal style which are the hallmarks of her sound, and this makes her soprano voice an ideal subject of a vocal library, in fact many of the samples found within have been edited and sound designed by Mimi herself.

Tech Specs…

This Kontakt 6 library contains 4,413 samples compressed to 24 bit 48 kHz NCW format,and will occupy 4.72Gb of disc space.

Being an official NKS product licensed through Native Access of course means that if you only own a Komplete Select version of Komplete Kontrol,you do not require the full version of Kontakt 6 as it will still be usable for you via the free Kontakt player without any restrictions.

The library contains eight master instrument NKI files, which within Komplete Kontrol serve as your main presets.

Installation…

Installation is carried out via a two step process, the first, uses a down load application  which is inaccessible to screenreaders and so some sighted help will be needed to paste in your product download code. Once download is finished and your library has automatically been extracted, it’s a case of pasting a second authorisation code into Native Access and browsing to the product folder to complete the process.

Komplete Kontrol Controls…

Browser Section…

As there are ultimately only eight presets available, it’s a case of all roads lead here, so any complex browser filtering is kind of superfluous, however for the sake of completeness and in common with all KK-Access reviews, I will still step through them, to provide a flavour of the available categories.

Knob 1 -Vendor
Knob 2 – Product
Knob 3 – Bank, Ambiences, Chromatics, Phrases
Knob 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Type, Soundscapes, Vocal
Knob 6 – Sub Types, Solo Voice
Knob 7 – Character, Sample Based
Knob 8 – Presets, Mimi Page Ambiences, Mimi Page Ethereal Dreamscapes Light, Mimi Page Ethereal Dreamscapes Shadow, Mimi Page Legato, Mimi Page Phrases 100 bpm, Mimi Page Phrases 140 bpm, Mimi Page Staccato, Mimi Page Sustains

Library Plug-in Edit Section

There are fivevariations in the mapped preset controls, which are dependant upon the nature of the loaded NKI file, the more sound design oriented presets have more pages and options, in contrast to the more performance based ones that perhaps do not require them.

Ambiences, Ethereal Dreamscapes Light and Ethereal Dreamscapes Shadow – NKS Preset Mappings

Page 1 – Layer One
Knob 1 – On/Off
Knob 2 – Category
Knob 3 – Swell
Knob 4 – Attack
Knob 5 – Offset
Knob 6 – Release
Knob 7 – Vibrato
Knob 8 – Filter

Page Two – Layer Two
Knobs 1 to 8 – As per layer one above

Page Three – Sub Synth
Knob 1 – On/Off
Knob 2 – Sound
Knob 3 – Swell
Knob 4 – Attack
Knob 5 – Offset
Knob 6 – Release
Knob 7 – Vibrato
Knob – 8 Filter

Page Four – Cross Fade & Filter
Knob 1 – Cross Fade Amount
Knob 2 – LFO On/Off
Knob 3 – LFO Shape
Knob 4 – Target
Knob 5 – Sync
Knob 6 – Rate
Knob 7 – Intensity
Knob 8 – Fade In

Page Five – Filter
Knob 1 – On/Off
Knob 2 – Resonance
Knob 3 – Frequency
Knob 4 – Invert
Knob 5 to 8 – Unallocated

Page Six – Arp
Knob 1 – On/Off
Knob 2 – Direction
Knob 3 – Time
Knob 4 – Mode
Knob 5 – Table
Knob 6 – Swing
Knob 7 – Random
Knob 8 – Duration

Page Seven – Scale Lock
Knob 1 – On/Off
Knob 2 – Scale
Knob 3 – Key
Knob 4 to 8 – Unallocated

Legato Preset

Page One – Main
Knob 1 – Sound
Knob 2 – Swell
Knob 3 – Attack
Knob 4 – Offset
Knob 5 – Release
Knob 6 – Vibrato
Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated

Page Two – Options
Knob 1 – Legato
Knob 2 – Speed
Knob 3 – Autopan
Knob 4 to 8 – Unallocated

Phrase Presets

Page One – Main
Knob 1 – Sound
Knob 2 – Swell
Knob 3 – Attack
Knob 4 – Offset
Knob 6 – Release
Knob 7 to 8 – Unallocated

Page Two – Options
Knob 1 – Legato
Knob 2 – Speed
Knob 3 – Pitch
Knob 4 – Playback
Knob 5 to 8 – Unallocated

Page Three – Sequencer
Knob 1 – On/Off
Knob 2 – Direction
Knob 3 – Step
Knob 4 – Start
Knob 5 – End
Knob 6 – Pitch
Knob 7 To 8 – Unallocated

Staccato Preset

Page One – Main
Knob 1 – Sound
Knob 2 – Swell
Knob 3 – Attack
Knob 4 – Offset
Knob 5 – Release
Knob 6 – Autopan
Knob 7 to 8 – Unallocated

Sustain Preset

Page One – Main
Knob 1 – Sound
Knob 2 – Swell
Knob 3 – Attack
Knob 4 – Offset
Knob 5 – Release
Knob 6 – Realease Mode
Knob 7 – Vibrato
Knob 8 – Unallocated

Page Two – Options
Knob 1 – Legato
Knob 2 – Speed
Knob 3 – Bend
Knob 4 – Autopan
Knob 5 to 8 – Unallocated

Mimi Page – Light & Shadow In Use…

Just like the product title itself, there are a few areas of light and shadow in terms of our accessiblity to the many features found within the library.

We are unable to access the FX racks , so changing reverb or turning it off is not possible, as no effects have been mapped via NKS controls. Although this may seem like a doomsday scenario for us, and given that there are only eight presets, it should however be feasible with some sighted help to turn off the preset’s default reverb, and resave the file out again completely dry, we would then have the option to apply our own reverb or indeed any other effect through Komplete Kontrol’s effect slots, do ensure you make backups of the original NKI files before doing this.

(As an addendum to this point, SoundIron have very kindly offered to provide ‘dry’ versions of the library NKI files to any user that would like them post purchase).

There are several GUI mouse driven switches that we cannot access, such as the layer lock switch, which enables or disables independent layer editing of certain parameters in some presets.

On the subject of sound layers, an additional NKS page of mixer controls would have been a welcome iinclusion, with dedicated knob assignments for mixing the level between sound layers, as currently layers can only be either turned on or off from the Komplete Kontrol keyboard.

I would have liked to have seen more in the way of presets or snapshots, as for us blind users they can often form the starting point, and basis for greater variety and depth of user sound design and exploration.

With these accessibility negatives out of the way (and I have to stress my sighted readers should have no concerns here!), we can concentrate on the positives that definitely reside within this library.

Key Switching Articulations…

The Mimi Page library has some useful keyswitches assigned, which enable us to change articulations directly from the keyboard starting at C2 which is great for live performance, The ability to switch between sample articulations is also available via the Komplete Kontrol knobs,and depending on which preset you have loaded they will be tagged as either ‘Sound’ or ‘Category’.

On the topic of the included vocal articulations, the legato, staccato and sustain presets are where you will find the chromatic and performance oriented voices, with selectable vowels forming their core, as stated these do also have key switches so you can switch between sounds on the fly, I did not however find a way to assign them to the modwheel which is sometimes another way of achieving these changes in a realtime performance.

The Phrase Presets…

The treasure trove for me within this library in terms of creative potential are the Mimi Page phrase presets, which have been recorded at both 100bpm and also 140bpm.

On page two of the edit settings for these two patches, there is a ‘Playback’ control which facilitates switching between the original recording tempo, sync to DAW tempo, or variable. Natural seems to be the default but it’s easy to change to DAW sync which in my case is the most preferred, but of course it’s great to have the option.

There are some fantastic vocal sounds here which really demonstrate the full range of Mimi’s soft soprano voice. You soon learn why the library is called ‘Light and Shadow’, spanning from Angelic to Demonic is the order of the day, so there is ample material to cover a myriad of musical and project styles, but the overall vibe is one of ethereal, there are also a good selection of pure breath sounds which some may find useful.

These one per key assigned phrases are spread over several keyboard octaves, and using the previously mentioned ‘Sounds’ knob, or keyswitches, you can switch between different articulation sets, I think I counted twelve, so when multiplied by the allocated note per phrase, this is a lot of content for you to get down and creative with.

Conclusions…

The Mimi Page Light & Shadow library will certainly win friends among producers of Ambient and EDM music, in fact many of Mimi’s previous vocal stems have been extensively used in many an EDM track. Equally her voice will lend itself readily to cinematic, tv and game projects, where it will work well in the foreground, background and as vocal sound design elements anywhere in between.

Sure, as with most NKS libraries, there are the odd niggle and accessibility wish for lists, but I don’t consider them to be showstoppers, and the more I played and experimented with the library, the more I enjoyed using it, and I couldn’t help falling in love with the purity of Mimi’s voice, even the darker tones!

Do checkout the product video links after the review, to ensure you get a good insight into the library and it’s potential.

The SoundIron MIMI PAGE LIGHT & SHADOW library can be purchased as a download from SoundIron’s website, and is currently at an introductory price of $79.00 (normally $99.00).

MIMI PAGE LIGHT & SHADOW Product Page
Mimi Page Light & Shadow

Library Official Trailer

Mimi Page – In the Studio

Mimi Page Library Walkthrough

Mimi Page Official Website
https://www.mimipage.com/

Product Manual
https://dist.soundiron.com/SND/Manuals/Soundiron%20-%20Mimi%20Page%20Light%20and%20Shadow%20-%20User%20Manual%20-%20v1.0.pdf

(c) Chris Ankin
February 28th, 2019
KK-Access.com

Disclaimer

The author accepts no responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of reading this article,or Any inaccuracies found within this review. All opinions or product functions stated are based soly on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product in combination with information gathered from official factual sources on the web or product manual.

About the Author

Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review contributor with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.

 

 

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