Recently, I have bought a choir sample library from a major manufacturer. The samples themselves are top-notch, the dynamic crossfading excellent. However, I'm a bit disappointed by the quality of the (monophonic) legato that I've been able to get out of the library. The transitions between notes that are supposed to be played back legato often sound harsh and unrealistic, with a kind of upward "swoopy" artifacts.

So my question is: how to get good legato from a choir sample library that has special legato samples? I've already tried a number of things, such as slightly overlapping the notes in my DAW, or changing the legato speed and the "attack" of the notes. The strange thing is that some legatos sound really good (especially if the notes are a semitone apart), while others sound awful and fake (on leaps greater than a minor third, for example). Also, the legato seems significantly worse in ascending passages. Why would that be the case?

Any insights would be much appreciated.

  • 1
    while this may be on topic here, i bet you would get really good answers at the sound design stack exchange: sound.stackexchange.com
    – b3ko
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 14:18
  • Can you upload audio examples of the good and less good legato jumps? What's the name of the library? Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


The sad truth is that if the legato of a sample library is programmed bad, it'll stay bad no matter what you do. There are not really many things you can do yourself to make sound a legato better. That's why sample libraries with real/true legato transitions also cost so much more than sample libraries with scripted legato.

You said the sample library was from a major manufacturer, so I assume they use true legato samples, but that doesn't mean, that they do this over the whole range of the choir.

I don't know how much you paid for the sample library, but for a choir library with full true legato you can easily pay ~$600. Some manufacturers also mix it a bit to safe some money and time, so they only have true legato samples for the smaller intervals, but then use scripted legato for the bigger ones. This could be the reason why your smaller intervals sound better than the bigger ones.

Another possibility is, that they just programmed the library bad. If you have the best legato samples but mess up with the programming it still sounds bad, but there wouldn't be anything that you can do about. There are so many sample libraries and if you watch a few of the demos on YouTube, you see comments on many of them, that people dislike the legato. That doesn't mean they don't use true legato samples... There are just so many ways how to record, mix, program them and some just do it better than others :P

That's why I always listen to demos of the sample libraries and focus on the legato, because if you don't like it in the demo already, you won't be able to make you feel happier about it once you have it ;)

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