Behind the scenes: Unveiling Jacob Collier Audience Choir

Ilay_NI Product Team Posts: 3 mod
edited March 28 in Kontakt

Hi all! 

My name is İlay, your friendly neighbourhood product manager at NI, and I've been on this exciting journey for the past 6 months. I've already had the opportunity to work on some fantastic Kontakt Instruments, including Spotlight Ireland, Electric Keys, and a few more that are still hush-hush (🤫).

But today, I'm thrilled to share with you the story behind one of our most exciting creations that we’ve just released – Jacob Collier Audience Choir!

For those who haven't had the pleasure of experiencing the musical genius Jacob Collier's live shows, allow me to set the stage. Since 2019, Jacob has been turning the audiences into a live choir, orchestrating harmonies that resonate with every corner of the venue and during Jacob's Djesse World Tour 2022, those magical moments were recorded in the highest quality in many locations. 

The journey began with Jacob Collier and Ben Bloomberg creating the concept of transforming those audience recordings into an instrument that lets you orchestrate your own choir and create your own magic. So we rolled up our sleeves and together, started working on it.

Take a peek at Ben's early sketch during their very first brainstorming with Jacob and Dave Godowsky – a glimpse into the genius at work!

Now, here's where the nitty-gritty crafting comes in. With a brilliant concept and recordings from 22 different venues, the challenge was to make it sound like one cohesive choir across a 4-octave chromatic range. As you can imagine, 22 venues and thousands of different voices mean different acoustics, timbres and dynamics, you name it – and we had to make it all jive. So we created a vast pool of samples where we stitched different audiences together for almost every note based on their unique qualities, crafting the right blend for every key and every vowel you play.

Check out how one of the early prototypes looked, most of the concepts have changed since then!

After several iterations on the concept, the team refined the Vowel Morph Pad into its square form and it emerged as a key feature. The pad allows you to smoothly change and blend between vowels. You can choose from vowel pattern presets, or better yet, customise your own and save for future use. And because the heart of the Audience Choir is heavenly harmonies, we tossed in a chord generator for crafting harmonies in major & minor scales in your chosen root key.

Wireframes evolving day-by-day!

Along the way, we’ve also crafted two special ranges out of the recordings of some incredible moments Jacob created with his audiences. The Percussion Range features stomps, claps, snaps, and spoken words, injecting extra colour into your compositions and The Triad Range, captures some breathtaking harmonies orchestrated by Jacob himself. These are ready-to-use triads, but you can still switch between major and minor tonalities with the Triad Blend feature.

We’ve also added dynamic tuning to enable more colours and depth through different tonal possibilities including the option to create your own custom tuning, as a nod to Jacob’s mastery of microtonality, pitch, and temperament.

To enrich the sonic landscape, we integrated delay, reverb, timbre, and stereo width presets that you can pick from and we didn’t forget the expressive controls through the aftertouch with which you can modulate timbre, pitch, volume, and vowel type.

Now, about the GUI – an iconic photo from Djesse World Tour graces the artwork. Dancing spotlights and the responsive crowd replicate the collective singing experience. As you hit the keys, a dedicated portion of the crowd for each city lights up, responding to every note. And for the special percussion and triad ranges, we've woven in vibrant and playful illustrations, reflecting Jacob’s whimsical charm.

Last but not least, for the true Jacob Collier fans, there might be some hidden surprises in the instrument, waiting to be uncovered! Think some Jacobean melodies or unique scales – that's your little hint to the Easter eggs we've tucked away. 🎁

And here is the best part: Jacob Collier Audience Choir is free to download, so get yours here:

And don't forget to watch Jacob's walkthrough video:

Got questions? Our fellow Senior Product Designer @TolgaZafer_NI and I will be here to answer them until March 14, 2024.

Whether you're curious about the creation process or have any deep-dive questions about the features, fire them away in the thread within the next two weeks!



  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 2,596 mod

    😀 Wow ! This looks as an amazing product ! And then completely free ! Wow ! 😀

  • william olson
    william olson Member Posts: 40 Member

    i watched the video .This is really amazing .If i download this where does it show up My daw is logic i have Kontakt 7.

  • reffahcs
    reffahcs Member Posts: 840 Guru

    Since nobody posted the link?

    @william olson It's a Kontakt instrument so it will show up in Kontakt with the rest of your Kontakt instruments.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,258 Expert

    I would suggest @Ilay_NI to post a clearer version of the link in the original post (the link it’s there, in the “here” word, but usually links hidden in a single word are not that visible, even if the word becomes blue. And in any case a nice one with banner and everything like the one posted by reffahcs is more effective ☺️)

  • reffahcs
    reffahcs Member Posts: 840 Guru

    Oh wow, there is a link. I must have reread that post about 5 times after seeing your post before I finally found the link. You're right about the single word, very hard to spot. I kept finding the link to the video and nothing else. Yeah that definitely needs so tweaking.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,258 Expert
    edited March 1

    Single words with pasted links are a no no no ☺️

    Unless it’s “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” 😂

  • A_K_F
    A_K_F Member Posts: 9 Member

    Absolutely amazing. Many thanks for that generous gift!

  • Matt_NI
    Matt_NI Administrator Posts: 1,110 admin

    Love this piece @Ilay_NI, thank you so much for sharing it here.

    I'm a bit late to the party last night but I also added all the relevant banners and announcement for visibility @LostInFoundation

  • TolgaZafer_NI
    TolgaZafer_NI Product Team Posts: 4 mod

    Hi William,

    You can access the instrument from Kontakt7/Library tab.

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 2,596 mod

    It never really occurred to that a link were not that visible ! Then again I were in a hurry so I just did a quick run through it all since for me it were all very visible because I had just visited the site where I couldn't avoid seeing it and had already added the product to my account ! So seeing the forum message were (minutes) old news to me ! 😁

    Thank you to Native Instruments for the free Jacob Collier Audience Choir ! 🙂

  • william olson
    william olson Member Posts: 40 Member

    Every thing went smooth thank you NI for your generosity Just a note to some.It did not show up in daw AU kontakt7 until i turned off my computer and then restarted

  • Pitboy
    Pitboy Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    Soo ... I installed the Kontakt 7 player and Jacobs Audience plug in, and after checking the audio settings in options to high def audio (my speakers) ... when I click an on screen keyboard button (key) all I hear is a piano keyboard note, not the choir. Whatever I try I cant get an audience choir voice or tone. Just a piano keyboard.

    It 'looks' like it should work, the interface 'appears' like the example in the tut video.

    My win11 settings are very vanilla audio wise, reasonably new system, havnt gotten into serious midi or audio stuff yet. I havnt changed any other settings yet, and just in case I reinstalled the software and plug in completely a second time, no change ... instantly, just a piano keyboard sound. That sound tells me my drivers are working and the sound is working, but the sample isnt making it.


    • Can I play around with this without a physical piano keyboard in front of me, just a mouse and typing keyboard, or is it searching for midi inputs to work?
    • Is there a hidden setting that needs turning on to allow the sampled sound to be available?


  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,258 Expert
    edited March 2

    The piano sound you are hearing should be Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth. Deactivate it from the midi out choices in Kontakt.

    To ear the choir, try to set the audio to another choice (I don’t know what get presented to you: it could be Wasapi or Asio or who knows what else…). Try them and see which one makes the desired audio audible

  • DunedinDragon
    DunedinDragon Member Posts: 440 Pro

    I downloaded this immediately when it was first announced. Very nice implementation and comparatively small at only 188MB. My favorite part were the shouts..."YES', "NO" and "MAYBE"

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