8DIO Century Brass

krops

Active Member
Am I the only one who thinks CB sounds amazing? (Judging by the new demos) I've always had a harder time playing brass and wood libraries, but this one looks really intuitive. I like the no-nonsense GUI too.
 

JoelS

Member
I can't direct you to a detailed review, but I will give you a somewhat thorough opinion on Century Solo and Ensemble Brass.

Century Brass is the first brass library I've used that plays how I want it to and sounds how I feel brass ought to sound. I am happier with my CB purchase than with any other brass set to date.

I like using the modwheel to shape the dynamics of my notes. Most libraries allow for this, but aren't entirely successful at capturing the feel I want. This is, of course, entirely subjective. Sample Modeling's brass instruments are very expressive (I love the act of just playing them), but don't quite have the timbre I want or the bite I'm after. Berlin Brass is a wonderful set, but it's a too tame when I want aggression and requires a lot more keyswitching than CB to get lines shaped the way I want... and even at that, the articulations often sound more disconnected than I'd prefer. It's also much more resource-hungry than CB. The Metropolis series has its merits and flaws, but is very situational in its use for me. Adventure Brass is wonderfully playable, but a bit limited in its expressive capacity. It's great at certain kinds of music (like... adventure tracks, go figure) but the sound isn't quite what I had hoped. Trailer Brass is playable and has a unique tone, but isn't detailed or all that expressive. Hollywood Brass has a great Low Brass patch, and the rest is ok. For me, it's long since been surpassed.

Each of the many brass libraries noted above have situations in which they excel and I may still turn to them for very specific tracks that happen to best suit their strengths. After using CB on about a dozen tracks since it came out, I feel like I could replace all of them outside of very narrow situations.

It took me a bit of work to figure out how to get CB to sound and play precisely how I wanted it to. The legato patches crossfade very smoothly and have excellent dynamic range. They also have a crisp attack. They are very responsive to modwheel input. This fits my workflow perfectly, and I do not feel in most cases that I need to switch to other articulations to get expressive lines. In Berlin Brass, to get a line shaped the way I want, I might have to keyswitch through legato, marcatos of different lengths, short notes and a crescendo. In CB, I just play the line legato and use the modwheel to shape the line. It is a much more creative and inspiring way to play, for me. CB delivers the emotional arc that I am trying to extract from my head into the sequencer.

When I initially tried the CB instruments I was a little underwhelmed with the sound. It wasn't bad, but wasn't a leap beyond Berlin Brass, which I was using extensively on several projects at the time. I was surprised at that, so I started messing around and began stacking up the sections and solo instruments on the same MIDI channel. That was what blew the roof off for me and really made things sing. For instance, I stacked up the 6, 2, and 1 French Horn legatos, adjusted their panning and levels, and let them rip. I had found the FH sound I have always wanted. Again, this is very subjective, but the variety of section sizes and mics allow wide latitude in finding a sound that fits your personal preference.

I will admit that there are some aspects of CB that mystify and annoy me. The 'soaring' patches, marcatos, sfz, and crescendos behave in a way that is very much outside my preferred workflow. The notes don't end with the key-up, they play through their whole length and there is no way to easily change the release characteristics. You adjust their length with the 'speed' knob. It's weird and makes no sense to me, but ultimately I don't especially care because I don't need those articulations to get the emotions and line shapes I'm after. Even at that, I have found that occasionally they are just the thing for a single note here and there. Maybe that's how they are intended, as a sporadic ornament. In other libraries, marcatos are the workhorse (going way back to the old SAM brass, their selection of marcatos back then was game changing). CB is just different. Once I realized I could get the sound I wanted out of the legato patches, I really didn't lose any sleep over the... unique handling of other articulations.

That's my opinion of Century Brass. I'm really glad I bought it. What fits one composer's workflow and what pleases one's ears isn't a universal thing, but I feel comfortable in trumpeting some praises for these libraries.
 

axb312

Senior Member
I can't direct you to a detailed review, but I will give you a somewhat thorough opinion on Century Solo and Ensemble Brass.

Century Brass is the first brass library I've used that plays how I want it to and sounds how I feel brass ought to sound. I am happier with my CB purchase than with any other brass set to date.

I like using the modwheel to shape the dynamics of my notes. Most libraries allow for this, but aren't entirely successful at capturing the feel I want. This is, of course, entirely subjective. Sample Modeling's brass instruments are very expressive (I love the act of just playing them), but don't quite have the timbre I want or the bite I'm after. Berlin Brass is a wonderful set, but it's a too tame when I want aggression and requires a lot more keyswitching than CB to get lines shaped the way I want... and even at that, the articulations often sound more disconnected than I'd prefer. It's also much more resource-hungry than CB. The Metropolis series has its merits and flaws, but is very situational in its use for me. Adventure Brass is wonderfully playable, but a bit limited in its expressive capacity. It's great at certain kinds of music (like... adventure tracks, go figure) but the sound isn't quite what I had hoped. Trailer Brass is playable and has a unique tone, but isn't detailed or all that expressive. Hollywood Brass has a great Low Brass patch, and the rest is ok. For me, it's long since been surpassed.

Each of the many brass libraries noted above have situations in which they excel and I may still turn to them for very specific tracks that happen to best suit their strengths. After using CB on about a dozen tracks since it came out, I feel like I could replace all of them outside of very narrow situations.

It took me a bit of work to figure out how to get CB to sound and play precisely how I wanted it to. The legato patches crossfade very smoothly and have excellent dynamic range. They also have a crisp attack. They are very responsive to modwheel input. This fits my workflow perfectly, and I do not feel in most cases that I need to switch to other articulations to get expressive lines. In Berlin Brass, to get a line shaped the way I want, I might have to keyswitch through legato, marcatos of different lengths, short notes and a crescendo. In CB, I just play the line legato and use the modwheel to shape the line. It is a much more creative and inspiring way to play, for me. CB delivers the emotional arc that I am trying to extract from my head into the sequencer.

When I initially tried the CB instruments I was a little underwhelmed with the sound. It wasn't bad, but wasn't a leap beyond Berlin Brass, which I was using extensively on several projects at the time. I was surprised at that, so I started messing around and began stacking up the sections and solo instruments on the same MIDI channel. That was what blew the roof off for me and really made things sing. For instance, I stacked up the 6, 2, and 1 French Horn legatos, adjusted their panning and levels, and let them rip. I had found the FH sound I have always wanted. Again, this is very subjective, but the variety of section sizes and mics allow wide latitude in finding a sound that fits your personal preference.

I will admit that there are some aspects of CB that mystify and annoy me. The 'soaring' patches, marcatos, sfz, and crescendos behave in a way that is very much outside my preferred workflow. The notes don't end with the key-up, they play through their whole length and there is no way to easily change the release characteristics. You adjust their length with the 'speed' knob. It's weird and makes no sense to me, but ultimately I don't especially care because I don't need those articulations to get the emotions and line shapes I'm after. Even at that, I have found that occasionally they are just the thing for a single note here and there. Maybe that's how they are intended, as a sporadic ornament. In other libraries, marcatos are the workhorse (going way back to the old SAM brass, their selection of marcatos back then was game changing). CB is just different. Once I realized I could get the sound I wanted out of the legato patches, I really didn't lose any sleep over the... unique handling of other articulations.

That's my opinion of Century Brass. I'm really glad I bought it. What fits one composer's workflow and what pleases one's ears isn't a universal thing, but I feel comfortable in trumpeting some praises for these libraries.
Thank you for that. Sounds similar to what I expect from Cinematic Studio Brass as well - so I will wait a little longer for that.

Can you post some of the tracks you've done with Century Brass though - aren't many of those around (except 8dio's own demos)....
 

AlexanderSchiborr

Senior Member
I can't direct you to a detailed review, but I will give you a somewhat thorough opinion on Century Solo and Ensemble Brass.

Century Brass is the first brass library I've used that plays how I want it to and sounds how I feel brass ought to sound. I am happier with my CB purchase than with any other brass set to date.

I like using the modwheel to shape the dynamics of my notes. Most libraries allow for this, but aren't entirely successful at capturing the feel I want. This is, of course, entirely subjective. Sample Modeling's brass instruments are very expressive (I love the act of just playing them), but don't quite have the timbre I want or the bite I'm after. Berlin Brass is a wonderful set, but it's a too tame when I want aggression and requires a lot more keyswitching than CB to get lines shaped the way I want... and even at that, the articulations often sound more disconnected than I'd prefer. It's also much more resource-hungry than CB. The Metropolis series has its merits and flaws, but is very situational in its use for me. Adventure Brass is wonderfully playable, but a bit limited in its expressive capacity. It's great at certain kinds of music (like... adventure tracks, go figure) but the sound isn't quite what I had hoped. Trailer Brass is playable and has a unique tone, but isn't detailed or all that expressive. Hollywood Brass has a great Low Brass patch, and the rest is ok. For me, it's long since been surpassed.

Each of the many brass libraries noted above have situations in which they excel and I may still turn to them for very specific tracks that happen to best suit their strengths. After using CB on about a dozen tracks since it came out, I feel like I could replace all of them outside of very narrow situations.

It took me a bit of work to figure out how to get CB to sound and play precisely how I wanted it to. The legato patches crossfade very smoothly and have excellent dynamic range. They also have a crisp attack. They are very responsive to modwheel input. This fits my workflow perfectly, and I do not feel in most cases that I need to switch to other articulations to get expressive lines. In Berlin Brass, to get a line shaped the way I want, I might have to keyswitch through legato, marcatos of different lengths, short notes and a crescendo. In CB, I just play the line legato and use the modwheel to shape the line. It is a much more creative and inspiring way to play, for me. CB delivers the emotional arc that I am trying to extract from my head into the sequencer.

When I initially tried the CB instruments I was a little underwhelmed with the sound. It wasn't bad, but wasn't a leap beyond Berlin Brass, which I was using extensively on several projects at the time. I was surprised at that, so I started messing around and began stacking up the sections and solo instruments on the same MIDI channel. That was what blew the roof off for me and really made things sing. For instance, I stacked up the 6, 2, and 1 French Horn legatos, adjusted their panning and levels, and let them rip. I had found the FH sound I have always wanted. Again, this is very subjective, but the variety of section sizes and mics allow wide latitude in finding a sound that fits your personal preference.

I will admit that there are some aspects of CB that mystify and annoy me. The 'soaring' patches, marcatos, sfz, and crescendos behave in a way that is very much outside my preferred workflow. The notes don't end with the key-up, they play through their whole length and there is no way to easily change the release characteristics. You adjust their length with the 'speed' knob. It's weird and makes no sense to me, but ultimately I don't especially care because I don't need those articulations to get the emotions and line shapes I'm after. Even at that, I have found that occasionally they are just the thing for a single note here and there. Maybe that's how they are intended, as a sporadic ornament. In other libraries, marcatos are the workhorse (going way back to the old SAM brass, their selection of marcatos back then was game changing). CB is just different. Once I realized I could get the sound I wanted out of the legato patches, I really didn't lose any sleep over the... unique handling of other articulations.

That's my opinion of Century Brass. I'm really glad I bought it. What fits one composer's workflow and what pleases one's ears isn't a universal thing, but I feel comfortable in trumpeting some praises for these libraries.
Thank you. Could you post some sound examples which back ups a bit your review here? You praise the library which is fine and I would be interested to hear some examples if possible.
 

JoelS

Member
These tracks use 100% Century Brass*


*the sole exception is in a few instances I used the Trumpet Ensemble Triplets articulation from Berlin Brass because CB's repetitions and/or stacs weren't quite as clearly defined at very high tempos.

You can listen to 8 more tracks using CB here (seems I can't just embed a 'private' playlist in the forum post or I would have)

In case it's of interest, other libraries used include...
Strings:
Century Strings - nearly everything
Adventure Strings - layered with CS shorts
Spitfire SCS - just the V1 Staccato Digs artic layered with CS shorts
Metropolis Ark 3 - high string repetitions

Woodwinds:
8Dio Claire flute, piccolo
CineSamples Hollywoodwinds
Metropolis Ark 3 - high ww repetitions

Perc:
8Dio 8W timpani, toms, anvils, cymbals
8Dio Studio Suspended Non-Tonal
True Strike glock, xylo, chimes

Vocals:
8Dio Jenifer
Performance Samples Oceania

Misc:
8Dio 1928 piano
8Dio Hybrid Tools Neo
Wavesfactory W-Harpsichord
SampleOddity Thrash DI guitar - disclosure: that's my company/library/guitar

Hopefully you can more effectively contextualize my opinions on CB now!
 
OP
jamwerks

jamwerks

Senior Member
Had they done those "in-place" (plus centered ortf's) they would have got my money.

I imagine some woodwinds will be coming soon. Those are naturally quite centered anyway so I'll be quite interested to hear those!
 

mikeh-375

old school
Thanks Muziksculp, I've been itching to get this but needed some more info. Am I an old f***er or is 12 horns acceptable in the real world these days? Jeez, whatever happened to budgets and musicians or a sense of perspective in the acoustic spectrum and orchestration? (Spitfire!) In my day...la.la la..etc...hic.
The missus is away for the weekend so if I pull the trigger and get into trouble, I'll just blame you, you irresponsible, reckless with my weakness, composer.
 

DarkestShadow

Senior Member
These tracks use 100% Century Brass*


*the sole exception is in a few instances I used the Trumpet Ensemble Triplets articulation from Berlin Brass because CB's repetitions and/or stacs weren't quite as clearly defined at very high tempos.

You can listen to 8 more tracks using CB here (seems I can't just embed a 'private' playlist in the forum post or I would have)

In case it's of interest, other libraries used include...
Strings:
Century Strings - nearly everything
Adventure Strings - layered with CS shorts
Spitfire SCS - just the V1 Staccato Digs artic layered with CS shorts
Metropolis Ark 3 - high string repetitions

Woodwinds:
8Dio Claire flute, piccolo
CineSamples Hollywoodwinds
Metropolis Ark 3 - high ww repetitions

Perc:
8Dio 8W timpani, toms, anvils, cymbals
8Dio Studio Suspended Non-Tonal
True Strike glock, xylo, chimes

Vocals:
8Dio Jenifer
Performance Samples Oceania

Misc:
8Dio 1928 piano
8Dio Hybrid Tools Neo
Wavesfactory W-Harpsichord
SampleOddity Thrash DI guitar - disclosure: that's my company/library/guitar

Hopefully you can more effectively contextualize my opinions on CB now!
OF TOPIC: That's some great stirring music you have there Joel!

TOPIC: Just want to remind everyone that there is a free try pack by 8dio where you can try two of the legato instruments. https://8dio.com/instrument/century-brass-freebie
 

Colin O'Malley

Senior Member
Guys,

Just a quick note regarding both Century Brass, Strings and Sordino Strings. We're working on a free Century 2.0 update that contains the following:

1)A Second Mix option which is more ambient and warm (closer to some of the other major commercial libraries). All Instruments will be "pre placed" into traditional orchestral seating positions within this mix.

2)Presets, and "performance" patches, designed for quick template building. Ensemble patches for Strings.

3)EQ presets from Colin and Troels templates (using Fabfilter and others) to MIX Century effectively with other major orchestral libraries.

Thanks,

Colin
 

Saxer

Senior Member
Guys,

Just a quick note regarding both Century Brass, Strings and Sordino Strings. We're working on a free Century 2.0 update that contains the following:

1)A Second Mix option which is more ambient and warm (closer to some of the other major commercial libraries). All Instruments will be "pre placed" into traditional orchestral seating positions within this mix.

2)Presets, and "performance" patches, designed for quick template building. Ensemble patches for Strings.

3)EQ presets from Colin and Troels templates (using Fabfilter and others) to MIX Century effectively with other major orchestral libraries.

Thanks,

Colin
Sounds great! Would it be possible to add non-one-shot versions of the marcatos in strings and brass? They would be sooo useful if they would stop (i.e. fade into release like sustains) after note off.
 

JoelS

Member
Just a quick note regarding both Century Brass, Strings and Sordino Strings. We're working on a free Century 2.0 update that contains the following:
edit: apparently Saxer types faster than me, we want the same thing...

Is there any chance that you could also add in versions of certain articulations which currently do not respond to key-release to have a more standard response? For example, the Crescendo Sfz patches play all the way through the note regardless of when you release it. Very often, I only want that particular attack, the Sfz portion of the articulation, and it's cumbersome to set it up to cut off the crescendo via CC11 or whatever so that I can blend it into a melodic line. That shape of attack has a particular character that is great, but it's really hard for me to use it presently. The Marcato articulations have a similar issue.

@DarkestShadow , thanks! I've found it easier to achieve stirring, emotional results with CB than with other libraries I've used, so I'm glad that comes through. The Thinkspace review mentioned how smooth the crossfades are, and noted the very bright loud dynamics. That's a combination I have never had in my palette before now. Those two elements on their own have made me enthusiastic enough about CB to post here.
 

Colin O'Malley

Senior Member
I designed the marcatos for Century a bit different from most libraries. The speed knob controls the length in most cases. It does this by moving sample starts within the center of the note. This enables you to have the full attack and final “push” off the note at various lengths. Traditional release triggers sacrifice some of this. You’re potentially missing the final “push” off if you release quickly. This new method keeps the natural dynamic shape of the marcatos intact at multiple lengths.

This same approach was used for Arcs and makes them much more flexible.

Having said that, I definitely understand what you mean, particularly from a playable perspective. We’ll look at traditional ”release” versions of both marcato and Sfz cresc, but still try the speed knob :)

Thanks

Colin
 
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givemenoughrope

Senior Member
Guys,

Just a quick note regarding both Century Brass, Strings and Sordino Strings. We're working on a free Century 2.0 update that contains the following:

1)A Second Mix option which is more ambient and warm (closer to some of the other major commercial libraries). All Instruments will be "pre placed" into traditional orchestral seating positions within this mix.

2)Presets, and "performance" patches, designed for quick template building. Ensemble patches for Strings.

3)EQ presets from Colin and Troels templates (using Fabfilter and others) to MIX Century effectively with other major orchestral libraries.

Thanks,

Colin
Maybe some of the same for Adagio/Agitato...?
 
OP
jamwerks

jamwerks

Senior Member
Guys,

Just a quick note regarding both Century Brass, Strings and Sordino Strings. We're working on a free Century 2.0 update that contains the following:

1)A Second Mix option which is more ambient and warm (closer to some of the other major commercial libraries). All Instruments will be "pre placed" into traditional orchestral seating positions within this mix.
This sounds interesting. Wonder if they would try to "bounce" these new mix positions through something like SPAT in order to get the "correct" réflexions baked in ?
 

givemenoughrope

Senior Member
This sounds interesting. Wonder if they would try to "bounce" these new mix positions through something like SPAT in order to get the "correct" réflexions baked in ?
Maybe they can give up the SPAT presets as well. I’m always trying to get other libraries to sit with...other “roomier” and “Air-ier” libraries.

wink

...

wink
 

Colin O'Malley

Senior Member
Maybe they can give up the SPAT presets as well. I’m always trying to get other libraries to sit with...other “roomier” and “Air-ier” libraries.

wink

...

wink
We'll share everything we have with any plugin we use. A ton of this work is just me getting Century, Spitfire, Cinematic Strings, Agitato, Cinesamples exactly as I want them in my own template, just like everybody else....

Please keep the update requests coming. I'm so used to the workflow in Century, it's easy to overlook the way other composers approach things sometimes.

Thanks,

Colin