Aaron Venture Infinite Brass

erica-grace

Senior Member
Another forum member took some heat for posting an opinion on the Aaron Venture Infinite Brass thread in the commercial announcements section. As that stuff is really not allowed there, I will respect that, and start this thread.

I actually agreed with the other forum member's opinion - the walkthrough video did not sound very good to my ears. I just listened to AlexanderSchiborr's Star Wars mockup on page 6, and now I am really not liking the sound. Very tinny and buzzy sounding, and very sterile.

How are those of you who purchased getting along with it? Do you like the sound? Is it relatively easy to use? Does it blend in easily with other libraries?

I would love to hear some user demos, and some other opinions.
 

HBen

Active Member
Can you post some good demos rated as "good ones"? I am also on the fence for this library, and more opinions would be welcome.
 

leon chevalier

Piano roll musician
I was first very excited. But after listening to the demos and walkthrough carefully, it seems to me that it has the same strength and weakness that the two others of it's kind (sample modeling Brass and Chris Hein Brass) : good for quiet stuff and not so good for forte dynamic passage, when you need to hear the room.

I like the easy to use UI that take care of the positioning and the room size. But I don't see enough differences with my sample modeling to buy it.

This said, if I haven't already bought SM brass, I think I would go for it. I spend too much time configuring SM brass.

This kind of VI is really a good complement for section sampled brass VI. It fill a gap.
 

miket

Senior Member
I don't own it, though I wish I could demo it to confirm or deny my gut feelings.

It's appealing to me for the same reason that the Sample Modeling/Wallander instruments are: no-nonsense playability. I also have the same reservations about it as I do those others: tone.

My experience is that this approach sounds all right in isolation, but once you start building large symphonic ensembles, there's a noticable lack of weight. I think that's all down to the lack of real room information in the raw samples. That's just not something you can add back.

For me, that means the decision comes down to realism of playability, or realism of tone. Which can we fake more effectively? Well, we all have different breaking points when it comes to being satisfied by VI's. My ears, at least, are more negatively drawn to an imitation of real space/dodgy tone than they are to an agile musical line done entirely with a "long" patch. That's a pretty extreme example, and playability is rapidly improving with conventional samples, so....
 

aaronventure

Senior Member
I've gotten comments on the tone from both sides of the spectrum. Tone preference is, in a way, a little bit subjective. Personally, there isn't a single library that I don't drop an EQ on, and some sound outright bad if I turn that EQ off. So tone is pretty simple to change and attune to one's own taste using EQs and/or multiband compression, etc.

What you can't really affect with plugins is expression and playability. If EQ-ing is the only thing you have to do here (and no convolution/avoiding phasing/wasting too much time to try and make it sit in a mix), then the whole thing works.

With all that in mind, updates are being worked on. I've gotten great feedback from a couple of folks, and some things aren't always obvious until more people start using a product and fiddling around. The great thing about doing the whole thing dry and having convolution on top is that it's relatively easy for me to go under the hood, the processing projects or even the original recordings and make changes there.

Even if there will be re-recordings in the future as I expand the concept and learn new things, I won't ever charge for updates to existing products.

I'm open to creating a "Character" bank for each instrument. Be it globally, per-room or both. These would be 1-click EQ profiles selected in a menu, so everyone can choose their own preferred tone (or at least get close to it).
 

leon chevalier

Piano roll musician
I've gotten comments on the tone from both sides of the spectrum. Tone preference is, in a way, a little bit subjective. Personally, there isn't a single library that I don't drop an EQ on, and some sound outright bad if I turn that EQ off. So tone is pretty simple to change and attune to one's own taste using EQs and/or multiband compression, etc.

What you can't really affect with plugins is expression and playability. If EQ-ing is the only thing you have to do here (and no convolution/avoiding phasing/wasting too much time to try and make it sit in a mix), then the whole thing works.

With all that in mind, updates are being worked on. I've gotten great feedback from a couple of folks, and some things aren't always obvious until more people start using a product and fiddling around. The great thing about doing the whole thing dry and having convolution on top is that it's relatively easy for me to go under the hood, the processing projects or even the original recordings and make changes there.

Even if there will be re-recordings in the future as I expand the concept and learn new things, I won't ever charge for updates to existing products.

I'm open to creating a "Character" bank for each instrument. Be it globally, per-room or both. These would be 1-click EQ profiles selected in a menu, so everyone can choose their own preferred tone (or at least get close to it).
@aaronventure Congratulation! You just won the award of "Gentleman Developer 2019"
(Please note that I'm the only judge)
award.jpg
The way you deal with criticism and turn it into something positive is impressive !
I can't wait to see this update for Infinite Brass
 

Camus

Active Member
Hi guys, I have bought the Infinite Brass and want to add my opinion based on only a quick check of the library without digging deeper. The Big thing is the playability as it is with samplemodelling stuff. The difference (to SM) is that you have the specific placement options preorganized in the room which come in very handy. You can do this with SM also, but in IB it is consequently organized for a quick use in orchestral use. I like that! At least it is a audiophilosophical question: do you want to be able to sculpture your sound in every detail or do you want to have the recorded musicality and sound-sculpture that the real musician decided to do for each tone at the moment he played it. With IB you have to work a lot more to make it lively with the usage of controllers than with a prerecorded dynamically phrased sample where you just hold down a note (I exaggerate a Little) . But you have more opportunity to shape your Dynamics and so on. For me personally I use both methods alongside and the playability of modelled Instruments help to get things more fluent in combination with classically sampled instruments. In fact when checking out IB I was starting to mix it up with other libraries very early and played around with layering. Maybe I was´t totally happy with the sound alone. BUT: I didn´t really - I mean REALLY ! - work with IB and didn´t check out all the possibilities that are there. So that was out of laziness and out of the attempt to get the quick advantage out of this library in my setup. So this is not a real judgement of the sound!!! I´m sure there is more to discover. What I realized is that you have to do quite a bit of work with the Controllers but it starts to get more convincing the more you digg into it.
For me personally I experienced that IB drastically helps to shape the dynamic and the fluency of lines in combination with other libs. The dynamic feel it can provide is enormous.
I feel that IB enriches our opportunities. And for what it is, it is a great library. When playing around with the options you have controller-wise you can see that a lot of thoughts about what helps to make it practical and musical and easy to use was flowing into its conception.
I´m happy with it.
Well done Aaron
 

Jdiggity1

Stroking The Frog
Moderator
Looks like a great concept, and it has me excited for the future of sampled instruments. It's always refreshing to see a developer that has thought things through in a musical way, beyond the stock-standard approach of sampling a few articulations and simply mapping them to keyswitches.
However, the biggest difference between Infinite Brass and Sample modeling (for me at least) is that I've heard convincing performances and terrific productions made with sample modeling, but the demos for IB simply aren't quite as impressive yet.
I'm sure this is just due to the age of SM compared to IB which is still a newborn, but really, a demo on par with what I've seen/heard from SM is what it's going to take to win me over.
I'd definitely be trying to find some real brass players who could noodle up a few convincing performances. Have you seen those Sample modeling breath controller videos?? Nutso!

Oh and the EQ Character presets à la LASS is a great idea. Hopefully that is possible.
 
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erica-grace

Senior Member
I've gotten comments on the tone from both sides of the spectrum. Tone preference is, in a way, a little bit subjective. Personally, there isn't a single library that I don't drop an EQ on, and some sound outright bad if I turn that EQ off. So tone is pretty simple to change and attune to one's own taste using EQs and/or multiband compression, etc.

What you can't really affect with plugins is expression and playability. If EQ-ing is the only thing you have to do here (and no convolution/avoiding phasing/wasting too much time to try and make it sit in a mix), then the whole thing works.

With all that in mind, updates are being worked on. I've gotten great feedback from a couple of folks, and some things aren't always obvious until more people start using a product and fiddling around. The great thing about doing the whole thing dry and having convolution on top is that it's relatively easy for me to go under the hood, the processing projects or even the original recordings and make changes there.

Even if there will be re-recordings in the future as I expand the concept and learn new things, I won't ever charge for updates to existing products.

I'm open to creating a "Character" bank for each instrument. Be it globally, per-room or both. These would be 1-click EQ profiles selected in a menu, so everyone can choose their own preferred tone (or at least get close to it).
Classy response :)

Will the Character banks make up for the space where it was recorded?
 

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
I've gotten comments on the tone from both sides of the spectrum. Tone preference is, in a way, a little bit subjective. Personally, there isn't a single library that I don't drop an EQ on, and some sound outright bad if I turn that EQ off. So tone is pretty simple to change and attune to one's own taste using EQs and/or multiband compression, etc.

What you can't really affect with plugins is expression and playability. If EQ-ing is the only thing you have to do here (and no convolution/avoiding phasing/wasting too much time to try and make it sit in a mix), then the whole thing works.

With all that in mind, updates are being worked on. I've gotten great feedback from a couple of folks, and some things aren't always obvious until more people start using a product and fiddling around. The great thing about doing the whole thing dry and having convolution on top is that it's relatively easy for me to go under the hood, the processing projects or even the original recordings and make changes there.

Even if there will be re-recordings in the future as I expand the concept and learn new things, I won't ever charge for updates to existing products.

I'm open to creating a "Character" bank for each instrument. Be it globally, per-room or both. These would be 1-click EQ profiles selected in a menu, so everyone can choose their own preferred tone (or at least get close to it).
I have been playing around with the library since I purchased it yesterday. I am very impressed! Great concept and terrific execution.

I doubt if any one product could satisfy everyone. The fans of wet libraries are not likely to appreciate any dry library whether it is VSL, SM, CH or Aaron Venture. (Can we now just say AV?) Perhaps a DAWcast showing how to use EQ to change the tone would be both a good sales tool and good PR, but in my view, taking the time to add preset 1-click EQ profiles might be more trouble than it is worth for you.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of the DAWcast on using EQ with the library. It would also continue to build your rep as an expert pro mixing engineer as well.
 

Gauss

The Untalented
I just got my hands on this. I've been playing with this for about an hour. Oh this is fun! I can't play piano well. I can hardly do just a right hand melody and a modwheel ride. But even with my low playing skills I love how this library "knows" what I'm trying to play. This will save me a lot of the time MIDI editing.
The sound is very subjective. I don't like an out-of-the-box "instant gratification" very wet libraries, as alone they sound great, but when you mix them with other libraries they tend to sound very strange and out of place. I like to shape the sound the way I like. Sometimes I'm spending way too much hours turning the knobs up and down. With Infinite Brass I will definitely add an EQ and additional reverb to make it to my liking. But this is something I do with almost all my libraries. Some will say that the recorded sound of a room is better than any digital reverb, but like I said this is very subjective matter.
Overall this is a great library. Especially the way it "feels" how you play the keyboard. is very inspiring.
It's time to rebuild my template...
Also a little question. Why the Mutes are click'n'drag rather than just click or double click?
 

aaronventure

Senior Member
I love how this library "knows" what I'm trying to play.
Exactly. I'm very glad you're enjoying it.

Also a little question. Why the Mutes are click'n'drag rather than just click or double click?
Because it's a slider, so you can map it to a CC controller (and that way even assign them with Expression Maps, or Lemur or whatever hardware buttons you have) so that you don't have to go into Kontakt to switch them, you can do it straight from your controller/in the MIDI clip and swap them throughout the performance.

Also if you make a change during a note, the mute won't be switched until the current note stops playing, so you don't have to worry about nailing these CC messages exactly in between notes.
 

resound

Senior Member
I've purchased and only spent a little time with the library. I'm not wild about the tone, but the playability is amazing. It plays like a real instrument. This could turn people off to it because it requires either a good amount of practice (like any instrument) in order to get a good performance, or a lot of time spent tweaking like you see in the walkthrough, or some combination of both. But for me, being able to play in a line and quickly have the musical intent there without having to mess with different articulations make this an incredibly useful tool.

I love that you can simply hold down the sustain pedal to take it out of legato mode to test chord voicings. I also love that you can easily perform an fp cresc. by starting with the mod wheel all the way down and just hitting a high velocity note. It's sounds much more realistic than trying to perform the same thing with just a breath controller with SM brass, and much easier than stacking a staccato articulation on top of a sustain in any other library.

One complaint is that the french horn attacks (with the mod wheel all the way down) don't sound as dynamic as the rest of the instruments. They seem to have more of a sudden jump in attack, almost like it goes straight from mf to ff. Or maybe it's just the dynamic curve that feels different. It's harder to get the nice punchy short notes.

Also, I wish there was a way to control the volume of the glissando transitions. If you play a note with the mod wheel up high and then play a low velocity legato note to trigger a gliss, the volume dips way down during the gliss and it sounds silly.

If the tone could be improved to rival the more traditionally recorded sample libraries, this would be a killer library. I look forward to seeing what ideas Aaron has to improve the tone. Even despite this, I think this is a great library, especially regarding the new concepts in playability that he has introduced/improved upon.
 

HelixK

Active Member
If you are used to working with wet samples, and I believe it's the case with most composers here, I understand the shock of listening to exposed dry recordings like Infinite Brass. They don't sound pretty. And they are not supposed to sound pretty. They are performance instruments that breathe life if you put an effort to sculpt your lines.

And since they are bone dry recordings, you can mix them with pretty much anything. You might want to experiment layering IB with Cinebrass or Hollywood Brass... I bet it's going to be like one of those revelation moments when you hear the expression that a library like Infinite Brass can add to your virtual performances.

Like cooking, you add things here and there, see what happens and then maybe adjust it a little bit. Simmer it in for a couple hours for a smooth savory blend or go for a quick healthy meal, neither is right or wrong, it all depends on the flavor you want in the end. Have fun, it's a creative process, don't be afraid to overcook it, you will eventually get just the "right" amount of seasoning and create delicious dishes. Everyone is going to be asking for your recipes ;)
 

resound

Senior Member
I agree that the room is part of the sound when it comes to low brass, and I understand Christian's point. But that's what a convolution reverb does. It's emulates the response of the room to a sound by using algorithms created from recorded responses. So it will never be quite the same, but in theory we should be able to get much closer to a realistic sound with these tools. I think either the algorithms have not yet been perfected, or there is a problem in the way dry samples are recorded, or likely a combination of both.

How are dry samples usually recorded? The fact that low brass loses it's low end/warmth/etc. when dry samples are run through a convolution reverb tells me that maybe the low frequencies are not being captured enough in the dry samples. Higher frequencies have shorter wavelengths and travel faster while lower frequencies have much longer wavelengths and travel much slower, so sticking the mic in the bell of a tuba, for ex., is probably not the best choice since the lowest frequencies wouldn't have a chance to full develop before they hit the mic. I don't know if this is how dry samples are recorded, but the point is that mic placement for dry samples needs a lot more thought than, say, placing the brass on stage in seating position and putting up tree mics.
 

miket

Senior Member
If you are used to working with wet samples, and I believe it's the case with most composers here, I understand the shock of listening to exposed dry recordings like Infinite Brass. They don't sound pretty. And they are not supposed to sound pretty. They are performance instruments that breathe life if you put an effort to sculpt your lines.
I doubt it's that simple for most of us here. Who doesn't know what exposed, dry samples sound like by now, or that VI's of any type require real performance for best results?

Like I said above, it just comes down to a choice between hyper-playability and convincing sound. I don't think any current options satisfy both of those needs, and for now, at least, I think sampling with space and perspective in mind coupled with clever scripting is winning out over the dry/centered/anechoic/modeled/etc. approach.

I've been listening to real orchestras, live and recorded, for more than 20 years now, and I've gotten extremely particular about the sound of the real thing, and the sound of what we do with computers. I also play every note in as a performance, so both of these matter to me. I just don't think you can fudge the former as well as the latter.

I don't know if this is how dry samples are recorded, but the point is that mic placement for dry samples needs a lot more thought than, say, placing the brass on stage in seating position and putting up tree mics.
This is exactly right, I think. The real problem isn't dry vs. wet, it's close vs. far. You can record brass with real distance, in a space without much tail at all, and end up with something that both sounds realistic and can be flexibly scripted. Capturing real depth and perspective doesn't mean you have to capture 4 seconds of RT too....
 
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sekkosiki

Senior Member
Playability looks really really great, we can all agree on that. Tonewise I'm a bit underwhelmed by the demos and the walkthrough. I quite like the trumpet sound, but not so much the tone of the horns and bones. I feel like they're missing something, the body or the roundness of the tone, which actually is the same thing with Samplemodeling brass too. I love the sound of SM trumpets. I think Christian has a point in his video that it's tough to create a convincing sound from dry recordings and a reverb especially with low brass.

Of course this is a very new library, and I understand that demos and walkthroughs are always a bit rough in the beginning. I'm looking forward to hearing more demos, especially if they utilize the upcoming EQ presets.

Like I said above, it just comes down to a choice between hyper-playability and convincing sound. I don't think any current options satisfy both of those needs, and for now, at least, I think sampling with space and perspective in mind coupled with clever scripting is winning out over the dry/centered/anechoic/modeled/etc. approach.
We'll see what Audiobro's offering. It seems that MSB will be recorded in a scoring stage not too dry and not too wet. I just got Genesis a few days ago, and I'm amazed by its playability. I can't wait to hear how MSB will sound.

We're living interesting times, when sample libraries are released with new approaches on playability.