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Audiobro Modern Scoring Brass (MSB)

jbuhler

Senior Member
Can you put your finger on what you don't like about those instruments? I'm pretty delighted with all three, ecstatic with the flugelhorns actually.
I would say none of them are bad—they aren't unusable or anything—but they each lack what I think of as the distinctive sound of the instrument. The flugelhorns I know less well, never having played in an ensemble that used them regularly, but the bits I heard lack the mellow, conical sound I associate with the instrument. The euphonium was similar and this is an instrument I'm well acquainted with. But especially in the upper range where it is often used for solos it lacked the character, which I would describe as almost velvety, I want. I noticed this in the Holst example upthread as well.

In the examples, the trombones sound more to me like generic low brass than distinctly trombones. Compared to the trumpet, horn, and tuba in particular, they just seem undistinguished. I would be interested in hearing how well the trombones can snarl as well as a swell played by the trombones and the horns back to back, both in the mid-upper range in close position and then in the lower-mid range in open spacing. And then doing something like the big trombone entrance of the Pilgrim's Chorus from the Tannhäuser Overture. Does the distinctive coloring of the trombone emerge? When Audiobro does the closer look with the trombone, I'm hopeful it just happened to be the examples and the distinctive character is in the samples.
 

NoamL

Winter <3
Ok...but he has the budgets and $ to hire players, midi wranglers, orchestrators and copyists just for a demo. The users polishing samples for weeks are probably using them as the end product.
Well, currently I work as a MIDI wrangler. Also known as Synthestrator. So I can tell you that synthestrators aren't spending weeks on demos either. The time scales just don't exist. I am looking for libraries that sound 90% great fast and, even more importantly, for the 10% lack of realism that remains, I know what controls to change to predictably make a desired change in the sound. Inconsistently programmed libraries are a huge unaffordable time sink because they force a synthestrator to sit there and experiment with all the control options trying to get to a goal sound.

to be fair, I'm pretty sure CSB and WA have probably the most ridiculous top dynamic of any horn library I've heard ever. You'll never get players to put out that much air in real life anyways - so it's not a tremendous loss. CSB is blistering, and if WA had 4 players with the same lungs on them I think I'd be pressing charges.

Outside of those 2 libraries - getting a LEGATO patch with that amount of cuivre is pretty wild. I'm not sure what music you listen to that features that dynamic held for any reasonable length of time. Maybe you're confusing real life with a whole generation of sample music?
The top dynamic level of CSB isn't meant for sustained playing. It's not realistic to do so and indeed, the sample are only a few seconds long so you can hear quite audible looping on some notes (mostly horns).

So why even record that level of dynamics? I think Andrew W put it very well in one of his videos. You're not going to use fff often but when you need it, it has to be available. I use it on things like the final push of a crescendo. Or when you're playing a staccato ostinato that's been moving from f to ff and the last note has to really BLAST, then you can use fff. For the most part, keeping the modwheel at 100 for CSB legatos (70 for marcato legato) is as loud as you'll ever want orchestral brass to get. Until you need fff for those special moments.

You don't notice a ceiling - until you bump your head on it! Then it's frustrating.
 

NoamL

Winter <3
To @Geoff Grace 's point, the project I'm assisting on had a brass recording session recently and I was surprised by how mellow, rounded, and close-to-horn-like the low brass sounded compared to the distinctly bright CSB trombones. I had got too used to that sound, and perhaps had lost touch with the sound of real brass. The first chair horn, a renowned musician, of course completely blew away the solo horn lines I had synthestrated. We ain't never gonna replace musicians ;)
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Over reading on another forum and see that some like the trombones and dislike the horns. I'm just the opposite. In any case, looking forward to the closer look video on the trombones which will hopefully convince me.
 

pderbidge

Senior Member
Over reading on another forum and see that some like the trombones and dislike the horns. I'm just the opposite. In any case, looking forward to the closer look video on the trombones which will hopefully convince me.
As someone who played trombone back in high school, nothing professional by any means, but I would say the only odd sounds I'm noticing is that dynamic range that a trombone typically would not play in an arrangement. The high notes in the beginning would have taken quite a lot out of me to perform and the low notes were waaay lower than anything a trombone player would typically play, so in real life (at least by high school standards:) ) the trombone would not cover such high and low ground but be more in the middle, which to my ears sounds pretty good. I did notice a bit of a metallic sound that I didn't like but it wasn't too bad and in a mix would probably be less noticeable. Overall, I am glad they gave the instrument the range they did because I'd rather have more than enough range than too little (here's looking at you Tina Guo Legato).
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
As someone who played trombone back in high school, nothing professional by any means, but I would say the only odd sounds I'm noticing is that dynamic range that a trombone typically would not play in an arrangement. The high notes in the beginning would have taken quite a lot out of me to perform and the low notes were waaay lower than anything a trombone player would typically play, so in real life (at least by high school standards:) ) the trombone would not cover such high and low ground but be more in the middle, which to my ears sounds pretty good. I did notice a bit of a metallic sound that I didn't like but it wasn't too bad and in a mix would probably be less noticeable. Overall, I am glad they gave the instrument the range they did because I'd rather have more than enough range than too little (here's looking at you Tina Guo Legato).
Old trombone player myself, though I haven’t touched the instrument in decades. Maybe I was distracted by the extreme registers. (I agree completely that it’s nice they covered the range.) But the usual register sounded to me generically brass. I am most interested in hearing the trombones and the horns side by side to alleviate my concerns. (Or maybe when I get back to my rig I’ll isolate that chunk of Guy’s file and find something similar in one of the horn demonstrations.)
 

pderbidge

Senior Member
Old trombone player myself, though I haven’t touched the instrument in decades. Maybe I was distracted by the extreme registers. (I agree completely that it’s nice they covered the range.) But the usual register sounded to me generically brass. I am most interested in hearing the trombones and the horns side by side to alleviate my concerns. (Or maybe when I get back to my rig I’ll isolate that chunk of Guy’s file and find something similar in one of the horn demonstrations.)
I know I was distracted by the extreme registers at first but when I went back and listened to the middle part over and over I found the tone to be pretty pleasing, but like you I have not played in decades so I have no real world frame of reference.
 

Guy Rowland

Senior Member
It's taken me a while to figure this out, but what is labelled as "Trombones" is not a hybrid of Altos, Tenors and Basses to stretch the range, but must in fact be pure Tenor Trombones, with the pitch extremes extended by stretching the samples. So in addition to the Trombones I did a quick demo on, there are additional patches for 1x Alto Trombones, and 2x Bass Trombones. So all in, you have 2 different Trumpet patches featuring Bb, C and Piccolo, 2 different horns patches covering 8 horns in total, plus separate Alto, Bass and Tenor Trombones patches, Cimbassi, Tuba, Euphonium and Flugelhorn. PLUS the Intuition series.

Its a beast. A beastly beast.
 

Geoff Grace

Senior Member
It's a busy few weeks so bear with me!
I have it on good authority that by far the easiest way to write a tune is by using dogs, so things may go more smoothly if you enlist their help. (Source)

Seriously though, thanks as usual for your examples, Guy. They're always very helpful. Looking forward to more!

Best,

Geoff
 

Sean

I don't know what I'm talking about
As a euphonium player I don't love the euphonium, it doesn't sound great, but euphs often get overlooked anyways, I doubt it got as much attention as trumpets/horns/etc
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
A user on the sound board posted this one(they gave permission in the thread that examples can be cross posted here):

I like the trombones here, and despite some strange rhythmic choices - the brass does sound very cohesive here. Although not quite as thick and warm as teldex - I think the space seems real.(And ofcourse it's nice to hear a more mp-mf demo)

*I downloaded the file and uploaded it here for convenience, but if for any reason that user wants me to remove it - simply private message me*

[AUDIOPLUS=https://vi-control.net/community/attachments/msbaltiverb-mp3.19659/][/AUDIOPLUS]
 

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Lode_Runner

Senior Member
As a euphonium player I don't love the euphonium, it doesn't sound great, but euphs often get overlooked anyways, I doubt it got as much attention as trumpets/horns/etc
It will be a shame if they cut any corners on the Euphonium as that's one of the elements that makes this library stand out from the competition for me. I will have to wait to see how it sounds in the relevant Closer Look video when it's up. I wasn't sold on the trumpets or horns until they did their closer look videos for them, so I'm reserving my judgement on the other instruments until the upcoming videos are posted.
 

Sean

I don't know what I'm talking about
It will be a shame if they cut any corners on the Euphonium as that's one of the elements that makes this library stand out from the competition for me. I will have to wait to see how it sounds in the relevant Closer Look video when it's up. I wasn't sold on the trumpets or horns until they did their closer look videos for them, so I'm reserving my judgement on the other instruments until the upcoming videos are posted.
Agreed I'm only currently basing my opinion on stuff that has been posted here so far.
 

jamwerks

Senior Member
Still can't believe they included an Alto Trombone & 2nd Tuba before a Contrebass Trombone! Tuba unison with Contrebass Trombone is instant low-end balls. The bells on the Cimbassi are similar to Tenor Trombones (iinm) and don't really serve the same purpose. Oh well...
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
Still can't believe they included an Alto Trombone & 2nd Tuba before a Contrebass Trombone! Tuba unison with Contrebass Trombone is instant low-end balls. The bells on the Cimbassi are similar to Tenor Trombones (iinm) and don't really serve the same purpose. Oh well...
it's a very strange choice - but honestly I'm okay with that. bass trombone and cimbassi cover a lot of ground. Especially considering they sampled so many instruments that haven't been sampled individually to this degree.
 

Nathan Furst

Active Member
In this saga of a thread, I've read some fairly funky statements, and also some smart and educated ones. If you'll all indulge me, I'd like to add my 2 cents as well. You may find them to thoughtful words from experience, or simply a ranting diatribe from a nutcase. (spoiler alert, both are correct!)
Audiobro will be posting a demo from me soon (unless they think it blows), so that will also help you judge whether or not you feel I know what I'm talking about in this post.

MSB is a FANTASTIC brass library, with more real-time playable flexability WHILE still having a good "cleanly recorded" sound than any brass library I've used, and MSB will be the backbone for my brass template going forward. That's not to say that it's a "silver bullet" either. Some of the other libs I've been using will still be there for support, of course, but no other library I know of sounds as close to what I hear in the booth like MSB (read: recorded well and articulate, not polished and mastered). Plenty of libs sound like mix/mastered scores, but now you're "stuck" with that sound, and the seams start to show quickly as you work.
I personally have not found a library with the 'finished mastered' sound that ALSO is a consistantly playable and malleable workhorse from a composition standpoint (such as having musicians is).

I suppose there are two different ways of looking at it:

A - either you want a library where you hit a note and it sounds like soundtrack albums we all know and aspire to, but then when you actually have to write your own music you can't go far with it and it will quickly show it seams.
B - Or you want a library that takes some skill and setup, but can be used for any score in any style, and it's up to YOU to have to chops to know exactly how you want to write and produce it.

For me, MSB kinda strategically strattles the middle, but leans closer to B - Which I love.

I think a common misconception is that when you get a big live orchestra in a nice space, you set some mics up, record the performance, and now you're done! yeah, no.
Even in that ideal situation, there's a TON of really intricate (and interesting!) tricks with routing, side-chaining, stem-swaping, reverb tickling (read: NOT set-and-forget) yada yada, that goes into getting a great 'sound'. ESPECIALLY with scores in the last 15 years.

If you want to midistrate like a beast, it's not going to happen cause you bought ANY specific sample library. I know mockups from 15 years ago done with shit libraries (by today's standards) that still don't have many rivals to this day. The real answer is this: Know what you want to do, and know your shit. Know how to write and arrange EXACTLY how YOU want, and then know how to produce EXACTLY how you want. Trust me, there is no university, academy course, Masterclass, etc, that can do for you what getting in the trenches learning what you want and what process that actually requires will do for you. It's not an easy road, for sure, but it's definitely more rewarding. (And, on deadlines, learn to know instinctively when "90% right" is when it's time to move on to the next cue).

If your a professional composer, or midistrator, whatever, the choice between A and B is easy - buy everything and make your own jambalaya.
If that's not an option for you, then yes, you'll need to make choices that have tradeoffs on your approach/workflow. Both Pizza and Cheeseburgers are awesome, but you won't find them at the same restaurant, and if you do, you know it's going to be SHIT. If you REALLY want both Pizza and Cheeseburgers, and you want it to be really good, then learn your way around a kitchen, cause that's the only way it's gunna happen in a single meal. You dig?

IMO, MSB will require some time and setup to use it to it's potential - It's so flexible that I spent more set-up time implementing it than any other commercial library I've used yet. I spent the time to learn how I would use the lib, and programmed a majority of a Behringer X-touch to control any and all midi CCs for MSB. All attack options are toggled via buttons, and every single anything that is assignable to CC has been assigned so I can touch/perform it in real-time. Every. Single. One.
I set up my template so that MSB is routed through something like 6 different aux's that also have sends to other buses, yada yada. Getting mockups to sound great with any combo of libraries is a whole thing, man. With MSB, once you have it down, it's as fast to work with as any other library, but (IMO) much less frustrating to get it to sound really solid.

At the end of the day, I'll say this: on a action movie, I'll start my brass writing with MSB, on an intimate drama, I'd start my brass writing with MSB.

PS - I think the two demos that Audiobro posted are pretty damn good, while sounding quite a bit different (I think anyway) to what I turned in, both compositionally and sonically. To me, that's a pretty cool strength for a library.

I always find audio demos for sample libraries difficult to evaluate; it can be challenging to know what the skill-set/tool-set ratio is. SO, if any of you hear my demo and want to know anything about it, PM me and I’ll post and answer it publicaly with as specific a answer as possible. Not that I think it would be anything mind-blowing, but then you’ll be able to evaluate what the library IS vs. what I DID with it.
Alternatively, if you think it sucks, feel free to PM and tell me how much I stink. All are welcome! So...there ya go.

Also, I could spend a whole day getting into that Star Wars "demo", and why it's always a terrible idea to do sample demos using iconic scores that cost millions to produce and utilized the talent of only the best of the best on earth, but I don't have the energy to get into that...
 
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